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

By Douglas Kellner, 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. even as, the expansion of domestic video ended in new and artistic possibilities for self reliant movie creation, leading to a few of the decade's top movies. either huge- and small-scale filmmakers spoke back 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 in regards to the Vietnam battle, exploring its impression either at domestic and overseas. yet technological know-how fiction remained the era's most well-liked 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, best Gun, extraterrestrial beings, Blue Velvet, Robocop, deadly allure, Die demanding, Batman, and intercourse, lies & videotape .

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By Douglas Kellner, 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. even as, the expansion of domestic video ended in new and artistic possibilities for self reliant movie creation, leading to a few of the decade's top movies. either huge- and small-scale filmmakers spoke back 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 in regards to the Vietnam battle, exploring its impression either at domestic and overseas. yet technological know-how fiction remained the era's most well-liked 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, best Gun, extraterrestrial beings, Blue Velvet, Robocop, deadly allure, Die demanding, Batman, and intercourse, lies & videotape .

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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. Whether this is true or not, it is doubtful that this conjunction mattered much to fans of the films, who responded to the energy, imagination, and affection for old-fashioned storytelling that George Lucas brought to his series. The success of Lucas’s films inevitably inspired a huge wave of similar space fantasies, including new installments in the Star Trek series as well as Battle Beyond the Stars (1980), Flash Gordon (1980), Tron (1982), The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the Eighth Dimension (1984), and The Last Starfighter (1984).

It was not until the day of Reagan’s inauguration that the hostages were released, an achievement for which he took credit in his first address as president. Reagan was elected on a Republican platform that for the first time opposed the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), after having endorsed it over the previous forty years. Among Reagan’s most visible supporters was Phyllis Schlafly, who headed the Stop-ERA movement. On the heels of a Supreme Court decision in June that upheld limits on federal funding for abortion, the Republican platform also came out in favor of a constitutional amendment to ban the procedure and stipulated that any federal judge appointed by a Republican administration must be explicitly opposed to abortion.

Lou feels he has failed as a man. Instead of “protecting” his friend Grace when her gangster husband was killed, he ran away, a coward unable to act. Once a gofer for the mob, he now supports himself in a petty numbers racket. Sally works behind the oyster bar in a casino but dreams of being a croupier in Monte Carlo. 1980 — MOVIES AND THE NEW WOMAN 37 Asked to identify her husband’s body, Sally is accompanied by the police to the Atlantic City Medical Center’s Frank Sinatra Wing, where singer Robert Goulet is celebrating a large donation by the casino.

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