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1988 in film.

Discussion in 'Entertainment Forum' started by Morrissey, Jul 5, 2021.

  1. Morrissey


    Top ten box-office films of 1988:

    1. Rain Man
    2. Who Framed Roger Rabbit
    3. Coming to America
    4. Crocodile Dundee II
    5. Twins
    6. Rambo III
    7. A Fish Called Wanda
    8. Cocktail
    9. Big
    10. Die Hard

    What are your top three films for 1988? We will keep a running tally and eventually have some sort of bracket. For me it would be:

    1. The Vanishing
    2. The Last Temptation of Christ
    3. They Live

    What are some of the forgotten gems from the year? What is overrated? What did you discover at a young age and what did you discover later?

  2. Morrissey


    A very weak year for me. The Vanishing immediately stood out, and it is one of the most haunting endings ever. Few films make evil look like it is all around us. I need to see Cinema Paradiso eventually.
  3. OhTheWater

    Let it run Supporter

    1. Sleepaway Camp II
    2. Brain Damage
    3. Die Hard
  4. Nathan

    Always do the right thing. Supporter

    1. The Last Temptation of Christ
    2. Akira
    3. They Live

    Bull Durham, Coming to America, and The Naked Gun are favorites from childhood, basically, but my top 3 was pretty easy.
    George likes this.
  5. SpyKi

    I've been in love with her for ages Supporter

    1. Vampires Kiss
    2. On the Silver Globe
    3. My Neighbor Totoro

    My first watch of Vampires Kiss is one of the best experiences I've ever had, I laughed so hard. On the Silver Globe is one of the coolest looking films I've ever seen, the set/costume design is insane.

    Also love Die Hard, Story of Women, Who Framed Roger Rabit, Dead Ringers, Drowning by Numbers, The Vanishing, Grave of the Fireflies. Stacked year.
    George likes this.
  6. OhTheWater

    Let it run Supporter

    I’m missing some big ones this year.
    Other good ones:
    Naked Gun
    They Live
    Child’s Play
    Vampire’s Kiss
    Night of the Demons
    The Blob
    Midnight Run
    Who Framed Roger Rabbit
    The Great Outdoors
    Bull Durham
    Killer Klowns from Outer Space
    My Neighbor Totoro
    Don’t Panic
    Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-O-Rama
    George likes this.
  7. George Jul 5, 2021
    (Last edited: Jul 5, 2021)

    Trusted Prestigious

    A really strong year for animation here.

    1. Grave of the Fireflies
    2. As Tears Go By
    3. Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown

    1988 was a huge year for Japanese animation, with Grave of the Fireflies, Akira and Totoro all revolutionary in their own way. Fireflies is one of the most upsetting and distressing films I think I've ever seen. It's one of those cliches, but it really felt like a film I only needed to see once, about the aftermath of the firebombing and war. Even though the ending is clear from the opening scene, it still hits like a ton of bricks. I saw Akira in the cinema before lockdown in the UK, and it is incredible on the big screen, just beautiful to look at, with a monstrous revolting body horror ending.

    As Tears Go By is Wong Kar Wai's debut, a small time triad film, with a romantic sweep to it. It's a really interesting film because it's part 80s triad gangster films, which were extremely popular in 88, but then with Kar-Wai's sense of wistful romance, which he'd continue for the next decade or so. Three star turns by Andy Lau, Jacky Cheung and Maggie Cheung carry this.

    Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown is Almodovar's first great film. A silly, melodramatic comic farce, that feels a bit like a staged play and a blueprint to what Almodovar would do for the next 20 years. Chaotic and energetic, and probably the reddest colour pallete of all time.

    Honourable mentions include two feature length versions of Kieslowski's Dekalog, A Short Film about Killing / Love. They're not essential if you've seen them in the Dekalog, but if not, they're two of his absolute best.

    Two great socially conscious British films this year, Mike Leigh's High Hopes about a socialist couple in yuppie London and Terrence Davies' Distant Voices, Still Lives about a working class family in 40s & 50s Liverpool.

    For HK action / martial arts, we have Jackie Chan's Police Story II, a bigger and meaner follow up to his classic. There's also Dragons Forever, which is a big budget people pleaser action comedy, and the last time that all three of Chan, Sammo Hung and Yuen Biao would appear together. There's also the weaker but still decent Paper Marriage with Hung and Maggie Cheung pretending to be married for Green card reasons, which is elevated hugely by their presence.

    I also really like The Legend of the Holy Drinker, a little fable about a man being given 200 francs, and asked to pay it back when he can. There's also Jan Svankmajer's Alice, a bizarre animated version of Alice in Wonderland, which is a real animation marvel - worth watching just to see how it's all put together. And Polanski's Frantic, which is him doing a Hitchcock thriller in Paris with Harrison Ford.
  8. George

    Trusted Prestigious

    I've seen the American remake of The Vanishing years ago with Kiefer Sutherland, but only just realised now that there was an original. The American one had a fairly happy ending from what I can remember - I think the central couple end up selling their trauma and experience for a book deal, after outsmarting the killer.
  9. Nathan

    Always do the right thing. Supporter

    I’ve been interested in those Leigh and Davies films for awhile, Davies in particular feels like an underrated filmmaker.
    George likes this.
  10. George

    Trusted Prestigious

    Davies is someone that I need to watch more of too, I've only seen two of his films, but they have both been wonderful.

    Leigh is one of my favourite film-makers, High Hopes is a perhaps slightly more minor film than his work afterwards, but the way he works without a script and just all fleshed out in rehearsals is really fascinating.
    Nathan likes this.
  11. Nathan

    Always do the right thing. Supporter

    The Deep Blue Sea, Sunset Song, and A Quiet Passion were all gorgeous, often complex works, I’d like to delve into his earlier work.
    George likes this.
  12. phaynes12

    playing in the band Prestigious

    1. Die Hard
    2. Midnight Run
    3. Heathers
  13. phaynes12

    playing in the band Prestigious

    this decade sucks
  14. CarpetElf

    point gawd Prestigious

    1. Die Hard
    2. Akira
    3. Grave of the Fireflies

    Sadly, the first year where I've had several I had to leave off lol. Got a lot of catching up to do
    George likes this.
  15. OhTheWater

    Let it run Supporter

    SpyKi and Contender like this.
  16. Nathan

    Always do the right thing. Supporter

    and a lot of the Japanese New Wave auteurs were still going strong in the 80s
    CarpetElf and OhTheWater like this.
  17. I Am Mick

    @gravebug Prestigious

    1. Akira

    i don't feel all that strongly about anything else
  18. Morrissey


    I wonder how much of the "80s weren't great for movies" (which I have also said) is a product of a critical bias toward baby boomer and older critics creating legends of those late 50s to early 70s films while newer generations have had to give deference to them.

    You have a newer school of critics online highlighting and promoting works from the late 90s to today, but that Generation X slot was stuck between the explosion of critical theory during the Sarris-Kael days and the democratization of online-based writing.
  19. Nathan

    Always do the right thing. Supporter

    It was a weaker decade for mainstream Hollywood, which most of us are most familiar with. Blockbusters, action movies, and teen comedies all grew and while there are really great ones, they spawned large swaths of garbage
  20. Morrissey


    I am talking about arthouse, not mainstream films. There is a noticeable gap between the Kurosawa-Bergman-Godard years and the filmmakers that rose to prominence in the late 90's to early 2000's. Just as an example: on the They Shoot Pictures list, there are 170 films from the 1960's versus 119 from the 1980's.
    Victor Eremita likes this.
  21. Victor Eremita

    Not here. Isn't happening. Supporter

    1. Akira
    2. They Live
    3. The Last Temptation of Christ

    the 80s has plenty of movies I love but definitely not very many that crack my all time favorite list like the 60s, 70s, and 90s.
  22. secretsociety92 Jul 6, 2021
    (Last edited: Jul 6, 2021)

    Music, Gaming, Movies and Guys = Life

    My top pick is dead certain but with at least nine others to pick from I genuinely had a harder time picking the other two but my top three are nonetheless the following -

    1. Die Hard
    2. Mississippi Burning
    3. A Fish Called Wanda

    That third pick was a tough one because it could have easily gone to the following in bold; They Live, Midnight Run, The Blob, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Rain Man, Dangerous Liaisons, Tucker: The Man and His Dream, Beetlejuice, Akira, The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!, Child’s Play, Scrooged, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, The Lair of the White Worm, Red Heat, The Accused, Dead Heat, Colors, Dream Demon, Stormy Monday, Dead Ringers, Killer Klowns from Outer Space, A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master, Maniac Cop, The Serpent and the Rainbow, Phantasm II, Slugs, Alien Nation, The Presidio, and Cohen and Tate.

    On the subject of whether this decade is any good in comparison to others I personally feel it is stronger than people give it credit for and it is the second biggest decade in my Top 100 favorites that I did a while back. Now sure there is plenty of rubbish in this decade but that is no doubt the case for every decade.
  23. George

    Trusted Prestigious

    It may be that there were less prominent and dominant film-makers, in the traditional auteur way that the likes of Bergman + Godard were, in the 80s, rather than "arthouse" (I don't really think that's the right word for these sort of films) cinema being in decline as a whole.

    Looking at the They Shoot Pictures List, it appears to be focused on the director, not the film. For example, Hong Kong in the 80s was a hugely productive and varied film industry, but there are only two 80s film on the list, both by John Woo. Taiwan was in a similar position, but we have three entries by Hou Hsiao-Hsien and one Yang.

    For horror films in the 80s, there are 9 listed, and all but one of them are North American, with three being Cronenberg films. The 80s were an incredibly fertile ground for horror around the world, particularly with the new ability to watch films at home on VHS, so the fact that the list doesn't reflect this is a shame, perhaps because of the lack of "major" names associated with these films.

    It seems a problem with the list, rather than anything indicative about the decade as a whole.
  24. username

    hey you lil piss baby

    1. The Cannibals
    2. Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown
    3. Kung-Fu Master!

    Lots of other notable films, but definitely one of the lighter years for me in this decade. Surprised to see no mention of Claire Denis’ Chocolat, certainly the other major debut alongside Wong’s As Tears Go By. A great mid-career highlight for Claude Chabrol in Story of Women. Makoto Wada’s Kaito Ruby is one of the great non-American screwball comedies. Clint Eastwood’s Bird, a particularly underrated film within this body of work. Ousmane Sembene’s Camp de Thiaroye, one of the high masterpieces of anti-colonial cinema. Plus, the beginning of Godard’s towering Histoire(s) du Cinéma project.
    George likes this.
  25. Contender

    Goodness is Nowhere Supporter

    1. They Live
    2. Grave of the Fireflies
    3. Hairspray

    Honestly, a great year for horror and animation.