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The non-linear film included a Ry Cooder soundtrack, and an impressive opening credits sequence in the desert.
Maverick filmmaker Jonathan Demme (noted for The Silence of the Lambs (1991) and Philadelphia (1993) in the next decade) began his career as a B-movie director/writer and trainee under Roger Corman, and had a number of cult classics in the 80s, including: Melvin and Howard (1980), the concert documentary Stop Making Sense (1984) about the Talking Heads with singer/guitarist David Byrne, Swing Shift (1984), Something Wild (1986), Swimming to Cambodia (1987), and Married to the Mob (1988).
As the decade was just about to dawn, Richard Gere bared all (one of the first instances of a male star appearing nude) as a high-living, convertible-driving gigolo in director Paul Schrader's American Gigolo (1980), accompanied by Blondie's song "Call Me." Director Ken Russell's erotic thriller Crimes of Passion (1984) starred Kathleen Turner as prostitute China Blue and Anthony Perkins as an obsessive preacher.
Reflecting the Puritan morality of the late 80s, however, and inspiring many talk-shows on its issues of marital infidelity and the dangers of dating, was Adrian Lyne's follow-up film to Flashdance (1983) - Fatal Attraction (1987), a suspenseful, melodramatic, erotic thriller about one-night stands, sexual games, and obsessive love (with Glenn Close as Alex Forrest - a murderous jilted, stalking woman).
[Although Soderbergh would continue making various films in the next decade, his breakthrough came in 2000 with two more mainstream films: Erin Brockovich (2000) and Traffic (2000).] 24 year-old John Singleton would soon join Spike Lee as an influential black moviemaker in the early 90s with his debut film - the coming-of-age drama Boyz 'N the Hood (1991), one of the highest-grossing films ( million) ever directed by an African-American.
With his film, Singleton became the youngest nominee for Best Director in Academy history, and the first African-American to be nominated as Best Director.
Camp director John Waters' Polyester (1981) included smelly Odorama; he also directed Hairspray (1988).
Writer/director David Lynch made some of his best films in the 80s.
Jack Nicholson was diabolical as Daryl Van Horne in the R-rated black comedy fantasy The Witches of Eastwick (1987), seductive with Cher, Susan Sarandon, and Michelle Pfeiffer.By 1986, a rating of PG was automatically given to films with swearing and narcotics use.Paul Mazursky's R-rated Down and Out in Beverly Hills (1986), with Nick Nolte as a homeless person (similar in character to Spielberg's alien E.His brilliant but disturbing Blue Velvet (1986) starred Dennis Hopper who revitalized his acting career in the repulsive role as the villainous, sadistic, and blackmailing Frank Booth toward a brutalized Isabella Rossellini. Lovecraft adaptation Re-Animator (1985) contained gore and demented black humor.The unique film visualized the repulsive and twisted horrors that lurked behind ordinary small-town life - all stemming from the mysterious discovery of a severed human ear in a field by a naive college student. German film-maker Wim Wenders directed the haunting Paris, Texas (1984) with Nastassja Kinski (as a lost wife working in a peep-show behind a one-way window) and Harry Dean Stanton as wandering husband Travis (on an obsessive quest to piece together his family) in an impressive Sam Shepard adaptation.