70's US

Discuss anything you want.
User avatar
undinum
Posts: 258
Joined: Wed Oct 09, 2013 10:47 pm

Re: 70's US

Post by undinum » Thu Feb 05, 2015 3:03 am

Hyamses are good people. Outside yr purview, but Outland features some outstanding action (+ an equally excellent footchase) & Sudden Death is a blast and probably the best of the Die Hard clones. Very excited for Enemies Closer.
User avatar
ribbon
Posts: 45363
Joined: Thu Feb 18, 2010 2:14 am
Contact:

Re: 70's US

Post by ribbon » Thu Feb 05, 2015 3:17 pm

Just managed to see your watchlist & even more into this now. <3 Excited for your thoughts on Fosse.
User avatar
Beau
Posts: 6188
Joined: Thu Feb 18, 2010 8:00 pm

Re: 70's US

Post by Beau » Thu Feb 05, 2015 3:23 pm

Outland was a favorite when I was growing up. Good atmosphere, that cool 80s futuristic look that now looks both hopelessly antiquated and wonderfully alien (especially the computer technology). It's basically High Noon in space, but it's entertaining.
User avatar
snapper
Posts: 12232
Joined: Sat Jul 14, 2012 12:11 pm
Location: NZ

Re: 70's US

Post by snapper » Thu Feb 05, 2015 8:16 pm

i've been fascinated by the movie Heartland but haven't seen it yet. has anyone?
Latest notable first-time viewings:

* The Sun in a Net / Uher
** The Seashell and the Clergyman / Dulac
The Tales of Beatrix Potter / Mills
* A Flood in Ba'ath Country / Amiralay
Times and Winds / Erdem
Most Beautiful Island / Asensio
* Japanese Girls Never Die / Matsui
* Birth Certificate / Różewicz
Bush Mama / Gerima
** Paris Is Burning / Livingston


TWEET1 | TWEET2 | FACE | BOXD | TUMBL1 | TUMBL2
User avatar
roujin
Posts: 2736
Joined: Sun Nov 20, 2011 9:57 pm

Re: 70's US

Post by roujin » Fri Feb 06, 2015 1:45 pm

Image
36. The Jericho Mile (Michael Mann, 1979)

Most notable for featuring a fully formed Mann protagonist right from the start. Echoes of Caan's Thief character, De Niro in Heat and Hemsworth in Blackhat can all be traced to the attitudes and sense of self that Peter Strauss embodies. Still, Mann's style, whether due to TV limitations or for other reasons, isn't as fully expressive as I wanted it to be. Add to this with some limitations of dialogue and acting, and it's a nice effort, but not essential.

★★

Image
37. Basic Training (Frederick Wiseman, 1971)

Wiseman's early film concerns the process that the US military uses in order to remold young draftees into proper soldiers, ready to be useful in the field. The soldiers are mostly faceless, appearing in usually but a single scene, often interchangeable. Whereas most of the Wiseman films I've seen are open to multivalent ideas and interpretations, this one has a narrower scope than I would like. Its ideas and attitudes seem pretty straightforward and Wiseman's skepticism regarding the practices on display is hard to miss. Not to say it's a bad film, but I wished for more.

★★

Image
38. New York Portrait, Chapter I (Peter B. Hutton, 1979)

Hutton films New York in a way that favors abstraction, sometimes it's unclear what exactly we're looking at, because it's either shrouded in darkness or the composition favors some other pattern or element. Still, the film is notable mostly for how beautiful and fragile Hutton's light is - it shimmers.

★★

Image
39. Wild Gunman (Craig Baldwin, 1978)

A pretty wild mix of old TV shows, video games, and other stuff supposedly deconstructing the idea of the cowboy or the west or something other stuff. But, really, it's the moments where the film splinters off into even more bizarre little tangents that it becomes interesting. At 20 minutes, it doesn't really get a chance to be boring, but that's not big of an accomplishment.

★★

Image
40. The Act of Seeing With One's Own Eyes (Stan Brakhage, 1971)

Brakhage by more or less presenting the facts of a body as is turns it into a strange abstract experience. Not that the content or the editing or anything here particularly qualifies, but it's more in how the visual information is processed. Or maybe it's the opposite in that he turns the abstract into a physical experience. It's hard to make sense of, but I know that it's basically unforgettable - how routine, how banal this is and ultimately how fragile a vessel a body is.

★★★
User avatar
snapper
Posts: 12232
Joined: Sat Jul 14, 2012 12:11 pm
Location: NZ

Re: 70's US

Post by snapper » Fri Feb 06, 2015 7:53 pm

brakhage the best
Latest notable first-time viewings:

* The Sun in a Net / Uher
** The Seashell and the Clergyman / Dulac
The Tales of Beatrix Potter / Mills
* A Flood in Ba'ath Country / Amiralay
Times and Winds / Erdem
Most Beautiful Island / Asensio
* Japanese Girls Never Die / Matsui
* Birth Certificate / Różewicz
Bush Mama / Gerima
** Paris Is Burning / Livingston


TWEET1 | TWEET2 | FACE | BOXD | TUMBL1 | TUMBL2
User avatar
JediMoonShyne
Posts: 22425
Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2010 7:26 am
Location: Cittàgazze
Contact:

Re: 70's US

Post by JediMoonShyne » Tue Feb 10, 2015 10:41 pm

Must watch more Hutton.
“Bisogna essere molto forti per amare la solitudine.” - P.P. Pasolini

WCoF I II IIIL'EtàL'Eau한국88ShadowsBerlin thırd ISOLATIONVistaVision
User avatar
roujin
Posts: 2736
Joined: Sun Nov 20, 2011 9:57 pm

Re: 70's US

Post by roujin » Tue Feb 17, 2015 9:39 pm

Image
41. Chulas Fronteras (Les Blank, 1976)

Les Blank focuses on a few people and their music. You see them in their backyards, in their kitchens, with their sons and daughters, always a song in the background. What comes through the clearest is how the song forms explored in the film are based on narrative experiences that both musician and audience fully understand and recognize. While Les Blank pans over old family pictures and record sleeves, the film makes clear that the musical traditions of the film are but another way of passing down the identity of families, and of a people.

★★★

Image
42. The Cheerleaders (Paul Glickler, 1973)

Always nice to see a film that's genuinely sex positive and that has fun with its characters this much. Notable mostly because of how its female lead characters drive the narrative and own their pleasure, but its disjointed stop-start feel is sorta of a drag. Still, there's some really fun sequences here (my favorite being the one with Janitor in a bear costume - a man after my own heart).

★★

Image
43. The Last Tycoon (Elia Kazan, 1976)

The film is at its best in all the sequences dealing with De Niro just taking care of business on the lot, having meetings, sitting in on the editing, talking with the writers. It's less interesting than when it becomes melodrama about De Niro hounding after some mysterious girl. Still, Kazan gets a lot of mileage out of those scenes, particularly the ones taking place in De Niro's still half-built beachside home. The editing of the film is strikingly fleet throughout, thumbing through many different scenarios and illuminating different aspects of the backlot life.

★★

Image
44. Cooley High (Michael Schultz, 1975)

Solid coming of age comedy. Sorta like American Graffiti for early 60's Chicago hood. The characters are amiable and fun; much of the film is given over to them fooling around, skirting the edge between boys having fun and criminal behavior. From going on joyrides in stolen cars to their abandon in petting in empty apartments, the film is on their side for better or worse. There's an unconvincing tragic turn later on in the film that makes explicit some of the tensions that the film had only hinted at earlier, but it's sorta ill-fitting, and its sociopolitical insights feel at odds with a film that has a gorilla throw poop at one of its main characters. Or maybe that's the point.

★★

Image
45. The Last Waltz (Martin Scorsese, 1978)

I don't know how to discuss concert films, but I pretty much still dig all the music here (except for a couple of dudes who will always remain bores... eh, Eric Clapton). Scorsese focuses a lot on performer's faces, and how they all interact with each other and the audience ("They got it now, Robbie.") Not everything is great (the poetry and the behind the scenes anecdotes are boring filler at best), but what's here is pretty strong. That said, if Scorsese made the same movie but of a Especia performance, then that would be a masterpiece.
User avatar
wigwam
Posts: 2084
Joined: Tue Jun 11, 2013 1:03 pm

Re: 70's US

Post by wigwam » Tue Feb 17, 2015 10:50 pm

roujin wrote:
Image
45. The Last Waltz (Martin Scorsese, 1978)
Levon Helm wrote:Two days before the show, our studio manager tried to talk to me. 'Levon,' he said, 'we've invited too many people. The show's gonna run for hours. We, uh, we gotta take someone off the show.'
I snarled: 'Go tell Robertson to tell Neil Diamond we don't even know who the fuck he is.'
User avatar
roujin
Posts: 2736
Joined: Sun Nov 20, 2011 9:57 pm

Re: 70's US

Post by roujin » Tue Feb 17, 2015 11:15 pm

hahaha, i loved diamond in that movie. i wanna dress him like forever.
User avatar
wigwam
Posts: 2084
Joined: Tue Jun 11, 2013 1:03 pm

Re: 70's US

Post by wigwam » Tue Feb 17, 2015 11:19 pm

I'll dress like Van
User avatar
roujin
Posts: 2736
Joined: Sun Nov 20, 2011 9:57 pm

Re: 70's US

Post by roujin » Tue Feb 17, 2015 11:23 pm

i'll be neil young's cocaine booger
User avatar
MrCarmady
Posts: 4749
Joined: Thu Dec 23, 2010 1:29 am

Re: 70's US

Post by MrCarmady » Mon Feb 23, 2015 10:48 pm

Is there any great movie that starts out with an animated credits sequence?
Better Off Dead? Good thread, haven't seen as much as I'd like. Metzger is good people, I need to see more of his stuff. What's the first film in your opening post?
User avatar
roujin
Posts: 2736
Joined: Sun Nov 20, 2011 9:57 pm

Re: 70's US

Post by roujin » Tue Feb 24, 2015 3:48 am

That's Phantom of the Paradise.

Image
46. Dark Star (John Carpenter, 1974)

Carpenter's debut is formally very much unlike most other of his films I've seen. The tension usually evoked by his framing is largely absent throughout. What comes through is instead blackly comic and absurd sense of humor and point of view. The characters are working class guys doing a crappy job in terrible conditions, the bombs are sentient and argue for their own existence, all the bad things happen by dumb bad luck. It's interesting and funny, but it's undeniable that its ideas far outstrip its sense of craft.

★★

Image
47. Dirty Harry (Don Siegel, 1971)

The key moment is the scene in the football stadium. The lights come on, Harry shoots the suspect, and then stalks him down, stepping on his wounds. Scorpio squeals "I have rights" as Eastwood's face beams with bloodlust. This entire scene is overwhelming and horrific and in a bravura moments, Siegel's camera backs away rapidly, getting as far away as it can, shrinking away from the violence it's been depicting. The final scene is but a formality; there was never any soul to lose.

★★★

Image
48. Cry For Me, Billy (William A. Graham, 1972)

Ridiculously bleak western concerning a random drifter tired of the gunslinger life. He stumbles onto a cavalry massacre against the Indians and manages to save a young woman. A surprising amount of the film is given over to them just riding around on a horse, she always in various states of undress, trying to survive and traversing the landscape. The film then sinks to surprising levels of brutality and then denies its characters any chance at redemption. Harry Dean Stanton shows up at the beginning and at the end to tell the film's hero how he's not long for this world.

★★★

Image
49. Same Time, Next Year (Robert Mulligan, 1978)

Robert Surtees' filtered cinematography seems an odd fit for this stagy, talky, mostly dull Mulligan film. Alda and Burstyn play a couple who once a year meet up in the same hotel room to continue their affair. The film jumps 5 years after every meeting making the viewer suffer through a b&w stills montage of notable historical and pop culture landmarks. A lot of the film is concerned with Alda wanting to have sex as much as possible, which is too disgusting to even conceive of; and also of their home lives with their respective spouses. The tone is at points oddly farcical and then deeply, nauseatingly saccharine. Mulligan's framing and staging is mostly inexpressive, and by the time that Alda is contorting his face to resemble crying, most of the goodwill I had for the film was gone.

★★

Image
50. The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds (Paul Newman, 1972)

Newman's framing is often expressive and generous in its spirit which grounds Woodward's more loquacious and florid moments. The film explores the hurt that parents can often unknowingly inflict on their children (and at points how that can flow the other way as well), getting into the various hangups of Woodward's characters (her obsession with cheesecake, her hopes, tics). But it's in the children that the film finds its soul. There are powerful sequences here where that the simple act of witnessing conveys everything necessary. How disappointment and hurt begin to take shape inside of those characters registers forcefully. The final voiceover giving shape to interior emotions only hinted at earlier, bringing genius emotional closure to the earlier conflicts, showing how a mother can influence her child, and how ultimately the child must become their own person.

★★★
User avatar
jade_vine
Posts: 459
Joined: Thu Jun 13, 2013 2:25 am

Re: 70's US

Post by jade_vine » Tue Feb 24, 2015 7:17 am

roujin wrote:Image
48. Cry For Me, Billy (William A. Graham, 1972)

Ridiculously bleak western concerning a random drifter tired of the gunslinger life. He stumbles onto a cavalry massacre against the Indians and manages to save a young woman. A surprising amount of the film is given over to them just riding around on a horse, she always in various states of undress, trying to survive and traversing the landscape. The film then sinks to surprising levels of brutality and then denies its characters any chance at redemption. Harry Dean Stanton shows up at the beginning and at the end to tell the film's hero how he's not long for this world.
Glad someone else saw this. Really cool stuff, but yeah it broke my damn heart.
User avatar
Ricardos LaFleur
Posts: 574
Joined: Mon Apr 04, 2011 9:09 pm

Re: 70's US

Post by Ricardos LaFleur » Sat Feb 28, 2015 4:02 am

Dandy thread. Some favorites of mine in here. Mean Streets, Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia, The Deer Hunter, Manhattan The Godfather's sort of obvious but yeah, Sister is a film that grows in my admiration of, and loads of other good stuff happening in here.

I'm hardly as flavored in this decade as probably many here are, so I can sort of use this thread for reference on future film viewings, but Cassavetes and Altman are pretty much the Gods of the 70s to me.
User avatar
roujin
Posts: 2736
Joined: Sun Nov 20, 2011 9:57 pm

Re: 70's US

Post by roujin » Fri Mar 20, 2015 11:56 pm

Image
51. What's Up Doc? (Peter Bodganovich, 1972)

Bogdanovich's vibe is almost too relaxed here. Some of the wackiness is too underplayed, too loose - it hangs around. He would find a more natural marriage between classical screwball scenario and his Hollywood New Wave sensibilities with They All Laughed. O'Neal can never get past being a pretty boy trying to act aloof, his abs give up the game. Streisand is pretty great here and she's game for pretty much everything. The film's best achievement is the car chase, which is a ton of fun, but it says something when the parts that don't feature the main characters are the best.

★★

Image
52. Lucifer Rising (Kenneth Anger, 1972)

Anger's editing creates a strange, oneiric effect, where his images become a half-remembered mixture of myths and pomp and spectactle. I don't take much too seriously the content (or the ideas?) of his films, but one always gets the sense of of some kind of private ceremony is taking place, some kind of communion between Anger and some sort of image. Which is interesting and worthwhile.

★★

Image
53. Blume in Love (Paul Mazursky, 1973)

Mazursky's chosen milieu is probably what works against him the most for me, as I couldn't stand just about any of these people. It's to his credit though that Segal's Blume remains more or less sympathetic throughout, even at his most unctuous and pathetic. His character's actions come from a place of selfishness disguised as love that was dramatized rather effectively The film's denouement, however, is too hard a sell. Although draped in about two layers of remove and critical distance, it's still too weakly supported by the rest of the film to be as powerful as it could be.

★★

Image
54. Jeremy (Arthur Barron, 1973)

Sweet teenage romance film that benefits from the complete lack of irony or guile. It's incredibly upfront about its intentions and its earnestness in the face of teen romance films that treat everything as a joke is definitely welcome. It also nicely understands the stakes involved for all its characters, and is never melodramatic, even when its characters act like it. The effect is incredibly modest, almost banal, in the best sense of the word. But, Barron's handheld camera often destroys moments. At its best, it comes off as haphazard; at its worst, it's annoying and distracting. It aims for a verisimilitude but its too clumsy to be effective.

★★

Image
55. Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex (Woody Allen, 1972)

Series of skits that all outstay their welcome. The funniest one is Wilder's bit with the sheep, which features great, remarkable facial reactions from Wilder. Some of the rest are fun in theory, but not execution (the entire Italian cinema bit is miserable, along with the transvestite bit). Ultimately, the comic ideas remain underdeveloped and not all that funny. So, a sketch film.

User avatar
roujin
Posts: 2736
Joined: Sun Nov 20, 2011 9:57 pm

Re: 70's US

Post by roujin » Mon Apr 20, 2015 10:58 am

Image
56. The Telephone Book (Nelson Lyon, 1971)

Pretty freewheeling early 70's comedy about a woman who hears the world's greatest erotic phone call. It's all about revealing the nice and funny fetishes that everyday folk have in a manner that's good-natured and fun. She runs into porno visionary Har Poon as he auditions women, she runs into a man who wants to expose himself to her on the subway but gets freaked out when she exposes herself to him; it's wackier and funnier than it sounds. Interspersed with all this are interviews with former obscene callers. They talk about the way they would call and their various tics . It's fun stuff. The film finds a perfect (and lonely) visual metaphor to end with but then overwhelms it with a whacked out animated finale that's overkill.

★★★

Image
57. All That Jazz (Bob Fosse, 1979)

Fosse's cuts and staging are completely unlike those deployed in the 50's classic Hollywood films he choreographed and danced in. Now in the director's reign, he cuts and emphasizes sudden changes in direction and favors expressive new poses. Rhythmically, it's just completely different. Fosse's gloss on Fellini is self-absorbed in a way that's ridiculous, but comes off as self-critical and acerbic enough to escape accusations of being self-serving. Mainly, it's just a weird, weird movie, a disruptive, wild vision that constantly surprises with its inventive restlessness.

★★★

Image
58. The Wizard of Gore (Heschell Gordon Lewis, 1970)

At its best when it focuses on the performance aspects. G.L.'s camera, steady and unwavering, seems more engaged in these scenes, using stasis and oddness of main performer to try and go after a somewhat trance-like effect. When the film abstracts the action in order to execute its special effects, a climax is reached and there's just nothing left in the film's arsenal. The rest is a wasteland of dead-eyed non-actors and a useless plot to fill the time and add some thematic depth and ambiguity, but the "reality is an illusion" aspect is pretty much nonsense.



Image
59. Girlfriends (Claudia Weill, 1978)

Seems Lena Dunham has been raiding this film's playbook for the last 4 years. Portrayal of female friendship, interdependence and all sorts of character dynamics is admirable and worthwhile. Not only that, it's done with intelligence and charmingly articulates how seemingly irreconcilable character differences fall by the wayside thanks to friendship.

★★★

Image
60. The Hills Have Eyes (Wes Craven, 1977)

The nighttime raid is an expertly executed 30 minutes of filmmaking. Nothing in the film can quite compare to it. There's a true sense of danger there, unpredictability, that the film simply can't sustain. As Craven ratchets up the tension, there's a sense of true unavoidable tragedy. The way events spiral out of control and leave earth-shattering consequences is masterfully handled. Craven treats death with true depth - notice the sensitivity displayed when the bodies in the trailer are found (it's the quietest moment in the movie). The rest of the film is dead air comparatively, particularly when the dogs start shoving people off high cliffs.

★★
User avatar
wigwam
Posts: 2084
Joined: Tue Jun 11, 2013 1:03 pm

Re: 70's US

Post by wigwam » Mon Apr 20, 2015 11:59 am

Love Jazz and Girlfriends
User avatar
JediMoonShyne
Posts: 22425
Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2010 7:26 am
Location: Cittàgazze
Contact:

Re: 70's US

Post by JediMoonShyne » Mon Apr 20, 2015 12:05 pm

roujin wrote:Seems Lena Dunham has been raiding this film's playbook for the last 4 years.
Ooh, I read this recently:

http://theweek.com/articles/447567/girl ... ever-heard
“Bisogna essere molto forti per amare la solitudine.” - P.P. Pasolini

WCoF I II IIIL'EtàL'Eau한국88ShadowsBerlin thırd ISOLATIONVistaVision
User avatar
Perverted Hermit
Posts: 372
Joined: Tue Jan 04, 2011 4:17 am

Re: 70's US

Post by Perverted Hermit » Thu Apr 23, 2015 1:33 am

wigwam wrote:Love Jazz and Girlfriends
only invited readers now? ugh, you goddamn faggot
User avatar
roujin
Posts: 2736
Joined: Sun Nov 20, 2011 9:57 pm

Re: 70's US

Post by roujin » Thu Apr 23, 2015 2:43 am

lol
User avatar
wigwam
Posts: 2084
Joined: Tue Jun 11, 2013 1:03 pm

Re: 70's US

Post by wigwam » Tue Jun 16, 2015 7:13 pm

When you leave Fat City for Rancho Deluxe, stop off to sip some moonshine at 90mph with The Last American Hero
User avatar
roujin
Posts: 2736
Joined: Sun Nov 20, 2011 9:57 pm

Re: 70's US

Post by roujin » Wed Jul 01, 2015 11:30 pm

pictures will come later:

Image
61. Serene Velocity (Ernie Gehr, 1970)

Can't deny that I didn't get much out of this. Alternating shots going back and forth, distances becoming shorter and longer, disorienting you while never fooling you. It's interesting, but I don't get much out of this type of filmmaking.

★★

Image
62. 11 x 14 (James Benning, 1977)

Benning's camera focuses on the edges of narratives. It glimpses events tangential to a plot that may or may not be there. The moments portrayed seem to happen before or after events actually take place. Things don't coalesce, but the approach is interesting and varied enough from shot to shot that it's never boring. Part of the fun is trying to piece something together from this cock-eyed take on a narrative.

★★

Image
63. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (Milos Forman, 1975)

Two thoughts: 1) the energy and vivaciousness of Jack Nicholson's performance is superb. He brings to the table a set of generational attitudes, us vs. them free-form rebellion, that's undeniably appealing and fun to watch. His interactions with the patients are engaging and Forman wisely has Nicholson's character treat everyone the same to build a sense of camaraderie. 2) Nicholson's revolt is primarily a masculine one; it's based on a rejection of the docile, sexless authority of Nurse Ratched. It posits Nicholson as the ideal Free Man and the rest of the patients as the repressed. His methods are simple: watch baseball, drink, get laid; but in the world of the film, they seem to show some tangible results (Chief talks, Billy doesn't stutter, Cheswick shows some spine). But Nicholson's revolt could essentially be reduced to being one against women (moms, wives, nurses), a plea to let boys be boys. When Nicholson begins to choke Anne Fletcher's Nurse Ratched, it crystallizes everything. One can grapple with the morality of his actions, but I see it in a continuum with all the people who criticize, for example, Anna Gunn's character in Breaking Bad - just another girl trying to stop us from doing badass shit.

★★

Image
64. Phantom of the Paradise (Brian De Palma, 1974)

Great rock film. De Palma paints characters in broad brush strokes; characters border on cartoons, but thru style become myths. Williams' songs shuffle through various musical styles working as both celebration and critique of the industry that birthed them. It's a gloriously silly film that because of its conviction also seems to arrive at terribly serious conclusions. It's garish and weird and freaky and often risible, but goddamn if it's not entertaining.

★★★★

Image
65. Real Life (Albert Brooks, 1979)

Brooks' film works because of the interesting friction between the family and the Hollywood intrusion of Brooks. Grodin and company's daily lives and fears and compulsions are presented completely banally and no effort is made to make them interesting characters. Brooks, on the other hand, is an abrasive presence from the start, creating spectacle and drama from the very beginning (he greets the town in song and is kissing the wife by the first weekend), he chooses which events are more interesting (horse operations over daughter's events) and rejecting science for entertainment. There's lots of hilarious little details to be found here and Brooks is always an engaging presence and shows a piercing intelligence for his satirical targets.

★★★
User avatar
roujin
Posts: 2736
Joined: Sun Nov 20, 2011 9:57 pm

Re: 70's US

Post by roujin » Sat Aug 22, 2015 3:07 pm

Image
66. McCabe & Mrs. Miller (Robert Altman, 1971)

Thoughts on how this film functions as deconstruction or as an anti-western recede from memory when faced with Altman's wholly sympathetic portrayal of his characters. Beatty's McCabe is a strange creation - ostensibly a cunning businessman at film's beginning, his shortcomings are continuously pointed out by Mrs. Miller and his own doom comes because of his obliviousness. Some strange mixture of pride, bravado and cluelessness power him throughout the movie, never comfortable in his own skin, always over his head. Altman's film isn't cynical about its characters - instead it sees them as part of capitalist progress, people trying to make things happen for themselves, come up out of nothing.

★★★

Image
67. Bad Ronald (Buzz Kulik, 1974)

Strange artifact here. Suffocating in its TV trappings, its compositions focused and barren, so removed from its action that the behavior in display is rendered even more bizarre. The main character's disintegration is creepy, incoherent, and baldly quotidian. Barely 70 minutes, feels longer, suggests more, and yet... there's a curious effect to the film that's hard to grasp.

★★

Image
68. If Footmen Tire You, What Will Horses Do? (Ron Ormond, 1971)

The film gets its unusual shocks from the relation between the often hypnotic sermon being delivered and the frequently hilariously gruesome reenactments. There's a hysteria to the film, an elevated frenzy to it, that makes it seem like it could serve up the apocalypse at its next image. The sermon is a direct address warning about the evils of communism, and how it will take over the US, killing and raping everything in sight. It's both totally sincere and completely nuts. The scenes illustrating the sermon are often inept and strange, but erupt into such macabre bits of violence that it renders the whole thing bizarre and uncomfortable. The film's denouement, a wholly noble breaking down and repentance, is almost moving, despite of all the child mutilations that have taken place. Who knows what this thing is really... but it could be us.

★★

Image
69. Halloween (John Carpenter, 1978)

There's a straight-line ferocity to this film, an unyielding narrative spooling, that's somewhat discordant (and yet feels right) with Carpenter's framing. His shots leaves pockets and spaces in the frame open, and Carpenter often makes room for and lingers on bits of the environment (people's lawns, front porches and homes become major players here). And it is those pockets of space that are always filled, whether the characters know it or not, by the presence of Michael. Sometimes, yes, Michael 's body will intrude randomly into the frame. But, at points, even when the corner of a frame lies empty, there's a tension inherent because at any point, it could be filled. Michael's presence is the negative space of the film.

★★★

Image
70.Speaking Directly (Jon Jost, 1973)

It's actually a simple film. Jost lays bare the most basic materials of his life. He explores his relationship to his audience, to his friends, family, his politics, the basic facts about who he is. It's, by definition, self-involved to an absurd degree, but it's Jost's way of trying to understand who he is, and what that means in a larger context. One part will recount the objective versus subjective experience of the Vietnam war. One part will recount in embarrassingly graphic detail his experiences in trying to understand the physical and mental differences between men and women. In the film's final moments, he takes inventory of the material resources that contributed to the making of this project. His interviews with his close friends and family are the most revealing of the project, and of Jost himself. He introduces each person by recounting their entire relationship together, and also puts in what he thinks about them and what he thinks they think about him. It makes for some uncomfortable viewing. The best part of the film has a friend suggesting that one way that they can reject Jost is by burning the film print, and one way that he can control his own narrative is by simply walking out of the frame. Jost's personality and mode of address is blunt, but it's in the more abstract thought exercises later on that the film unravels for me. It becomes exasperating.

★★
User avatar
jade_vine
Posts: 459
Joined: Thu Jun 13, 2013 2:25 am

Re: 70's US

Post by jade_vine » Sat Aug 22, 2015 8:28 pm

Wow I agree with pretty much everything you said in that post. Great words, great viewings. Bad Ronald seems longer but it weirdly never gets tiring for me, and I rewatch it more often than I expected to.
User avatar
Shieldmaiden
Posts: 7523
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2010 2:19 pm

Re: 70's US

Post by Shieldmaiden » Sun Aug 23, 2015 2:53 am

roujin wrote:Image
66. McCabe & Mrs. Miller (Robert Altman, 1971)

Thoughts on how this film functions as deconstruction or as an anti-western recede from memory when faced with Altman's wholly sympathetic portrayal of his characters. Beatty's McCabe is a strange creation - ostensibly a cunning businessman at film's beginning, his shortcomings are continuously pointed out by Mrs. Miller and his own doom comes because of his obliviousness. Some strange mixture of pride, bravado and cluelessness power him throughout the movie, never comfortable in his own skin, always over his head. Altman's film isn't cynical about its characters - instead it sees them as part of capitalist progress, people trying to make things happen for themselves, come up out of nothing.

★★★
Nice! I've seen so few of these, so I hesitate to comment. But here we're in sync! That part about being in over his head is true of many of the characters, really. They're all playing roles, often badly, but mostly people let it slide, even willfully get taken in. I think it's a feature of the young society, a sort of mutual progress pact.
Lazzaro felice - Cabin in the Sky - An Autumn Afternoon

Voyage | Female Gaze | MACBETH | Sokurov | Fassbinder | Greenaway | Denis | Sono | My Bookshelf
User avatar
roujin
Posts: 2736
Joined: Sun Nov 20, 2011 9:57 pm

Re: 70's US

Post by roujin » Fri Aug 28, 2015 1:41 pm

Image
71. The Pursuit of Happiness (Robert Mulligan, 1971)

Mulligan’s entry in late 60’s/early 70’s anti-establishment dropout movies. Mulligan is a sensitive director, attentive to the moods and emotions of his characters. But it’s possible this particular milieu just escapes him. The main character remains forever out of reach, his particular state of mind is elusive and sketched in broad strokes in scenarios that are often played without subtlety (his best friend, prison characters, and the courtroom scenes). Still, there are some pretty good moments. The best of which arrives late in the film between our young main character and his prejudiced grandmother. At this moment, when he rejects the values she wishes to part on to him, the film crystallizes the tensions that are found in the rest of the film in a dramatically sound way that’s unfortunately mostly rare.

★★

Image
72. Blacula (William Crain, 1972)

The title promises cheap blaxpoitation thrills, and it’s not that far off, but what registers the most is with how much dignity and poise William Marshall plays the character, a former African prince turned vampire. When Blacula hits the streets of early 70’s Los Angeles, it’s an opportunity to show off the culture (most prominent roles go to mostly a cadre of African American actors and musicians – the movie stops dead for a performance in a nightclub). It’s not boring, but mostly it comes off as inconsequential.



Image
73. Rich Kids (Robert M. Young, 1979)

Sensitive portrayal of two kids on the cusp of adolescence who bond over the marital troubles of their parents. The kids’ interactions are portrayed with poise and intelligence, and the child actors are natural. The adults are portrayed sympathetically, if in a humorous light, as each of them tries to do their best. Most of my enjoyment of the film comes from its respectful nature – it’s a film that cherishes the private worlds that children create for themselves and one that trusts their judgment and emotions. So, yeah, it’s pretty wonderful.

★★★

Image
74. Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry (John Hough, 1974)

Reliably rough and tumble film. Focused just as much as its main characters are in simply going fast, testing the engine, and causing vehicular mayhem. Its titular characters are dumb and unlikable, which fine, but neither is engaging enough beyond their own pettiness. The third character, the mechanic, is the actual soul of the film – troubled, former alcoholic who acts as conscience but still plays along with all the games. The film’s ending is hilariously abrupt and 70’s – an attempt to graft emotion on to characters who rarely displayed any, and to leave audiences in a sobering mood that the film did no work to conjure.

★★

Image
75. Car Wash (Michael Schultz, 1976)

Amiable comedy following all the people who work at the titular car wash. None of the characters are developed thoroughly and are instead sketched roughly, each one getting their own little vignette or hijink. Some strands are more affecting than others, but the ending is probably more serious than what the film has been building up towards to (did it really build up to anything?) Still, Ivan Dixon as a gruff ex-con sells every moment he's on-screen.

★★
User avatar
roujin
Posts: 2736
Joined: Sun Nov 20, 2011 9:57 pm

Re: 70's US

Post by roujin » Sat Sep 12, 2015 7:07 pm

Image
76. Mandingo (Richard Fleischer, 1975)

Relentlessly disturbing. Fleischer's filmmaking, always keenly observant, highlighting the scenario's thoroughly fucked up power struggles, is dispassionate in the face of lurid melodrama. It plays as a series of barbarities that are simply treated as a matter of every day life (some even treated as comedy!). The image of James Mason putting his feet on a young black kid crystallizes a lot of the hand-wringing that went on into this one. It's basically a film that makes you question how its images were produced. It makes you question the economic arrangements that led to the exploitation of black bodies - at each point we are aware that people, just people, arranged these things, these images. The film isn't distanced and artful, like McQueen, but lives with its characters - in their bloodlust, their bedrooms, in the muck with them. It presents everyone as complicit - even the filmmakers are complicit when they arrange images which feed into our titillation, our bloodlust and curiosity - in a system that every point treats black bodies as a commodity. That all the sexual frustration and dysfunction ends up erupting in a ridiculous, almost Jacobean, gesture makes lots of sense. It's an endlessly fascinating film.

★★★

Image
77. The Last House on the Left (Wes Craven, 1972)

Craven's images here have an unaffected nature to them that only deepens their horror. His awkward closeups of his ugly actors, the woods in the background, create a brutally banal effect. As the music plays and people are disemboweled, the film becomes eerie. It's in the surrounding scenes where Craven plays up a bit of the camp that the film loses me. There's some padding there that dampens the impact of its images, that undoes its spell. By the time the film gets around to delivering the just desserts that give the scheme away, there's no point anymore. The images are there to drive the point home, and the savagery on display becomes calculated. It's less unnerving that way.

★★

Image
78. Reminiscences of a Journey to Lithuania (Jonas Mekas, 1972)

This is a diary/essay film largely made up of footage of Mekas’ trip back to Lithuania after an absence of 25 years. It contains his family, the land he grew up on, singing, dancing, hanging out. Most images are sped up and reduce each moment to its crudest signifiers. The voiceover in Mekas’ accented English provides some context. The film also makes time for bookending parts which situate the trip to Lithuania in context. The early parts are of late 40’s / early 50’s Brooklyn, and of The Mekas Brothers feeling without a home. There’s even some parenthetical side trips (the most moving one has Mekas detailing how instead of Going West, he ended up in a prison camp in WW II). The images here are deeply felt and engaging.

★★★

Image
79. Semi-Tough (Michael Ritchie, 1977)

Mostly fun, irreverent comedy that loses me when it digs its satiric heels into some dumb 70's self-help fad. It derails the film in an astonishing way and distracts from the Design for Living-lite shenanigans going on in the rest of the film. Reynolds, Kristofferson and Clayburgh interacting while in between football games, trading barbs and affections for 90 minutes is great. But there's this whole other movie here spoiling the fun.

★★

Image
80. Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid (Sam Peckinpah, 1973)

Not quite an elegiac vision, no – it’s too violent. Its moral universe represented in a series of standoffs, macabre and brutish in their meaninglessness, that slowly build towards its inevitable conclusion. Peckinpah’s staging is supple and beautiful, reserving its beautiful vistas for a few choice moments, largely grounding its poses and attitudes in saloons, bedrooms and the like. Its conflict is possibly too overly-determined; after Peckinpah sets it up, then there’s not much variance in its thematic exploration. Still, this is largely irrelevant when faced with Coburn’s magnificent performance, a masterclass of suggesting roiling emotional states. The most glaring flaw is possibly Dylan who never stops being distracting (the music’s fine, great at points) – the various shots that cut to Dylan reacting or doing anything are largely pointless (except for the great scene where he’s told to read)

★★★
User avatar
roujin
Posts: 2736
Joined: Sun Nov 20, 2011 9:57 pm

Re: 70's US

Post by roujin » Thu Sep 24, 2015 10:01 pm

Image
81. The Driller Killer (Abel Ferrara, 1979)

The film demands to be played loud, but often you wish the film wouldn’t be heard at all. Ferrara’s official debut is a scuzzy creation, full of punk rock attitude, but lacking in basic craft. Ferrara is the titular killer, preying on a series of homeless men after the vagaries of being a modern artist get to be too much (can’t pay the rent, his patron trashes his work, his neighbors will not stop their band practice). Too much of the film seems complete aimless, giving time to a series of dead air performances by some random band, banal dialogue and simply bad framing. It feels mostly like an empty experience, lacking the thematic and aesthetic force/focus of Ferrara’s best work.



Image
82. Wild Rovers (Blake Edwards, 1971)

Blake Edwards tries his hand at a western, and it's completely unlike what I thought it would be. Honestly, it shouldn't be surprising. The "Blake Edwards Comedy" is something that often confounds expectations in that it trades in melancholy and pain just as often as it does in pratfalls and ribald humor. So, the Blake Edwards Western also works against expectations. This is an often lovely and understated work that's full of deliberately slow rhythms and scenes that often play out in long carefully staged takes. Edwards appears to have taken full advantage of a scenario that allowed him to stage a series of breathtaking images of cowboys traipsing about a series of incredible landscapes. The film also employs many slow dissolves allowing Edwards to conjure an elegiac somewhat contemplative tenor. One highlight is the scene where Holden tames a horse while O'Neal watches - the image becomes almost abstract as multiple planes of action dissolve into each other. So, the slowness of the film appears to be by design, but still there's probably not enough material at points here to sustain it. The two brothers on the hunt for Holden and O'Neal are sketched with broad strokes and too much time is spent on their meaningless trip. While I'm mostly positive on the film, the ending kind of sours it for me. There's a beautiful natural ending where Holden sings a song to himself (the culmination of the friendship in a pair of shots beforehand is the film's best moment) as he rides his horse to an unknown future that's completely undone by the film's final moves. It's a cheap move that doesn't emotionally cohere with the rest of the film.

★★

Image
83. Wise Blood (John Huston, 1979)

Huston’s Wise Blood moves with an awkward energy, product somewhat of Brad Dourif’s manic, wiry performance. He embues his rants, his street sermons, with a fiery, hurt passion (flashbacks to his character’s childhood provide the motivation, but don’t explain the anger). Adapted from Flannery O’Connor’s novel, this is a weird, dark movie, inquisitive about people’s behavior, the way they struggle to make it through life, setting up opposing systems of belief to satisfy their needs (a newspaper columnist suggests to a young girl to examine if her religious choices fit her desires). Dourif has his church, Stanton has his blindness and the young man wears a gorilla suit. And although it’s funny, it’s mostly just sad. Hard to reconcile the powerful bleakness of Dourif hearing a dying man’s last words, all meek, quiet and pitiful, with his outbursts about his car (faith on your self-reliance alone won’t carry you anywhere). The film’s final moments, strange and lurching, assembling a martyr out of nothing, are terribly hopeless. There’s nothing to find, just pain – there was never anything to find.

★★★

Image
84. The Only Game in Town (George Stevens, 1970)

Not much to say about this. Stagy, laborious screenplay that pits two familiar character types against each other and has nothing interesting to say about either of them. Elizabeth Taylor struggles to grasp on to anything, Warren Beatty does whatever he can, and the viewer is left adrift wondering any of it is happening.



Image
85. Carrie (Brian De Palma, 1976)

There are moments in this that broke my heart completely (the circling camera as they dance, Amy Irving approaching Carrie's house) mainly because De Palma's camera is always so expressive and pointed; and yet it remains a ferociously violent film in its emotions and actions. The greatness here is how the film mixes these modes and the way they shift in the film (beginning with teen film and ever so slightly shifting into horror before ultimately arriving at tragedy).

★★★
User avatar
Shieldmaiden
Posts: 7523
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2010 2:19 pm

Re: 70's US

Post by Shieldmaiden » Fri Sep 25, 2015 1:02 pm

roujin wrote:Image
83. Wise Blood (John Huston, 1979)

Huston’s Wise Blood moves with an awkward energy, product somewhat of Brad Dourif’s manic, wiry performance. He embues his rants, his street sermons, with a fiery, hurt passion (flashbacks to his character’s childhood provide the motivation, but don’t explain the anger). Adapted from Flannery O’Connor’s novel, this is a weird, dark movie, inquisitive about people’s behavior, the way they struggle to make it through life, setting up opposing systems of belief to satisfy their needs (a newspaper columnist suggests to a young girl to examine if her religious choices fit her desires). Dourif has his church, Stanton has his blindness and the young man wears a gorilla suit. And although it’s funny, it’s mostly just sad. Hard to reconcile the powerful bleakness of Dourif hearing a dying man’s last words, all meek, quiet and pitiful, with his outbursts about his car (faith on your self-reliance alone won’t carry you anywhere). The film’s final moments, strange and lurching, assembling a martyr out of nothing, are terribly hopeless. There’s nothing to find, just pain – there was never anything to find.

★★★
Niiice! Have I ever told you how great your blurbs are? I love reading this thread, though I've seen so few of the films.
Lazzaro felice - Cabin in the Sky - An Autumn Afternoon

Voyage | Female Gaze | MACBETH | Sokurov | Fassbinder | Greenaway | Denis | Sono | My Bookshelf
User avatar
wigwam
Posts: 2084
Joined: Tue Jun 11, 2013 1:03 pm

Re: 70's US

Post by wigwam » Fri Sep 25, 2015 1:48 pm

wild roves sounds great!
User avatar
roujin
Posts: 2736
Joined: Sun Nov 20, 2011 9:57 pm

Re: 70's US

Post by roujin » Fri Sep 25, 2015 6:10 pm

I appreciate the kind words. If there's any requests I'll put them up higher in the queue.
User avatar
snapper
Posts: 12232
Joined: Sat Jul 14, 2012 12:11 pm
Location: NZ

Re: 70's US

Post by snapper » Fri Sep 25, 2015 8:49 pm

Have you covered 1979's Heartland?

Road Movie is really good, so is Last Chants for a Slow Dance
Latest notable first-time viewings:

* The Sun in a Net / Uher
** The Seashell and the Clergyman / Dulac
The Tales of Beatrix Potter / Mills
* A Flood in Ba'ath Country / Amiralay
Times and Winds / Erdem
Most Beautiful Island / Asensio
* Japanese Girls Never Die / Matsui
* Birth Certificate / Różewicz
Bush Mama / Gerima
** Paris Is Burning / Livingston


TWEET1 | TWEET2 | FACE | BOXD | TUMBL1 | TUMBL2
User avatar
Shieldmaiden
Posts: 7523
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2010 2:19 pm

Re: 70's US

Post by Shieldmaiden » Sat Sep 26, 2015 12:50 am

roujin wrote:If there's any requests I'll put them up higher in the queue.
Wanda, please.
Lazzaro felice - Cabin in the Sky - An Autumn Afternoon

Voyage | Female Gaze | MACBETH | Sokurov | Fassbinder | Greenaway | Denis | Sono | My Bookshelf
User avatar
JediMoonShyne
Posts: 22425
Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2010 7:26 am
Location: Cittàgazze
Contact:

Re: 70's US

Post by JediMoonShyne » Tue Sep 29, 2015 7:07 am

Seconded!
“Bisogna essere molto forti per amare la solitudine.” - P.P. Pasolini

WCoF I II IIIL'EtàL'Eau한국88ShadowsBerlin thırd ISOLATIONVistaVision
User avatar
roujin
Posts: 2736
Joined: Sun Nov 20, 2011 9:57 pm

Re: 70's US

Post by roujin » Thu Feb 04, 2016 4:22 pm

Image
86. Little Big Man (Arthur Penn, 1970)

Pretty hilarious revisionist western that positions itself as a picaresque yarn in order to examine the role of Native Americans within its story (and history). The early scenes with Hoffman exploring various parts of white culture and exposing its hypocrisies are pretty hilarious, but its in the sobering portrayal of the various U.S. Army massacres that the film shows its anger. Penn makes Custer a vain, racist fool but doesn't explore the institutional reasons behind the massacres, which fits the thematics, but seems a little underwhelming. No matter. The film's final moments belie a deep sadness and a complex understanding of people - there's just an exhaustion by film's end, an acceptance of life and its limitations. The final voice over is damning in its acknowledgement of failed promises and a trauma that just can't be understood.

★★★

Image
87. The Great Gatsby (Jack Clayton, 1974)

Clayton invests all his energy into the party scenes and they're truly tremendous, but can't begin to work through the novel's understanding of people. Everyone sweats a lot, wears nice clothes and mouths the words, but the meaning simply isn't there.

★★

Image
88. God Told Me To (Larry Cohen, 1976)

This is a film with a pretty high concept plot that's completely ridiculous. What makes it special is the seriousness with which Cohen and company treat it. While Cohen's camerawork and editing often isn't penetrating , he does manage to evoke a feeling of free-floating anxiety, and with the main actor's performance, he approaches a moral seriousness of great weight. The film gets at a certain fear, which Cohen makes truly palpable: the fear of your background, of your genetic makeup, of what you could be. The emotional undercurrent of the main character's struggle with his identity elevates what is some definitely silly material. Or maybe it's because of the material's strangeness that the film can go the places that it does, can access the strange, hidden emotions that it does. So, yeah, it's good.

★★★

Image
89. The Whole Shootin' Match (Eagle Pennell, 1978)

Portrait a couple of Texas schemers who spend their days trying to get rich, getting drunk, cheating on their women and just basically being weirdos. The vision is clear, affectionate, and rare in its insight. The whole thing plucked from everyday life, a sensibility more at home just watching a couple of guys guzzling beers while out hunting, respecting their dreams while still being brutally honest about their circumstances. It's special.

★★★

Image
90. The Driver (Walter Hill, 1978)

More into this because of action film chops than its Melville-inspired riff in its characters, though perhaps the two are inextricable. Quite liked Ryan O'neal actually and Isabelle Adjani is always a plus. A minor delight.

★★★
User avatar
roujin
Posts: 2736
Joined: Sun Nov 20, 2011 9:57 pm

Re: 70's US

Post by roujin » Thu Feb 04, 2016 4:23 pm

Image
91. Be My Valentine, Charlie Brown (Phil Roman, 1975)

This was cute and funny and completely inconsequential. Fair enough.

★★

Image
92. Saturday Night Fever (John Badham, 1977)

Travolta is not just a 70's anti-hero, he's a product of it, influenced by its media and adopting its attitudes all undigested and immature. Its disco soundtrack acts as respite/escape from a milieu that promises nothing and holds no future. Travolta spends the film realizing the emptiness of his life and its to the film's credit that it offers no actual solution (take some classes?) but instead valors the high he gets from dancing, and doesn't look down on it. Those scenes at the disco are undoubtedly the film's highlight, even if now the film's reputation is mostly centered on them and the soundtrack.

★★★

Image
93. Star Wars (George Lucas, 1977)

I don't really remember when I watched this for the first time, but I'm assuming it was at some point during middle school or high school (on vhs!) I was unimpressed. And I still am. The story's all archetypal nonsense about the young man going on an adventure and... having adventures... huh. Except it's all in space. So, cool, an adventure movie in space with butt-kicking princesses, morally ambiguous mercenaries, robot sidekicks, who doesn't want all of that stuff? I guess it all has the feel of a WB saturday morning cartoon and not a good one. I do get a kick out of all the iconic characters though, but not in a genuine way, more of a "huh, so that's what people get all excited about" way and all the big iconic moments are really just cultural references that I feel I should know for whenever they come up in conversation (not really). I don't like it beyond that.

★★

Image
94. The Paper Chase (James Bridges, 1973)

Everything crystallized when Bottom, in another moment of self-absorption, rhapsodized about the elites at his school, and how they would shape the future of America. The film never quite critiques this notion, but it does go to great lengths to display the various immature power plays that its characters engage in (you won't get my study notes!). It's just petty nonsense and it's characters are awful - who wants to spend time with these windbags? Still, it did remind me of a completely unsexy version of How to Get Away with Murder. I'll take Viola Davis over any of these squares any day of the week.

★★

Image
95. An Unmarried Woman (Paul Mazursky, 1978)

Less knotty than Mazursky's earlier Blume in Love. More interested in a sensitive portrayal of Clayburgh's heroine, which fine, but seemed less interesting to me. There's a knowingness in the scenes between women (friends and daughter) that felt uncalculated and fresh that was wonderful. It's just in the interactions with men that I felt the whole design more at play. Feels too easy at points. Still, there are moments of complete warmth where the strengths of this film are obvious.

★★
User avatar
ribbon
Posts: 45363
Joined: Thu Feb 18, 2010 2:14 am
Contact:

Re: 70's US

Post by ribbon » Thu Feb 04, 2016 11:10 pm

Throwing it out there that im loving this thread & your thoughts despite having seen about zero of these <3
User avatar
MadMan
Posts: 10582
Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2010 7:56 pm
Location: RT FOREVER
Contact:

Re: 70's US

Post by MadMan » Thu Feb 11, 2016 7:54 am

This thread reminds me that I'm catching up on 70s US cinema. And that I want to use a time machine to go back and see many of these on the bigscreen when they came out.
This Is My Blog. There Are Many Like It But This One Is Mine
Shitty Film Thread
Follow Me On Twitter If You Aren't Doing So Already
The MadMan Reserved 31 Seats
"I think its time we discuss your, uh....philosophy of drug use as it relates to artistic endeavor." -Naked Lunch (1991)
User avatar
roujin
Posts: 2736
Joined: Sun Nov 20, 2011 9:57 pm

Re: 70's US

Post by roujin » Fri Feb 19, 2016 5:28 pm

ribbon wrote:Throwing it out there that im loving this thread & your thoughts despite having seen about zero of these <3
thank you.
User avatar
roujin
Posts: 2736
Joined: Sun Nov 20, 2011 9:57 pm

Re: 70's US

Post by roujin » Tue Feb 23, 2016 2:45 pm

Image
96. The Way We Were (Sidney Pollack, 1973)

Interesting entry into 70's romantic drama pantheon. Film treats as text ideological differences of main couple, and how those manifest themselves across changing political climates. It's also just unabashedly stodgy melodrama. Streisand is a force of energy, whose moods and behaviors induce whiplash: throwing herself at Redford's feet, and then firefombing the relationship by calling out the phonies he hangs with. Redford is a void who is asked to embody a lack of principle/identity, and does so well. There's some level of interest in the Hollywood blacklist sections, however.

★★

Image
97. Annie Hall (Woody Allen, 1977)

After moving past understanding the references Allen makes, which are reliably predictable by this point, what makes the film of interest is the barrage of techniques/ideas/gags that it employs. This is a film that uses animation, direct address, characters who visit each other's flashbacks and provide commentary, play with graphic elements such as subtitles, etc. Allen's film is moving and self-centered (and about his self-centeredness) and how this plays out in a meaningful relationship in a way that is undeniably recognizable, but the real achievement is the ingenuity of its construction and editing - how swift and nimble the whole thing is, subtly jumping to and fro all its ideas while furthering the main relationship and imbuing it with warmth. It's great, but the surprise faded a little bit. Maybe next time I'll treasure the familiarity.

★★★

Image
98. Hi, Mom! (Brian De Palma, 1970)

At first interesting only due to to De Palma's voyeurism taking shape. Its dissection of male performance and ritual (De Niro timing his seduction is completely hilarious) is pretty funny, and its formal ingenuity is frequently great (the whole sequence where he buys the camera as seen from the vantage point of someone testing a camera and its properties is great). The film then reaches for something much more troubling and strange when De Niro (who's barely a character, but more of a cipher) joins a revolutionary theater troupe. The "Be Black Baby" sequence is undeniably the film's best moment as it's an utter assault on the fabric of the film's reality and of its bourgeois audience. If the film doesn't reach the heights of that, then that's no big deal. The hilarious punchline at film's end is reminder that De Palma can be traced back not only to Hitchcock, but also to Godard. This film at its best is as explosive as anything in Weekend.'

★★★

Image
99. The Tamarind Seed (Blake Edwards, 1974)

There's a somewhat productive conflict between the Barbados and Back Home sequences. Sharif and Andrews' romance is direct and adult - laying bare all emotions at the start. The stuff between the embassies is of interest as contrast (no one reveals anything) but also because of the great character actor work of guys like Anthony Quayle. I don't know if the film adds up to more than that interesting friction, but still.

★★★

Image
100. Quick Billy (Bruce Baillie, 1971)

Baillie's experimental film resides in an in-between state. At first, a rebirth of sorts, light refracting and shimmering across the screen in half-focus, as shots of natural phenomena are superimposed over the action, wild animals are glimpsed, crashing waves, and other things - it's a tour de force. The film grows more interesting the more personal it becomes: a silhouette of a naked woman becomes a tiger, a blowjob mixes and blurs with old yearbook photos, and it's the most wonderful moment in the film. Of course, the film's most fascinating gambit is how it turns into a silent western at the end, dramatizing the film's concerns in invigoratingly head-scratching manner. Ever Westward Eternal Rider! I have no idea what I think of this movie.

★★★
Post Reply