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

By Stephen Prince, Stephen Prince

Throughout the 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. on the related time, the expansion of domestic video ended in new and artistic possibilities for self sustaining movie creation, leading to a few of the decade's most sensible 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 struggle 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 effect either at domestic and out of the country. yet technological know-how fiction remained the era's such a lot well known style, starting from upbeat fantasies to darkish, dystopic visions.

Bringing jointly unique essays via ten revered students within the box, American Cinema of the Nineteen Eighties examines the flicks that marked the last decade, together with usual 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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The new woman in film was gaining power offscreen in a production capacity, as well as onscreen. Hawn was executive producer of Private Benjamin, a film that encompasses many of the ideas explored so far in this essay. It begins with a wedding and ends with an un-wedding; the journey in between is one of self-discovery. In this comedy the men, like Frank in Nine to Five and Max in Just Tell Me What You Want, are insensitive and chauvinistic, indifferently ordering women around. They do not change.

Bud has left his family in rural Texas to work in a refinery near Houston and he meets Sissy at Gilley’s roadhouse. A much more interesting character, she embodies the grit of the new woman. There are a number of connections between Coal Miner’s Daughter and Urban Cowboy, released two months afterward. Country music figures prominently in both—there is a Dolly Parton lookalike contest in Urban Cowboy; a woman marries, in this case impulsively, is expected to cook and clean, gets slapped by the men with whom she is involved, fights for what she believes is right, almost gets divorced, and discovers something she can do well.

She bruises her knuckles and a pleased Bud says, “You’re trying to do things a girl can’t do,” setting up the male/female rivalry that will structure the narrative. ” Bud and Sissy end up in a puddle, and while soaking wet climb into his truck and suddenly decide to get married. Bud and Sissy have a traditional wedding with white gown and cake, and in a ritual reenactment of female submission she is blindfolded as they drive to their new trailer home where he carries her over the threshold. Urban Cowboy (James Bridges, Paramount), starring John Travolta, explores the mythology of cowboy manhood in contemporary America.

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