Sunday, April 13, 2014

Movies by year: 1980

(Watch out, mild spoilers)

There was a real mixed bag again in 1980 - a bit of comedy (The Blues Brothers on a mission from God), a bit of terror (The Shining – All atmosphere, instead of supernatural (and there's really only one thing in the entire movie that can't be explained away), it becomes a tale of cabin fever taken to the extreme), a touch of romance (the ridiculously beautiful Somewhere In Time with lovers separated by the ages), a slice of adventure (Star Wars V: The Empire Strikes Back, my favourite of the Star Wars films), wartime exploits (Das Boot was claustrophobic and tense, the experiences of a u-boat crew over the course of WWII condensed down to one really, really bad mission) and a smidgen of musical (Popeye - perfectly cast, amazing soundtrack and the most expressive baby ever).

With such a variety, what did I choose?

Altered States

This was William Hurt's first film role, and his odd delivery and mannerisms are right there already. Here he's a psychology professor experimenting with sensory deprivation to access the subconscious. He eventually begins experimenting with consciousness-altering drugs, and the consequences are... well, pretty big.

What if all our previous states of evolution are all still there in our genes and in our minds, lying dormant, waiting for the opportunity to come to the fore? The answers might just be here.

Have you seen it? What did you think? Too freaky?

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