Still from Back to the Future (1985)

Back to the Future / Desperately Seeking Susan

Saturday Dec 7, 2019 07:30 PM This is a past program

The UCLA Film & Television Archive presents classic film and contemporary cinema in the Hammer's Billy Wilder Theater.

Part of the film series Make My Day: Movie Culture in the Age of Reagan

Back to the Future

Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) travels back in time to the 1950s, with the help of eccentric inventor Doc Brown (Lloyd), to ensure his parents get together at the high school dance and thus ensure his own existence. Director Robert Zemeckis channels Spielbergian nostalgia to evoke a “comforting past to improve the present and even frame the radiant future,” (J. Hoberman) and so perfectly encapsulates Ronald Reagan’s appeals to a sanitized movie version of American history.  (1985, dir. Robert Zemeckis, 35mm, color, 116 min.)

Desperately Seeking Susan

The mid-way point of Ronald Reagan’s two-term presidency saw the emergence of a genre deeply rooted in the moment: the comedy of yuppie angst. Director Susan Seidelman’s Desperately Seeking Susan is a quintessential example of the form with it’s gender formula flipped. Here, it’s a discontented professional woman (Rosanna Arquette) who pursues her object of desire (Madonna) into an exotically-represented bohemian underworld. (1985, dir. Susan Seidelman, 35mm, color, 103 min.)

Still from Desperately Seeking Susan  (1985)
Still from Desperately Seeking Susan (1985)