1980s List Discussion and Suggestions (Lists Project Vol. 2)

An ongoing survey of the Criterion Forum membership to create lists of the best films of each decade and genre.
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swo17
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 10:25 am
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Re: 1980s List Discussion and Suggestions (Lists Project)

#326 Post by swo17 » Tue Jan 13, 2009 6:34 pm

Woah, I assumed we would have until the end of the day on Thursday, the 15th. 8-[

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domino harvey
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Re: 1980s List Discussion and Suggestions (Lists Project)

#327 Post by domino harvey » Tue Jan 13, 2009 6:35 pm

I'm an idiot, I thought today was the fourteenth #-o

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zedz
Joined: Sun Nov 07, 2004 7:24 pm

Re: 1980s List Discussion and Suggestions (Lists Project)

#328 Post by zedz » Tue Jan 13, 2009 7:09 pm

domino harvey wrote:I'm an idiot, I thought today was the fourteenth #-o
It is for me, but I bow to you past-dwellers in this. Thursday midnight wherever you are is acceptable.

UPDATE:

12 lists in, 327 films nominated, with 127 eligible for the final list.

The top of the list is all over the place. There are very few consensus choices (the current number one is the champion in this regard, but it was left off three lists entirely; no other film has appeared on more than 7 lists), so the voting is extremely volatile this time around, with only ten votes separating the top three (and the current number two - an obvious choice - was nowhere near the top ten until the last two lists came in). All of the top six are potentially within a single submission (i.e. 50 points) of the top spot.

Despite the powerful American bias overall, the top ten remains relatively diverse: 40% US, 30% French, 20% German. It's growing to resemble the last list more and more, predictably. Six of the top ten were in the previous top twenty, and two more ranked in the 20s. The number 10 film made the previous top 50, but its performance this time around is precarious, based on five strong votes. The current number 5 didn't make the list at all last time.

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GringoTex
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 5:57 am

Re: 1980s List Discussion and Suggestions (Lists Project)

#329 Post by GringoTex » Tue Jan 13, 2009 8:15 pm

Some thumbnails on movies I watched in recent weeks that will NOT be making my list:

Rumblefish - The first 30 minutes were great then it descended into Micky Rourke fallen idol mythology that gave me tired head.

Melvin and Howard - Likable enough but the American Dream theme was obvious and heavy handed. I much prefer Something Wild, which will be making my list.

Atlantic City - This was a stinker and I don't understand the praise for it. Lancaster was completely misused. His brilliance as an actor is his self-awareness and there's none here. I've never enjoyed seeing great actors cast against type.

Missing - I covered this in the Missing thread but I don't want to pass up another opportunity to exclaim how much I hate this film.

Come and See - Tin Drum meets My Name is Ivan. There were some nice sequences (the explosions were fantastic), but Klimov is a bit primitive and ponderous in his mise-en-scene. His style seems restricted to following or leading his characters with a handheld camera or having them stare blankly into the camera so we can see their suffering. I was dealing with it until he actually had that big water bird stare soulfully into the camera, and then I started laughing. It probably didn't help that I watched Peckinpah's Cross of Iron two days ago.

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domino harvey
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Re: 1980s List Discussion and Suggestions (Lists Project)

#330 Post by domino harvey » Wed Jan 14, 2009 8:04 pm

the Big Red One Samuel Fuller understood better than any director (except maybe Frank Tashlin) the importance of novelty, and this war epic is one great scene after another. That it doesn't add up to much more than its parts is the nature of the beast, but so much of what we get is so tweaked from other, sanitized war films that its impossible to deny it works regardless.

Broadcast News I have about thirty eighties films in my queue that I won't be able to get to in time for the deadline. By pure chance this one came up at the tail end of the titles I exchanged for They All Laughed. I didn't expect much going in, but this is right now sitting at my number six position. Here is a film that presents three characters who are just plain interesting. They interact like humans, not sitcom characters or functions of the film's plot. When someone says something funny, they acknowledge it and laugh. When they're angry, they get angry and walk away from arguments they don't want to have. They say stupid things and smart things and ultimately make choices the viewer both agrees and disagrees with. But they remain at all times interesting. I can't remember the last film I saw that presented one character as multifaceted as the three played by Hurt, Hunter, and Brooks. It's amazing that popular cinema was able to produce a comedy like this that feels at once both polished and astonishingly off the cuff. I know it's too late for anyone to add it now, but do yourself a favor. This was the biggest surprise of the project for me.

Still have some exchange titles to work through, no one panic.

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Mr Sheldrake
Joined: Thu Jun 07, 2007 9:09 pm
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Re: 1980s List Discussion and Suggestions (Lists Project)

#331 Post by Mr Sheldrake » Wed Jan 14, 2009 8:36 pm

After much agonizing here's my submitted top ten

1 Boyfriends and Girlfriends
2 Veronika Voss
3 A Room With A View
4 Local Hero
5 The French Lieutenants Woman
6 Blowout
7 My Best Friends Girl (Blier)
8 The Hit
9 Married To The Mob
10 L’Argent

This was, for me, the decade of Rohmer, also a sad farewell to Fassbinder. My #1 is simply unassailable, a work of transcendent beauty culminating in a moment of Shakespearean joy. Alexanderplatz will probably get the Fassbinder nod from most, but it was a difficult slogfest on my third go round, and Voss has as many privileged moments with no slogging. View had the funniest scene of the 80s - the skinnydipping one- and who would have thunk it coming from the normally leaden but still unjustly maligned Ivory. I'm a sucker for well modulated whimsy, hence Hero. It just seems right to include a Pinter. I am paying penance for my life long disregard of di Palma. Carlito's Way may well top my 90s list. Huppert, Pfeiffer and Stamp are all icons in my personal Pantheon. I've never known what to make of Bresson. His films have befuddled me for over 40 years, but I keep coming back, and for that alone he deserves a spot.

The others on my list are mostly the usual suspects. But I also included such curiosities as Baby Its You, A Man in Love, Montenegro, Beau Pere, Down and Out in Beverly Hills, Peggy Sue Got Married, Betrayed, Crimes of Passion, Baghdad Cafe, Tragedy of a Ridiculous Man and Winter of our Dreams.
Last edited by Mr Sheldrake on Thu Jan 15, 2009 3:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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zedz
Joined: Sun Nov 07, 2004 7:24 pm

Re: 1980s List Discussion and Suggestions (Lists Project)

#332 Post by zedz » Wed Jan 14, 2009 10:28 pm

Mr Sheldrake wrote:The others on my list are mostly the usual suspects.
(looks into crystal ball): "Nothing Is Certain At This Time."

Actually, nearly half your list hadn't been mentioned by anybody else (that's 17 other people so far). Don't forget, only one day to go. The top five's starting to calcify, but the rest of the list is all over the place.

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Cold Bishop
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Re: 1980s List Discussion and Suggestions (Lists Project)

#333 Post by Cold Bishop » Thu Jan 15, 2009 12:17 am

I did finally catch Sherman's March, and while I did like it very much, it simply didn't make a huge impression. Its funny, its entertaining, its one of the best of its type, but I can't say it wowed me. I'll definitely will catch Time Indefinite for the next list.

As far as documentaries go, my choice is still Robert Kramer's epic Route One USA.

I was hoping the slip in Le Pont du Nord, my lone missing Rivette of the decade, before the deadline, but it looks like I won't be receiving it until tomorrow. Just have a little more pruning of the bottom 10, and a little more brain-racking to make sure I didn't forget anything, but expect it near the midnight deadline.

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Gregory
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 4:07 pm

Re: 1980s List Discussion and Suggestions (Lists Project)

#334 Post by Gregory » Thu Jan 15, 2009 3:48 am

I could make a list solely of documentary films. Anyone else voting for anything by Amos Gitai? Johan van der Keuken?

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psufootball07
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Re: 1980s List Discussion and Suggestions (Lists Project)

#335 Post by psufootball07 » Thu Jan 15, 2009 8:38 am

Any list from 1980's should most definitely have Ran AND Fanny och Alexander. Possibly two of the greatest films ever made? I think so.

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Gropius
Joined: Thu Jun 29, 2006 5:47 pm

Re: 1980s List Discussion and Suggestions (Lists Project)

#336 Post by Gropius » Thu Jan 15, 2009 9:30 am

Gregory wrote:Johan van der Keuken?
Yes. I would probably be putting many more documentaries on there if I'd had a chance to see them, but will be leaving off Sans soleil out of wilful perversity.

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swo17
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Re: 1980s List Discussion and Suggestions (Lists Project)

#337 Post by swo17 » Thu Jan 15, 2009 2:30 pm

zedz, I sent you my list last night but it is still sitting in my outbox, as opposed to being in the sent messages. Does this mean you haven't gotten it? Is your inbox full? Have you gotten so carried away with your new title that you've forgotten what got you there in the first place (i.e. diligence in cleaning out your inbox)? Has Australia already entered into the hibernatory season? Please forgive my antsiness--I put a lot of time and effort into this list.

Also, I would like to be privy to the secret code to what in the hell movies you've been talking about in your preliminary results rundowns this past week.

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Cold Bishop
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Re: 1980s List Discussion and Suggestions (Lists Project)

#338 Post by Cold Bishop » Thu Jan 15, 2009 3:46 pm

swo17 wrote:zedz, I sent you my list last night but it is still sitting in my outbox, as opposed to being in the sent messages.
Same

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thirtyframesasecond
Joined: Mon Apr 02, 2007 1:48 pm

Re: 1980s List Discussion and Suggestions (Lists Project)

#339 Post by thirtyframesasecond » Thu Jan 15, 2009 4:53 pm

Cold Bishop wrote:
swo17 wrote:zedz, I sent you my list last night but it is still sitting in my outbox, as opposed to being in the sent messages.
Same
Same here too.

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swo17
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Re: 1980s List Discussion and Suggestions (Lists Project)

#340 Post by swo17 » Thu Jan 15, 2009 4:59 pm

Well, mine is in the Sent Messages now. I've never really paid attention to how long it takes messages to move from the Outbox in general, and I don't know if the recipient doesn't get it until it moves there, but just in case, anyone contacting zedz at the last minute with a list might be wise to let him know here as well.

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Gregory
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 4:07 pm

Re: 1980s List Discussion and Suggestions (Lists Project)

#341 Post by Gregory » Thu Jan 15, 2009 5:30 pm

He did say that he might not be around a couple of days before the deadline, so not to panic if our lists seem to go into a void.

Well, I'm off to re-watch of Mekas's He Stands in a Desert Counting the Seconds of his Life, hint hint, plug plug. (Last-minute lost causes, anyone?)

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brendanjc
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Re: 1980s List Discussion and Suggestions (Lists Project)

#342 Post by brendanjc » Thu Jan 15, 2009 5:57 pm

I decided against trying to submit a list this go around in fear of just voting for the same old American films and pushing off some more interesting titles I'd like to explore in the future - I've barely seen any foreign or art films from the 80's compared to pretty much any other decade.

I do have to wonder a bit about all the praise for Blow Out I've seen throughout this thread though. I watched it for the first time this past weekend and, while I definitely liked it, I couldn't help but feel like it completely lost me at the end. I am a huge fan of De Palma's direction, but as always his writing is the weak point.
About the endingShow
From the point where Travolta gives Allen the tapes and sets her up with a wire you could see exactly where the film was going to go, but worse than that, it didn't make any sense. So, the pair are suspicious of the "reporter" who called, why not just both go confront him in a massive public space? Travolta has already met the guy, he'd know what was up immediately - tragedy averted. Then you have the strange car chase where Travolta barrels into a crowd, gets knocked unconcious, and wakes up where it has awkwardly become pitch dark where it had just been broad daylight. And further on, Lithgow chucks the tapes off into the water on the dark abandoned dock, then instead of doing her in there, he drags his captive through a bunch of crowds to a highly visible point atop a building next to a fireworks display in front of a flag to kill her, a place Travolta easily spots them and no one else notices. It was painfully transparent from the point this sequence started that she was going to die and Travolta was going to use her scream in the film (the film that they constantly kept cutting back to to remind you about throughout), so obvious that when he gets to those final scenes his inevitable reactions were hilarious (his goofy breathing when she dies, "blowing out" maybe?, his breakdown in the final scene while her scream is playing over and over).
I wanted to believe going into this that De Palma could make a real serious thriller but it was just more of the same borderline camp I've come to expect from his work. That's not to say I didn't like it (I mean, the spinning camera in the erased-tapes scene, the horror spoof intro, and the recording scene on the bridge - now a frog! now an owl! - are enough to ensure I'll probably watch it again), but nothing about it screams out "great film". It certainly isn't one of the most believable thrillers I've seen, as someone else put it earlier, and not just because of the flaws I already pointed out - the killer is flat out ridiculous, like Malkovitch in In The Line Of Fire without even an attempt to give him a creditable motive. He was so over the top that I was actually disappointed that the film didn't shift more towards a bit of a slasher movie confrontation at the end - I think that would have been much more satisfying and believable, the irony of being in a good horror movie and not realizing it would have been interesting, and De Palma could have still worked in his little zinger in the final scene.

roujin
Joined: Thu Nov 20, 2008 10:16 am

Re: 1980s List Discussion and Suggestions (Lists Project)

#343 Post by roujin » Thu Jan 15, 2009 6:14 pm

I already sent in my list and I didn't really have time to catch up with all the interesting stuff that was mentioned in this thread (like They All Laughed, The Moon in the Gutter, Sherman's March, etc). I'll be using this thread for 80s recommendations for a long, long time though.

Just to throw it out there, my #1 was My Neighbor Totoro.

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zedz
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Re: 1980s List Discussion and Suggestions (Lists Project)

#344 Post by zedz » Thu Jan 15, 2009 10:34 pm

Gregory wrote:He did say that he might not be around a couple of days before the deadline, so not to panic if our lists seem to go into a void.

Well, I'm off to re-watch of Mekas's He Stands in a Desert Counting the Seconds of his Life, hint hint, plug plug. (Last-minute lost causes, anyone?)
I'm here, and I'm up to date with the collation (I think). The radio silence was due to sleep (it was the middle of the night in the middle of summer).

I have received and collated lists from:
life_boy
AWA
colinr0380
sevenarts
zedz
scotty2
murdoch
perkins cobb
zazou dans le metro
roujin
yojimbo
michael
ineedyoubad
Fsimeoni
GringoTex
Dr Amicus
Tom Hagen
Mr Sheldrake
Cold Bishop
mikeohhh
swo17
Gropius
tavernier
SoyCuba
tojoed
badsleepwell
filmghost
thirtyframes
MaxCastle
domino harvey

If your name isn't above and you think you've sent me a list, please resend it, but don't resent it.

If you're intending to participate and won't be able to get your list in in the next three hours, don't panic. I won't be doing the final tally until tomorrow morning my time, which is a good 20 hours away. If that doesn't give you enough time, let me know.

After an extremely eccentric round of voting, we seem to have our clearest winner yet. It would take an expertly arranged conspiracy on the part of the remaining voters to unseat it. Numbers 2 and 3 are also out on their own, but within striking distance of one another. The rest of the top ten is still anybody's call - less than 50 votes between the lot of them, and another half dozen or so titles lurking immediately below.

It's a massive vote this time out: 30 lists, 533 titles nominated, 253 meeting the two-vote threshold.

And no doubt more to come.

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Tom Hagen
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Re: 1980s List Discussion and Suggestions (Lists Project)

#345 Post by Tom Hagen » Fri Jan 16, 2009 12:15 am

zedz wrote:After an extremely eccentric round of voting, we seem to have our clearest winner yet. It would take an expertly arranged conspiracy on the part of the remaining voters to unseat it.
Remaining people: leave Blue Velvet off of your lists!

In all seriousness, I am excited for the results.

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Yojimbo
Joined: Fri Jul 04, 2008 10:06 am
Location: Ireland

Re: 1980s List Discussion and Suggestions (Lists Project)

#346 Post by Yojimbo » Fri Jan 16, 2009 12:30 am

Tom Hagen wrote:
zedz wrote:After an extremely eccentric round of voting, we seem to have our clearest winner yet. It would take an expertly arranged conspiracy on the part of the remaining voters to unseat it.
Remaining people: leave Blue Velvet off of your lists!

In all seriousness, I am excited for the results.
Blue Velvet's the winner??? :shock:

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domino harvey
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Re: 1980s List Discussion and Suggestions (Lists Project)

#347 Post by domino harvey » Fri Jan 16, 2009 12:32 am

It wasn't anywhere near my list, so I'm sure it is

I still have capsules to write for the rest of the bartered films (and a few others), but rest assured that everyone who traded with me got their films watched and considered for the list and I'll get around to writing about them presently

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GringoTex
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Re: 1980s List Discussion and Suggestions (Lists Project)

#348 Post by GringoTex » Fri Jan 16, 2009 12:43 am

Tom Hagen wrote:
zedz wrote:After an extremely eccentric round of voting, we seem to have our clearest winner yet. It would take an expertly arranged conspiracy on the part of the remaining voters to unseat it.
Remaining people: leave Blue Velvet off of your lists!
Fanny and Alexander is an overrated dog. You should all be ashamed of yourselves and resubmit your lists with A nous amours at the top.

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domino harvey
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Re: 1980s List Discussion and Suggestions (Lists Project)

#349 Post by domino harvey » Fri Jan 16, 2009 12:46 am

Crossing my fingers for House II: the Second Story to pull an upset

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swo17
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Re: 1980s List Discussion and Suggestions (Lists Project)

#350 Post by swo17 » Fri Jan 16, 2009 1:02 am

Oops, my top 50 was just Blue Velvet and Fanny alternating each 25 times (and sometimes with creative misspellings!) Was I not supposed to do that?

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