By Stephen Prince, Stephen Prince
In the course of the Nineteen Eighties, American cinema underwent huge, immense ameliorations. Blockbusters like Raiders of the misplaced Ark, E.T., and The Empire moves again grabbed large sales for the studios. on the comparable time, the expansion of domestic video resulted in new and artistic possibilities for self sufficient movie construction, leading to a number of the decade's top motion pictures. either huge- and small-scale filmmakers answered to the social, political, and cultural stipulations of the time. The two-term presidency of Ronald Reagan spawned a brand new chilly battle with the Soviet Union, which Hollywood movie either embraced and critiqued. additionally in this time, Hollywood introduced a long-awaited cycle of flicks concerning the Vietnam battle, exploring its impression either at domestic and in another country. yet technology fiction remained the era's such a lot renowned style, starting from upbeat fantasies to darkish, dystopic visions.
Bringing jointly unique essays by means of ten revered students within the box, American Cinema of the Nineteen Eighties examines the movies that marked the last decade, together with usual humans, physique warmth, Blade Runner, Zelig, Platoon, most sensible Gun, extraterrestrial beings, Blue Velvet, Robocop, deadly charm, Die not easy, Batman, and intercourse, lies & videotape.
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Extra resources for American Cinema of the 1980s: Themes and Variations (Screendecades)
Carolyn Heilbrun has written that women laugh together only in freedom, in the recognition of independence and female bonding (129). That is the situation here. Each of the women, now high on pot, indulges in a fantasy of how she would deal with Frank, a fantasy of vengeance that each will later fulﬁll as circumstances actually lead them to keep him in bondage for six weeks, literally chained in his own house and reduced to watching soap operas like the metaphoric woman in the kitchen. Women’s aggressive laughter at someone or something is rare onscreen.
The ﬁlms even inspired President Reagan’s continuing tendency to see real life in terms of the movies (Rogin; Wills), as when he famously referred to the Soviet Union as the “Evil Empire” (the villains in the Star Wars movies belong to “the Empire”). ” The Star Wars ﬁlms projected a very black-and-white moral view, with good heroes and evil villains and little in between, pitted in an epic struggle for the future of civilization. These were the very terms by which Reagan and his cold warriors viewed their conﬂict with the Soviet Union, and thus many critics have suggested that the Star Wars ﬁlms furnish an ideological template consistent with Washington’s foreign policy.
The era’s most important cycle of social and politically themed ﬁlmmaking was its productions about the Vietnam War. The industry had sought to avoid the topic in the 1960s and most of the 1970s, believing it was box ofﬁce poison, until the critical and popular successes of The Deer Hunter (1978), Coming Home (1978), and Apocalypse Now (1979) signaled that the period of neglect was ending. Throughout the eighties American screens depicted the ﬁghting in Southeast Asia from a variety of social and political perspectives that were generally free of the antiwar opposition that had been so strong during the Vietnam period itself.