Stephen Prince, Stephen Prince's American Cinema of the 1980s: Themes and Variations PDF

By Stephen Prince, Stephen Prince

ISBN-10: 0813540348

ISBN-13: 9780813540344

Through the Nineteen Eighties, American cinema underwent huge, immense changes. Blockbusters like Raiders of the misplaced Ark, E.T., and The Empire moves again grabbed large sales for the studios. on the related time, the expansion of domestic video resulted in new and artistic possibilities for self reliant movie creation, leading to some of the decade's most sensible 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 conflict 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 conflict, exploring its effect either at domestic and in a foreign country. yet technology fiction remained the era's so much well known 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 charm, Die difficult, Batman, and intercourse, lies & videotape.

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Another sequence of cross-cutting sets up the conclusion of the film. Bud and Sissy have now become involved with others, she with the villain, Wes, a criminal out on parole, and he with a wealthy Houston socialite, Pam (Madolyn Smith). After a night at Gilley’s, the music shuts off suddenly, signaling an uneasy transition, and there is a straight cut to a fan in Wes’s trailer. The obvious heat and amber/yellow tones of the film stock suggest Sissy is in a fallen world. In tangled sheets she lies next to Wes, but there is no communication; they do not touch.

The mission turned out to be a disaster that ended when a rescue plane and helicopter collided, leaving eight Americans dead and freedom for the hostages nowhere in sight. 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.

As the film opens, the husband whom Sally left in Canada and her pregnant sister roll into town on the back of a flatbed truck like migrant workers, passing a statue of an elephant so huge it almost fills the frame. At the elephant’s feet is a much smaller sign saying “Welcome to Atlantic City,” while superimposed over this fantastical image is the director’s credit. It is clear that the film is going to take us on a journey between a grotesque facade of glamour and the drab reality underneath. The next shot, establishing the scene, is the imploding of a grand old Atlantic City hotel.

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American Cinema of the 1980s: Themes and Variations (Screendecades) by Stephen Prince, Stephen Prince


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