BAMcinématek: Indie 80s: Jul 17—Aug 27, 2015by mcm1071989 | created - 17 Jul 2015 | updated - 10 Oct 2015 | Public
BAMcinématek and Cinema Conservancy present this six week, 60+ film series spotlighting the independent films of the neglected decade between the golden age of 70s New Hollywood and the indie boom of the 90s. Exploring the textures of regional America and uncovering alternative histories to the supposed monoculture of the Reagan years, independent filmmakers of the 1980s offered up an edgy alternative to overblown Hollywood blockbusters and the straight-laced conservatism of the era.
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1. Hollywood Shuffle (1987)
R | 78 min | Comedy
An actor limited to stereotypical roles because of his ethnicity, dreams of making it big as a highly respected performer. As he makes his rounds, the film takes a satiric look at African American actors in Hollywood.
Votes: 3,058 | Gross: $5.23M
2. Stranger Than Paradise (1984)
R | 89 min | Comedy, Drama
A self-styled New York hipster is paid a surprise visit by his younger cousin from Budapest. From initial hostility and indifference a small degree of affection grows between the two. Along... See full summary »
Votes: 28,089 | Gross: $2.44M
R | 93 min | Documentary, Music
Documentary showcase, what life was like for the music artists living during the Los Angeles Heavy Metal scene in the mid and late 1980s.
Votes: 2,603 | Gross: $0.37M
4. Sidewalk Stories (1989)
R | 97 min | Comedy
Nearly silent comedy filmed in black and white follows a street artist (Charles Lane), who rescues a baby after her father was murdered. The artist then sets off to find the mother, but has... See full summary »
Votes: 242 | Gross: $0.13M
5. Sherman's March (1985)
Not Rated | 157 min | Documentary, Biography, Comedy
Ross McElwee sets out to make a documentary about the lingering effects of General Sherman's march of destruction through the South during the Civil War, but is continually sidetracked by ... See full summary »
6. Heat and Sunlight (1987)
R | 98 min | Drama
Over 16 hours, in February, 1987, a man confronts jealously and rage as a love affair falters. Photojournalist Mel Hurley returns home to San Francisco on the eve of his birthday, expecting... See full summary »
7. Poto and Cabengo (1980)
Not Rated | 77 min | Documentary
Two young twins in the USA have invented their own shared language. Scientists are wanting to study the language but social workers are trying to get the twins to leave their secret ... See full summary »
11. Trouble in Mind (1985)
R | 111 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama
The lives of an ex-con, a coffee-shop owner, and a young couple looking to make it rich intersect in the fictional and hypnotic Rain City.
Votes: 1,284 | Gross: $0.02M
12. Smooth Talk (1985)
PG-13 | 92 min | Drama, Romance, Thriller
A free-spirited 15-year-old girl flirts with a dangerous stranger in the Northern California suburbs and must prepare herself for the frightening and traumatic consequences.
Votes: 1,336 | Gross: $0.02M
13. River's Edge (1986)
R | 99 min | Crime, Drama
A high school slacker commits a shocking act and proceeds to let his friends in on the secret. However, the friends' reaction is almost as ambiguous and perplexing as the crime itself.
Votes: 13,027 | Gross: $4.60M
14. A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
R | 91 min | Horror
Several people are hunted by a cruel serial killer who kills his victims in their dreams. While the survivors are trying to find the reason for being chosen, the murderer won't lose any chance to kill them as soon as they fall asleep.
Votes: 167,833 | Gross: $25.50M
15. Losing Ground (1982)
86 min | Comedy, Drama
A comedy-drama about a Black American female philosophy professor and her insensitive, philandering, and flamboyant artist husband who are having a marital crisis. When the wife goes off on... See full summary »
16. Mala Noche (1986)
Not Rated | 78 min | Drama
A story of amour fou. Walt is madly in love/lust with a young illegal Mexican immigrant. However, the object of his unrequited affection doesn't even speak any English and finds Walt really... See full summary »
30 Minutes (1978–1982)
Los Sures (1984)
18. The Thin Blue Line (1988)
Not Rated | 101 min | Documentary, Crime, Drama
A film that successfully argued that a man was wrongly convicted for murder by a corrupt justice system in Dallas County, Texas.
Votes: 17,886 | Gross: $1.21M
19. Matewan (1987)
PG-13 | 135 min | Drama, History
A labor union organizer comes to an embattled mining community brutally and violently dominated and harassed by the mining company.
Votes: 6,240 | Gross: $1.68M
20. Lightning Over Braddock: A Rustbowl Fantasy (1988)
80 min | Documentary
Tony Buba, a film maker from Braddock, Pennsylvania, tells the story of his hometown's decline (along with the rest of the steel mill towns along the Monongahela River) while he dreams of ... See full summary »
Votes: 48 | Gross: $0.02M
21. The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez (1982)
PG | 105 min | Western
After he is accused of murdering a lawman in 1901 Texas, a Mexican-American farmer flees and manages to elude a large posse for two weeks before he is finally captured.
23. Vigilante (1982)
R | 90 min | Action, Crime, Thriller
Eddie Marino is a factory worker in New York City. He has a wife named Vickie and a son named Scott. Eddie's friend and co-worker Nick and some of the factory's other workers have formed a ... See full summary »
24. Blank Generation (1980)
Not Rated | 90 min | Music, Drama
Nada, a beautiful French journalist on assignment in New York, records the life and work of an up and coming punk rock star, Billy. Soon she enters into a volatile relationship with him and... See full summary »
26. Bell Diamond (1986)
A telling story of an unemployed Vietnam vet in Butte, Montana, whose wife leaves him after seven years when she feels there is no longer communication between them and - more painfully and... See full synopsis »
27. Parting Glances (1986)
90 min | Drama, Music, Romance
As Michael and Robert, a gay couple in New York, prepare for Robert's departure for a two-year work assignment in Africa, Michael must face Robert's true motives for leaving while dealing ... See full summary »
Votes: 2,350 | Gross: $0.54M
28. True Love (I) (1989)
R | 104 min | Comedy, Romance
Donna and Michael are getting married. But first, they have to plan the reception, get the tux, buy the rings, and cope with their own uncertainty about the decision. Michael fears ... See full summary »
Votes: 605 | Gross: $1.35M
31. Day of the Dead (1985)
Not Rated | 96 min | Horror, Thriller
A small group of military officers and scientists dwell in an underground bunker as the world above is overrun by zombies.
Votes: 54,039 | Gross: $5.80M
32. Seventeen (1983)
Not Rated | 120 min | Documentary
In their final year at Muncie's Southside High School, a group of seniors hurtles toward maturity with a combination of joy, despair, and an aggravated sense of urgency. They are also ... See full summary »
33. Blood Simple. (1984)
R | 99 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller
A rich but jealous man hires a private investigator to kill his cheating wife and her new man. But, when blood is involved, nothing is simple.
Votes: 73,341 | Gross: $2.15M
34. Blue Velvet (1986)
R | 120 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller
The discovery of a severed human ear found in a field leads a young man on an investigation related to a beautiful, mysterious nightclub singer and a group of psychopathic criminals who have kidnapped her child.
Votes: 148,688 | Gross: $8.55M
35. Swimming to Cambodia (1987)
R | 85 min | Comedy, Drama
Votes: 1,774 | Gross: $1.09M
36. Let's Get Lost (1988)
Not Rated | 120 min | Documentary, Biography, Music
Documentary on the life of jazz trumpeter and drug addict Chet Baker. Fascinating series of interviews with friends, family, associates and lovers, interspersed with film from Baker's ... See full summary »
37. Landlord Blues (1988)
Not Rated | 90 min | Comedy
A greedy landlord wants to evict a bicycle shop from his property and replace it with a high-rent-paying art gallery. The environment-conscious owner of the bike shop outwits the avaricious landlord in a high-speed bike chase.
38. Vortex (1982)
Not Rated | 90 min | Thriller
A film noirish atmosphere is created to show detective Lunch (a popular underground musician and poet) plow her way through the plans of a corporate businessman who seeks government defense... See full summary »
Corazón Valiente (2012– )
Action, Crime, Drama
43. Sex, Lies, and Videotape (1989)
R | 100 min | Drama
A sexually repressed woman's husband is having an affair with her sister. The arrival of a visitor with a rather unusual fetish changes everything.
Votes: 41,081 | Gross: $24.74M
44. This Is Spinal Tap (1984)
R | 82 min | Comedy, Music
Spinal Tap, one of England's loudest bands, is chronicled by film director Marty DiBergi on what proves to be a fateful tour.
Votes: 112,912 | Gross: $0.19M
45. The Unbelievable Truth (1989)
R | 90 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance
A man returns to his home town after serving a prison sentence for homicide, and finds that the details of the crime have been forgotten and replaced with local legends and rumors.
Votes: 3,930 | Gross: $0.55M
46. Ms .45 (1981)
R | 80 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller
A timid and mute seamstress goes insane after being attacked and raped twice in one day, in which she takes to the streets of New York City after dark and randomly shoots men with a .45 caliber pistol.
49. Chan Is Missing (1982)
Not Rated | 80 min | Drama, Mystery
Two cabbies search San Francisco's Chinatown for a mysterious character who has disappeared with their $4000. Their quest leads them on a humorous, if mundane, journey which illuminates the... See full summary »
50. The Ties That Bind (1985)
Not Rated | 55 min | Documentary
The Ties That Bind is an experimental documentary about the filmmaker's mother, who was born and lived in southern Germany from 1920-1950. Through a mixture of personal anecdote and social ... See full summary »
53. Who Killed Vincent Chin? (1987)
87 min | Crime, Documentary
This film recounts the murder of Vincent Chin, an automotive engineer mistaken as Japanese who was slain by an assembly line worker who blamed him for the competition by the Japanese auto ... See full summary »
55. Wild Style (1983)
R | 82 min | Drama, Music
Legendary New York graffiti artist Lee Quinones plays the part of Zoro, the city's hottest and most elusive graffiti writer. The actual story of the movie concerns the tension between ... See full summary »
56. Roger & Me (1989)
R | 91 min | Documentary
Votes: 23,901 | Gross: $6.71M
57. My Dinner with Andre (1981)
PG | 110 min | Biography, Comedy, Drama
Two old friends meet for dinner; as one tells anecdotes detailing his experiences, the other notices their differing worldviews.
Votes: 13,647 | Gross: $5.25M
59. Poetry in Motion (1982)
Not Rated | 91 min | Documentary
More than 20 contemporary North American poets recite, sing, and perform their work. Several also comment. Early in the film, Charles Bukowski talks about the energy of poets and of a poem.... See full summary »
62. Say Amen, Somebody (1982)
G | 100 min | Documentary, Music
Documentary about the American gospel music scene, focusing on two of the movement's pioneering forces, Thomas A. Dorsey and Willie May Ford Smith.
63. Patti Rocks (1988)
R | 86 min | Comedy, Drama
It's Christmas time in the twin cities. Billy's working a lot of overtime, running barges on the Mississippi. He calls his friend Eddie, whom he hasn't seen in six months, and asks a favor:... See full summary »
Votes: 255 | Gross: $0.35M
64. Sleepwalk (1986)
R | 78 min | Drama, Fantasy
A woman is hired to transcribe an ancient Chinese manuscript. She finds that little by little, the manuscript has powers that begin to take over her life.
66. Chameleon Street (1989)
R | 94 min | Comedy, Drama
William Douglas Street is bored with his life. Working for his father is getting to him, his wife wants more money, and he's had enough. His solution is to re-invent himself. He becomes a ... See full summary »
Votes: 390 | Gross: $0.24M