Jewels in the Wasteland – Intern Edition: AFS Interns Pick Their Favorite Films of the ’80s

AFS is proud of our internship program, which recruits only the best and the brightest, eager to learn about the behind-the-scenes of Austin Film Society. Our interns work hard each week to help fuel the machine that is AFS. Each intern brings a new perspective and we enjoy learning from them as much as they learn from us.

In the spirit of Richard Linklater’s Jewels in the Wasteland, a series that spotlights some of the best films made during the 1980s, we thought it was a great opportunity to ask some of the AFS interns their favorite films from the ’80s.

Be sure to join us for Jewels in the Wasteland at AFS Cinema, and you might bump into an intern hard at work and/or enjoying a new found favorite film from the 1980s.

Here are some of their favorites from the ’80s:

Zephyr Gunter, Office Intern

POSSESSION (1981) dir. Andrzej Zulawski

“This film is really bonkers. What is it about, really? I don’t know! But I love it and respect it and worship it. Pure insanity, that’s all I can say.”

KOYAANISQATSI (1982) dir. Godfrey Reggio

“Ethereal, out of body, psychedelic, meditative, contemplative. Scored by Philip Glass. Zero dialogue. A moving masterpiece.”

POLYESTER (1981) dir. John Waters

“A mockery of the domestic, American lifestyle. Hilarious, genius, and ridiculous. It’s John Waters, what else could you want?”

Annissa Calvillo, Office Intern

SIXTEEN CANDLES (1984) dir. John Hughes

“It’s a timeless comedy with the always moody, yet stylish Molly Ringwald. Even watching it now, it’s like a breath of fresh air. Every person can relate to the key characters in some way. For me, it was Molly Ringwald’s best friend telling her to “stop feeling sorry for [herself].” I mean let’s be honest, Samantha was kinda melodramatic about the whole, “my family forgot my birthday” thing. I could go on, but it will always be my favorite 80s film!”

Jack McLain, Senior Intern for the Video & Special Media Department


“This is Laurie Anderson’s world and we’re all just living in it.”

Seve Canales, Senior Intern for the Video & Special Media Department

NATIONAL LAMPOON’S VACATION (1983) dir. Harold Ramis

“A classic.”

DAS BOOT (1981) dir. Wolfgang Peterson

“Das good.”

Glenn Fraser, Senior Intern for the Marketing Department

PROJECT A-KO (1986) dir. Katsuhiko Nishijima

“The end result of a series of enthusiastic ‘sure, why not?’ decisions, PROJECT A-KO goes beyond being a zany, over-the-top parody of 80’s anime and becomes something wholly enjoyable on its own.”

ROBOCOP (1987) dir. Paul Verhoeven

“In the whole collective of 80’s films it’s hard not to bring up something like ROBOCOP. It’s the kind of movie that has all the trappings one would expect: The memorable one-liners, the over-the-top violence, copious amounts of cocaine, etc. What sets this film apart is a soulful performance by Peter Weller, who puts his all into what is a very physically demanding performance, and an undercurrent of wit and intelligence supplied by Paul Verhoeven. Thank goodness Martine Tours retrieved the script from the trashcan that fateful day.”

Sara Tynan, Senior Intern for the Marketing Department


“What can I say that hasn’t already been said about this film? Nothing. It’s perfect.”

Bonus favorite film from our wonderful Office Coordinator, Lily Angelle

THE FLY (1986) dir. David Cronenberg

“Jeff Goldblum embraces a monkey and turns into a fly… need I say more? It has a scene involving acid vomit that you just cannot unsee, in the best way possible. It might just be the greatest/saddest love story of all time.”

  • Contributed by Senior Marketing Intern Sara Tynan

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