A Lifetime In Film: 1989 Introduction

Something happens to cinema as the end of a decade approaches. Filmmakers become more forward-looking in their techniques and their storytelling. You don't believe me? Witness 1979 - Alien and Apocalypse Now and those are just the A's, or 1999 (arguably the best year for movies ever, though some argue it may be topped by '79). … Continue reading A Lifetime In Film: 1989 Introduction

A Lifetime in Film 1988: Wrap-Up

Overall Impressions: As I look back on the 15 films that formed my cinematic journey through the year 1988, I tend to think back on individual scenes rather than whole cinematic experiences. It's usually the case, looking back on a year of cinema, that the real power is with singular moments, no matter how good … Continue reading A Lifetime in Film 1988: Wrap-Up

A Lifetime in Film 1988 #1: Die Hard

Review: I'd like to say that the timing of this review is planned - Christmas is only a couple of days away and watching Die Hard has become one of the most enduring holiday traditions among film lovers everywhere. Of course, it's still debatable whether Die Hard truly qualifies as a big-C "Christmas" movie, since it was never … Continue reading A Lifetime in Film 1988 #1: Die Hard

A Lifetime in Film 1988 #2: Rain Man

Review: Well I've already reviewed Rain Man as part of my Tom Cruise Tribute blog series, but I thought I'd share a few additional thoughts here. It's a great film. In fact I think it's one of those movies that simply gets better every time I see it. The performances, especially the one by Cruise, only benefit … Continue reading A Lifetime in Film 1988 #2: Rain Man

A Lifetime in Film 1988 #3: Grave of the Fireflies

Review: Grave of the Fireflies is a frustrating film. And yet that appears to be by design. Director/writer Isao Takahata has made a film that is difficult to like about a subject that is difficult to explore. Japan's participation in World War 2, as told from the Japanese perspective is something that is rarely explored on … Continue reading A Lifetime in Film 1988 #3: Grave of the Fireflies

A Lifetime in Film: 1988 #4 My Neighbor Totoro

Review: 1988 was a big year for Studio Ghibli, with the double-feature of Grave of the Fireflies (more on that in a later post!) and My Neighbor Totoro dominating Japanese screens. The studio's gamble paid off, as the films became not only national but international successes. After having finally watched Hayao Miyazaki's My Neighbor Totoro it's easy to see why the … Continue reading A Lifetime in Film: 1988 #4 My Neighbor Totoro

A Lifetime in Film: 1988 #5 Akira

Review: 1988 was a great year for anime and it appears that of all the big anime films to have come out that year, Akira turned out to be the most influential. Writer/Director Katsuhiro Otomo, adapting his own manga to feature film length, has a storytelling/animation style that is instantly recognizable by anyone who's watched anime films … Continue reading A Lifetime in Film: 1988 #5 Akira