Tuesday, October 8, 2013

25 Years Ago This Month: October 1988

The biggest movie of October 1988 was The Accused with Jodie Foster as a woman who is gang raped in a bar and Kelly McGillis as prosecuting attorney. This was the first big movie to deal directly with the issue of rape and really helped create a conversation about the role of the victim in rape. Foster won her first Oscar for the film.

Michael Myers returned to Haddonfield in Halloween 4, which I've already covered before.

Mary Gross, who got her start through 4 seasons of "Saturday Night Live", starred alongside Rebecca De Mornay in Feds, a not-so-funny comedy about two women struggling through the rigors of FBI training. Gross is the brainy one and De Mornay is physically capable, and they help each other through a male-dominated program.

Another horror film released this month was Pumpkinhead with Lance Henriksen as a father who conjures a creature to avenge the death of his son.

Mystic Pizza, the coming-of-age story about three teenage girls working a pizza parlor, starred Lili Taylor, Julia Roberts, and Annabeth Gish. This movie was a big deal for high school and college girls, I suppose, and only registers as a memory because girls my age knew it and liked it - A LOT - when I was in high school and college some years later. Otherwise it should be mostly forgotten.

The big film allegory for assimilation, racism, and xenophobia long before District 9 was Alien Nation with Mandy Patinkin and James Caan. It's about a future Los Angeles that is partially populated by alien beings from another planet and the problems associated with an outsider population "infecting" the status quo.

Woody Allen's 18th film, Another Woman, is the only one of his 43 films I have never seen. It stars Gena Rowlands as a woman who begins questioning her own life after overhearing the analysis sessions of Mia Farrow.

Bat*21 starred Gene Hackman as a downed pilot behind enemy lines in North Vietnam who depends on one man, played by Danny Glover, to rescue him. This was typical Hollywood gung-ho, let's reach catharsis by re-fighting and "winning" the Vietnam War in movies, boilerplate.

Bird was Clint Eastwood's film about jazz man Charlie Parker starring Forest Whitaker.

The plot of Tapeheads just sounds so ludicrous. John Cusack and Tim Robbins star as friends who lose their jobs and then start a music video production company and plan to help their old childhood idols to newfound fame.

Things Change was playwright David Mamet's second film as a director. It starred Joe Mantegna and Don Ameche.

Alec Guinness and Derek Jacobi starred in a very minor adaptation of Charles Dickens' Little Dorrit.

Before he was Doogie Howser, MD, Neil Patrick Harris had his film debut in Clara's Heart alongside Whoopi Goldberg where he's the son of parents who've recently lost their younger daughter and he is cast aside by their grief.

A young Indian immigrant in London becomes torn between his mother and his piano teacher, played by Shirley MacLaine, in Madame Sousatzka.

Night of the Demons is a forgotten horror film about ten teenagers who have a Halloween party in an old abandoned mortuary and unleash a demon through a seance.

Film Debuts

Matt Damon in Mystic Pizza
Danielle Harris in Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers
Neil Patrick Harris in Clara's Heart

Non-movie News

1st - Mikhail Gorbachev becomes Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet.

5th - Augusto Pinochet loses a national referendum on his dictatorial rule over Chile.

18th - TV series "Roseanne" premiers on ABC.
23rd - Robert Bork's confirmation to the United States Supreme Court is denied by the Senate.


3rd - Swedish actress Alicia Vikander of Anna Karenina, A Royal Affair, and the upcoming The Fifth Estate.
15th - German football player Mesut Özil.

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