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Download e-book for kindle: American Cinema of the 1980s: Themes and Variations (Screen by Douglas Kellner, Stephen Prince

By Douglas Kellner, Stephen Prince

ISBN-10: 0813540348

ISBN-13: 9780813540344

Through the Nineteen Eighties, American cinema underwent huge, immense variations. Blockbusters like Raiders of the misplaced Ark, E.T., and The Empire moves again grabbed large sales for the studios. even as, the expansion of domestic video ended in new and artistic possibilities for autonomous movie construction, leading to some of the decade's most sensible motion pictures. either huge- and small-scale filmmakers replied to the social, political, and cultural stipulations of the time. The two-term presidency of Ronald Reagan spawned a brand new chilly conflict with the Soviet Union, which Hollywood movie either embraced and critiqued. additionally in this time, Hollywood introduced a long-awaited cycle of movies in regards to the Vietnam conflict, exploring its effect either at domestic and overseas. yet technological know-how fiction remained the era's preferred style, starting from upbeat fantasies to darkish, dystopic visions. Bringing jointly unique essays by way of ten revered students within the box, American Cinema of the Nineteen Eighties examines the flicks that marked the last decade, together with traditional humans, physique warmth, Blade Runner, Zelig, Platoon, most sensible Gun, extraterrestrial beings, Blue Velvet, Robocop, deadly allure, Die tough, Batman, and intercourse, lies & videotape .

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This was certainly true at the turn of the decade, especially with the emergence of the ultra-violent slasher films like The Driller Killer (1979), Schizoid (1980), Maniac (1980), Terror Train (1980), and He Knows You’re Alone (1980). These and others offered lurid, graphically detailed violence in stories built around psychopathic mass murderers offing victim after victim. The films aroused great controversy about the effects of watching this kind of lovingly detailed violence, but the controversies, of course, did not dampen the cycle’s popularity.

Set in the sleazy underworld of gambling and drugs 36 JOANNA E. RAPF in the New Jersey seaside resort where gambling was made legal in 1976— but which had not yet been glamorized by the likes of Donald Trump—the film deals with a man who must overcome social expectations of machismo and a woman who struggles to establish an independent life for herself. Unlike Coal Miner’s Daughter, this is not the biography of a woman’s rise to fame, but it is about a woman’s survival. And unlike Urban Cowboy, it is not a romance, although Lou (Burt Lancaster) and Sally (Susan Sarandon) have a romantic fling and it does appear that Lou has found romance, or perhaps contentment, at the end with the gangster’s widow, Grace (Kate Reid).

Past and present are brought together as the two 26 JOANNA E. RAPF of them discover “our home,” away from coal mines, away from fans, in the privacy of the wooded hills of Tennessee, but with roots reaching back to their coal-mining families in Kentucky. The concluding montage reminds us of what we already know, that Loretta Lynn went back to work onstage with the support of her husband. ” In the audience Doo, also proud, is smiling. ■■■■■■■■■■ Urban Cowgirl: “Lookin’ for Love” Tammy Wynette’s “Stand by Me” plays at a moment in Urban Cowboy when the romantic leads, Bud (John Travolta) and Sissy (Debra Winger), have separated and are dancing with different partners, yet gazing at each other with a longing to which neither will succumb.

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American Cinema of the 1980s: Themes and Variations (Screen Decades: American Culture/American Cinema) by Douglas Kellner, Stephen Prince


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