|It Was 25 Years Ago... The
Films of 1980
Some of these films, and others, are also playing
at the Aero Theatre April 28 - May 4, 2005.
To many looking back, the year 1980 signaled not only the
end of the 70s a decade that saw Watergate, the end of the Vietnam War, the
birth of punk and disco - but also the finish of the turbulent, brilliant creative decade
thats come to be known as The New Hollywood. So the question is: was 1980 the nail
in the coffin of possibly the greatest period in Hollywood history or was it a
crossroads, when the movie industry began to split into two distinct but related camps,
the Blockbuster and the Independent film? At the quarter century mark, its a good
time to take a closer look at a watershed year that saw mainstream Hollywood in full force
with mega-hit comedies (THE BLUES BROTHERS), horror films (FRIDAY THE 13th)
and a terrific, much-anticipated sequel (THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK) to one of the
most successful films of all time. At the other end of the spectrum, 1980 also fostered
the nascent American indie film scene in movies such as director John Sayles THE RETURN
OF THE SECAUCUS 7 and Jonathan Demmes wildly offbeat MELVIN AND HOWARD.
And before anyone says the creative explosion of the New Hollywood had died out,
theres Martin Scorseses towering masterpiece RAGING BULL and David
Lynchs eerie, heartbreaking THE ELEPHANT MAN.
Thursday, April 14 8:00 PM
RAGING BULL, 1980, MGM/UA, 128 min. Widely regarded as
one of the finest American movies of the past 25 years, director Martin Scorseses
masterpiece is a stunning b&w portrait of prizefighter Jake La Motta (Robert
DeNiro) and his harrowing, destructive bouts in and out of the ring. Winner of Academy
Awards for Best Actor (DeNiro) and Editing (Thelma Schoonmaker). With Cathy Moriarty, Joe
Pesci. At 7:30 PM, Boxing Coach Mick E. Jones (former National
Golden Gloves Champion) and his very own "Million Dollar Babies" will do a
Boxing Demonstration in the Egyptian Theatre Courtyard prior to the film. In collaboration
with the Hollywood YMCA.
>> Also playing at the Aero on April 28.
Friday, April 15 8:00 PM
STAR WARS: EPISODE V THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK,
1980, 20th Century Fox/LucasFilm, 127 min. Dir. Irvin Kershner. Starring
Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill and Billy Dee Williams, with the voices
of Frank Oz and James Earl Jones. George Lucass action-packed (and
surprisingly moving) sequel to the original STAR WARS is everything a great
sci-fi/adventure film should be, filled with astounding set pieces (the battle on the ice
planet Hoth, the Cloud City), as well as rich and wonderful characters (Han Solo and
Princess Leias ongoing romance, Luke and Darth Vaders climactic light saber
duel). And dont forget one of the oddest heroes in all moviedom: 3-foot high Jedi
Master, Yoda! This film originally played
at the Egyptian when it was released 25 years ago!
It opened on May 21, 1980.
>> Also playing at the Aero on April 29.
Saturday, April 16 5:30 PM
THE BLUES BROTHERS, 1980, Universal, 132 min.
"Rollin rollin rollin, keep those doggies rollin
RAWHIDE!!" Jake and Elwood Blues (John Belushi and Dan Akroyd) go on a
cross-country "mission from God" that leaves a mighty trail of destruction in
their wake and some unforgettable musical numbers courtesy of the great Ray Charles,
James Brown and Aretha Franklin. Director John Landis wildly funny
(and over-the-top) film created a genre all its own: the apocalyptic-musical-comedy-road
An Egyptian Theatre Exclusive!
Saturday, April 16 8:15 PM
FRIDAY THE 13TH, 1980, Paramount, 95
min. Director Sean Cunningham synthesized a number of gory elements from earlier
1970s horror pix such as TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE, LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT (which he
produced) and Bava's TWITCH OF THE DEATH NERVE to concoct this prototype of the
slasher-stalks-teens genre, achieving some genuinely creepy frissons and creating box
office magic in the process. After a young boy drowns at Camp Crystal Lake in the late
1950s, a number of teenagers are murdered by an unknown killer. The camp is closed
down, then despite local warnings, reopened again years later in 1980. But the murders
start anew, perpetrated by a hockey mask wearing, seemingly indestructible maniac. With
Betsey Palmer, Adrienne King, Kevin Bacon.
An Egyptian Theatre Exclusive!
Sunday, April 17 5:00 PM
MELVIN AND HOWARD, 1980, Universal, 95 min.
Director Jonathan Demme created one of his most enduring, rewarding films in this
warmly funny sleeper, a hymn to independent dreamers everywhere. Paul LeMat is
perfect as Melvin Dummar, a hapless average Joe who unknowingly gives a ride to the
elderly Howard Hughes (Jason Robards) in the nocturnal Nevada desert and finds he
may be the heir to Hughes vast fortune as a consequence. Mary Steenburgen,
priceless as Melvins lovable, slightly daft spouse, won the Best Supporting Actress
Oscar. Bo Goldman also won an Oscar for Best Screenplay. With a sterling cast that
includes Michael J. Pollard, Jack Kehoe, Gloria Grahame.
THE RETURN OF THE SECAUCUS 7, 1980, IFC Films, 110 min.
John Sayles debut as director also became something of a template for the
emerging American indie film scene: a beautifully nuanced ensemble piece about seven
friends who revisit their 60s radical days ten years after the fact. Its even
more bittersweet to look at the film now, given our distance from 1980 when the film was
made. The movie was also, famously, the inspiration for THE BIG CHILL. Starring Bruce
MacDonald, Maggie Renzie, David Strathairn, Adam Lefevre, John Sayles.
>> MELVIN AND HOWARD also playing at the Aero on a
>> THE RETURN OF THE SECAUCUS 7 An Egyptian Theatre Exclusive!