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Yearly Roundup – 1988

Posted by martinteller on September 11, 2012

The Cream of the Crop

1988.  The year I graduated high school and started college.  A time of great personal discovery for me.  I wasn’t discovering that many great movies, though.  A lot of the films I saw at the time are too faint for me to remember, but most of my 1988 favorites I didn’t discover until much later.  Case in point: I didn’t see Time of the Gypsies until I was in my 30’s, but it’s one of the greatest films I’ve ever seen (number seven on my top 100).  An incredibly rich and memorable experience, one that still hasn’t had a proper home video release in this country.  Neither has Drowning By Numbers, a movie my sister rented on VHS when I visited her sometime in the early 90’s.  I was entranced then by its twisted story and numerous games (both cinematic and within the narrative) and I still am.  I consider it my favorite by Greenaway, and it also has a spot in my top 100 (#95).


Slightly Less Creamy, But Still Tasty

To be honest, I would rather just watch The Decalogue instead, but A Short Film About Killing and A Short Film About Love are both fine expansions on chapters from Kieslowski’s epic series.  The only film in this section that I actually saw in 1988 is the endlessly enjoyable Midnight Run, loads of fun.  Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown is top drawer Almodovar, hilarious and playful.  And on the opposite end of “hilarious” is the deeply tragic Grave of the Fireflies and Bela Tarr’s hypnotic, elegiac Damnation.  In documentaries, you’ve got the fascinating story of legendary jazz trumpeter/vocalist Chet Baker in Let’s Get Lost and Errol Morris’s tale of justice gone awry in The Thin Blue Line.


Varying Degrees of Like

The Adventures of Baron Munchausen
Dead Ringers
Die Hard
Distant Voices, Still Lives
The Last Temptation of Christ
My Neighbor Totoro
The Naked Gun
Salaam Bombay
She’s Having a Baby
Terrors of Pleasure
The Unbearable Lightness of Being
The Vanishing
Who Framed Roger Rabbit?


Varying Degrees of Hate

Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
Hotel Terminus
Johnny Be Good
Killer Klowns from Outer Space
Mac and Me


Some Notable Films In The Middle

The Accused
Alice (Svankmajer)
Alien Nation
As Tears Go By
The Big Blue
Biloxi Blues
Bright Lights, Big City
Bull Durham
Child’s Play
The Chocolate War
Cinema Paradiso
Coming to America
Dangerous Liaisons
A Fish Called Wanda
Gorillas in the Mist
High Hopes
Mississippi Burning
Police Story 2
Rain Man
School Daze
The Serpent and the Rainbow
Stand and Deliver
Talk Radio
Working Girl


Uncharted Territory

Action Jackson, Barbosa, Beaches, Bird, Bloodsport, Chocolat, Cien niños esperando un tren, Cocktail, Colors, Days of Eclipse, Earth Girls Are Easy, Eight Men Out, Les Gauloises, The Legend of the Holy Drinker, Married to the Mob, Medea, Mystic Pizza, On the Silver Globe, Rambo III, Running on Empty, Tales from the Gimli Hospital, They Live, Tucker, Willow, Young Guns

4 Responses to “Yearly Roundup – 1988”

  1. AAAutin said

    I highly recommend EIGHT MEN OUT. It’s one of my favorite baseball movies–one of my favorite SPORTS movies, in fact–and I don’t even like baseball.

    • Yeah, I dunno…. I just don’t think I’d dig it that much. I’m sure it’s fine but there’s so many other movies that I’m much more interested in. But I’ll keep it in mind.

  2. JamDenTel said

    WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT – One of my personal all-time favorites.

    MAC AND ME – A beautiful tale of friendship, open-mindedness, and the magical powers of Coke.

    Haven’t seen any of the “Uncharted Territory” films, but I bet BIRD is quite good (on a related note, I recommend the unjustly forgotten ‘ROUND MIDNIGHT).

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