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Entries in Oscars (80s) (211)

Friday
Aug302019

Over & Overs: Moonstruck (1987)

In our new Team series, members of The Film Experience wax rhapsodic on movies they can't help watching frequently and can't turn away from if they stumble upon them. Here's Deborah Lipp...

 

I ain't no freaking monument to justice!

As with many of my favorite movies, I find Moonstruck endlessly quotable. I open with a quote in the hopes I can restrain myself from doing nothing but quoting in the course of this write-up.

We are here to ruin ourselves and to break our hearts and love the wrong people and die!

Oops.

Moonstruck is infinitely watchable because it works on so many levels... 

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Aug012019

Streaming Roulette, August: Serenity, Red Sea Diving Resort, and two major 1981 classics

As is our practice we've selected a handful of titles and frozen the films at utterly random moments without cheating (whatever comes up comes up!). It's our way of previewing new titles streaming each month. So what should you queue up for AUGUST 2019 ?(★ means we recommend catching them.) Please do let us know if you're dying to discuss any of the films and maybe we'll write about one or two of 'em  You rarely tell us but we'll try if you do.

[COUGHING]

Jackie Brown (1997) ★  on Netflix
Is De Niro coughing to distract you from Once Upon a Time ...  in Hollywood for a minute? He's got a new trailer out and that would like a little attention, too. On the couch is Bridget Fonda giving what is easily one of her top two performances (the other one is in a little seen 80s movie called Scandal). We should probably see this particular Quentin Tarantino flick again. Beyond Fonda's perpetually baked surfer girl I don't personally remember much about it except for that  Rashomon inspired scene in the mall, and Pam Grier and Robert Forster being a fine match in the two central roles.

[HEAVY BREATHING]

Body Heat (1981) ★  on HBO
Nice wedding ring shot. That ain't her husband...

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Jul242019

Doc Corner: Oscar-nominated 'Streetwise' and its 35-years-later sequel

By Glenn Dunks

For a film about teenagers living rough, squatting in dilapidated and abandoned hotels or homeless on the streets, there is a remarkable amount of poetic beauty in Streetwise. The work of director Martin Bell (American Heart) was born out of a Life exposé called “Streets of the Lost” by his photographer wife (also noted as a film still photographer) Mary Ellen Mark and journalist Cheryl McCall and it is the latter pair’s continued relationship with the runaway teenagers who populate its intimate yet sprawling narrative that was so essential to Bell being given the remarkable access that Streetwise offers.

Originally released in 1984 and now restored for its 35th anniversary, Bell’s documentary was nominated for an Academy Award. And it probably would have won, too, had it not been for The Times of Harvey Milk. So not quite as egregious of a loss as I had assumed as I sat stunned through the end credits of the 35th anniversary restoration. Re-released in tandem with a belated sequel, Tiny: The Life of Erin Blackwell that is also directed by Bell, the power of Streetwise remains with its all too relevant story of teenagers on the streets of Seattle known at the time as the most liveable city in the world...

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Jul202019

"The Client" and Populist Oscar Choices in Acting

by Nathaniel R

Today is the 25th anniversary of the release of The Client which was a big sleeper success in its summer, ending the year as the 13th highest grossing movie of 1994. Only that number wasn't bad luck since Susan Sarandon netted a Best Actress nomination for the legal drama. That nomination kept her momentum as "overdue for a win" going strong until the next year when she won the Oscar for something in Oscar's more typical wheelhouse, Dead Man Walking (1995) an issue drama based on a true story.

So let's discuss something no one talks about much. What are the lead acting nominations that would never have happened without the big hit status for the movies that housed them? This is NOT meant as a critique of the performances. Sometimes Oscar just needs to be convinced by enormous success to look at worthy pieces of acting within genres they take less seriously (their loss) or star vehicles they might not have stopped to mull over without all the general audience enthusiasm forcing the movie to be taken seriously... 

Click to read more ...

Friday
Jul122019

'My Beautiful Laundrette' for the UK stage

Jonny Fines and Omar Malik headline the production

Have you heard that My Beautiful Laundrette, one of our favourite 80s movies and one of the most beloved LGBTQ films ever, is getting the stage treatment? The production which is using the Oscar-nominated screenplay by Hanif Kureishi as its text, will open September 20th at Leicester's Curve. Though it's not a musical adaptation, the Pet Shop Boys are composing the score for it. The leads look the part but we are giggling a bit that they actually cast actors named Jonny and Omar for the lead characters of Johnny & Omar. 

If you are a UK-based reader who is plannning to see it, please do report back about your experience! I will be tense with anticipation until you do but, to quote Johnny (Daniel Day-Lewis) directly from the film...

In my experience it is always worth waiting for Omar"

Thursday
May092019

Stage Door: The musical adaptation of "Tootsie"

by Nathaniel R

“I was a better man with you as a woman than I ever was with a woman as a man.” So went the famous arc-completing line in Tootsie (1982) that resonates backwards through the movie, and carried you out of the theater, not just on a comic high but with zeitgeist capturing depth. Though it’s little remarked upon today in the now-now-now of popular culture, the early 80s were a cinematic time rife with the questioning of traditional gender roles just like our culture is today. Hit films like Victor/Victoria, Yentl, Mr. Mom,  and Tootsie all arrived in quick succession, though the then preferred vernacular was androgyny and gender-bending, as opposed to today’s non-binary and genderqueer designations.  It’s not surprising, then, to see Tootsie come round again to popular culture in 2019 in the form of a Tony-nominated musical comedy. What’s more surprising is that that resonant quotable capper is one of the few famous lines to be lifted directly from the movie.

As shocking as it is to type, they wrote new jokes!  This is, as you may have guessed given Broadway’s strange new role as a regurgitator of old movies, not the norm…. 

Click to read more ...