t September 2012 | sh C. K. Kelly Martin o

yesterday blog tour: Sept 23 - 28
Just a reminder that the Yesterday blog tour begins tomorrow at Diary of a Bookworm! There are also some swoon-worthy reviews of Yesterday starting to appear including ones from CM Magazine: Canadian Review of Material, Happy Owl Books, Dark Faerie Tales, Stacked, Boekie's Book Reviews and YA Reads where Yesterday is the book of the month and you can enter to win 1 of 3 copies.

With Yesterday hitting shelves this coming Tuesday, sadly it's time to wrap up my nostalgic musings on the 80s. But first, here's the concluding post about music from 1980-1985.

People's relationship to music was very different pre-Internet and as a teenager I haunted my local record stores to browse and purchase new music. Better still was when I could travel to downtown Toronto to hang out in Sam the Record Man, with its vast collection of offerings (I've never stopped missing Sam's!). I also spent alot of time—more than most people I knew—listening to the radio and watching MuchMusic and the video shows that preceeded it.

The 80s was a terrifically dynamic time for music and I think many people would agree that pop music doesn't get any more angsty than Morrissey singing:

"There's a club if you'd like to go
You could meet somebody who really loves you
So you go and you stand on your own
And you leave on your own
And you go home and you cry
And you want to die
."


The 80s just wouldn't have been the eighties without the edgy ache of new wave. I still ache when I hear songs like How Soon is Now, Yazoo's Nobody's Diary, Depeche Mode's Somebody, Tears for Fears' Mad World or Bronski Beat's Smalltown Boy. How could anyone not?


There's a naked honesty in these songs—a depth of emotion that I have wonder if we've almost become afraid of in this age bent on cynicism and obsessed with superficialities. Not that 80s music consisted solely of opening up an emotional vein and bleeding onto the vinyl, to be sure. The first half of the decade (since that what's I'm concentrating on in this series) is also chock full of damn fine lighter fare too, songs full of sunshine and optimism or even ones that didn't have much to say but just made you want to dance or punch the air. Remember these fantastic tunes?

The Go-Go's, We Got The Beat:

Banarama, Shy Boy

Duran Duran, Is There Something I Should Know

Howard Jones, Things Can Only Get Better

The Belle Stars, Sign of the Times



In a Big Country, Big Country

Haircut One Hundred, Love Plus One



If you've already read Yesterday you'll remember that early on main character Freya becomes friends with a couple of new wave kids who stick out in the school hallways. During 1985, as I lived, it there were very visible groups of new wavers at school—diehard fans of bands like The Smiths, Depeche Mode, The Cure, The Psychedic Furs, and Echo and The Bunnymen who emulated the style of such bands. But the new wavers weren't the only hardcore music fans at my high school—there was a second group that was equally passionate about hard rock and heavy metal bands. At that time, teens ins Southern Ontario referred to this group as "rock-ons." While the new wavers generally wore pale makeup, dyed their hair black and dressed in dark clothing, the "rock-ons" had their own distinct style which consisted mainly of mullets and Kodiak boots (perpetually untied). Although overall I enjoyed new wave music more than hard rock I never fully committed to either camp and bought music from across the spectrum (all my babysitting music went on tapes, vinyl and concert tickets). Here are a few of my favourite hard rock songs from the early 80s:

Scorpions, Still Loving You

Saga, Scratching the Surface

Def Leppard, Photograph

AC/DC, You Shook Me All Night Long

Marillion, Kayleigh

Van Halen, I'll Wait

Twisted Sister, We're Not Gonna Take It


Finally, although the 80s isn't generally regarded as a sexy time like the free love era of the sixties (which Freya visits in virtual reality) there were some pretty hot songs. Here are some of my personal favourites from 1980-85.

Modern English, I Melt With You

INXS, The One Thing

Adam and the Ants, Physical THIS ONE IS HEAT FACTOR 10.
Proceed with caution!

Romeo Void, Never Say Never

'You Shook Me All Night Long' by AC/DC (embedded earlier in the page! Scroll up)
Bryan Ferry, Slave to Love

Bryan Ferry, Windswept

Blondie, Call Me
Joan Jett & The Blackhearts, I Love Rock N' Roll

The Rolling Stones, Start Me Up

Sheena Easton, For Your Eyes Only



There's nothing like music to hurl you back in time and in a way that means I visit the 80s not infrequently, but I'm happy to have had a longer stay in the past thanks to Yesterday. If you read the book I hope you'll also enjoy the trip.

The best music is both a pathway to the past and timeless and I'm going to close this entry on a song that is both those things a tune I consider to be one of the most inspirational songs from the 80s from British band Talk Talk.

Read the Rest of the 80s series:
* The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there
* The past is a foreign country: 80s TV
* The past is a foreign country: 80s Movies
* The past is a foreign country: 80s Toys and Technology
With the release of Yesterday just a week away (gasp!) I still have one final 80s post to write. I'm planning to put up my 80s music entry on the weekend but today want to point people in the direction of YA Reads where they're giving away 3 copies of the book. You still have 11 more days to enter the contest and there's also a new interview with me there.

If you want to read more about Yesterday, I hope you'll also catch up with the blog tour which begins this Sunday. I was lucky to work with a great group of Canadian bloggers on this tour who all had fantastic questions and ideas for guest posts. You'll find plenty of Canadian content!
yesterday blog tour: Sept 23 - 28

Diary of a Bookworm September 23
Just a lil' Lost September 24
Mermaid Visions September 25
Evie Bookish September 26
Midnight Bloom Reads September 27
Book Nerd September 28

From November 5th - 9th I'll be at Random Buzzers answering questions so would be happy to see you there too. In between times I expect to be pretty quiet as I work on other projects. I'm applying for an Ontario Arts Council WIP grant which is due October 15th and need to have forty pages of a sparkling new book ready for that. I know some writers could whip forty pages up in no time, but I write at a snail's pace. Anyway, it's much too early to talk about that book yet but here's the first line as proof of its existence:

"Who can really explain why a certain piece of straw is the one that breaks a camel's back?"

After I hand the grant application in, I'm simultaneously moving on to rewrites for my agent and returning to work on yet another YA project. Having taken a writing break for the Toronto International Film Festival earlier in the month I feel like I need to be extra on the ball in order to get everything done but I'm in a bit of a TIFF withdrawal funk and today's rain isn't helping. Is it weird to even miss the movie line-ups? I guess they help raise the thrill of anticipation, plus they give you the chance to hear everyone else's cool TIFF stories!

Anyway, I was lucky to have the chance to sing Happy Birthday to Colin Firth again this year (this last happened to me two years ago when he was here for The King's Speech gala on his birthday) at the premiere of Arthur Newman. Colin Firth''s a total class-act and was very eloquent in answering his questions about the film. He even brought screenwriter, Becky Johnston, who was equally insightful, up on stage to speak about it. Emily Blunt, who has to be one of my favourite female actors, co-stars as the charismatic 'Mike' and was also at the screening.



The most ambitious flick I saw at the festival was the much anticipated Cloud Atlas.



The critic's response to the film was markedly fractured and prompted the following Movie Line article:

Early Reviews: Is Cloud Atlas A Triumph Or A Disaster (Or Both)?

I think the article makes an extremely important point here: "one critic's disaster is another's transcendent cinematic opus." For the record, while I didn't think Cloud Atlas was perfect I greatly admired its scope and aspirations and found it a thrilling watch.

Meanwhile if I were handing out awards for most positive TIFF film The Sessions——based on the true story of Mark O'Brien (played by John Hawkes), a poet paralyzed from the neck down since childhood, who embarks on a voyage to lose his virginity—would have my vote.



I was already a John Hawkes fan——he's what drew me to this movie—and his portrayal of Mark O'Brien is so full of light and warmth that I'm hoping he wins an Oscar for his stunner of a performance. Helen Hunt is outstanding as the sex therapist who helps him too. I loved what she had to say about the film in her interview with The Toronto Star: "For me, the take-away is this sex-positive message that I wish so badly 15-year-olds and 16-year-olds would see (in) this movie…I would so want any young adult that I cared about, along with all the other (sexual) images that they're going to see, to see this." Hear, hear!

Finally, the film that provoked the strongest emotional response from me was Mr. Pip starring Hugh Laurie and Xzannjah, and directed and written by Andrew Adamson, based on the Lloyd Jones novel. I went into the movie knowing little about it but expecting the story of a schoolteacher and young girl who form a friendship based on their shared love of Great Expectations during the Papua New Guinean civil war. What I actually discovered was so much more—a brutality, depth and passionate respect for truth and love that had me thinking about the film for the rest of the evening.


Now you know what I've been up to and what I'll be doing through the fall so I hope you'll forgive me if I'm not around much. Don't forget to check back for my 80s music post this weekend!

So far in my blog series on the early 80s, I've written a post introducing the period and covered my favourite movies and television shows. But the 80s wouldn't have been without the 80s without the popular technology and toys of the time. With that in my mind here's a list of my favourite tech and toys from 1980-1985:

VCRs.

top-loading vcrBefore there was Netflix, before DVDs and even before Blockbuster Video was born (the first store opened in Dallax, Texas in late 1985) VCRs were making their way into homes and changing the way people watched movies and television. The two big formats at the time were Betamax (considered the superior technology) and VHS (the format that won the war despite Betamax's better quality). My family were late-ish in acquiring our first VCR in 1986, but even beforehand we rented machines or occasionally borrowed them from my dad's school over the weekends. The summer I was fourteen we rented a top loading VHS VCR along with the Duran Duran video album and a couple of movies while away at the cottage for a couple of weeks. I was so excited at the thrill of being able to repeatedly watch even the most obscure Duran Duran videos, that it's a wonder my head didn't explode and burn down the cottage. Watching what you wanted exactly when you wanted to watch it was revolutionary and when our own VCR arrived a couple of years later it was pretty awesome to be able to tape General Hospital, Late Night with David Letterman

Merlin

In 1980 and 81 (possibly even 1982!) I was pretty much inseparable from my Merlin, a handheld device the size of a mutant phone that contained 6 different games. I can't imagine how many batteries I must've gone through or remember whatever happened to my Merlin, but I'd love to stumble across one of these again and see if I still remember how to play the tune Molly Malone on it in electronic chirps.



Rubik's Cube

You knew that was coming, right? I think everyone who lived through this period probably had a Rubik's cube in their hands at some time during the early 80s. Its runaway popularity led to a sort of 3D handheld puzzle fad and I probably had ten different games inspired by the Rubik's Cube at one point. But the Rubik's Cube was my first and favourite. I became sort of obsessed by it and worked on it for hours at a time, until I finally figured out how to solve it. I still can't explain the process in words and don't know exactly how I can do it but a part of my brain recognizes the patterns that come up while you're shifting the cube and also knows how to turn the various sides accordingly until the six sides each show a solid colour. There was a time during the early 80s when I could do the cube in 2 minutes but when I tried about five years ago it took much longer.
Pac-Man ghost
Pac-Man
(arcade game)

The 80s was a hot time for arcades and before Atari really took off the best way to get your Pacman fix was to throw a quarter in the machine. This and Burgertime were my favourite arcade games of the time. 

Burgertime (arcade game)

You can check out what Burgertime was like at Shockingly Fun! Games. And if you ask me what I found so compelling about a game centering on a tiny chef who must assemble burgers by walking the length of buns, meat patties, tomatoes, etc.), while being hunted by an egg, hot dog and pickle, I confess that I have no idea, but then, most arcade games didn't make much sense! Better not to apply logic to them.

MTV

You may wonder if I should've stuck this under TV shows but the idea of a channel dedicated solely to pop music felt like a technological breakthrough too. As did the newly popular artistic medium of music videos and their role in selling music. 

MuchMusic (1984 and onwards)

Canada's very own version of MuchMusic hit airwaves in the summer of 1984. After the free trial of the channel was over my main birthday gift the following December was a subscription to MuchMusic. 

Atari

The first mainstream videogame console! Obviously the thrill wasn't dependent on cool graphics. Those didn't exist yet. So the sense of fun in Atari games like Space Invaders, Pac-Man, Pitfall! and Missile Command was more along the lines of what you'd experience playing something like pinball. You can see a list of top-selling Atari Games here. I never played RiverRaid or Atlantis but most of the other titles are familiar and I can't tell you exactly how many times I saved E.T. by sending him home during the early 80s but for awhile saving E.T. was kinda one of my hobbies.


Smurfs

The Smurf craze was at its height when I was in seventh grade. All us Smurf fans taking part would bring our Smurf collections ins and sit them on our desks and, no, the teachers didn't tell us to put them away. I was much less a fan of the show than I was of collecting the toy smurfs but I watched them on TV too and although there was seemingly only one female Smurf—Smurfette—I actually had several female smurfs. I believe my Smurf collection still exists, intact but well-worn, in a box somewhere in my storage locker.

Sony Walkman

As a music format, tapes sucked— they'd get tangled up and warped if you listened to them too many times (as a result I had to throw out most of the favourite albums that I'd purchase on tape from this time). But the coolest thing about tapes was that they allowed you to carry your music with you. Portability! From the moment I got a Walkman my favourite music went everywhere with me (Goodbye, Merlin). Bliss!

Just one more eighties post left. Drop back in next week and read my fav music from 1980-85 entry.

Read the Rest of the 80s series:

* The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there
* The past is a foreign country: 80s TV
* The past is a foreign country: 80s Movies
* The past is a foreign country: 80s Music

Before I get down to my movie list I wanted to shout a quick but loud hurray! Yesterday is YA Reads Book of the Month. Head on over to read their review. I'll also be guest blogging there during the month.

Continuing on with my 80s series (see previous posts on 80s TV and intro to the 80s) today I want to focus on my favourite movies from the first half of the decade. My family bought their first VCR in 1986 and while we were fairly late in getting a machine there were plenty of other people who didn't have a videocassette recorder until then either. In the early 80s people usually watched movies in a theatre or on TV (full of commercials and usually quite awhile after a movie would've finished its theatre run). Theatre runs were also longer than they are today, probably because there was less competition from other types of entertainment which had yet to develop (videogames were in their infancy, the Internet as we know it today wouldn't be born for years to come and in Canada dedicated movie channels were brand new and had few subscribers in the early 80s).

For the first few years of the decade one of my major problems in movie-going was getting the box office clerk to sell me a ticket for movies with an AA rating while I was underage. The Canadian rating meant adult accompaniment was required for viewers under the age of 14 and was usually applied to PG-13 type material. In grades 7 and 8 I was the youngest of my friends but also the tallest and as the majority of the movies we wanted to see fell under the AA rating we'd generally slather on the makeup and try to appear as blasé as possible while approaching the ticket counter. Mostly it worked and like millions of other Canadian kids I saw oodles of AA rated movies well before I turned 14. However, some of the movies listed below I caught up with when they were shown on TV, when our VCR showed up on the scene or when my parents subscribed to the movie channel. You'll see from a few of the groupings I've done here that my top twenty list is a bit of a cheat and even with the groupings comes in at 24. But hey, there were so many movies I loved during that period that making a true top twenty list was pretty impossible. It's also important to note that this is time capsule type list—the movies from the period I would'e called my favourite then, but not necessarily now.

Top 20 + personal film favs from 1980-1985 in no particular order:

E.T. (1982, directed by Steven Spielberg, starring Henry Thomas and Drew Barrymore) This is a movie that totally wears its heart on its sleeve. I went to see the tale of a lost, Reese's Pieces loving alien at the theatre numerous times when it was originally released and I cried at E.T.'s demise on every occasion.

Gorky Park (1983, directed by Michael Apted, starring William Hurt, Joanna Pacula, Brian Dennehy, Lee Marvin and Ian Bannen) /The Big Chill (1983, directed by Lawrence Kasdan, starring William Hurt, Kevin Kline, Jeff Goldblum, Meg Tilly, JoBeth Williams and Tom Berenger)/Body Heat (1981, directed by Lawrence Kasdan, starring William Hurt and Kathleen Turner)/Altered States (1980, directed by Ken Russell, starring William Hurt and Blair Brown). You can see by this William Hurt grouping I was a big fan and if Children of a Lesser God had been made a year earlier I would've squeezed it in here too. In Gorky Park Hurt plays a Moscow police detective investigating a triple homicide. The Big Chill centres on a large group of college friends reunited for the weekend by the death of one of their friends. Body Heat sees Hurt paired with Kathleen Turner who wants him to murder her husband. The film was considered super hot in its day. Altered States, where Hurt plays a scientist conducting experiments that cause him to regress genetically was every bit as trippy as Body Heat was sexy. But personally I like it best when Hurt plays angst which puts Gorky Park at the head of the pack.



Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981, directed by Steven Spielberg, starring Harrison Ford and Karen Allen). Snakes, Nazi bad guys, the Ark of the Covenant and Harrison Ford as our archeologist hero, but then, I don't really need to tell you about this movie, do I? In my opinion it remains one of the best adventure films ever made.

After Hours (1985, directed by Martin Scorsese, starring Griffin Dunne, Rosanna Arquette, Teri Garr and John Heard). Griffin Dunne plays a word-processor unlucky enough to run into Rosanne Arquette in a coffee shop one evening. Soon he's having the worst night of his life in an after-hours New York not unlike an adult version of Alice's 'Wonderland.'

Blade Runner (1982, directed by Ridley Scott, Starring Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer and Sean Young). It's bizarre to think this wasn't the runaway hit it should've been (a victim of bad timing, it seems, as it was released the week after E.T.) but this sci-fi thriller only looks and feels better as time goes by. Rutger Hauer, as the replicant Roy is mesmirizing, but then so is everyone in this movie, which carries with it an aura as thick as smoke but cool as granite. I'm dying to see what Ridley Scott does with the coming sequel.

The Empire Strikes Back (1980, directed by Irvin Kershner, starring Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher)/Return of the Jedi (1983, directed by Richard Marquand starring Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher) My favourite Star Wars movie remains The Empire Strikes Back. Ending on that dark note, with victory uncertain, left us all wanting more. But who can frown at celebrating Ewoks? So I couldn't leave Jedi off the list.

Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982, directed by Amy Heckerling, starring Jennifer Jason Leigh, Sean Penn, Judge Reinhold and Phoebe Cates). Most 80s teen movies were so gentle that this one about a group of California young people seems comparatively hard-edged and realistic. Sean Penn is highly entertaining as stoner Jeff Spicoli but it's Jennifer Jason Leigh's naturalistic performance that you can't take your eyes off.

Letter to Brezhnev (1985, directed by Chris Bernard, starring Peter Firth, Tracy Marshak-Nash and Alfred Molina). Endearing British romantic comedy about a working class girl who falls in love with a Soviet sailer during his one night in Liverpool. Unable to forget him she writes to Soviet leader Brezhnev asking for help in allowing them to be together.

Poltergeist (1982, directed by Tobe Hooper, starring Craig T. Nelson, JoBeth Williams and Heather O'Rourke). I first went to see this film about a family terrorized by ghosts with my own family while we were visiting California and I couldn't stop thinking about the tree behind my bedroom while lying in bed that night. And who would ever give a kid a toy clown? That's just cruel. They're creepy as hell.

This is Spinal Tap (1984, directed by Rob Reiner, starring Michael McKean, Christopher Guest and Harry Shearer). Mock documentary about a hard rock band that inspires genuine fondness for the characters while offering up classic "this one goes to eleven" moments.

The Breakfast Club (1985, directed by John Hughes, starring Emilio Estevez, Molly Ringwald, Judd Nelson, Ally Sheedy and Anthony Michael Hall). If, like me, you were a teenager in the 80s there's ZERO possibility you haven't see The Breakfast Club, Pretty in Pink and Sixteen Candles. But The Breakfast Club remains the best of the bunch. The five stereotypes the film throws together for morning detention may not have been as clearcut in real life but they're not total fabrications either.

Restless Natives (1985, directed by Michael Hoffman, starring Vincent Friell and Joe Mullaney). Two Scottish friends commit colourful, non-violent hold ups of tourist coaches in the highlands and become folk heroes and tourist attractions in the process. Loveable and highly entertaining.



Reckless (1984, directed by James Foley, starring Aidan Quinn and Daryl Hannah)/Desperately Seeking Susan (1985, directed by Susan Seidelman, starring Rosanna Arquette, Madonna and Aidan Quinn). The Aidan Quinn grouping! I actually did an entire blog entry on Reckless in August 09) but if you want the short version it's this: High school student Tracy (Darly Hannah) falls for Rourke (Quinn) a guy from the wrong side of the tracks. Desperately Seeking Susan sees a married suburban woman (Arquette) falling into Susan's (played by Madonna) crazy life when a conk on the head gives her amnesia. Lucky for Arquette, Madonna's life comes with an attachment to cool projectionist Dez (Quinn).

Until September (1984, directed by Richard Marquand, starring Karen Allen and Thierry Lhermitte). I haven't seen this film in yonks but at the time found the romance between exceptionally blue eyed but married Frenchman Thierry and loveable but single Karen Allen extremely charming. I'm kinda surprised they haven't remade it yet.

The Terminator (1984, directed by James Cameron, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton and Michael Biehn). With all the sequels its spawned the Terminator plot needs no explanation. While this first film now feels dated it's still a damn cool idea and the spark between Linda Hamilton and Michael Biehn feels genuine. The romance is my favourite aspect of this movie.

Legend (1985, directed by Ridley Scott, starring Tom Cruise, Mia Sara and Tim Curry). It's been so long since I've seen Legend that I'm damned if I can remember what it was about. Some fantasy whimsy about a demons, a unicorn and a fairy princess. It had a terrific vibe about it.

Little Darlings (1980, directed byRonald F. Maxwell, starring Kristy McNichol, Tatum O'Neal and Matt Dillon). Fifteen-year-olds Kirsty McNichol and Tatum O'Neal compete to lose their virginity first while at summer camp and end up feeling differently about it than they expected. What impressed me watching this as a young person was that it didn't feel as if the movie was being didactive, although it definitely has a message. Neither was it sensationlist.

The Company of Wolves (1984, directed by Neil Jordan, starring Angela Lansbury and David Warner). These interwoven tales of wolves are a visual feast and delightfully heaven on atmosphere.


Heaven Help Us (1985, directed by Michael Dinner, starring Andrew McCarthy, John Heard, Mary Stuart Masterson and Donald Sutherland)/St. Elmo's Fire (1985, directed by Joel Schumacher, starring Demi Moore, Rob Lowe, Andrew McCarthy, Emilio Estevez, Judd Nelson, Ally Sheedy and Mare Winningham/ Class (1983, directed by, starring Rob Lowe, Jacqueline Bisset and Andrew McCarthy). The Andrew MCarthy grouping. Like with William Hurt, I prefer Andrew McCarthy when he's playing angsty which he does frequently in these movies about 1) a boy's prep school 2) a group of fresh-out-of-college friends and 3) an innocent prep school boy who falls into an affair with a sophisticated older woman who just happens to be his roommate's mother.

Romancing the Stone (1984, directed by Robert Zemeckis, starring Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner) The chemistry between the two leads makes this picture about a romance writer drawn to Columbia where she meets rough around the edges Douglas. Pure fluff, but plenty enjoyable.

The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension (1984, directed by W.D. Richter, starring Peter Weller, John Lithgow, Ellen Barkin and Jeff Goldblum)/Firstborn (1984, directed by Michael Apted, starring Peter Weller, Teri Garr, Christopher Collet and Cory Haim)/Of Unknown Origin (1983, directed by George P. Cosmatos, starring Peter Weller and Jennifer Dale)/Shoot the Moon (1982, directed by Alan Parker, starring Albert Finney, Diane Keaton, Karen Allen, Peter Weller). The Peter Weller group! These three films have nothing in common aside from Weller's coolness. He's at his coolest as Buckaroo Banzai, an almost Doctor Who like figure that battles evil alien invaders. In Of Unknown Origin he fights a different foe, rats that infest his townhouse. But in Firstborn it's Weller who's the bad guy, dragging Teri Garr into a destructive lifestyle and forcing her young son to take action.

The World According to Garp (1982, directed by George Roy Hill, starring Robin Williams, Glenn Close, Mary Beth Hurt and John Lithgow). My first introduction to John Irving's writing was via this film where Robin Williams offers a wonderful performance as the gentle but flawed Garp, son of one-of-a-kind nurse Jenny. The World According to Garp has such a warmth and perceptiveness about people that I couldn't grasp in its entirety when I first saw the movie, being as young as I was. But I knew enough to know I loved it.

White Nights (1985, directed by Taylor Hackford, starring Mikhail Baryshnikov, Gregory Hines, Isabella Rossellini and Helen Mirren). When a plane mulfunction lands expat Russian dancer Baryshnikov back in the Soviet Union he plots an escape, watched over by Gregory Hines, an American tap dancer who defected to Russia years earlier. The dance scenes make the movie.

The Sure Thing (1985, directed by Rob Reiner, starring John Cusack. Daphne Zuniga, Anthony Ewards & Nicollette Sheridan). Sort of an 80s remake of classic screwball comedy It Happened One Night with opposites Cusack and Zuniga finding themselves on a college road trip together. The chemistry works and it's a very gentle comedy with Cusack at the height of his boyish charm.

Other notable movies from 1980-85:

Gandhi (1982), Back to the Future (1985), Witness (1985), The Right Stuff (1983), Ghostbusters (1984), The Road Warrior (1981), Tron (1982), Footloose (1984), Flashdance (1983), Fame (1980), Moscow on the Hudson (1984), Gremlins (1984), Time Bandits (1981) Superman II (1980), War Games (1984), Excalibur (1981), The Jewel of the Nile (1985), Blue Lagoon (1980), The Shining (1980), National Lampoons Vacation (1983), A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984), Amadeus (1984), The Color Purple (1985), Ordinary People (1980), Tootise (1982), The Killing Fields (1984), Out of Africa (1985), Scarface (1983), The Outsiders (1983), Gregory's Girl (1981), An Officer and a Gentleman (1982), A Christmas Story (1983), Ladyhawke (1985), My Bodyguard (1980), Starman (1984)

Read the Rest of the 80s series:
* The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there
* The past is a foreign country: 80s TV
* The past is a foreign country: 80s Toys and Technology
* The past is a foreign country: 80s Music

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