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Genesis of a Historical Novel

Monday, December 17, 2007

Paul's 80s Festival

On Saturday night Kimmie and I watched Driving Miss Daisy, written by Alfred Uhry based on his stageplay and directed by Bruce Beresford. This was the last movie in Paul's 80s Festival: a weekly viewing of the best movies (in my opinion) from the 1980s. (Hmm, maybe I'll put this movie in Paul's 90s Festival, since it was actually released mainly in 1990, being given only a "limited" release in December 1989, no doubt to enable it to qualify for the 1990 Academy Awards...)

The festival has lasted longer than I expected. I see from my Palm journal that it launched on Saturday 8 July 2006, when Kimmie and I watched the 1980 Canadian movie Atlantic City, written by John Guare and directed by Louis Malle (this movie was not as good as I'd remembered, and I dropped it from the Festival list).

Most Saturdays since then we have watched an 80s movie. Some movies turned out, on re-viewing, to be duds, and I weeded them out altogether. Others were good, but not in the top class, and I put them on my private "B-list". In a few cases I could not lay my hands on a copy of a movie either at a library or at any video-rental outlet on the North Shore (Videomatica has copies of everything of course--but it's over in Kitsilano and offers only a three-day rental period and highish rental rates). But these movies I believe will turn out to be, at best, B-listers. I think I've developed my 80s Festival into pretty much its final form.

Interested? Here they are, then. The movies of Paul's 80s Festival, my "keeper" movies, in order of North American release date:


  • Coal Miner's Daughter

  • The Gods Must Be Crazy

  • An Officer and a Gentleman

  • 48 HRS

  • Gandhi

  • The Verdict

  • Tootsie

  • Tender Mercies

  • Fanny and Alexander

  • Risky Business

  • The Big Chill

  • Terms of Endearment

  • Splash

  • The Karate Kid

  • Amadeus

  • The Terminator

  • Beverly Hills Cop

  • Witness

  • The Sure Thing

  • Cocoon

  • Out of Africa

  • Hannah and Her Sisters

  • A Room with a View

  • Stand by Me

  • Fatal Attraction

  • Baby Boom

  • Hope and Glory

  • Planes, Trains, and Automobiles

  • Wall Street

  • Broadcast News

  • Moonstruck

  • Babette's Feast

  • Big

  • A Fish Called Wanda

  • Die Hard

  • Rain Man

  • Working Girl

  • Dead Poets Society

  • When Harry Met Sally

  • Sex, Lies, and Videotape

  • Driving Miss Daisy


There you have it. It's a nice, well-rounded collection. The element they have in common? Each one is a good story, well told. That's how you make it into Paul's 80s Festival.

Next up: can you guess? You got it: Paul's 90s Festival.


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