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Subject: Rent (2005) and Eighties Movies


Author:
Conrad, Author "Old School Romance" from Vintage Romance Publishing
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Date Posted: 17:25:31 11/03/06 Fri

Now that the Halloween season is over, thought I'd bring up a movie from last year I saw on DVD, "Rent," based on a popular stage musical. I loved the beautiful songs and music; people should know, though, that it contains some material that is very adult in content, though handled with good taste and sensitivity.

But what struck me most about the film is that it is further evidence of the popularity of the 1980s. This is a cultural phenomena I believe is unparralled in recent history. I've never seen anything like it.

The closest equivilent to this is nostalgia for the 1950s, which in my generation was the decade most people remembered most fondly. But the difference was, when the fifties were over, they were over. Occasional fifties revivals were exclusively in entertainment, usually through films or costume contests. The eighties, however, just plain refuse to go away.

There are radio stations across the country that play nothing but eighties music. Hundreds of web pages are dedicated to the eighties. Movies set in the eighties (like "Rent" or "The Wedding Singer") are produced every year. And most of all, whenever they need sales to go up, the fashion industry "revives" eighties fashion. Anyone see that article on AOL news a few weeks ago how "the Eighties have returned" in fashion? I thought, "Right, for about the hundreth time." No one wears 1950s poodle skirts or peg pants anymore, except in costume parties, but eighties fashions are revived for regular wear over and over again.

I have been puzzled by this, because the eighties were actually a pretty tough decade, when money was tight. "Rent" deals with this, and yet also makes even that poverty look glamorous and appealing. I'm convinced it was the movies of that decade that have fueld eighties nostalgia. Most of them were photographed in bright, vibrant colors, with music-powered soundtracks, and featuring extrodinarily good looking young people having a good time, with lots of money to spend.

"Footloose," "Girls Just Want to Have Fun," "Pretty in Pink," "Sixteen Candles" all come readily to mind. Films and TV shows of the decade also tend to show people living a relaxed lifestyle in which everone is easy going. Even the gritty shows of the time, like "Miami Vice," were tinged with a aglamorous atmosphere.

What do you think? And what are your favorite eighties movies?

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Replies:
[> Subject: Hey Conrad... Interesting post. Well two of my favorites that come to mind are The Breakfast Club and Less Than Zero. I see what you mean about most of the 80s movies being about rich kids, just having a good time, but both of the movies I have just listed take the lower class into consideration. In The Breakfast Club, you have a group of kids from different classes and walks of life, locked together in a room. That is what makes it so appealing, I think. These are kids that would never have given each other the time of day unless they were forced to do so. Less Than Zero shows the pitfalls the typical 80s elite lifestyle, having lots of money and not enough parenting. I think the 80s was the beginning of the end for the American family as we knew it.


Author:
Ang
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Date Posted: 08:04:51 11/04/06 Sat


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[> Subject: Re: Rent (2005) and Eighties Movies


Author:
Kimmie
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Date Posted: 15:25:43 11/06/06 Mon

Rent is a lovely musical I saw it live, I don't believe it's 80s though, the musical dvd version was made last year I believe.

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[> [> Subject: Dear Kimmie: What I was referring to was the time period both the play and the movie were. It mainly takes place on New Year's Eve, 1989, and continues on through 1990, though the culture of that year was basically still that of the eighties.


Author:
Conrad
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Date Posted: 21:08:35 11/07/06 Tue


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[> [> [> Subject: Ok I get what you mean.....


Author:
Kimmie
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Date Posted: 20:41:00 11/08/06 Wed

Sorry!

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[> Subject: Just to clarify my last statement: I'm actually making my assessment based on the movie, because I never saw the play on stage, so I don't know if there were any differences between the stage and film versions. In any case, the first part of the movie version takes place on New Year's Eve of 1989, and the rest of the film takes place in 1990.


Author:
Conrad
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Date Posted: 21:17:06 11/07/06 Tue


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