80s recommendations

Below are the class’ recommendations for examples of good storytelling related to the 80s theme. They’re predominantly video, which is not surprising since that’s probably the dominant form of storytelling for the times, then and now. I’ve included the titles, hyperlinks if provided, and the descriptions:

Philadelphia
While it was released in the early 90s, I believe this movie is a good representation of a major social issue in the 80s that college students of this era may not be aware of. The movie itself is an excellent example of storytelling and reaching out to the audience.

80s Anti-Drug Commercial – Your Brain On Drugs
This was very relevant in the 80s

The Goldbergs
I think it is a comedic way of showing how a typical American family lived in the 80’s but through a more family friendly side. It includes real footage from the 80’s as well as accurately portrays the day to day interactions and objects they would have used. It shows a family’s life in the 80’s but also you can get a glimpse of what things were like before the advanced technology but also what they were like while that technology was coming about. They also have children around the age of highschoolers/college students so many of us can relate and still have the same struggles today which shows how while society had changed and updated, teen struggles stay the same in some instances.

The History of Evolution of Pop Art
This source not only describes what 80’s pop art was like, but also shows lots of examples of pop art and how it evolved in this decade. 

Full House
I grew up watching Full House with my family and everyone loved it. I think it was a hit in the 80s and is still popular today. They also released Fuller House on Netflix with most of the same characters which is insetting to me because it has been a while since the original show had aired. 

The Breakfast Club
I chose The Breakfast Club because I think it is a great visual of the different types of people during the 80s. I also think it showcases the different fashion choices during the time along with the difference of high school and school in general then vs now. 

Pretty in Pink
It is a popular movie from the 80’s that shows teenage problems growing up. I think this movie is a good example of pop culture because it is from a teenage point of view and shows a lot of popular things in the 80’s. 

2001 Documentary on 80s Pop and Birth of MTV Music Videos
The 80s revolutionized the birth of music videos. We suddenly could both hear and see music. It symbolized an era of prosperity.  

Sixteen Candles
“What I wanted to focus on in this movie were the romantic and comedic tropes that were in the 80s that would be considered sensitive today. It showed some of the negative aspects of the 80s that we today would consider controversial whereas in those times it was the norm–or at least, not an issue. For example, the characterization of Long Duk Dong is that of a stereotypical Asian. At that time, playing off of those stereotypes was okay, but today people would consider it offensive from this name, to the way he talked, to the way others treated him. The other issue was its condoning of date rape where Jake Ryan and Ted talk about how they could “”violate”” Jake’s girlfriend Caroline all sorts of ways without her knowing it since she was passed out from a party. During those times, the concept of date rape had not surfaced yet, and so no one would think twice about this as opposed to now.
I recommend this movie for the lens it shines on 80s storytelling with regards to romance and comedy. There were aspects to it that would face much criticism today, but it sheds light on how much has changed between then and now, to see what was acceptable then versus now. Of course, that doesn’t change the fact that it’s a clever romantic-comedy and coming-of-age film with its own timeless charm.
Note: I sent the URL; unfortunately, it is not free to watch and requires some payment to rent/buy.”

the 80s
When the topic ‘the 80s’ come up, I automatically think of music from the 80s such as Micheal Jackson or Bon Jovi. 

Cats
its remake came out in december and the reaction to/connections between the original musical and the new movie musical could be interesting

we didn’t start the fire
It was released in 1989, and the nature of the song is very reflective of the decade as a whole which is interesting, but also on the previous few decades, providing a perspective straight out of the 80’s

Blade Runner
It is an excellent film from the 1980’s which creates a distopian world which may eventually occur

The Goonies
The goonies is a group of kids in the 80s, and it is still iconic today because it represents how carefree and fun being a kid was in this time period. Shows like Strange Things sort of try to replicate it. I think it is important because of how influential the movie is and I think it would be good for discussing!

Retrowaste Blog
I think this source of information is super organized. It has a post for many different aspects of the 80’s that I think would be helpful to look through these. 

Michael Jackson Moonwalking
I think that this gif of michael jackson doing the moonwalk is synonymous with the 80’s.

The point of this exercise was to try to get a group vision of good storytelling (in whatever form it might take) from or about the 80s. By putting all of our ideas together, it might help us get more ideas going forward. Other people may bring up things we missed, didn’t think of, or never knew about.

Literature tends not to come up, maybe because people don’t like to read anymore. I looked up 80s bestsellers, and see that Stephen King shows up repeatedly. It’s interesting to see Jason Bourne there as well. King shows up on the list of 1980s short stories frequently too. I have a personal interest in the graphic novel as a storytelling form. The canonical examples of the form come from the 80s. The Watchmen (available in the Simpson Library) was made into a film a decade ago or so, and inspired a recent HBO series. The Dark Knight Returns (which can be borrowed through the Internet Archive) had a lasting impact on the vision of Batman and superheroes in general. One thing that in particular that interests me about these two works is the use of design in storytelling, through illustration, through the construction of the page, and through the structure of the works. 

There are podcasts about the 80s for people who are into that sort of thing, but as far as I can tell it wasn’t a great era for audio drama. 

To add to thoughts on the theme, I have a couple of earlier posts, one with a goofy video about the past as archeology and one with a conversation about the times and the course. As I mentioned before, I’m interested in how the past informs the present. Blade Runner is an interesting example because the film was set in current times. It’s how the 80s saw today. I don’t expect anyone to share my interests though. Individually and as a group we will determine where we go with this theme.

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1 Response to 80s recommendations

  1. Pingback: Week Three: “Wouldn’t you prefer a good game of chess?” – This Week in DS106

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