1981-1990

Richard Lowenstein – Dogs In Space (1987)

Description: Set against the backdrop of Melbourne’s late ‘70s punk rock scene, Dogs in Space chronicles life in a chaotic, squalid share-house. Hippies, addicts, students and radicals fill their days and nights with sex, drugs, parties and television. Writer/director Richard Lowenstein balances a series of chaotic vignettes with the central story of the romance between housemates Sam (Michael Hutchence), the lead singer of the band, Dogs in Space and his lover Anna (Saskia Post) as it spirals out of control. Hutchence is a brilliant symbol of reckless youth in this, his first dramatic screen role, giving Dogs in Space instant cult status upon its release. Read More »

Philippe Garrel – Liberté, la nuit (1984)

‘Liberte, la nuit’ is not really a political film, or, at least, a film about politics. Its central figures are an aging revolutionary helping Algerians in the anti-colonial war against France, his separated wife, a dressmaker who gives them guns, and his mistress, a French Algerian emigree. Such a set-up might offer opportunities for allegory – white Algeria returning to the aging bosom of the fatherland, and all that. The film’s most dynamic sequence is pure political thriller, an assassination by the OAS, confusingly shot and edited on grainy stock that evokes both documentary immediacy and the whirring of a surveillance camera, complete with exciting car chase. The human relationships – especially the drawn-out separation of Jean and Mouche, are said to be caused by his political activity, while his contact with others has some basis in his ‘work’. Even, as I say, his final escape with an apolitical menial has political overtones; and their idyll is ultimately no escape from history. Read More »

Akio Jissôji – Ijmete kudasai Henrietta AKA Arietta (1989)

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Synopsis:
A young widow (Keiko Kaja) becomes an SM call girl to pay off the debts accumulated by her yakuza husband. She’s a depressed woman, merely going through the motions of existence, subjected to every cruel whim concocted by her clients. She’s dedicated to the misery – even finding comfort in it – stumbling through life like a zombie. Read More »

David Byrne – True Stories (1986)

 

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True Stories is a 1986 American film that spans the genres of musical, art, and comedy, directed by and starring David Byrne of the band Talking Heads. It co-stars John Goodman, Swoosie Kurtz, and Spalding Gray. Byrne has described the film as, “A project with songs based on true stories from tabloid newspapers. It’s like 60 Minutes on acid.”

True Stories was released by Warner Bros. in the United States, Canada, Italy, and Sweden in 1986, with limited release elsewhere the following year. Byrne was given much creative control over the motion picture’s direction, largely due to the mainstream success of Talking Heads’ 1984 concert film, Stop Making Sense. Read More »

Stephen Quay & Timothy Quay & Keith Griffiths – The Eternal Day of Michel De Ghelderode (1981)

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Quote:
Using the tricks of the Flemish playwright’s own trade–puppetry, masks, and a Breughelesque sense of bizarre carnival, the collaborators succeeded in bringing about a rich and sardonic humor lurking at the edge of the playwright’s macabre, death-obsessed imagination in an allusive homage. Read More »

Larry Cohen – A Return to Salem’s Lot (1987)

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Plot:
Joe Weber is an anthropologist who takes his son on a trip to the New England town of Salem’s Lot unaware that it is populated by vampires. When the inhabitants reveal their secret, they ask Joe to write a bible for them. Read More »

Wim Wenders – Hammett (1982)

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The plot
Based in part on detective-fiction writer Dashiell Hammett’s early experiences as a Pinkerton detective, this moderately-noir film has Hammett (using his little-known first name, Sam) involved in an elaborate extortion plot by his former detective agency mentor, Jimmy Ryan. Ryan shows up at Hammett’s San Francisco digs searching for a mysterious Chinese girl, Crystal Ling. He calls in a marker from Hammett’s days at the detective agency to get his help in finding the girl, who turns out to be a very sexy and shrewd former prostitute and porn star. She has photographs of San Francisco’s most influential citizens engaged in sexual fantasy with her and she means to turn them into a million-dollar payday. The tubercular Hammett must cope with an unfriendly police force, a mysterious gunsel intent on inflicting serious harm, and betrayal by supposed friends; to save the reputations of the powerful while tweaking their collective noses
Written by Joe Jurca, imdb.com Read More »