I’m just going to get it out of the way to start; the 1980’s are back with all their splendor and angst and good stuff at this year’s #DOCNYC film festival. Many children of the 80’s lived with bookended tastes: Madonna and Twisted Sister versus The Butthole Surfers and Minor Threat. Duran Duran playing tug-of-war with Sade. Cyndi Lauper in a dance-off with Michael Jackson. Throw in a little Jesus & Mary Chain, and you’re set.
If you’re as split as I was in the 1980’s two must-see films for you are SOUL BOYS OF THE WESTERN WORLD and SALAD DAYS. The first tells the story of Spandau Ballet’s success, dramatic break-up, and eventual return. The band is expected to return to NYC for the Q&A following the screening — the first time they’ll be together in NYC since the mid-80’s! The latter details the development of the punk scene in 1980’s Washington D.C. and how it influenced music for years after. See them both for a complete sonic head trip.
If you prefer reliving the glory of 1980’s Olympic drama, there is BACK ON BOARD: Greg Louganis. Who doesn’t remember falling in love with his form and grace in diving? And who didn’t wince and gasp when he hit his head on the Seoul Olympic board — only to return to the freaking board to dive again and win? 1988, folks. Yep, the 80’s.
If you’re also like me in that you’ve skipped every single high school reunion for the last 25 or so years, I’d like to personally invite you to attend a safe and completely fun reunion: ALL AMERICAN HIGH REVISITED. Return to the big hair and awkward naiveté of the high school that provided the setting for a show you know you watched when the 80’s ended: 90120. Need more reason to see it? Let The HuffPo be your guide.
Lastly, and not directly related to the 1980’s while still being undeniably important to all of us who grew up to love them: I AM BIG BIRD gives a well-deserved warm and fuzzy spotlight to Caroll Spinney, the man behind (inside?) Big Bird. And Oscar the Grouch, for good measure. This is the film to see if you suspect you may be nearing the malaise of pre-midlife crises all around you. You will not be disappointed.
BONUS Must-See! I’m tying this in because both Dr. Demento (love him!) and Rev Run (RUN-D.M.C.) appear in JINGLE BELL ROCKS! Christmas music at its most perfect and bizarre and addictive. Seriously. Watch the trailer and get your tickets.