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  • Writer's pictureEllen Cheshire

#1930to2020: Films from 1970 - 1989

Updated: May 5, 2023

With limited access to cinemas, I'm still having fun discovering new films and revisiting old favourites at home. Back in June 2020 I started an ambitious viewing project: #1930to2020. Each day I’d watch at least one film from that day’s year. Over the past 20 days I've watched 52 films from 1970 - 1989. 32 were new to me, 20 were re-visits.

You can read my blog on the 59 films I watched from 1930 – 1949 here. You can read about the 68 films I watched from 1950 - 1969 here.

You can read my comments on all the films on my twitter @cheshellen on #1930to2020 hashtag or on my letterboxd. The full list is below.

For those interested in knowing more about films directed by women, from the films I watched over these two decades 21 of the 51 films were by female filmmakers. I managed to watched one film directed by a woman from each year in this 1970 - 1989 period. Very few films by the same director which was a refreshing change. The only 'repeat' director was Joan Micklin Silver who directed three films I watched from these two decades.

In a separate viewing passion of mine I watched 6 time travel movies in the 1979 to 1989 period: The Two Worlds of Jennie Logan, Time After Time, Somewhere in Time, Time Bandits, Timestalkers and Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure. David Warner (right) appeared in two of these: Time Bandits & Time After Time.

Top 5 new to me films

1976: Daguerréotypes d. Agnes Varda

The most exquisite doc you could hope to see. Varda's love letter to her local shopkeepers on the Rue Daguerre, Paris. Enjoyed seeing them in action and in wittily edited interviews. Also see a local magic show. A real treasure from a lost past.

1977: Peppermint Soda d. Diane Kurys

A year in the life of two French sisters: 13 year old Anne (Eléonore Klarwein) and 15 year old Frederique (Odile Michel). Everything and nothing happens, triumphs and tribulations of one girl keen to be a woman, and her younger sister trying to keep up. A delight.

1979: My Brilliant Career d. Gillian Armstrong

Set in late 19th-century Australia yet reflecting 1970s concern. Sybylla’s (Judy Davis) desire to be a writer and not to marry marks her out as an oddity. Her spirit attracts the attention two men (Sam Neill and Robert Grubb). Lovely.

1985: Just One of the Guys d. Lisa Gottlieb

When Terry (Joyce Hyser) loses a writing competition to 2 boys, she thinks it's cos she's a girl, so transfers to another school posing as a boy. What follows is what you'd expect from a high school gender swapping comedy. A real gem.

1989: Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure d. Stephen Herek

Failing history, two slackers Bill (Winter) and Ted (Reeves) have 24 hours to put together their high school history presentation, so of course they travel through time picking famous/infamous historical figures. Excellent! Party on Dudes!

Top 5 re-visits

1979: Time After Time d. Nicholas Meyer

H G Wells (Malcolm McDowell) shows off his time machine to his mates, little realising that one of them is secretly Jack the Ripper (David Warner), who uses the machine to escape the police and head into the future, Wells swiftly follows. Ace!

1980: Private Benjamin d. Howard Zieff

When Judy's (Goldie Hawn) husband dies on their wedding night, she joins the army. Comedic basic training led by tough Captain (Eileen Brennan) brings friendships/rewards. A romance with Henri (Armand Assante) really shows what she's made of.

1981: Body Heat w/d. Lawrence Kasdan

Sultry sexy Maddy (Kathleen Turner) seduces schlubby lawyer Ned (William Hurt) in this stunning stylish riff on the classic film noirs of the 40s/50s. Maddy a fabulous example of the femme fatale at work (and play). A must-see movie.

1986: Little Shop of Horrors d. Frank Oz

Suddenly and without warning... I found myself watching once again one of the sweetest, catchiest musicals about a carnivorous plant there is! Despite the odd murder or two, a delight from beginning to end, especially as film end, less dark than stage show.

1988: Salaam Bombay! d. Mira Nair

11 year old Krishna (Shafiq Syed) abandoned by a travelling circus finds himself in Bombay where he has to struggle to survive amongst the other, elder street kids, drug dealers/users, prostitutes/pimps. Devastating/beautiful - full of life/sadness.

And Here's the full list...

1. 1970: Wanda w/d. Barbara Loden

2. 1970: On a Clear Day You Can See Forever d. Vincente Minnelli

3. 1970: The AristoCats d. Wolfgang Reitherman

4. 1970: I Clowns d. Federico Fellini

5. 1971: Velvet Vampire d. Stephanie Rothman

6. 1972: The Seduction of Mimi d. Lina Wertmüller

7. 1972: The Heartbreak Kid. d. Elaine May

8. 1972: Another Fine Mess d. Bob Einstein

9. 1973: The Satanic Rights of Dracula d. Alan Gibson

10. 1973: The Way We Were d. Sydney Pollack

11. 1974: Thunderbolt and Lightfoot d. Michael Cimino

12. 1974: Je Tu Il Elle d. Chantal Akerman

13. 1975: The Naked Civil Servant d. Jack Gold

14. 1975: Hester Street d. Joan Micklin Silver

15. 1976: Daguerréotypes d. Agnes Varda

16. 1977: The Rescuers d. Wolfgang Reitherman, John Lounsbery & Art Stevens. Read my blog on The Rescuers here.

17. 1977: Come Spy With Me d. Philip Casson

18. 1977: Between the Lines d. Joan Micklin Silver

19. 1977: Peppermint Soda d. Diane Kurys

20. 1978: Return From Witch Mountain d. John Hough

21. 1978: Death on the Nile d. John Guillermin

22. 1978: Ice Castles d. Donald. Wrye

23. 1978: Girlfriends d. Claudia Weill

24. 1979: The Two Worlds of Jennie Logan d. Frank De Felitta

25. 1979: My Brilliant Career d. Gillian Armstrong

26. 1979: Time After Time d. Nicholas Meyer

27. 1980: Somewhere in Time d. Jeannot Szwarc

28. 1980: The Life and Times of Rosie the Riveter d. Connie Field

29. 1980: Private Benjamin d. Howard. Zieff

30. 1981: Body Heat w/d. Lawrence Kasdan

31. 1981: Anybody’s Woman d. Bette Gordon

32. 1981: Time Bandits d. Terry Gilliam

33. 1982: Tron d. Steven Lisberger

34. 1982: Grease 2 d. Patricia Birch

35. 1983: Valley Girl d. Martha Coolidge

36. 1984: Blood. Simple d. Coen Brothers

37. 1984: Full Moon in Paris d. Eric Rohmer

38. 1984: Hookers...On Davie d. Janis Cole/Holly Dale

39. 1985: Thirteen at Dinner d. Lou Antonio

40. 1985: Just One of the Guys d. Lisa Gottlieb

41. 1985: Prizzi's Honor d. John Huston

42. 1986: Dead Man’s Folly d. Clive Donner

43. 1986: Murder in Three Acts d. Gary Nelson

44. 1986: Little Shop of Horrors d. Frank Oz

45. 1986: 2 Friends d. Jane Campion

46. 1987: Timestalkers d. Michael Schultz

47. 1987: Back to the Beach d. Lyndall Hobbs

48. 1988: Salaam Bombay! d. Mira Nair Read my blog on another Mira Nair film, Mississippi Masala here.

49. 1988: Appointment with Death d. Michael Winner

50. 1989: Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure d. Stephen Herek

51. 1989: Loverboy d. Joan Micklin Silver

52. 1989: Edge of Sanity d. Gérard Kikoïne

Taking a week off from this project so I can enjoy the 5th Femme Filmmakers Festival, read more here.


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