Apologies for my lack of blogging! In the past 3 weeks, I’ve been on holiday, come back, started a new job and the weekend just gone, I went to Rewind Festival in Henley on Thames! In it’s fifth year, it’s everything 80s! Much to my surprise, the show stopper was The B-52’s!
But, I’m not here to blog music. Rewind is all about dressing up, lots of fancy dress (some better than others) but the best one I saw was someone dressed in a Gremlins outfit. It got me to thinking about the best 1980s films. Traditionally the 1980s was a period of blockbusters, very much of their time, and a shy away from arthouse cinema, well, in the mainstream anyway. 1980s cinema was very safe, with the odd video nasty thrown in, the big success stories are Dirty Dancing, Ghost, The Goonies, The Lost Boys; all indisputably very much of their time, some very dated. But this was the first time in cinematic history where seriously large budgets were given to filmmakers, cinema had officially become a viable business model.
It’s difficult to write a short blog about the entire 1980s cinema back catalogue, so I’m going to keep it light. What’s your favourite 1980s films? Which films did you watch as a kid? My first experience of cinema was 1980s films. I can remember watching Gremlins and howling with laughter as a 4 year old (the bar scene anyone? and who can forget the Snow White cinema scene?) I can remember looking through my nan’s videos when I was about 9 and seeing a blue case, with a picture of two people in black and white in an embrace on the front. I asked my nan what it was, she said, ‘it’s ok for you watch it’. I replied ‘No, I can’t watch it. It’s a 15. Mum says I cant watch those’. She simply said, ‘It’s ok, there’s nothing bad in it’. And that’s when I saw Ghost. Being 9 years old, I can’t say I fully understood it. But I felt very grown up watching this tragic love story unfold in front of me. I remember sitting up late with my dad and when the Sci-Fi channel used to show horror films late night, he told me that I should watch ‘The Lost Boys’ a great vampire film. I obliged and was blown away. Although the scene where they take Michael to the desert party and kill the revellers kept me awake for a few nights.
1980s cinema may well be full to bursting point of clichés, montages, dodgy music, dodgy clothes, dodgy acting, but it’s a turning point in cinema history, cinema became glossy, expensive and a fully fledged commodity. If the 1980s didn’t experience such a financial boom, then maybe cinema ambitions may not have developed into the big Hollywood blockbusters we are so used to seeing now.
So grab your legwarmers, stick on some Rick Astley and let me know your favourite 1980s films!
- Year of the Month: 1980? (thefilmexperience.net)