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1001 films you must see before you die Part XIII: 1985-1989

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die Part XIII: 1985-1989

Mensaje  JM el Vie Dic 04, 2009 1:45 pm

771
Raising Arizona (Joel & Ethan Coen, 1987)




Blood Simple made it clear that the cinematically precocious Coen brothers (writer-director Joel and writer-producer Ethan) were gifted filmmakers to watch out for. But it was the outrageously farcical Raising Arizona that announced the Coens' darkly comedic audacity to the world. It wasn't widely seen when released in 1987, but its modest audience was vocally supportive, and this hyperactive comedy has since developed a large and loyal following. It's the story of "Ed" (for Edwina, played by Holly Hunter), a policewoman who falls in love with "Hi" (for H.I. McDonnough, played by Nicolas Cage) while she's taking his mug shots. She's infertile and he's a habitual robber of convenience stores, and their folksy marital bliss depends on settling down with a rug rat. Unable to conceive, they kidnap one of the newsworthy quintuplets born to an unpainted-furniture huckster named Nathan Arizona (Trey Wilson), who quickly hires a Harley-riding mercenary (Randall "Tex" Cobb) to track the baby's whereabouts. What follows is a full-throttle comedy that defies description, fueled by the Coens' lyrical redneck dialogue, the manic camerawork of future director Barry Sonnenfeld, and some of the most inventively comedic chase scenes ever filmed. Some will dismiss the comedy for being recklessly over-the-top; others will love it for its clever mix of slapstick action, surreal fantasy, and homespun family values. One thing's for sure--this is a Coen movie from start to finish, and that makes it undeniably unique.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die Part XIII: 1985-1989

Mensaje  JM el Vie Dic 04, 2009 1:48 pm

772
Full metal jacket (Stanley Kubrick, 1987)




Stanley Kubrick's 1987, penultimate film seemed to a lot of people to be contrived and out of touch with the '80s vogue for such intensely realistic portrayals of the Vietnam War as Platoon and The Deer Hunter. Certainly, Kubrick gave audiences plenty of reason to wonder why he made the film at all: essentially a two-part drama that begins on a Parris Island boot camp for rookie Marines and abruptly switches to Vietnam (actually shot on sound stages and locations near London), Full Metal Jacket comes across as a series of self-contained chapters in a story whose logical and thematic development is oblique at best. Then again, much the same was said about Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey, a masterwork both enthralled with and satiric about the future's role in the unfinished business of human evolution. In a way, Full Metal Jacket is the wholly grim counterpart of 2001. While the latter is a truly 1960s film, both wide-eyed and wary, about the intertwining of progress and isolation (ending in our redemption, finally, by death), Full Metal Jacket is a cynical, Reagan-era view of the 1960s' hunger for experience and consciousness that fulfilled itself in violence. Lee Ermey made film history as the Marine drill instructor whose ritualized debasement of men in the name of tribal uniformity creates its darkest angel in a murderous half-wit (Vincent D'Onofrio). Matthew Modine gives a smart and savvy performance as Private Joker, the clowning, military journalist who yearns to get away from the propaganda machine and know firsthand the horrific revelation of the front line. In Full Metal Jacket, depravity and fulfillment go hand in hand, and it's no wonder Kubrick kept his steely distance from the material to make the point.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die Part XIII: 1985-1989

Mensaje  JM el Vie Dic 04, 2009 1:51 pm

773
Good morning, Vietnam (Barry Levinson, 1987)




Barry Levinson (Wag the Dog) directed this comedy-drama about an Armed Forces Radio disc jockey (Robin Williams) whose manic, hilarious delivery from a studio in 1965 Saigon gives U.S. troops in the field a morale boost (while upsetting military brass). Based on the real-life experiences of deejay Adrian Cronauer, the film is actually more concept than story: put Williams in front of a microphone and let him go nuts. Still, the surrounding stuff about the influence upon Cronauer of the endless deaths among his listeners--as Cronauer tries to stay funny while feeling the mounting losses--is affecting. Williams got a much-deserved Oscar nomination for his work.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die Part XIII: 1985-1989

Mensaje  JM el Vie Dic 04, 2009 1:54 pm

774
Whitnail and I (Bruce Robinson, 1987)




A corrosively funny, semiautobiographical account by writer-director Bruce Robinson (How to Get Ahead in Advertising) about a couple of destitute roommates, young actors living in drunken squalor in 1969, the twilight days of swingin' London. Withnail (the astounding Richard E. Grant in a definitive performance) is a kind of depraved, modern-day Oscar Wilde, but without the money or the manners. The "I" of the title is the younger and more impressionable Marwood (Paul McGann), who stands somewhat in awe of his scandalous, demented, hysterical pal. While on a miserable holiday in the bitterly cold and damp countryside, they stay with wealthy, corpulent "Uncle Monty" (Richard Griffiths), who takes quite a liking to young Marwood, much to his consternation. Though not well known in the United States, Withnail & I has a major cult following in England. It's uproariously funny in a peculiarly British way, and the acting is absolutely scintillating. (Chicago Sun-Times critic Roger Ebert said Griffiths's was the best performance by an actor in a British film since Denholm Elliott in A Room with a View.) This one's a real treat for the caustic at heart.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die Part XIII: 1985-1989

Mensaje  JM el Miér Dic 09, 2009 2:52 pm

775
Hotaru no haka (Grave of the fireflies- Isao Takahata, 1988)




Isao Takahata's powerful antiwar film has been praised by critics wherever it has been screened around the world. When their mother is killed in the firebombing of Tokyo near the end of World War II, teenage Seita and his little sister Setsuko are left on their own: their father is away, serving in the Imperial Navy. The two children initially stay with an aunt, but she has little affection for them and resents the time and money they require. The two children set up housekeeping in a cave by a stream, but their meager resources are quickly exhausted, and Seita is reduced to stealing to feed his sister.
The strength of Grave of the Fireflies lies in Takahata's evenhanded portrayal of the characters. A sympathetic doctor, the greedy aunt, the disinterested cousins all know there is little they can do for Seita and Setsuko. Their resources, like their country's, are already overtaxed: anything they spare endangers their own survival. As in the Barefoot Gen films, no mention is made of Japan's role in the war as an aggressor; but the depiction of the needless suffering endured by its victims transcends national and ideological boundaries.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die Part XIII: 1985-1989

Mensaje  JM el Miér Dic 09, 2009 3:30 pm

776
Topio stin omichli (Landscape in the mist- Theo Angelopoulos, 1988)




Landscape in the Mist (Greek: Τοπίο στην ομίχλη, English transliteration: Topio stin omichli ) is a 1988 film directed by Theo Angelopoulos.
The movie portrays the journey of two children in search of their father who they believe lives in Germany. On the way they meet many people- including a troupe of actors, and encounter dangers; such as a truck driver who rapes the girl. Eventually they cross a river to reach their hoped for destination.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die Part XIII: 1985-1989

Mensaje  JM el Miér Dic 09, 2009 3:37 pm

777
Dekalog (The Decalogue- Krzysztof Kieslowski, 1988)




Superlatives abound when describing Krzysztof Kieslowski's The Decalogue, a series of 10 one-hour dramas originally made for Polish TV between 1988 and 1989 and seen throughout the world in film festivals and cinematheque and museum programs. Though each episode is inspired by one of the Ten Commandments of the Bible, these are not Sunday school fables illustrating some simplistic moral lesson--the connections to the individual commandments are not always obvious and are often downright curious--but powerful, profound stories of love and loss, faith and fear. Kieslowski explores ordinary people flailing through inner torments, hard decisions, and shattering revelations, grounding his stories in the faces of their deeply human characters.
Each episode is self-contained, from "Decalogue I" ("I Am the Lord Thy God"), the touching story of a boy who starts asking the hard questions of life from his rationalist father and religious aunt, to "Decalogue X" ("Thou Shalt Not Covet Thy Neighbor's Goods"), a comic tale of estranged brothers who bond through a winding ordeal involving their father's priceless stamp collection. There are stories of tragedy and triumph, both expansive and intimate, some profoundly moving and others delicately shaded--but all are warmed by Kieslowski's sympathetic direction and his eye for resonant, fragile imagery. Initially drawn together by location--the series is set in a dreary Warsaw apartment complex--a web of associations forms as characters pass through other stories, sometimes only briefly, and themes reverberate through the series. The Decalogue is ultimately a personal spiritual investigation into the soul of man, a work of quiet attention and deep emotion marked by astounding images and vivid characters.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die Part XIII: 1985-1989

Mensaje  JM el Miér Dic 09, 2009 3:41 pm

778
Die hard (John McTiernan, 1988)




This seminal 1988 thriller made Bruce Willis a star and established a new template for action stories: "Terrorists take over a (blank), and a lone hero, unknown to the villains, is trapped with them." In Die Hard, those bad guys, led by the velvet-voiced Alan Rickman, assume control of a Los Angeles high-rise with Willis's visiting New York cop inside. The attraction of the film has as much to do with the sight of a barefoot mortal running around the guts of a modern office tower as it has to do with the plentiful fight sequences and the bond the hero establishes with an LA beat cop. Bonnie Bedelia plays Willis's wife, Hart Bochner is good as a brash hostage who tries negotiating his way to freedom, Alexander Godunov makes for a believable killer with lethal feet, and William Atherton is slimy as a busybody reporter. Exceptionally well directed by John McTiernan.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die Part XIII: 1985-1989

Mensaje  JM el Miér Dic 09, 2009 3:51 pm

779
Une histoire de vent (A tale of the wind- Joris Ivens, 1988)




"The Old Man, the hero of this tale, was born at the end of the last century, in a country where man has always striven to tame the sea and harness the wind. Camera in hand, he has traversed the 20th century in the midst of the stormy history of our time. In the evening of his...( read more) life, at age 90, having survived the various wars and struggles that he filmed, the old filmmaker sets off for China. He has embarked on a mad project: to capture the invisible image of the wind."
Awesome hybrid of documentary and fiction about Joris Ivens' travels in China were he attempts to fulfill his childhood dream. It works as an elegy to Ivens' career and impending death. It's also a throwback to the earliest days of documentary as most of the scenes are blatantly staged. I was impressed by the playful, lyrical fantasies it veers into, how they both pay homage to Ivens' work from the earliest days of Melies to his previous film in China, and how they incorporate Chinese culture and myths. I haven't even mentioned how much beautifully it frames the landscapes of the Gobi desert.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die Part XIII: 1985-1989

Mensaje  JM el Jue Dic 10, 2009 12:56 pm

780
Who framed Roger Rabbit? (Robert Zemeckis, 1988)




This zany, eye-popping, knee-slapping landmark in combining animation with live-action ingeniously makes that uneasy combination itself (and the history of Hollywood) its subject. Who Framed Roger Rabbit is based on classic L.A. private-eye movies (and, specifically, Chinatown), with detective Eddie Valiant (Bob Hoskins) investigating a case involving adultery, blackmail, murder, and a fiendish plot to replace Los Angeles's once-famous Red Car public transportation system with the automobiles and freeways that would later make it the nation's smog capital. Of course, his sleuthing takes him back to the place he dreads: Toontown, the ghetto for cartoons that abuts Hollywood and that was the site of a tragic incident in Eddie's past. In addition to intermingling cartoon characters with live actors and locations, Roger Rabbit also brings together the greatest array of cartoon stars in the history of motion pictures, from a variety of studios (Disney, Warner Bros., MGM, Fleischer, Universal, and elsewhere): Betty Boop, Bugs Bunny, Mickey Mouse, Woody Woodpecker, Droopy Dog, and more! And, of course, there's Maroon Cartoon's greatest star, Roger Rabbit (voice by Charles Fleischer), who suspects his ultracurvaceous wife, Jessica Rabbit (voice by Kathleen Turner: "I'm not bad; I'm just drawn that way"), of infidelity. Directed by Robert Zemeckis (Back to the Future, Forrest Gump, Contact), not since the early Looney Tunes' "You Oughtta Be in Pictures" has there been anything like Roger Rabbit.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die Part XIII: 1985-1989

Mensaje  JM el Jue Dic 10, 2009 1:02 pm

781
Rain man (Barry Levinson, 1988)




Rain Man is the kind of touching drama that Oscars are made for--and, sure enough, the film took Academy honors for best picture, director, screenplay, and actor (Dustin Hoffman) in 1988. Hoffman plays Raymond, an autistic savant whose late father has left him $3 million in a trust. This gets the attention of his materialistic younger brother, a hot-shot LA car dealer named Charlie (Tom Cruise) who wasn't even aware of Raymond's existence until he read his estranged father's will. Charlie picks up Raymond and takes him on a cross-country journey that becomes a voyage of discovery for Charlie, and, perhaps, for Raymond, too. Rain Man will either captivate you or irritate you (Raymond's sputtering of repetitious phrases is enough to drive anyone crazy), but it is obviously a labor of love for those involved. Hoffman had been attached to the film for many years, as various directors and writers came and went, but his persistence eventually paid off--kind of like Raymond in Las Vegas. Look for director Barry Levinson in a cameo as a psychiatrist near the end of the film.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die Part XIII: 1985-1989

Mensaje  JM el Jue Dic 10, 2009 1:12 pm

782
Une affaire de femmes (Story of women- Claude Chabrol, 1988)




Marie Latour (Isabelle Huppert) wants to be a singer, but she is a woman struggling against poverty in war-torn France, with two children to feed and a husband away fighting. When a neighbor becomes pregnant, Marie performs an abortion and is rewarded for her services with a Victrola. It's a small step from the Victrola to an income, and Marie finds that she likes to live comfortably and feed her children well. Her husband Paul (Francois Cluzet) returns and attempts to coerce her into being the type of wife he imagines he wants, but Marie insists on running things her way, and her husband is relegated to the role he imagined for her. She finds contentment in her power (merely the power to be herself and pursue her desires), but things are terribly out of balance in the world she was born into and eventually revenge is exacted. Claude Chabrol (Madame Bovary) has created a remarkably complex and poignant film about a very complex subject: the true story of the last woman to be executed in France by guillotine. An important film to see.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die Part XIII: 1985-1989

Mensaje  JM el Dom Dic 13, 2009 4:56 pm

783
Drowning by numbers (Peter Greenaway, 1988)




Drowning by Numbers is a 1988 British film directed by Peter Greenaway. It was entered into the 1988 Cannes Film Festival.
The film's plot centers on three women — a grandmother, mother and daughter — each named Cissie Colpitts. As the story progresses each woman successively drowns her husband. The three Cissie Colpittses are played by Joan Plowright, Juliet Stevenson, and Joely Richardson. Bernard Hill plays the coroner Madgett, who is cajoled into covering up the three crimes.
The structure, with similar stories repeated three times, is reminiscent of a fairy tale. The link to folklore is further established by Madgett's son Smut, who recites the rules of various unusual games played by the characters as if they were ancient traditions. Many of these games are invented for the film.
Number-counting, game rules and the plot's repetitions are devices that emphasize structure and symmetry in Drowning by Numbers. Through the course of the film the numbers one to one hundred appear in order, sometimes seen in the background, sometimes spoken by the characters.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die Part XIII: 1985-1989

Mensaje  JM el Dom Dic 13, 2009 11:27 pm

784
Něco z Alenky (Alice- Jan Svankmajer, 1988)




This adaptation of Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland mixes animation and live action to create a dreamlike world, but don't let that fool you into thinking it's simply a kid's film. Young Alice (Kristyna Kohoutová, spoken by Camilla Power) watches a stuffed and mounted rabbit come to life in her playroom and follows it through a magical drawer into a strange world that resembles a 19th-century toy store come to life, with a few specimens from a natural history museum thrown in. Czech animator Jan Svankmajer retains the familiar story elements but tweaks them with bizarre imagery brought to herky-jerky life with his spasmodic style of stop-motion animation. The caterpillar becomes a sock puppet with dentures, while other crazy creatures materialize as creepy skull-headed beings that bleed sawdust. Throughout the tale Svankmajer returns to punctuating close-ups of Alice's lips telling the story, just to remind us that this is a tale told. In the best surrealist tradition Svankmajer uses familiar objects in unfamiliar ways, giving a fantasy quality to the banal (and the not so banal) while tipping the dream logic to the edge of nightmare. While the imagery remains more unsettling than genuinely disturbing, younger children will certainly be happier with Disney's brightly colored animated classic Alice in Wonderland. Older children and adults will better appreciate Svankmajer's sly visual wit and unusual animation style.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die Part XIII: 1985-1989

Mensaje  JM el Dom Dic 13, 2009 11:39 pm

785
Dangerous Liaisons (Stephen Frears, 1988)




A sumptuously mounted and photographed celebration of artful wickedness, betrayal, and sexual intrigue among depraved 18th-century French aristocrats, Dangerous Liaisons (based on Christopher Hampton's Les Liaisons Dangereuses) is seductively decadent fun. The villainous heroes are the Marquise De Merteuil (Glenn Close) and the Vicomte De Valmont (John Malkovich), who have cultivated their mutual cynicism into a highly developed and exquisitely mannered form of (in-)human expression. Former lovers, they now fancy themselves rather like demigods whose mutual desires have evolved beyond the crudeness of sex or emotion. They ritualistically act out their twisted affections by engaging in elaborate conspiracies to destroy the lives of their less calculating acquaintances, daring each other to ever-more-dastardly acts of manipulation and betrayal. Why? Just because they can; it's their perverted way of getting get their kicks in a dead-end, pre-Revolutionary culture. Among their voluptuous and virtuous prey are fair-haired angels played by Michelle Pfeiffer and Uma Thurman, who have never looked more ripe for ravishing. When the Vicomte finds himself beset by bewilderingly genuine emotions for one of his victims, the Marquise considers it the ultimate betrayal and plots her heartless revenge. Dangerous Liaisons is a high-mannered revel for the actors, who also include Swoosie Kurtz, Mildred Natwick, and Keanu Reeves.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die Part XIII: 1985-1989

Mensaje  JM el Lun Dic 14, 2009 12:17 pm

786
The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!
(David Zucker, 1988)




David Zucker--of the Zucker-Abrahams-Zucker creative troika behind Airplane! and television's Police Squad!--directed this 1988 feature film based on the latter show. Leslie Nielsen returns to his old TV role of Lt. Frank Drebin, the deadpan idiot with a detective's badge. The reinvention of the failed series as a theatrical feature seems to have inspired everyone involved to make a pretty funny movie, and the jokes gather a momentum that lasts until the final act. Ricardo Montalban is a perfect foil as a villain whose aquarium is being invaded by Drebin during routine questioning, and George Kennedy is delightful in a self-parodying part as an earnest but obtuse lawman. There's a hilarious bit when Drebin--wearing a live police wire while going to the bathroom--can be overheard over the loudspeakers at a speech given by a flustered mayor (Nancy Marchand). Yes, that's O.J. Simpson as a detective who ends up on the wrong side of numerous Drebin blunders.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die Part XIII: 1985-1989

Mensaje  JM el Lun Dic 14, 2009 1:25 pm

787
Mujeres al borde de un ataque de nervios
(Women on the verge of a nervous breakdown-
Pedro Almodóvar, 1988)




Pepa is having a crisis. Her lover is leaving her and now her doctor tells her she is pregnant. Her best friend may be wanted by the police for her association with a Shiite terrorist. And now her lover's psychotic wife is knocking at the door. Can she catch up with her lover, protect her friend, arrange a new romance for her lover's son, dodge the police, and disarm her lover's wife in time to foil an international terrorist plot? Well... maybe after she serves her guests some gazpacho.
In any other hands WOMEN ON THE VERGE OF A NERVOUS BREAKDOWN would collapse into mere frantic farce, but Almodovar directs Carmen Marua and an ensemble cast to a brilliant series of plausible performances that allows the viewer to buy into the story, improbabilities and all--and the result is a hilarious, touching, and fascinating film that is considerably more than the sum of its parts. This is certainly comedy at its most sophistocated, splashed with social satire and spangled with a touch of symbolism for those inclined to seek it.
A number of motifs run through the film--recorded voices, telephones, and the color red are but a few examples--but Almodovar doesn't force his audience to deconstruct his film in order to enjoy it, and WOMEN ON THE VERGE is easily one of the funniest European films of the past fifty years. Those who expect farce plain and simple or who like their movies to tie up into a neat package by the time the credits roll may be disappointed--but if you can make a leap of faith and meet the film on its own terms you'll find it sly, witty, often laugh-out-loud funny... and it will leave you with a feel-good afterglow too. Strongly, strongly recommended.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die Part XIII: 1985-1989

Mensaje  JM el Lun Dic 14, 2009 1:29 pm

788
Spoorloos (The vanishing- George Sluizer, 1988)




When a young Dutchman discovers that his girlfriend has gone missing during their return to Holland from a bicycling trip in France, he begins a three-year search that forms the basis of this unsettling psychological thriller from 1988, originally titled Spoorloos. The missing woman's whereabouts remain a mystery, but the film provides an early introduction to her abductor, a seemingly normal family man whose domestic tranquility hides a meticulous, methodical madness. As the despondent husband advertises all over France and Holland for his missing wife, this game of cat-and-mouse escalates into a strategy of psychological horror, revealing certain facts and merely suggesting others to create an intense atmosphere of dread and anticipation. A film that Alfred Hitchcock would certainly have admired, The Vanishing leads to an unforgettable conclusion that's sure to send chills down your spine. Ironically, this film's director, George Sluizer, also made the inferior 1993 American remake starring Kiefer Sutherland and Jeff Bridges.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die Part XIII: 1985-1989

Mensaje  JM el Lun Dic 14, 2009 1:32 pm

789
Bull Durham (Ron Shelton, 1988)




Bull Durham is about minor league baseball. It's also about romance, sex, poetry, metaphysics, and talent--though not necessarily in that order. Susan Sarandon plays a loopy lady who just loves America's national pastime--and the men who play it. At the opening of every season, she attaches herself to a promising rookie and guides him through the season. Unfortunately, the player she bestows her favors upon does not really deserve it. She knows it, and veteran Kevin Costner knows it. Her choice, a dim bulb played for laughs by Tim Robbins, is the only one who doesn't know it. The film, directed by its writer, Ron Shelton, a former minor league player, is rich in subtle detail. There are Edith Piaf records playing in the background, fast-talking managers, and minor characters as developed as the leads. Sarandon's retro-'50s outfits make you think she's just another bimbo, not an English teacher very much in control of her life. And Costner's clear-eyed, slightly vitriolic performance is devastatingly sexy and keenly witty. The love scenes, though tasteful, are almost as humorous as they are hot. Sarandon's character likes to tie her players up and expand their horizons by reading Walt Whitman to them, "'cause a guy will listen to anything if he thinks it's foreplay." How can you not love a movie with such a wicked sense of humor?


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die Part XIII: 1985-1989

Mensaje  JM el Lun Dic 14, 2009 1:35 pm

790
Ariel (Aki Kaurismaki, 1988)




Finnish filmmaker Aki Kaurismäki may not have become a household name in arthouse circles until the U.S. release of Match Factory Girl in 1992, but by then he had already established an international reputation with Ariel, which was named the Best Foreign Language Film of 1991 by the National Society of Film Critics. A series of unfortunate events befall the film's hero, Taisto (Turo Pajala). First, he loses his job when the mine closes down. A suicidal friend gives him a car, and Taisto takes all his money and heads to the city to find work. He's quickly robbed by a couple of thugs, and shows up in town with no money and no job. Soon, he meets Irmeli (Susanna Haavisto), a resourceful divorcée who works a wide variety of jobs to support her young son and pay off their mortgage. "Will you disappear in the morning?" Irmeli dryly asks on their first night together. "No," Taisto responds emotionlessly, "We'll be together forever." Unable to find work, Taisto tries to sell his car. But then he runs into one of the men who robbed him, who pulls a knife on him. Taisto manages to disarm the man, and is subduing him when the police arrive. Taisto is convicted of assault and attempted robbery. He winds up in a cell with Mikkonen (Matti Pellonpää), who is in prison for manslaughter. He claims he's innocent, but tells Taisto that by the time he gets out of jail, he "won't be able to go three hours without killing someone." When Irmeli comes for a visit, Taisto impulsively proposes, and before long, she's helping him and Mikkonen plot their escape.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die Part XIII: 1985-1989

Mensaje  JM el Lun Dic 14, 2009 1:43 pm

791
The thin blue line (Errol Morris, 1988)




This landmark award-winning documentary, which revolutionized the form and helped acquit an innocent man of murder, came about almost by accident. Errol Morris had already directed such offbeat documentaries as Gates of Heaven (concerning pet cemeteries; a favorite of Roger Ebert's) and Vernon, Florida, which touchingly portrays the small town's eccentric inhabitants. He'd intended to travel to Texas to make a film about the criminal-psychiatry expert James Grigson, or "Dr. Death" as he came to be known for his frequent testimony against defendants, who were often then sent to death row. When Morris discovered that the doctor was involved in the trial of Randall Dale Adams, a man who, it seemed, had been falsely accused of the highway murder of a police officer, he decided that Adams's story was the real one to tell. Morris's innovative use of repeated dramatization, multiple points of view, talking-head and phone interviews, and symbolism--in concert with Philip Glass's haunting music--establishes that a combination of communitarian zeal and overly eager testimony persuaded the jury to find Adams, a "drifter" from the Midwest, guilty of the crime, instead of his underage (and, for the death penalty, ineligible) acquaintance, David Harris, who had a criminal record. The "thin blue line" of police officers separating the public from chaos--as the judge, quoting the D.A. in the case, has it--destabilizes in Morris's world and puts people at risk of injustice as often as it protects them. After serving time for a sentence commuted to life imprisonment, Adams was freed, making Errol Morris his most talented advocate.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die Part XIII: 1985-1989

Mensaje  JM el Lun Dic 14, 2009 1:46 pm

792
Akira (Katsuhiro Otomo, 1988)




Artist-writer Katsuhiro Ôtomo began telling the story of Akira as a comic book series in 1982 but took a break from 1986 to 1988 to write, direct, supervise, and design this animated film version. Set in 2019, the film richly imagines the new metropolis of Neo-Tokyo, which is designed from huge buildings down to the smallest details of passing vehicles or police uniforms. Two disaffected orphan teenagers--slight, resentful Tetsuo and confident, breezy Kaneda--run with a biker gang, but trouble grows when Tetsuo start to resent the way Kaneda always has to rescue him. Meanwhile, a group of scientists, military men, and politicians wonder what to do with a collection of withered children who possess enormous psychic powers, especially the mysterious, rarely seen Akira, whose awakening might well have caused the end of the old world. Tetsuo is visited by the children, who trigger the growth of psychic and physical powers that might make him a superman or a supermonster. As befits a distillation of 1,318 pages of the story so far, Akira is overstuffed with character, incident, and detail. However, it piles up astonishing set pieces: the chases and shootouts (amazingly kinetic, amazingly bloody) benefit from minute cartoon detail that extends to the surprised or shocked faces of the tiniest extra; the Tetsuo monster alternately looks like a billion-gallon scrotal sac or a Tex Avery mutation of the monster from The Quatermass Experiment; and the finale--which combines flashbacks to more innocent days with a destruction of Neo City and the creation of a new universe--is one of the most mind-bending in all sci-fi cinema.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die Part XIII: 1985-1989

Mensaje  JM el Lun Dic 14, 2009 1:51 pm

793
Cinema Paradiso
(Nuovo Cinema Paradiso- Giuseppe Tornatore, 1988)




Giuseppe Tornatore's beautiful 1988 film about a little boy's love affair with the movies deservedly won an Oscar for Best Foreign Film and a Special Jury Prize at Cannes. Philippe Noiret plays a grizzled old projectionist who takes pride in his presentation of screen dreams for a town still recovering from World War II. When a child (Jacques Perrin) demonstrates fascination not only for movies but also for the process of showing them to an audience, a lifelong friendship is struck. This isn't just one of those films for people who are already in love with the cinema. But if you are one of those folks, the emotional resonance between the action in Tornatore's world and the images on Noiret's screen will seem all the greater--and the finale all the more powerful.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die Part XIII: 1985-1989

Mensaje  JM el Lun Dic 14, 2009 1:57 pm

794
Hotel Terminus (Marcel Ophuls, 1988)




This brilliantly constructed documentary presents the story of Klaus Barbie--head of the Gestapo in Lyon, France, during the Nazi occupation--by amassing interviews with those who came into contact with the notorious war criminal. The many interviewees speak at length (accounting for the documentary's total running time of more than four hours), and an image of Barbie as both a real person and a symbol of evil slowly emerges. Those who knew him as a student profess to be puzzled over his later reputation, but a woman who served in the French resistance and was beaten nearly to death by Barbie solemnly recounts the hideous tortures he inflicted on her. Filmmaker Marcel Ophüls (The Sorrow and the Pity) spoke to a number of resistance veterans, aging Nazis, and even retired American intelligence agents who employed Barbie to spy on Communists following the end of World War II. When Ophüls conducted interviews in the mid-1980s, Barbie was an old man languishing in a French jail after decades of living comfortably in South America. Memories of him, and all the pain he inflicted, were still vivid. As the many interview subjects speak (some slam doors and even punch at the camera), their own characters and motivations are revealed, and the truly unsettling character of Klaus Barbie is exposed.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die Part XIII: 1985-1989

Mensaje  JM el Lun Dic 14, 2009 2:00 pm

795
A fish called Wanda (Charles Crichton, 1988)




Kevin Kline took home an Oscar for his performance as a self-absorbed lothario who prepares for lovemaking by drinking in his own "manly" musk, but it would be hard to single him out as the best thing about the film. The fact is, the entire cast of this hilarious comedy is perfect: John Cleese as the conservative barrister defending a member of sexy Jamie Lee Curtis's gang, Ms. Curtis as the conniving crook out to grab the haul for herself, and Michael Palin as the stuttering, animal-loving hit man whose attempts to murder a little old lady only decrease the size of her poodle pack. Cleese cowrote the zingy script with British comedy veteran Charles Crichton (The Lavender Hill Mob), whose smooth direction balances Monty Python farce, hysterically tasteless gags, and an unexpectedly romantic subplot with style and confidence.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die Part XIII: 1985-1989

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