Tag Archives: 1980s

Kathleen Collins – Losing Ground (1982)

Synopsis
A comedy-drama about a Black American female philosophy professor and her insensitive, philandering, and flamboyant artist husband who are having a marital crisis. When the wife goes off on an almost unbelievable journey to find “ecstasy”, her husband is forced to see her in a different light. Read More »

Lewis Jackson – You Better Watch Out AKA Christmas Evil [Director’s Cut+Extras] (1980)

When he was a boy, Harry idolized Santa Claus, but one Christmas Eve, he witnessed something horrifying that forever shattered his innocent understanding of Santa. Now an adult, Harry wants to embody the pure Santa Claus he grew up loving. He works at a toy factory and keeps records of who’s been naughty and nice, but the spirit of Christmas isn’t what it used to be and he can’t take it. So, garbed in his red suit, Harry decides that the only thing he can do is to become Santa himself and make all of the naughty townspeople pay…in blood! Read More »

William Peter Blatty – The Ninth Configuration (1980)

Toronto International Film Festival writes:
Exorcist author William Peter Blatty intended for his adaptation of his own novel Twinkle, Twinkle, “Killer” Kane to be directed by William Friedkin; when studios rejected the script, Blatty put up half the budget himself, convinced the Pepsi-Cola conglomerate to provide the balance, and stepped behind the camera to make his directorial debut. Set near the end of the Vietnam War, The Ninth Configuration takes place in a spectacular castle that has been commandeered as a mental hospital for military veterans. Read More »

Ulu Grosbard – True Confessions (1981)

Synopsis:
In Los Angeles, circa 1940, an embittered, once-corrupt cop named Tom Spellacy is investigating two murders: that of a priest found dead in a whorehouse, and that of a mutilated woman in a park. As he searches for the culprits, Spellacy uncovers an immense web of corruption, involving prostitutes, dirty cops and pornography. Even the Roman Catholic Church is implicated, particularly one Monsignor Des Spellacy, Tom’s brother. Although Des is innocent of any wrongdoing, his actions raise moral and religious issues that Tom must deal with, in order to solve these bizarre murders. Read More »

Simon Langton – Smiley’s People (1982)

Called out of retirement to settle the affairs of a friend, Smiley finds his old organization, the Circus, so overwhelmed by political considerations that it doesn’t want to know what happened. He begins to follow up the clues of his friends past days, discovering that the clues lead to a high person in the Russian Secret service, and a secret important enough to kill for. Smiley continues to put together the pieces a step ahead or a step behind the Russian killers. Read More »

Deepa Dhanraj – Kya hua is shahar ko? AKA What Has Happened to This City? (1986)

From the Berlinale website:
A pioneering political work of contemporary relevance: Communal violence between Hindus and Muslims in 1984 forms the starting point for this film, whose complexity lends it immense political force. The film’s historical perspective is provided by a thorough commentary, which gives the camera’s particular presence the necessary depth and complexity. The mechanisms of political power struggles, the dynamics among those that hold power, and the instrumentalisation of economic relations and urban poverty make for a striking analysis, uniquely anticipating the subsequent development of communalist conflicts and the politics of marginalisation. The immediacy achieved by filming just as violence is unfolding juxtaposed with calm observations of the devastating consequences of living one’s life during a state of emergency, thus reaching a level of respectful lyricism and contemplation that make the film much more than just a worthy reportage. Read More »

Noboru Tanaka – Ushimitsu no mura AKA Village of Doom (1983)

Little known 1980’s exploitation flic with violent ending

During the Second World War, a young man from a secluded village is denied the chance to serve in the Japanese army through his tuberculosis. Highly intelligent, although isolated, he lives with his kindly grandmother. Taking advantage of the times he enjoys the company of several married women, but once news of his disease spreads he becomes increasingly socially ostracised and plots revenge… Read More »