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. while, the expansion of domestic video resulted in new and artistic possibilities for self sustaining movie construction, leading to some of the decade's most sensible motion pictures. 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 warfare 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 in a foreign country. yet technology 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 Eighties examines the movies that marked the last decade, together with traditional humans, physique warmth, Blade Runner, Zelig, Platoon, most sensible Gun, extraterrestrial beings, Blue Velvet, Robocop, deadly appeal, Die challenging, Batman, and intercourse, lies & videotape .

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In the next few years, films by John Singleton, Matty Rich, Robert Townsend, and Allen and Albert Hughes would bring a new range of voices and issues to American cinema, a range that was simply unprecedented. Before this, no African American filmmakers had secured funding and distribution from Hollywood. The subsequent chapters in this volume highlight the divergent appeals and subject matter of the decade’s films. Joanna E. Rapf examines the depiction of women in Coal Miner’s Daughter, Urban Cowboy, Just Tell Me What You Want, Nine to Five, Atlantic City, and Private Benjamin.

In Missing in Action and Rambo, these become substitute symbolic victories over the Vietnamese fought by surrogate über-warriors. The latter films rendered the war in comic book terms, and it was in that context that Oliver Stone’s Platoon premiered with extraordinary force. It offered what appeared to be the most realistic and gut-wrenching depiction of the “grunt’s” experience of jungle war yet filmed, and a flood of pictures followed, many offering closein depictions of combat: Hamburger Hill (1987), Good Morning Vietnam (1987), The Hanoi Hilton (1987), Gardens of Stone (1987), Full Metal Jacket (1987), Off Limits (1988), Bat 21 (1988), 84 Charlie MoPic (1989), Casualties of War (1989), Born on the Fourth of July.

Military to attempt a rescue. 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.

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