Discussion in 'Visual Arts' started by Arthur Pewty, Dec 17, 2019.
Fer sure! Valley Girl.
If you define a quintessential '80s film as one where almost everything in it would have to be changed if it was remade today, I give you Mannequin:
Actually they made a Valley Girl musical last year.
Valley Girl (2020) - IMDb
We saw it because we're a big fans of Jessica Rothe, but it's pretty miserable.
Joker, although it was made recently, captured the feel of the 80s.
I agree with you. That's the one that came to mind. Although the basic story line might have been done in the 70s, the visual and acting dimensions are all 80s. It's also a classic comedy.
Does anyone else like the ridiculously saturated colored lighting that was in so many 80s films? If you do, Alphabet City was the mother of them all. Every scene has at least one if not two or three colored lights blasting saturated colors around the sets and the locations for no reason. After a while I felt that it was succeeding in making the film seem surreal, especially when they projected bizarre colors on the buildings in the background which you can kind of see in the poster.
It's like the lighting designer wrestled control of the movie away from everyone else. I had no idea that the gritty streets of New York were awash in Surprise Pink.
i am the one who thinks Casino Royale w/ David Niven, What's New Pussycat? , Barbarella and Umbrellas of Cherbourg are exactly what I love about color movies. So bring it on!
I would suggest STREETS OF FIRE as a quintessentially '80s movie.
To my eyes now it seems like they were trying to give everything a comic book color. It would have been better if it had been set in some fictional city instead of New York since they were sure making it look like a fictional city.
The D.P. was Oliver Wood who went on to shoot The Bourne films and a bunch of other big films, and the Art Director was Stephen Lineweaver who also went on to work on Jerry Maguire and a few other big films. They didn't stick with this unique style of course so I wonder if it came from the director who... didn't go on to big films.
I'm sure the Broadway lighting directors suffered from a horrific gel shortage, as this film consumed every scrap.
Thank you for mentioning this-my favorite of the Michael J Fox films. It certainly has the aesthetic, but is also a fairly thoughtful movie. Jay McInerny wrote the novel & the screenplay. I can't recall if this line from the book made it into the movie, but it's one that resonated: "It's not much, this menial job in a venerable institution, but it's all you've got left." I enjoyed Wiest, Cates, and Kurtz but Frances Sternhagen stood out as the ultimate judge presiding over the end of his overreach. Great to know that Sydney Pollack had a hand in this as well.
Fun thread. My two choices were already mentioned, but they are:
1) Risky Business (1983): It's hard to top this. The 'teen sex comedy' was itself a very 80s thing, and this might be the best and "most 80s" of them all. I mean, you've got Tom Cruise, Rebecca De Mornay, and Curtis 'Booger' Armstrong! The teen characters in the film talk about how much they love money and they utterly scorn their parents' sixties' ideals.
2) Bright Lights, Big City (1987): Not only is this totally 80s (nightclubs, cocaine, skinny ties, surface-level people), but it's also a really, really good dramatic movie. In fact, one of my favorites of the entire decade. Michael J. Fox is a great actor, and I think this is his greatest performance.
One thing I've noticed from a 2021 perspective about the light "80s movies" that I saw in theaters on "dates" and such is the recurring plots built around the comedic trials and tribulations of affluent white kids: "Ferris Bueller's Day Off," "War Games," "Weird Science," "Risky Business," "Fast Times at Ridgemont High," "Valley Girl," "Heathers," "The Breakfast Club," "Sixteen Candles," etc.
Yeah, but isn't that basically youth movies from 1930 to the 1990s (or later)?
Could be. I'm just reflecting on my little life in my world back then. It seems like a lot of the movies that I saw in the '80s as an older teen in theaters with girls or friends had plot lines established from "What will these very rich white kids get up to?"
For instance, when I view "Ferris Bueller" now, the first aspect that jumps out at me is just how rich and privileged this kid is before he gets up to all this hi-jinx. I guess I really didn't see it first as a young'un in the '80s.
The costumes, the sets, the effects and the bad language. Total tacky 80s bliss.
"Who's up for a 'gang-bang'?"
Total Recall was a 1990 film and very cutting-edge for special effects at the time. The high quality of the special effects alone makes me think of it as a '90s film, not an '80s film. Verhoeven is also one of the directors whose work helped defined the '90s era of film. Even though Robocop was his first big film in the U.S., it was more of an '80s film with its herky-jerky stop-mo effects.
i wonder if Argento was an influence?
The most annoying part about Ferris Bueller's Day Off is that he didn't do anything a teenage kid would actually do, other than committing Grand Theft Auto and hanging out with his girlfriend. Visiting the Chicago Board of Trade? Dining at a snooty restaurant? Participating in a parade?
They're things that a cool, smart, different kid would do. Ferris Bueller reminds me of when we'd get to hang out with kids from the prep school. They weren't into doing the dumb, basic, boring teenage things. There are smart teenagers who would rather hang out at a museum than go to the video arcade. And it's very clear Ferris was skipping school not because he was a slacker but because he was smart enough to not be able to get anything out of high school anymore.
I saw that movie in Huntington NY a stones throw from Northport, NY where a similar teen tragedy had recently happen. So it was in the spirit of the times unfortunately.
Ricky Kasso And The Drug-Fueled Murder Between Suburban Teenagers (allthatsinteresting.com)
Videodrome was uniquely 80s.
Also, Just one of the Guys, was a classic 80s teen movie.
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