JONATHAN ROSENBAUM'S 1000 ESSENTIAL FILMS- 1980s

Originally published in Essential Cinema, copyright 2004 Jonathan Rosenbaum

Below are Rosenbaum's 130 favorite films from the 1980s:

1980
Atlantic City (Malle)
The Big Red One (Fuller)
Gloria (Cassavetes)
Grown-ups (Mike Leigh)
The Little Richard Story (William Klein)
Melvin and Howard (Demme)
La memoire courte (Eduardo de Gregorio)
Metaphor (King Vidor)
Mon oncle d'Amerique (Rensais)
Out of the Blue (Dennis Hopper)
The Shining (Kubrick)

1981
Charmed Particles (Andrew Noren)
Cutter's Way (Ivan Passer)
Hardly Working (Jerry Lewis)
History of the World, Part I (Mel Brooks)
Modern Romance (Albert Brooks)
Orderly or Disorderly (Abbas Kiarostami)
Pennies from Heaven (Herbert Ross)
La toit de la baleine (Ruiz)
Too Early, Too Late (Straub / Huillet)
Two Portraits (Peter Thompson)
The Vulture (Yaki Yosha)
White Dog (Fuller)

1982
Blade Runner (Ridley Scott)
Une chambre en ville (Demy)
En rachachant (Straub/ Huillet)
Field Diary (Amos Gitai)
One Man's War (Edgardo Cozarinsky)
Scenario du film "Passion" (Godard)
You Are Not I (Sara Driver)

1983
Adynata (Leslie Thornton)
Ananas (Gitai)
Les anees 80 (Akerman)
L'argent (Bresson)
Cracking Up (Jerry Lewis)
Fellow Citizen (Kiarostami)
The Gold Diggers (Sally Potter)
Hammett (Wenders)
It's a Good Life (Joe Dante)
The King of Comedy (Martin Scorsese)
My Brother's Wedding (Burnett)
Sans soleil (Marker)
Sylvia: Un portrait de Parvameh Navar (Maria Konaris)
Son's Big Doll (Hou Hsiao-Hsien)
The State of Things (Wenders)
The Unknown Chaplin (Kevin Brownlow / David Gill)
Videodrome (David Cronenberg)

1984
Almanac of the Fall (Bela Tarr)
Barres (Moullet)
Broadway Danny Rose (Allen)
Choose Me (Alan Rudolph)
The Day the Sun Turned Cold (Yim Ho)
The Funeral (Juzo Itami)
Love Streams (Cassavetes)
Mutable Fire (Erotic Psyche)
1984 (Michael Radford)
Stranger Than Paradise (Jim Jarmusch)
Swing Shift (original cut, Demme)

1985
Day of the Dead (Romero)
The Horse Thief (Tian Zhuangzhuang)
Manuel on the Island of Wonders (Ruiz)
The Man Who Envied Women (Yvonne Rainer)
Mix-Up (Francoise Romand)
Next of Kin (Atom Egoyan)
Passionless Moments (Jane Campion)
Shoah (Claude Lanzmann)
Taipei Story (Edward Yang)
The Time to Live and the Time to Die (Hou)
Vagabond (Varda)

1986
Bad Blood (Leos Carax)
Down By Law (Jarmusch)
Joan Does Dynasty (Joan Braderman)
Melo (Rensais)
Memoire des apparences (Ruiz)
The Mexican Tapes (Louis Hock)
The Peddler (Mohsen Makhmalbaf)
Routine Pleasures (Jean-Pierre Gorin)
Sherman's March (Ross McElwee)
Sleepwalk (Driver)
Tampopo (Itami)

1987
Candy Mountain (Rudy Wurlitzer / Robert Frank)
la chouette aveugle (Ruiz)
Damnation (Tarr)
From the Pole to the Equator (Yervant Gianikian / Angela Ricci Lucchi)
Full Metal Jacket (Kubrick)
Housekeeping (Bill Forsyth)
House of Games (David Mamet)
Ishtar (May)
Landscape Suicide (Benning)
The Last Emperor (Bertolucci)
Mammame (Ruiz)
The Silent Majority (Mehrnaz Saeed-Vafa)
Tough Guys Don't Dance (Norman Mailer)
Universal Hotel / Universal Citizen (Thompson)
Walker (Alex Cox) A Western (Laurie Dunphy)
Where Is the Friend's House? (Kiarostami)
Yeelen (Brightness) (Souleymane Cisse)

1988
Bird (Clint Eastwood)
Black Sun (Straub / Huillet)
Camp Thiaroye (Sembene / Thiemo Faty Sow)
Decalogue (Krzysztof Kieslowski)
Distant Voices, Still Lives (Terrence Davies)
Essai d'ouverture (Moullet)
Golub (Jerry Blumenthal / Gordon Quinn)
Hairspray (John Waters)
High Hopes (Leigh)
King Lear (Godard)
Puissance de la parole (Godard)
A Tale of the Wind (Ivens / Loridan)
Talking to Strangers (Rob Tregenza)
Trois places pour le 26 (Demy)
Who Framed Roger Rabbit (Robert Zemeckis)

1989
The Adventures of Baron Munchausen (Terry Gilliam)
The Asthenic Syndrome (Kira Muratova)
Cezanne (Straub / Huillet)
Chameleon Street (Wendell B. Harris Jr.)
City of Sadness (Hou)
The Deadman (Peggy Ahwesh / Keith Sanborn)
Do the Right Thing (Spike Lee)
Enemies, A Love Story (Paul Mazursky)
Forevermore: Biography of a Leach Lord (Eric Saks)
The Iceman Cometh (Clarence Fok Yiu-leung)
Images of the World and the Inscription of War (Harun Farocki)
Marriage of the Blessed (Mohsen Makhmalbaf)
Mr. Hoover and I (De Antonio)
Rembrandt Laughing (Jost)
A Spy in the House That Ruth Built (Vanalyne Green)
Sweetie (Campion)

So who ruled the '80s?Rosenbaum's auteur scorecard:

Ruiz - 5 Straub / Huillet - 4 Godard - 3 Hou - 3 Kiarostami - 3 Campion - 2 Demme - 2 Demy - 2 Driver - 2 Fuller - 2 Itami - 2 Jarmusch - 2 Kubrick - 2 Leigh - 2 Lewis - 2 Moullet - 2 Tarr - 2 Thompson - 2 Wenders - 2

 

 

 

 

 

 


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