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1980s Masterpieces

1980s Masterpieces

THE SACRIFICE

Andrei Tarkovsky Sweden, 1986

The great Andrei Tarkovsky (Solaris, Stalker) passed away at 54 after an all-too-short career. The Sacrifice, completed while he was dying, is one of cinema’s greatest swansongs: a visual tour-de-force, and a heartbreaking goodbye from a father to a son.

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DUST IN THE WIND

Hou Hsiao-hsien Taiwan, 1986

At the end of the 1960s, high-school sweethearts Wan and Huen leave their little mining town in search of greater opportunities in Taipei, where the vicissitudes of life take their toll on the relationship.

NOSTALGHIA

Andrei Tarkovsky Italy, 1983

With only seven feature films, Andrei Tarkovsky created a world: of prophecy, madness, grace, and spiritual transcendence. Made in exile from the USSR, Nostalghia is a uniquely personal masterwork that stands with his best. Winner of Best Director at Cannes, an honor he shared with Robert Bresson!

THE TERRORIZERS

Edward Yang Taiwan, 1986

Renowned director Edward Yang (Yi Yi) refracts the changing society and culture of Taipei in this classic of New Taiwanese Cinema, which revitalized the nation’s cinematic landscape in the 1980s. An enigmatic puzzle full of Yang’s prescient vision, this is a film to watch again and again.

GROWING UP

Kun-ho Chen Taiwan, 1983

Set in the northern coastal town of Tamsui and narrated by the girl next door, Xiaobi shows off his remarkable penchant for getting into trouble, whether it be at school, while playing, or at home. Not until tragedy strikes is Xiaobi strayed from his mischievous behavior.

A TIME TO LIVE AND A TIME TO DIE

Hou Hsiao-hsien Taiwan, 1985

Semi-autobiographical and spanning two decades, this early masterpiece from Hou Hsiao-hsien perfectly combines the historical drama and the coming-of-age story. A superb family saga, the film was an early international success for the filmmaker, winning the FIPRESCI prize at the 1986 Berlinale.

MAUVAIS SANG

Léos Carax France, 1986

A hot blooded ‘80s potion of gangster cinema, AIDS fears, and giddy romance, Leos Carax’s second film features a young Juliette Binoche in one of her first major roles—next to Denis Lavant, Michel Piccoli and Julie Delpy!—while its soundtrack includes Bowie’s “Modern Love” in a now-iconic scene.

IN OUR TIME

Edward Yang, Chang Yi, Ko I-Chen, Tao Te-chen Taiwan, 1982

Four vignettes, each set in different decades from the 1950s through the 1980s, deal with protagonists at different stages of life between childhood and young adulthood.