Best Films of the 1980's

  2. Brazil - Gilliam (1985) [The Final Cut, 142 minutes]
  3. Possession - Zulawski (1981) [Original Cut, 123 minutes]
  4. A Zed & Two Noughts - Peter Greenaway (1985)

  5. 8.5/10
  6. Landscape in the Mist - Theo Angelopoulos (1988)

  7. 8/10
  8. Wings of Desire - Wim Wenders (1987)
  9. The Sacrifice - Andrei Tarkovsky (1986)

  10. 7.5/10
  11. Blade Runner - Ridley Scott (1982) [The Final Cut, 117 minutes]
  12. The Cook, The Thief, His Wife & Her Lover - Peter Greenaway (1989)
  13. Dressed to Kill - Brian De Palma (1980)
  14. Why Has Bodhi-Dharma Left for the East? - Bae Yong-kyun (1989)
  15. Ballad of Narayama - Shohei Imamura (1983)
  16. The Killer - John Woo (1989)
  17. Blue Velvet - David Lynch (1986)
  18. Ran - Akira Kurosawa (1985)
  19. Come and See - Elim Klimov (1985)
  20. Prefab People - Bela Tarr (1987)
  21. Raiders of the Lost Ark - Steven Spielberg (1981)
  22. The Terminator - James Cameron (1984)
  23. Insignificance - Nicolas Roeg (1985)
  24. After Hours - Martin Scorsese (1985)
  25. Paris, Texas - Win Wenders (1983)
  26. Belly of an Architect - Peter Greenaway (1987)
  27. Raging Bull - Martin Scorsese (1980)
  28. Black Rain - Shohei Imamura (1988)
  29. Body Double - Brian De Palma (1984)
  30. Something Wild - Jonathan Demme (1986)
  31. The Road Warrior - George Miller (1981)
  32. Blow Out - Brian De Palma (1981)
  33. Damnation - Bela Tarr (1989)
  34. Das Boot - Wolfgang Petersen (1981)
  35. Airplane! - David Abrahams, David Zucker, Jerry Zucker (1980)
  36. The Empire Strikes Back - Irvin Kershner (1980)
  37. Mad Max - George Miller (1980)
  38. A Fish Called Wanda - Charles Crichton (1988)
  39. Videodrome - David Cronenberg (1983)
  40. Fatal Attraction - Adrian Lyne (1987)
  41. Raising Arizona - Joel Coen (1987)
  42. Drugstore Cowboy - Gus Van Sant (1989)
  43. Yeelen - Souleyman Cisse (1987)
  44. Blues Brothers - John Landis (1980)
  45. Platoon - Oliver Stone (1986)
  46. The Draughtman's Contract - Peter Greenaway (1982)
  47. Ghostbusters - Ivan Reitman (1984)
  48. The Seventh Continent - Michael Haneke (1989)
  49. Full Metal Jacket - Stanley Kubrick (1987)
  50. Frantic - Roman Polanski (1988)
  51. The Purple Rose of Cairo - Woody Allen (1985)

This is too much fun. Suggestions: The Thin Blue Line, Christmas Story, My Dinner with Andre, Body Heat, Do The Right Thing, Evil Dead 2, Fanny and Alexander, The Shining, Airplane!, Amadeus, Back to the Future, and Videodrome. And maybe I'm being nostalgic but I really reckon that Pee Wee's Big Adventure is a great film.

Thanks for the suggestions. Don't think I've seen The Thin Blue Line, My Dinner with Andre, Fanny & Alexander or Evil Dead 2 but the rest are probably in the 7-ish range for me.

Definitely put those on your must see list. Evil Dead 2 is probably the most fun, while Thin Blue Line is the most profound.

Sans Soleil needs to find itself in the second spot on the list. It's a whole new kind of sight, incredible.

Hmmm, haven't seen it but when I do I'll get back to you on that. Thanks.

This essay on Wings of Desire may interest you.

You're right, a very good read. Carney did a great job of describing the films qualities. One thing I'd never quite thought of to the degree he states it is the different spatial relationships in the film (passengers in cars, subway trains, apartments, behind windows, etc) as representations of how closed off they were from eachother.

Recently got around to seeing 'Possession' (1981). It was outstanding. Agree with your ranking of the film as well as the supplemental rankings of the elements which exist within it...Isabelle Adjani's performance may be the best ever. Great find, AfterHours!

...still don't agree with those highly rated Aldrich films you love ;)

Thanks, I'm really glad you liked it. Such an underrated/under seen film. And yes, oh my, Adjani's performance ranks right up there. Has there ever been an actor/actress that put more into a role?

Re: Aldrich ... aww, schucks... :)

curious...what's with the recent dropping of Blue Velvet? You had it a 9 or near 9 for so long...not that I disagree with your new rating of the film at all. I've rated it in the low 90's (a 7.5-8 by your scale) for some time. Just wondering...

I'm not too surprised it "came back down to Earth" because I had it as an 8 up until a couple years ago, and for a lot longer than it remained as a 9. But yea, I dropped it a few weeks ago (whenever I last watched it on my "top 10 of the week" list). The last two times I've watched it, the intensity and degree of impact it had on me wasn't quite as sustained as I remembered. I gave it the benefit of the doubt the first time, but on this, the second, decided to make the change. Still one of the greatest films ever though. Probably just a case of watching so many 7.5 - 9.5's over the last few years and it doesn't seem that much better than any of the 7.8-8.0's any more, while also seeming somewhat less impressive than several 8.5's (save for a few that I might drop soon).

Also, I still need to revisit Inland Empire to see how well it holds up. Oh the time...

Amazing 3 1/2 minute excerpt/tribute to Tarkovsky's Nostalghia, perhaps the most profoundly moving film ever made:

Re-added Tarr's Damnation. Not sure where it had gone off to...