Friday, June 04, 2004

RoboCop and the Reagan years


Growing up abroad, I missed many of the classics of 1980s American sci-fi cinema. The task has now fallen upon me to make up for lost time, and view as many of these classics as I can.

Take RoboCop, for example. I just watched it for the first time tonight. RoboCop is among the cream of the crop of 1980s movies, and reflects the tensions as well as the socio-economic concerns of the age.

The young executives are symbols of the coke-binging extravagance of 1980s Wall Street and corporate America. The jokes are highly topical, referencing the Cold War climate of the Reagan years. And there are boobies, and luscious gore and violence galore. And of course, Detroit is a dystopic hell-hole, not so different from the reality of Detroit in the 1980s.

The best movies of the 1980s had more violence, more nudity and more innovation than today's movies. There was more of a moral subtext, and the distinction between good and evil was clear.

This is not because film directors were more creative at the time - rather, these movies were a product of the heightened tensions surrounding the end of the Cold War. They reflect a time when our understanding of the world was simpler, and global affairs were not as nuanced. My current affection for these sci-fi movies is itself a manifestation of my desire to return to a more straight-forward world. The late Cold War years were good years, and I miss them.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your blog may be drivel, but at least it's not pretentious.

2:01 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home