Hello and welcome! I wanted to briefly share the mission of this particular project. I want to take a deep look at every film released in a specific year (this first go-round will be 1988, for reasons I will get to later). What it won’t be is a movie review website – there are lots of those out there; even ones that go back that far. I am not a film critic, nor am I a student of film – I’m more interested in culture as a whole and how individual pieces fit into the cultural landscape. If you want a critical take on any of the movies we look at, I would recommend the following:
Instead, this project is intended to be a more holistic look at each of these movies. I intend to delve into the cultural influence of each of these movies. What did the cultural landscape look like at the time that made the movie successful (or made the studio believe it would be successful)? What effect did the movie have on the cultural landscape? Could this movie be made today, and what would it look like if it were?
I know if I were you, I would be asking “why start with 1988?” And indeed, it does seem like a random year; it’s not a round number anniversary like 1985 or 1990 would be. My reasoning is pretty simple. I think it was an insane year in movies. I recently happened across the top 10 grossing films of that year, and the list is pretty crazy:
- Rain Man
- Who Framed Roger Rabbit
- Coming to America
- Crocodile Dundee II
- Die Hard
- The Naked Gun
That’s 7 comedies, 2 dramas, and one solitary action movie. I can’t imagine a list like that in today’s climate, and I want to explore how this could happen, one movie at a time.
In order to make this project manageable, I have limited this project to movies that made at least $5,000,000 total gross according to boxofficemojo.com or have, in my arbitrary opinion, made an impact on popular culture in general. This is still approximately 120+ movies and should be enough to talk about the cultural zeitgeist of 1988 in a meaningful way.