Monday, July 30, 2007

Living in the 80s

You may have expected this post to be about Ingmar Bergman, as he died today, but I haven't seen any of his films. I should, though. I'll go put some on my Greencine queue, which never gets below about 380 titles and usually rests at about 400. Stupid people and their constant production of new and interesting movies and documentaries!

No, this post is much more low culture than that, about re-watching old favorites, and so I ask you, the blogosphere (blogospherians?): if you were to host an 80s movie party, what films would be absolutely necessary? Would you want a sub-theme within "80s" or would you mix it up with some variety? I'm thinking of possibly going in the direction of "lesser-known 80s comedies," like Valley Girl, and Better Off Dead, as I haven't actually seen that. There's also, in my mind, the important point that there was an 80s split, with early, new wave-style 80s being in some ways separate from big-crunchy-hair later 80s.

And I would hate to contribute to global warming/ozone hole widening so I probably would not bring out the cans of Aqua Net, but perhaps costumes would be required and/or rewarded with door prizes. That might be tough as I'm not planning a full-on "Party" party with tons of people though. But want to know a sad and shocking secret about me? With the return of the "skinny drainpipe pants" to fashion, I rooted around in my closet and found my skinny leg jeans ---- that are actually from about that time! Yes, I still have jeans from the odd fashion of wearing skinny jeans with big blazers and ballet flats --- Ooh, that reminds me of one: Can't Buy me Love.

And what would be the appropriate drink? (Ohgod, you're going to say Bartles N James, aren't you? Freakin' 80s wine coolers!) Ok, what would be the requisite non-wine-spritzer drink? Or drinks? Please tell if they need to be keyed to a specific movie.

I promise to update you all on the success and shoulderpads of said party, but actually some other travel stuff may have to come up first. But, that just gives me more time to plan the plan! So, post some fun suggestions below.

(PS, a friend is teaching right now and he says the students have absolutely no interest in the 80s or carrying the themes of the class into 80s literature ---- how shocking is that??? How can they not see the relevance of Ronnie and Thatcher, and Afghanistan, and the cold war, and Japanese businessmen trying to buy Rockefeller Plaza and what that meant to cyberpunk, and godhelpusall the effect of the Clash and post-punk??? Kids these days.)

10 comments:

jb said...

Well, I don't know what one drank in the eighties, since I wasn't drinking in the eighties, but two very different movies immediately came to mind: Pretty in Pink and Tron. I haven't seen Better Off Dead, either, but I have seen Valley Girl and heartily endorse its inclusion (although I could never tell whether it was supposed to be funny)--Nicholas Cage's triangular chest-hair is worth a whole movie of its own.

adjunct whore said...

pretty in pink, the breakfast club,hmmm, let me think on this, i LOVE 80s kitch. mr. whore and i were just listening to the cure the other day and i was marvelling at how i somehow missed the fact that "let's go to bed" is homoerotic...but then, i dated men who later came out. i guess i was clueless.

Horace said...

OK, first off, let's get Lucas in there, if for nothing else than the best-ever slow-build applause...(you know it...Silence...one single clap . . . another...clap. clap. clap, clap clap clap.cheering applause!) Plus, a pre-Heathers Winona Ryder is hard to beat.

I'll second Can't Buy Me Love featuring a very young McDreamy doing the African Anteater Dance (exoticism, anyone?).

Does Earth Girls are Easy count?

A later film: Johnny Be Good, with Anthony Michael Hall as a football star, with Robert Downey jr. and "introducing" Uma Thurman...That's 87 or 88, but introducing Uma Thurman has to count for something.

And heck, since I'm on an Anthony Michael Hall kick, let's add Weird Science and throw in Real Genius starring Val Kilmer for kicks and giggles.

Umm, Goonies, Lost Boys, Beuller, Just One of the Guys, Some Kind of Wonderful, Stand by Me...Shall I go on?

medieval woman said...

Oh shit - I am all over this idea! I wish I could come! I daily live in a world of 80s pop culture...

Movies: I'll second Horace on Real Genius, Lost Boys, Just one of the Guys, and Some Kind of Wonderful. Also, I love anything with Christian Slater in it - my personal cheesy 80s fave is Pump up the Volume ("talk hard!") - and Better off Dead is a total classic.

Clothes: shoulder pads are a must, my hair still hasn't rebounded from all the teasing. Also, anything acid washed, especially a jeans jacket, pegs pants (folding over and rolling up the jeans so you loose circulation in your feet), jelly shoes (which kids are wearing now!), black oxfords with white socks (so Morrissey), Swatch and Coca Cola shirts (does anyone else remember these?), anything flourescent or with paint splatters on it. Oh - I could go on and on...

Non-alcoholic drink = Tab. Totally Tab. You can still get this, btw! I have switched from Tab to Coke Zero over the past couple of years...and don't forget the Corn Nuts (BQ!).

"Maude Lebowski" said...

don't forget neon jelly bracelets! and the sequel to better off dead--one crazy summer with a young demi moore. what about mannequin and real men? does anyone know ski patrol? a bit obscure i think that might be.

however, pretty in pink, like totally, duh! and clue! not just classic 80s, but classic! totally. and of course, goonies. oh, and don't forget nightmare on elm street and all the sweet 80s horror out there!

adjunct whore said...

yes, stand by me....i kept thinking to myself, river phoenix, that creepy stand movie....

Sisyphus said...

Wow, guys! Thanks! (grin) I may be able to have a movie-month rather than a movie night marathon! So much for dissertating, heh.

Some of these I don't know, and others I forgot. Hmm, Tron, Clue ... I could get many iterations of this idea, doing whole theme nights: 80s cheesy sci-fi, 80s comedy metafiction (though I guess Rocky Horror isn't 80s, is it?), 80s horror flicks ... I'd add Young Guns so we can transition from the Brat Pack to 80s Westerns... (heh) ... plus the "traditional" 80s romantic comedies. Where would that Teenage Werewolf film go in all these categorizations?

And clothes: I remember pegged pants, yup I do! Do any of you remember the "hypercolor" t-shirts that were supposed to be cool and change color when you touched 'em but unfortunately that meant they showed your sweat rings when you went out on the dance floor? I was thinking the Flashdance cut-up-your sweatshirts or Desperately Seeking Susan I-wear-my-underwear-on-the-outside looks might be more fun.

And I already have oodles of 80s tunes ... Rock me Amadeus!

Please, keep the suggestions coming.

Hilaire said...

Hi Sisyphus! I'm finally getting around to stopping by.

Anyway, I agree with many of these suggestions, especially Pretty in Pink, Some Kind of Wonderful, Lost Boys. But also: Working Girl! (I teach this movie, actually, I must admit...) It's worth it for Joan Cusack alone. Her hair! Her makeup!

Fifi Bluestocking said...

Late to the party but can I just say - yes, I remember those global hypercolour t-shirts (although I never actually had one). And I want to put in a request for Footloose - the best '80s movie ever. Oh, and check this out:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9mJAsgIIfNM

Chus said...

This is what I think: Better Off Dead (film)