Thursday List – Born into Film: 1983 – John Dougherty
So this little series is up and running, this week we have a friend of FRC in the chair, John Dougherty and his take on 1983
1983 – The year of my birth! Lucky you, world!
It’s now time to go back, 28 years, and visit the world of cinema for that year. Which movies graced us with their presence – and which of them would we still watch today?
Well, in fact, 1983 was a terrible year for films. Not only did Terms of Endearment win the Academy Award for Best Picture, it beat The Big Chill, The Dresser, The Right Stuff and Tender Mercies in doing so. Also released that year: Superman III, Jaws 3D and Psycho II. Wow. That is bad. So, of course I thought it would be a struggle to come up with any films for this list – but I was wrong. Without further ado, here is my Top 5 Films Released in 1983:
#1. Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi
Yes, yes I know it isn’t the best one, but it’s my favourite. Who doesn’t love the chase sequence, on the speeder bikes? And Yoda’s death, of course. *sob*
#2. Fanny and Alexander
I recently saw Bergman’s “self-styled farewell to cinema” for the first time. As good as acting you’re ever likely to see, from a superb script.
#3. The Man with Two Brains
This is one of my Top 5 all-time favourite comedies. Where to begin? Dr. Hfuhruhurr. “I couldn’t fuck a gorilla!”. The drunk test. A brilliant comedy!
#4. Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life
Again, as with Return Of The Jedi, not as good as either of its predecessors, but it’s still Monty Python – and it is hilarious. We all know Mr. Creosote, but let’s not forget “Every Sperm Is Sacred”, the sex education lesson and the Live Organ Transplants. Highly funny!
Ok, the violence is excessive, it offensively portrays the Cuban community as criminals and Pacino’s accent is simply awful. But it’s eminently memorable – from Pacino’s request to say Hello to his little friend, to the chainsaw scene. It has that stylised, 80’s high sheen, which coupled with its themes of excess, lend the film a sense of decadence. Above all though, it entertains.
In a small caveat I should add here that there were some films released that year which others may have chosen – but I have yet to see. I can think of Videodrome, The Dead Zone and The King Of Comedy, to name but a few.
Now, my 3 favourite people list comes courtesy of “Film debuts”. 1983 saw the film debuts of several future stars. But, my top 3 are as follows:
#1. Put simply, Class is an awful film. It’s a mix of genres, of which none work together. But the film is famous for introducing us to the future Martin Blank – John Cusack.
#2. I have never seen Liberty Belle. But I would like to thank it, sincerely, for introducing us all to Juliette Binoche. Thank you.
#3. Finally, without Max Dugan Returns, there may have been no Ferris Bueller – so let’s thank it for giving Matthew Broderick his film debut.
John Dougherty is a great guy and avid film lover that can be found on twitter telling us all what to see and what not to see under his handle @tseeornottosee, if you do not follow him…. WHY NOT?
About The Author – Scott Lawlor
Chief Editor of FRC. A self confessed geek with an unhealthy thirst for all things Home Cinema. Whether it is the latest Action film or Subwoofer. Check out his home set up HERE
Did you enjoy John’s list? Have any thoughts on your chosen films? Want to take part one week? Comment below!