I was recently watching old clips of Labyrinth and was struck by how dingy and washed out the colors all looked. All browns and grays, with a pre-digital fuzziness to everything (but which is nonetheless absent from even older movies). I've noticed this before in other popular movies from around the mid-80s: the New York of Ghosbusters, for example, appears constantly overcast and even sootier than it ever probably was, and the Neverending Story also seems to share the same palette of dark colors and the occasional washed out pastels. What's behind this "mid-80s" look? Was it the quality of film stock that was used in big budget pictures during those years? Trends in lighting, set design and/or post-production? Or something else entirely?
I'm looking for resources for photos of toys, beauty products and clothing from the 1980s that I can publish on a large content site, free of charge. [more inside]
Mid to late 1980s punk-ish song with the line "I am not sorry" repeated in the chorus. I always thought it was Hüsker Dü but now I'm not so sure. [more inside]
There was a TV show, early 80s, probably on PBS. Short subject, less than 20 minutes, squeezed in between shows. It was all about Emerging Future Tech! Like microcomputers, art in tech, digital stuff. The host was Laurie Anderson. It has FALLEN off the FACE of the EARTH. [more inside]
For a board game I'm working on, I need a "definitive" list of teenage cliques that would have been present in a suburban American high school in 1989. This is mostly a "free-form, go nuts" question, but I have a few guidelines I'd like for you to keep in mind... [more inside]
What was the name of movie set in early eighties about a bully and old black man in project building. The bully antagonizes all of the elderly residents. At the final boss scene, the old black man - the protagonist - creates some locking arm braces. He fights the bully and defeats him with a bear hug and locks the braces together. Then the cops come. And this kid about 8 years old started banging his forearms together like the old bully used to do. It was an afterschool special type thing.
In the late 70s or early 80s, I saw a TV show that involved a kid who wasn't supposed to open a glowing door. The kid reached for the door... he was about to open it... and at that point, I got freaked out and ran out of the TV room. My sense of terror makes it one of my more vivid childhood memories, and to this day, I often wonder what was behind that door. From these vague details, can you help me figure out what the show was so I can finally find the answer? [more inside]
This Halloween animation about a kind witch and two children aired on broadcast television sometime in the early 1980s. Because I was only 6 or 7-years-old, I remember very little. Please, help me this identify this show. [more inside]
Help me plan an extended 1980s-90s home-based film festival to last throughout winter 2015-16. [more inside]
I've got video of me playing a commodore 64 version of pac-man, I've specifically digitized certain photos because I'm rocking a Ghostbusters Jumpsuit, and yet I can't for the life of me, figure out what computer is behind me in this picture: [more inside]
I have become re-obsessed with a song I heard in a skateboard video back in the 1980s. I have searched high and low for a song but it has eluded me. The song is from Gullwing's Molecules in Motion from 1987. All I have found is that it is from a band called Incomplete Monday. I found one album of theirs called "I Am" but the track in question is not on it. Does any one know this song? Bonus 1980s skating included.
In the late 1980s, I remember seeing something on television that featured some kids picking up a signal/broadcast from outer space. The broadcast contained an alien news show. It was a standard type of news show with male and female aliens at a news desk with an inset in the top corner. The aliens were sort of heavy-set, not your generic, skinny bug-eyed aliens. I don't think it was intended to be scary but it kind of freaked me out as a 7-year old and it has stuck with me to this day. [more inside]
My partner is fascinated by Tokyo in the 1980s, when the economy was in a historic boom and Americans were jittery about Japan's economic and cultural ascendancy. Can you recommend Japanese-made movies (with English subtitles) filmed during that time that were set in Tokyo and focused on the life of a 'salaryman', innovator or other rising professional? He's especially interested in movies that feature Japanese nationalism and favorable comparisons of Japan vs. the rest of the world.
I need to buy a costume to fit a character who is a young gay man living in the early 80s. Looking for ideas or reference images. More details inside. [more inside]
When I was a child, in the mid 80's our school had this game on the BBC micro. It was a mainly text based game about being a space explorer. [more inside]
Anyone know of an (animated?) movie in the 1980s or 1990s where the child protagonist enters an alternate universe where everyone's left-handed? A friend remembers seeing it on a Saturday afternoon when he was young, and I thought I'd be able to find its title for him, but I'm not having much luck.
Can you review the criteria for a song I'm trying to track down, and help me find it? 1980s pop/dance sound, male vocalist, lyrics like "you shine so great". [more inside]
Back in the 1980s, MTV ran some pretty wild contests. I found this story about the Lost Weekend With Van Halen, but there were many more. Does anyone have a complete list of those contests, or links to any more of the winners' stories? [more inside]
A friend asked this question on Facebook just now, so I'm passing it on: Any clue who this is? Singer-songwriter. Came on the scene in the mid-eighties. A New Yorker. Titillated journalists dwelt on the fact that she left home at thirteen to move in with some African musicians, with her parents’ okay. Wrote a song about a dream in which she made love with her mother.
I am seeking recommendations for (reputable/peer-reviewed) essays or books that could help me develop a nuanced but well-rounded understanding of the social, political, and economic climate in 1980s America (economic deregulation is a particular point of interest). [more inside]
I'm trying to compile a list of music videos from the 80s (early 90s is fine too) that reference communism, with, for example, use of hammer and sickle imagery, or the like. The more the direct the reference the better. Bonus points for synth-pop. [more inside]
Trying to help a friend identify a movie he saw a few minutes of when he was a kid. How it starts: A woman drives to an artist's apartment/studio, talks about relationships, takes her shirt off, puts a paper bag on her head. The artist begins to draw. [more inside]
I am looking for TV commercials from the 1980s that feature mothers, women and girls conforming to yuppie, conservative, WASPy ideals of beauty and behavior. [more inside]
I'm writing a trivia game for a birthday party. What are events from the 1950s through today that 60 yr olds would have a good grasp of that I would miss out on just by scanning through wikipedia? [more inside]
Seeking recommendations on media--books (novels and nonfiction), movies, music, maybe even documentaries--on life in Berlin during the 1980s and 1990s. I'm especially interested in the punk scene and any other counter cultural groups through this time period. [more inside]
I'm trying to rebuild a mix tape made for me by a London friend around 1989-1990. One track I'm having trouble finding started out with "Are you sitting comfortably? [Good.] Then I'll begin," which is a sample from the BBC's "Listen with Mother" radio series (click on the second old time radio for a clip, starts at the :16sec mark). After that it had a very deep man's voice saying "Welcome," over and over again while the music ramped up behind it. I always thought the man sounded like Worf, from ST: TNG. Any leads?
I am looking for a book that was published in the late 1980s. I cannot remember the title or the author, only that it is a memoir, and that the cover of the book (oft advertised in the New Yorker) had a small picture of a boy jumping between two rocks. The design of the cover was very much like this one for Lewis Thomas' The Fragile Species, with the picture of the jumping boy there in the center. The only other thing I can remember is that the author's name started with two initials, i.e. T R Something or A R Something. Please help!
I am trying to locate a MeFi link from perhaps a year ago to a cancelled or unaired ITV/BBC pilot from the 1980s, and none of my MeFi/google/youTube searches in the past hour has unearthed it. Please help! [more inside]
While settling a disagreement over whether Total Eclipse of the Heart was a duet, I just saw the music video and it blew my mind. I grew up without cable, and am pretty much ignorant of everything but the "classic" music videos from the 80's; please let me know what I'm missing. [more inside]
In Michael Palin's "Around the World in 80 Days", there's a shot of a building with an interesting sign. It says "EARTH SPACE SCIENCE ART FACT FICTION FANTASY". [more inside]
When I was a kid, my grandfather bought me an audiotape meant to improve my vocabulary: 25 Power Words, or something. It was pitched, I think, as a way to get ahead in business -- and read in a very serious, very radio-y voice. We used to play it on long car rides, endlessly, when I was in elementary school (in the early 80s). I'd really like to find a copy of the tape, but I can't remember its title. [more inside]
C-Budget "Horror" flick that may have been hosted by Elvira circa 1985 [more inside]
Hi all, I have a project I'd like to do that involves the use of Broderbund's Load Runner game. I have a 4 year old Macbook Pro running Mountain Lion. I have found various sites to download the game, but so far none of the downloads work. [more inside]
I am seeking the name of a film, set in post-apocalyptic Sydney (Australia). I could have sworn it had Cassandra Harris in it, but IMDB disagrees. It was filmed and was set in in the early- to mid-80s, and had a bunch of people running around trying to escape the nuclear fallout that hit the Opera House and ended up in the northern beaches. The film wasn't necessarily good, but it resonated. Can you name the film? Thanks!
I've been wracking my brains trying to remember the identity of this female folk singer from the 1980s-1990s. She made at least a few albums targeted at kids, incorporating many environmental themes. And I can't for the life of me remember even enough to do a proper Google search. Gah! [more inside]
Back in the late 1980s there was this weird performance art duo, a man and a woman, who seemed to turn up all over the place on TV. They were on MTV, I think they were on the Tonight Show, et al, but nobody seems to remember them and I can't find any record of them online. (No, they were not Shields and Yarnell.) [more inside]
What is the name of that 1980s home video introducing you to computers hosted by that famous TV personality husband and wife whose names I can't remember? The one whose background color changes depending on what section you're in? [more inside]
Looking for a movie I saw on TV in the 80s that was about a sad clown/mime who left his circus and was wandering around the city - a foreign city, probably Europe. It is NOT Children of Paradise, but maybe some remake inspired by it. I believe it was a foreign film and was probably shown on Nickelodeon - it was a color film. Very atmospheric and followed the clown wandering in the city. Any ideas?
Art buffs of Mefi, please tell me about exciting things that were happening in the New York City art scene in the early 1980s. [more inside]
Does anyone remember U-Film? [more inside]
I've had this vague memory of a 1970s-80s crime movie in the back of my brain. Can you help identify it? [more inside]
Help me identify an old videogame. ~1990, combat between different spaceship types, with gravity, momentum and orbital physics. [more inside]
A friend and I had a friendly disagreement about whether society as a whole has changed significantly since the 1980s. Can you help me bolster my side? [more inside]
What was that book? 1970s or early 1980s science book for kids, illustrated with black and white photographs. [more inside]
Everyone remembers Reading Rainbow, but what about other reading TV shows in the 1980s? [more inside]
Trying to remember a sitcom from the early 1980s about the "world's smallest television station." Was it real or did I just dream it up? [more inside]
Can anyone help me identify a vertical-scrolling arcade game from the 80s? [more inside]
What is this mid-80's martial arts movie with two kids and terrible editing? It's not "No Retreat, No Surrender". [more inside]
Which artists had an uncharacteristic attempt at synthpop/electronica in the 70s/80s? [more inside]