POP GOES THE DECADE- A totally rad look back at the glorious 80's and all the flicks, fashions, tunes, and TV shows that made the decade so cool and memorable in the first place. Like, for sure!

Sunday, June 19, 2011



      One of my favorite movies of the 80's is the somewhat underrated DESPERATELY SEEKING SUSAN, directed by Susan Seidelman. Released right along the time Madonna went supernova, it's an immensely enjoyable  madcap mystery of mistaken identity set in the fabulous underground scene of New York City in the early 80's.

     I love DSS because it's witty, it's hip, and it's cool. Madonna's look in this movie was all the rage that spring and summer of 1985, and Madonna-mania was at an all-time high. Generally known as 'the Madonna movie', but don't let that fool you. Rosanna Arquette, Mark Blum, and Aiden Quinn are absolutely charming here, and Laurie Metcalf almost steals the show. Madonna herself shines here, and barely beat out such actresses as Ellen Barkin and Jennifer Jason Leigh for the title role of Susan. The filmmakers also originally wanted Diane Keaton and Goldie Hawn to play the roles of Roberta (Rosanna) and Susan. However, the decided on Rosanna and Madonna, and it payed off. I can't imagine anybody else bringing the mysterious Susan to life like she did.

     The movie would become a hit, earning a cool $27, 398, 584 dollars at the box office and ending up on The New York Times' Vincent Canby's list of the ten best films of 1985. Unfairly judged because of Madonna's reputation and other acting endeavors, it's much better than many remember.  what they say about Madonna's acting.  She's delightful in this movie and plays off Rosanna Arquette quite well. They have great chemistry and the entire film crackles with a dry, sarcastic humor that's right up my alley. The film is smart, sassy, and energetic. It's a perfect time capsule of New York, circa 1985, and a winning comedy at that.

     DESPERATELY SEEKING SUSAN would also spawn Madonna's immortal 80's anthem, "Into the Groove"-  although many don't know that the song was never actually released as a single. It was only the b-side of "Angel", making it ineligible to enter Billboard's Top 100 chart. Still, it's an undying pop classic, and one of Madge's most well-known and loved songs. So if you're in the mood for some New York underground, 80's style, DESPERATELY SEEKING SUSAN sure does hit the spot. Great fun.

Enola Gay by Orchestral Maneuvres in the Dark.

     Okay I'm going to start with one of my all-time favorite songs of the 80's, "Enola Gay" by British synthpop band Orchestral Maneuvers In the Dark.  Released in 1980, it still gives me chills every time I hear it.  I cannot explain it- I only know that it makes me happy.  This is awesome and I'm smiling right now.