VIFF's Back to the 80s summer series celebrates 60 classic films from Raging Bull to Repo Man

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      Before you go laughing at the Vancouver International Film Festival’s contention that the 1980s gave us “one of the most engaging decades in cinematic history”, let’s play a game.  Name, based on the following lines, the movies:

      “I’ll be back.”

      “Wake up, time to die.”

      “Say ‘hello’ to my little friend.”.

      “Don’t you fucking look at me!”

      “I’m not going to be ignored, Dan.”


      “Here’s Johnny!”

      “It’s 106 miles to Chicago, we got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it’s dark... and we’re wearing sunglasses.”

      “I’m standin’ right next to you and you’re fuckin’ singing, cut it out.”

      “I’d buy that for a dollar.”

      “Pino, fuck you, fuck your fuckin’ pizza, and fuck Frank Sinatra.”

      Run the table? There’s a good reason for that, namely that for every Can’t Stop the Music, Howard the Duck, and Staying Alive, there were plenty of ’80s movies that have been deservedly enshrined as classics. VIFF celebrates 60 of those films from June 29 to August 31 with its just-announced Back to the 80s summer film series. Over the course of two months flicks from the decade of big hair, puffy pants, and neon-everything will be screened at the VIFF Centre on Seymour Street.

      Back to the 80s brings to the big screen a mix of blockbusters (Back to the FutureGhostbusters, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial), comedy classics (The Blues Brothers, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Hairspray), horror staples (American Werewolf in London, Near Dark, A Nightmare on Elm Street), Academyt Award winners (The Right Stuff, Raging Bull), and delicious odes to good old-fashioned ultra-violence (Robocop, First Blood, The Road Warrior [Mad Max 2]).

      Notably, and fittingly given how weirdly all over the map the decade was, the lineup swings from made-for-future megaplexes fare like Aliens and Who Framed Roger Rabbit? to cult-favourites like Blue Velvet, Repo Man, and Suburbia.

      Launching the festival will be an ’80s opening party featuring an introduction by Back to the Future director of photography Dean Cundey. In addition to period-specific costumes and cocktails and a throwback trivia quiz on the night, expect the unveiling of VIFF’s in-house 80s Video Rental Lounge.

      Ticket information for VIFF’s Back to the 80s summer film series, which includes not only screenings but talks and other special events, can be found below. You can also go here for the full list of films. Right after, that is, you name the ’80s movie that contains this bit of solid gold: “Well where I work we only have one editorial rule. You can’t write anything longer than it takes your average person to take an average crap.”


      VIFF Back to the 80s summer film series


      June 29 to August 1


      VIFF Film Centre

      Tickets & Passes:

      Opening Night Single Ticket: $29

      All-Access Series Pass: $199

      10-Ticket Pack: $99

      Back To The 80s Single Tickets: $15

      VIFF Talks & Special Presentations: $19

      Film Studies: $12

      Mid-Week Matinee Screenings: $10

      Youth Rate Single Ticket: $10