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Course/ Back to the 1980s

Why are the 1980s so important in contemporary cinematic culture?

This course will explore the historical, industrial and social underpinning of multiple film genres that became popular during the 1980s in Hollywood cinema. Transitioning from 1970s discontents to 1980s pop chic and the rise of independent productions, the 1980s should be considered as a vital intersectional and transitional period that informs contemporary cinematic aesthetics and continues to reverberate in popular culture today. This eight-week course, which includes two feature length screenings, will focus on numerous themes, including the boom cycle of the horror film, the MTV/Dance Film, the teen film, the modern blockbuster and the growth of the sequel. Today, the 1980s are a site of nostalgic return for contemporary audiences. This course takes you back (in time) to where (and when) it all began…

Beginners’ level, no prior knowledge necessary.

Led by Sorcha Ní Fhlainn, Senior Lecturer in English and Film at Manchester Metropolitan University.

Week-by-Week Topics:

Week 1 – Film Culture in the 1980s – texts, contexts and subtexts
Week 2 – Bodies and (e)Motion: Dance, MTV, and Teenage Angst
Week 3 – Screening of The Terminator (1984)
Week 4 – Hard Bodies in Action – 1980s masculinity
Week 5 – Fantasies and Yuppies: from Hill Valley to Wall Street.
Week 6 – Screening of The ’Burbs (1989)
Week 7 – ‘You are all my children now!’: 1980s Horror
Week 8 – The Chosen Generation – Children, Spielberg and returning to the 1980s today