I’d like to hear some feedback on what you the Criterion viewer thinks the “best” film of the 1980’s. In my opinion David Lynch’s 1986 “Blue Velvet” and Spike Lee’s 1989 “Do the Right Thing” top the list. Some other favorites would include: Scotts “Blade Runner”, Bergman’s “Fanny and Alexander”, Lee’s “Shes Gotta Have It” and Jarmusch’s “Stranger Than Paradise” and “Down By Law”. Let the debate start!
Might as well just post the list I did for another forum of my best of the 80s:
1. Berlin Alexanderplatz (1980) – Rainer Werner Fassbinder
2. Shoah (1985) – Claude Lanzmann
3. Sans Soleil (1983) – Chris Marker
4. The Decalogue (1989) – Krzysztof Kieslowski
5. God’s Country (1986) – Louis Malle
6. Three Crowns of the Sailor (1983) – Raoul Ruiz
7. Videodrome (1983) – David Cronenberg
8. The Dead (1987) – John Huston
9. Koyaanisqatsi (1982) – Godfrey Reggio
10. A City of Sadness (1989) – Hsiao-hsien Hou
loulou by maurice pialat is my personal favorite film of the 80’s if only because i am unsure whether or not whit stillman’s metropolitan and hal hartley’s the unbelievable truth count as 80’s or 90’s films as they came out sometime around 89/90. i also adore most of the john carpenter stuff, like big trouble in little china, from that era, as well as my dark horse canidate for best film of the 80’s; coming to america.
Tin Drum-Volker Schlondorff
Blue Velvet-David Lynch
Raging Bull-Martin Scorsese
Atlantic City-Louis Malle
Au Revoir les Enfants-Louis Malle
This is off the top of my head, there are probably a couple I’ve forgotten about.
Atlantic City (Louis Malle- 1980)
Bad Timing (Nicolas Roeg- 1980)
Berlin Alexanderplatz (Rainer Werner Fassbinder- 1980)
Kagemusha (Akira Kurosawa- 1980)
The Shining (Stanley Kubrick- 1980)
Marianne and Julianne (Margarethe Von Trotta- 1981)
Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean (Robert Altman- 1982)
Fanny and Alexander (Ingmar Bergman- 1982)
Identification of a Woman (Michelangelo Antonioni- 1982)
The King of Comedy (Martin Scorcese- 1982)
On Top of the Whale (Raoul Ruiz- 1982)
Passion (Jean-Luc Godard- 1982)
A Question of Silence (Marleen Gorris- 1982)
Sans Soliel (Chris Marker- 1982)
Veronika Voss (Rainer Werner Fassbinder- 1982)
Victor/Victoria (Blake Edwards- 1982)
Wend Kuuni (Gaston Kabore- 1982)
Born In Flames (Lizzie Borden- 1983)
The Dead Zone (David Cronenberg- 1983)
Three Crowns of the Sailor (Raoul Ruiz- 1983)
Videodrome (David Cronenberg- 1983)
Love Streams (John Cassavettes- 1984)
Paris, Texas (Wim Wenders- 1984)
Hail Mary (Jean Luc-Godard- 1985)
Mrs. Soffel (Gillian Armstrong- 1985)
Navaho Talking Picture (Arlene Bowman- 1985)
Vagabond (Agnes Varda- 1985)
Wetherby (David Hare- 1985)
Devil in the Flesh (Marco Bellochio- 1986)
The Horse Thief (Tian Zhaungzhaung 1986)
Life is a Dream (Raoul Ruiz- 1986)
The Dead- (John Huston- 1987)
Housekeeping- (Bill Forsyth 1987)
She Must Be Seeing Things (Shelian McLaughlin- 1987)
Wings of Desire (Wim Wenders-1987)
Yeelen (Souleymane Cisse- 1987)
Distant Voices, Still Lives (Terrence Davies- 1988)
Grave of the Fireflies (Isao Takahata- 1988)
The Last of England (Derek Jarman- 1988)
A Short Film About Killing (Krzysztof Kiesloeski- 1988)
Mystery Train (Jim Jarmusch- 1989)
Surname Viet, Given Name Nam (Trinh T. Minh Ha 1989)
for me, its too hard to say what the best films are in any given decade. so many films are made in so many countries by so many good directors.
Brian De Palma’s Scarface
Here’s one no one ever mentions, and which absolutely deserves the full Criterion treatment, considering so far as I know it’s never arrived on DVD: Ildikó Enyedi’s 1989 “My Twentieth Century.” This is a captivating story of twin girls, born at the dawn of the 20th Century, who wind up taking alternate routes. It’s funny, strange, quirky, touching, memorable, and a lot of other good words.
Has anyone else seen it?
Hasn’t this thread been done before? Oh well…
Krzysztof Kieslowski’s Blind Chance (1987) and A Short Film About Killing (1988)
Yilmaz Guney’s Yol (1982)
Andrzej Wajda’s Man of Iron (1981)
Errol Morris’ Gates of Heaven (1981), Vernon Florida (1982) and The Thin Blue Line (1988)
Emir Kusturica’s Time of the Gypsies (1988) and When Father Was Away on Business (1985)
Hal Ashby’s Being There (1980)
Wim Wenders’ Paris, Texas (1984)
Jim Jarmusch’s Stranger Than Paradise (1984) and Down By Law (1986)
John Cassavetes Love Streams (1983)
Maurice Pialat’s Under the Sun of Satan (1987)
Many more I’m sure, but these are some personal favorites.
Everyone else has chosen great films as well, but I like The Breakfast Club. John Hughes and Molly Ringwald make a great team. She was the Monica Vitti to his Antonioni.
I’m surprised that nobody has mentioned this, so…
- Brazil (1985) – Terry Gilliam
Fanny And Alexander (1982)
Sans Soleil (1983)
The Decalogue (1989)
Why Has Bodhi-Dharma Left for the East? (1989)
“Bright Lights, Big City” Anyone? Anyone?
Three Rohmer films: “The Aviator’s Wife”, “Full Moon in Paris” and “Pauline at the Beach.”
“The Empire Strikes Back.”
“Jesus of Montreal.”
Just 5 I can think of right now…
Of course I’d say Berlin Alexanderplatz, although it could be argued that that was the last great 70s film.
Rohmer did excellent work in the 80s. Last Temptation of Christ is also a terrific film.
But I think the most influential was probably Blue Velvet.
3. Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters
5. Raging Bull
6. Time Bandits
7. Monty Python’s Meaning of Life
I have yet to see Berlin Alexanderplatz
Top 21 of the 1980s
Stranger than Paradise
The Fast Kill
Landscape in the mist
The thin blue line
Down by law
The osterman weekend
Full Metal Jacket
Fanny and Alexander
Come and See
The Tin Drum
Pretty In Pink
Some Kind of Wonderful
St. Elmo’s Fire
Man, didn’t ANY of you go to high school or go see movies with explosions in the ’80s? At least Cinesnag gives some props to John Hughes. It was his decade, after all.
1) Die Hard. Admit it. I’m right. You love it. Get on with it.
2) The Breakfast Club
3) Pretty In Pink
4) Terminator (see Die Hard comment)
5) The Shining
6) Bull Durham
and right about here is where “popular” and “good” parted ways in the ’80s
7) Blue Velvet
8) Do The Right Thing
okay, I lied, popular and good have not yet parted ways in the ’80s.
9) Risky Business
10) Airplane!, because I notice a serious lack of humor in most of the other lists.
but right about there, yeah, the ’80s does kid of break down.
(1) Blue Velvet (2) Do the Right Thing (3) Raging Bull (4) The Elephant Man (5) Society (6) Ran (7) White Dog (8) Mishima : A Life in Four Chapters (9) Blade Runner (10) A Better Tomorrow (11) Kiss of the Spider Woman (12) To Live and Die in L.A (13) Heartbreakers (14) Amadeus (15) Gandhi (16) Pixote (17) Cinema Paradiso (18) Jesus of Montreal (19) Street Smart (20) Spetters (21) The Killing Fields (22) Being There (23) Once upon a Time in America (24) Last American Virgin (25) Mephisto (26) The Stuntman (27) Legend (28) Vigil (29) The Last Emperor (30) Ordinary People
>>1) Die Hard. Admit it. I’m right. You love it. Get on with it.<<
And that goes double for TERMINATOR.
But I did spend a lot of movie watching time on Italioan zombie films in the 1980s
And with Stuart Gordon’s RE-ANIMATOR, DOLLS and FROM BEYOND …
my chronological top 40 (forgive if the year is incorrect):
80 – stardust memories, the falls, bad timing, raging bull, elephant man, the shining, grown ups, permanent vacation
81 – my dinner with andre
82 – three crowns of the sailor, fitzcarraldo, the draughtsman’s contract, veronika voss, fanny and alexander
83 – nostalghia, l’argent
84 – love streams, legend of suram fortress, stranger than paradise
85 – a zed & two noughts, ran, brazil, hail mary, the purple rose of cairo
86 – down by law, blue velvet, sacrifice, hannah and her sisters, caravaggio
87 – medea, a short film about killing, withnail & i, raising arizona
88 – wings of desire, cobra verde, ashik kerib, a short film about love, tales from gimli hospital
89 – mystery train, the seventh continent
Ran, Stranger Than Paradise/Down By Law, Raging Bull, Tootsie, Das Boot, Mishima, Purple Rose of Cairo/Hannah and Her Sisters… you guys have pretty much named many of mine.
Do the Right Thing
Fanny and Alexander
Stranger than Paradise
Scent of a Woman
Full Metal Jacket
House of Games
Raiders of the Lost Ark
Sex, Lies and Videotape
Who Framed Roger Rabbit
When Harry Met Sally
My Life as a Dog
The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover, 1989, Peter Greenaway
I think if Spike Lee were to film “Do The Right Thing” today it would end up the exact same film.
There were alot of crappy films in the 80’s, but I do think Do The Right Thing, Raging Bull, Fanny & Alexander, Once Upon a Time In America (Dir Cut), The Right Stuff, Brazil, Ran, Wings of Desire, The Shining, ‘Round Midnight, Murphy’s Romance, Bronco Billy, Law of Desire,The King of Comedy and a string Woody Allen films between 1983-1987 (Zelig, Broadway Danny Rose, Purple Rose of Cairo, Hannah and Her Sisters, Radio Days) are amongst the best during that period.
There was a great wave of Indie filmmaking during the 1980’s. Amongst my favorites; Bill Sherwood’s Parting Glances and Spike Lee’s debut She’s Gotta Have it, both relaesed in 1986.
Spike has had a superb Directing career since, but unfortunately we never got to see anything from Bill after ‘Glances’.
King of Comedy
Down by Law
House of Games
Do the Right Thing
As Tears Go By
My Brother’s Wedding