1981-1990

Gwok-Ming Cheung – Bian yuen ren aka Man on the Brink (1981)

Quote:
Writing, directing and photographing Man On The Brink, Cheung can’t possibly have been the first kid on the block to attempt this story that later cropped up to great effect in City On Fire. But watching Chiu’s descent shaped by the seedy world around him is quite engaging, much more so during the latter stages of the film when Cheung easily plants that sinking feeling in viewer’s stomachs. Meaning that the proceedings are heading towards a sad end statement as Cheung takes us on a continuation of the social commentary from his debut. Read More »

Raoul Ruiz – Régime sans pain (1985)

Jonathan Rosenbaum from Essential Cinema: On the Necessity of Film Canons (2004), pp. 236-237:

Within my experience, Ruiz is the least neurotic of filmakers; he doesn’t even seem to care whether what he’s doing is good or not (and, as he’s aptly noted, bad work and good work generally entail the same amount of effort). No single film functions as the be-all or end-all of an evolving career but merely as part of an overall process. Example: the 1985 Régime sans pain — one of his films most influenced by his friend Jean Baudrillard, and perhaps the one that most calls to mind grade-Z SF — grew out of a commission to direct a music video. Ruiz offered a counterproposal that he direct several music videos rather than one; once this deal was made, he shot enough material to interconnect the various videos until he arrived at a feature. Read More »

John Waters – Polyester (1981)

Quote:
For his first studio picture, filth maestro John Waters took advantage of his biggest budget yet to allow his muse Divine to sink his teeth into a role unlike any he had played before: Baltimore housewife Francine Fishpaw, a heroine worthy of a Douglas Sirk melodrama. Blessed with a keen sense of smell and cursed with a philandering pornographer husband, a parasitic mother, and a pair of delinquent children, the long-suffering Francine turns to the bottle as her life falls apart—until deliverance appears in the form of a hunk named Todd Tomorrow (vintage heartthrob Tab Hunter). Enhanced with Odorama™ technology that enables you to scratch and sniff along with Francine, Polyester is one of Waters’ most hilarious inventions, replete with stomach-churning smells, sadistic nuns, AA meetings, and foot stomping galore. Read More »

Jean-Claude Lord – Visiting Hours (1982)

Synopsis:
Deborah Ballin is a controversial middle-aged TV journalist, who is campaigning on air on behalf of a battered woman who murdered her abusive husband, claiming justifiable defense against the so-called victim. But her outspoken views championing women’s rights incense one of the studio’s cleaning staff, closet homicidal psycho (and misogynist) Colt Hawker whose deep seated despising all all things female occurred from seeing his Mother throwing boiling oil in the face of his abusive Father when he was a small child (and who’s M.O. is to photograph victims he stabs as they’re spasming to death). Read More »

Kazuo Hara – Yuki Yukite shingun AKA The Emperor’s Naked Army Marches On (1987)

Synopsis:
The Emperor’s Naked Army Marches On is a brilliant exploration of memory and war guilt, a subject often ignored in modern Japan. In this controversial documentary, Kazuo Hara follows Kenzo Okuzaki in his real-life struggle against Emperor Hirohito. He proudly declares that he shot BBs at the Royal Palace, distributed pornographic images of the Emperor, and once killed a man for the sake of his strange crusade. As the film progresses, Okuzaki reveals a gruesome mystery: why were some Japanese officers killing their own soldiers during WWII? What happened to their bodies? Okuzaki begs, cajoles, and occasionally beats the story out of elderly veterans. Read More »

Bill Forsyth – Local Hero (1983)

Quote:
Bill Forsyth put Scottish cinema on the map with this delightfully eccentric culture-clash comedy. Riffing on popular representations of Scottish life and folklore, Local Hero follows the Texas oil executive Mac (Peter Riegert), who is dispatched by his crackpot boss (Burt Lancaster) to a remote seaside village in Scotland with orders to buy out the town and develop the region for an oil refinery. But as business mixes with pleasure, Mac finds himself enchanted by both the picturesque community and its oddball denizens—and Texas starts to feel awfully far away. Read More »

Rob Reiner – This Is Spinal Tap (1984)

Quote:
A spoof about a filmmaker making a documentary about a once-famous, now almost forgotten British heavy metal band returning to the United States after 17 years for a concert tour. Read More »