Frankenweenie is a 1984 featurette directed by Tim Burton and co-written by Burton with Leonard Ripps. It is both a parody and homage to the 1931 film Frankenstein based on Mary Shelley’s 1818 novel Frankenstein. Burton later directed a feature-length stop-motion animated remake of Frankenweenie, released in 2012.
Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind is a 1984 Japanese anime film written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki, based on his 1982 manga. It was animated by Tokuma Shoten and Hakuhodo. Joe Hisaishi composed the score. The film stars the voices of Sumi Shimamoto, Goro Naya, Yoji Matsuda, Yoshiko Sakakibara, and Iemasa Kayumi. Taking place in a future post-apocalyptic world, the film tells the story of Nausicaä, the young princess of the Valley of the Wind. She becomes embroiled in a struggle with Tolmekia, a kingdom that tries to use an ancient weapon to eradicate a jungle full of mutant giant insects.
Down by Law is a 1986 American black-and-white independent film written and directed by Jim Jarmusch and starring Tom Waits, John Lurie, Roberto Benigni, Nicoletta Braschi, and Ellen Barkin. The film centers on the arrest, incarceration, and escape from jail of three men. It discards jailbreak film conventions by focusing on the interaction between the convicts rather than on the mechanics of the escape. A key element in the film is Robby Müller’s slow-moving camerawork, which captures the architecture of New Orleans and the Louisiana bayou to which the cellmates escape.
Sparks is an American pop and rock duo, originally formed as a Los Angeles band called Halfnelson in 1967 by brothers Ron and Russell Mael. Known for their quirky approach to songwriting, Sparks’ music is often accompanied by sophisticated and acerbic lyrics, often about women or Shakespearean literature references, and an idiosyncratic, theatrical stage presence, typified in the contrast between Russell’s animated, hyperactive frontman antics and Ron’s deadpan scowling. They are also noted for Russell’s distinctive wide-ranging voice and Ron’s intricate and rhythmic keyboard playing style.