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[<<] 1986 [>>]

Related: 1980s

Films: Betty Blue (1986) - Blue Velvet (1986) - Something Wild (1986) - Vamp (1986)

Non-fiction: Incredibly Strange Films (1986)

Music: acid jazz - New Beat - Chicago house music - Can You Feel It (1986) - Mr. Fingers

Debuts: Derrick May - Antwerp Six

Deaths: Jorge Luis Borges (1899 - 1986) - Yasuzo Masumura (1924 - 1986) - Joseph Beuys (1921 - 1986) - Simone de Beauvoir (1908 - 1986) - Jean Genet (1910 - 1986)

Proto house singles

  1. Fingers, Inc. - Can You Feel It (vocals by Chuck Roberts)
  2. Farley Jackmaster Funk (featuring Darryl Pandy) - Love Can't Turn Around
  3. Marshall Jefferson - Move Your Body (House Music Anthem)
  4. Russ Brown - Gotta Find A Way
  5. The It - Donnie (12") [Larry Heard]
  6. Willie Colon - Set Fire To Me
  7. Man Friday - Love Honey, Love Heartache (12" Levan Mix)
  8. Gwen Guthrie - Outside In The Rain
  9. Fred Fowler - Girl You Need A Change Of Mind (Kendricks Remake)
  10. Anthony & The Camp - What I Like
  11. Jungle Wonz - The Jungle
  12. Nu Shooz - I Can't Wait
  13. Dhar Braxton - Jump Back
  14. Dinosaur L - Corn Belt (Levan Mix; Compilation LP)
  15. Aleem - Love's On Fire
  16. Hanson & Davis - I'll Take You On (12" Levan Mix)
  17. Kraftwerk - Music Non-Stop
  18. Cultural Vibe - Ma Foom Bay
  19. Indean Ocean - Tree House / School Bell
  20. Arthur Russell - 'Let's Go Swimming'
  21. X Ray - Let's Go (Derrick, Kevin and Juan, the Belleville three)
  22. Main Thing - Shot (ultimate slow groove on Easy Street)
  23. Fonda Rae - Touch Me (All Night Long)
  24. Serious Intention - Serious
  25. Full House - Communicate
  26. Loleatta Holloway - So Sweet (1986 or 1988)
  27. Jamie Principle - Your Love
  28. Split Second - Flesh [...]
  29. African Head Charge - Throw It Away
  30. Virgo - R U Hot Enough


  1. Licensed to Ill (1986) - Beastie Boys [1 CD, Amazon US]
    1. Rhymin & Stealin 2. The New Style 3. She's Crafty 4. Posse In Effect 5. Slow Ride 6. Girls 7. Fight For Your Right 8. No Sleep Till Brooklyn 9. Paul Revere 10. Hold It Now, Hit It 11. Brass Monkey 12. Slow And Low 13. Time To Get Ill

    The joke of Licensed to Ill's cover--that the Beasties could crash their jet into the side of a mountain and keep on tickin'--serves as a good metaphor for a career that even some of their 1986 admirers thought might be over after the one-time-only shock of this full-length debut. That thousands of funk-junkie wannabes have since failed at re-creating its groove, breaking-the-law vibe, and ear-splitting mix of rock and rap is an even better joke. And funniest of all is the record itself, which packs dexterous boasts, aural puns, and lots and lots of yelling into a disc that can still be listened to with as much pleasure as it gave in '86. --Rickey Wright for amazon.com [...]

  2. Shinehead - Rough & Rugged [1 CD, Amazon US]
    Debut album by Shinehead, it was preceded by a twelve inch which includes both a cover version of Michael Jackson's "Billy Jean" and Junior's "Mama Used to Say".
    Shinehead cut a album for Sly and Robbie in -86 called Rough And Rugged. The album sparkled with talent. It covered lots of different styles and Shineheads performance was extraordinary. Unbelievably inventive and fresh. A mix of singing, DJ:ing, rapping and whistling. [...]


  1. The Name of the Rose (1986) - Jean-Jacques Annaud [Amazon US]
    Jean-Jacques Annaud's The Name of the Rose is a flawed attempt to adapt Umberto Eco's highly convoluted medieval bestseller for the screen, necessarily excising much of the esoterica that made the book so compelling. Still, what's left is a riveting whodunit set in a grimly and grimily realistic 14th-century Benedictine monastery populated by a parade of grotesque characters, all of whom spend their time lurking in dark places or scuttling, half-unseen, in the omnipresent gloom. A series of mysterious and gruesome deaths are somehow tied up with the unwelcome attention of the Inquisition, sent to root out suspected heretical behavior among the monastic scribes whose lives are dedicated to transcribing ancient manuscripts for their famous library, access to which is prevented by an ingenious maze-like layout.

    Enter Sean Connery as investigator-monk William of Baskerville (the Sherlock Holmes connection made explicit in his name) and his naive young assistant Adso (a youthful Christian Slater). The Grand Inquisitor Bernado Gui (F. Murray Abraham) suspects devilry; but William and Adso, using Holmesian forensic techniques, uncover a much more human cause: the secrets of the library are being protected at a terrible cost. A fine international cast and the splendidly evocative location compensate for a screenplay that struggles to present Eco's multifaceted story even partially intact; Annaud's idiosyncratic direction complements the sinister, unsettling aura of the tale ideally. --Mark Walker, Amazon.com

  2. The Singing Detective (1986) - Jon Amiel[Amazon US]
    The late Dennis Potter was a master at mining the popular songs of the 1930s and '40s for dramatic effect, but he never did it better than in this British miniseries starring the inestimable Michael Gambon. Gambon plays a mystery writer named Philip E. Marlow, who is suffering a torturous bout of psoriatic arthritis in a British hospital, where he is a victim of both his disease and the national health plan. Unable to move without pain, he escapes into his imagination, plotting out a murder tale in which he is both a big-band singer and a private eye. But Potter and director Jon Amiel also mix in flashbacks of Marlow's youth and his unhappy marriage to explain how the real Marlow reached this sorry pass. Flawlessly, intricately, kaleidoscopically assembled, the six one-hour episodes of this British miniseries fly by like some fantastic fever dream. --Marshall Fine for Amazon.com

  3. Sid & Nancy (1986) - Alex Cox [Amazon US]
    After the cultish success of Repo Man, maverick director Alex Cox made the film that remains his masterpiece--a loud, brash, abrasive, painful, funny, and utterly brilliant screen biography of British punk rocker Sid Vicious and his American girlfriend Nancy Spungen. As played to perfection by Gary Oldman and Chloe Webb, Sid and Nancy are made for each other, serving their mutual strengths and weaknesses and rising with the punk-rock fame of Sid's group, the Sex Pistols, while falling into the ultimately lethal pit of drug abuse. Cox doesn't pull any punches or compromise the unsavory aspects of this passionate love story, so the film presents a harsh mix of emotional and physical anguish tempered by the very poignant and genuine love shared by its tormented central characters. Through it all, the film emerges as an intimate and yet oddly epic chronicle of punk's glory days of anarchic sex, drugs and rock & roll. It's as dynamic and confidently directed as any screen biography before or since, no less fascinating for its unpleasant aspects as for the touching emotions at its very human core. --Jeff Shannon, amazon.com

  4. 9 1/2 Weeks (1986) - Adrian Lyne [DVD, Amazon US]
    Frequently given short shrift as a blue movie (which it is) and as mindless (which it isn't), director Adrian Lyne's follow-up to Flashdance (insert own joke here) is a thoughtful, smutty film about a bad sexual relationship. It follows the two-month affair between Elizabeth, an art-gallery dealer, and John, a Wall Street exec. The relationship spirals downward into raunchier sex (filmed, by the way, quite nicely) but principally is about two adults doing adult things but not acting anything like real adults. Attempts at actual human connection, about the longing to be "good," are present here and make this an above-average erotic film. Rourke is just honing his scumbag, bad-boy persona; but it doesn't overwhelm. Lots and lots of Kim Basinger. --Keith Simanton

  5. She's Gotta Have It (1986) - Spike Lee [VHS, Amazon US]
    Spike Lee made a splash in the independent film world with his debut feature, an inventive low-budget romance with a strong-willed heroine. Nola Darling (Tracy Camilla Johns) can't decide among her three boyfriends: serious but sweet Jamie (Tommy Redmond Hicks), self-centered clotheshorse Greer (John Canada Terrell), and goofy, wisecracking bike messenger Mars Blackmon (Lee). Within this loose story line Lee launches into a character study of Darling and offers a slice of black urban life rarely seen on the screen. According to Lee's published diary, he interviewed dozens of women and gathered feedback on screenplay from female friends, and his efforts show. Nola is an unapologetic, sexually independent character who resists the efforts of the men in her life to change who she is to please them--the wonderful concluding twist thumbs its nose at romantic conventions and gives Nola her due. Lee combines direct address and documentary techniques with a simple, often elegant narrative style to create a multilayered portrait of Nola and her men and question perceptions and conventions of sex, sexuality, and relationships in the modern world. Though somewhat primitive in the light of his more accomplished works, this first feature introduces Lee as a fresh voice and a creative force to be reckoned with. --Sean Axmaker for amazon.com

  6. 'Round Midnight (1986) - Bertrand Tavernier [1 DVD, Amazon US]
    Like the music it celebrates, Round Midnight is long on atmosphere, short on formal structure, alert and open to improvisation, making this 1986 drama the most authentic glimpse of jazz yet filmed. Its subject, Dale Turner (played by Dexter Gordon), is a composite of brilliant but bruised jazz warriors who left America behind for self-imposed European exile, finding a more tolerant and appreciative audience while never completely eluding their private demons. Drugs and drink have battered the tall, laconic saxophonist, whose diffident, somewhat distracted manner only partly conceals a deeper exhaustion as he plays a 1959 engagement in a Parisian club and tries to stay sober. His burnished solos drift behind the tempo with a languor that can't be fully explained as a point of style. But when an ardent, impoverished French fan (François Cluzet) intercepts his idol and then offers him simple acts of kindness, the gesture inspires a brief but glowing second wind in the aging musician, reflected in his playing. Even as the film contemplates Turner's return to his homeland as a portent of his own death, his moments on the Parisian bandstand suggest a glimpse of redemption.
    If Turner's frail character echoes real-life ex-pats like Bud Powell and Lester Young, director Bertrand Tavernier's insistence upon casting the role with veteran tenor player Dexter Gordon breathes startling authenticity into the figure. Gordon's own drug arrests and an extended idyll abroad give him direct access to Turner's isolation, and Tavernier elicits a natural but compelling performance that earned Gordon (who died in 1990) an Academy Award nomination. Likewise, the director cast his cinematic band with world-class musicians, including Herbie Hancock, Freddie Hubbard, Wayne Shorter, and Ron Carter, and shot these sequences as live performances. Hancock's score deservedly won both British and American Academy Awards, as well as a French César. --Sam Sutherland for Amazon.com [...]

  7. At Close Range (1986) - James Foley [1 DVD, Amazon US]
    One of the overlooked films of the 1980s, perhaps because it is such a downbeat tale of an amoral family. Sean Penn plays a kid whose small-time criminal impulses are stoked to a new level when he falls in with his father (Christopher Walken), a vicious career criminal for whom no problem is so large that it can't be solved by a murder. At first exhilarated by the attention from his father (and the jobs he gives him to do), he gradually catches on to just what a bad guy Dad really is. But when he tries to extricate himself, he discovers that Dad now has him squarely in his sights. Penn is terrific in a role of emotional complexity, while Walken, king of the creeps, is positively frightening as this soft-spoken but highly lethal patriarch. --Marshall Fine for Amazon.com

  8. The Hitcher (1986) - Robert Harmon [1 DVD, Amazon US]
    Steven Spielberg's first feature film, 1971's Duel, is set on a desert highway. It stars Dennis Weaver as a driver being pursued by a menacing truck, which is following him with all the vengeance of the ancient furies. In this spiritual update from 1984, C. Thomas Howell plays a guy taking a drive-away car from Chicago to San Diego. On a whim, in the rain, and against his better judgment, he picks up a hitchhiker (Rutger Hauer). The hitcher quickly admits to being a murdering psychopath, and once Howell finally gets him out of his car, he is pursued with all the vengeance of the ancient furies. We're never sure if the hitcher is a figment of his imagination, making Howell a schizophrenic killer, or if he's real and Howell is the random victim of a wandering madman, which is how his potential new girlfriend (Jennifer Jason Leigh) thinks of him. Either way, The Hitcher is great fun, kinda scary, and teetering on the brink of "must see." --Andy Spletzer for amazon.com

  9. Hannah and Her Sisters (1986) - Woody Allen [1 DVD, Amazon US]
    Considered by many to be Woody Allen's best film, even over Annie Hall. Hannah and Her Sisters follows a multitude of characters: Hannah (Mia Farrow), who plays den mother to her extended family; her sister Lee (Barbara Hershey), emotional and a bit of a flake, who's involved with a much older artist (Max Von Sydow), who treats her like a child; and Hannah's other sister, Holly (Dianne Wiest), a neurotic who feels incapable of managing her life. Hannah's husband Elliot (Michael Caine) falls in love with Lee, which sets off a series of upheavals. Allen gives one of his best performances as Hannah's ex-husband Mickey, who--much like Allen himself--is obsessed with death and unhappiness. But a simple summary doesn't begin to capture the warmth and intimacy of this movie; though the story follows a capsizing family, the outcome is surprising, joyous, and richly human. --Bret Fetzer for amazon.com

  10. Ruthless People (1986) - David Zucker, Jerry Zucker[1 DVD, Amazon US]
    A milestone comedy of the 1980s, Ruthless People delighted critics and audiences alike and set the tone of Hollywood comedies for years to come. Along with that other popular farce about wealthy Californians, Down and Out in Beverly Hills, this ingenious romp revived Bette Midler's career and launched Disney (by way of its subsidiary, Touchstone Pictures) into the lucrative production of R-rated comedies; it also ensured the star power of then-TV star Danny DeVito. Dale Launer became Hollywood's hot screenwriter du jour by cleverly reworking O. Henry's Ransom of Red Chief into a wicked tale of marital malice heightened by a bungled kidnapping. Midler is sublime as the victim of low-rent abductors ("I've been kidnapped by Kmart!"), and DeVito's the gleeful philanderer who refuses to pay ransom for his wife's unwanted return. With Anita Morris, Judge Reinhold, Helen Slater, and Bill Pullman among the plot-twisting schemers, the movie's so much fun that an eventual remake seems almost inevitable. --Jeff Shannon for Amazon.com [the kidnapped wife has a Memphis Group interior [...]]

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