Archive for category The 70’s
“The Last Picture Show” is a wonderful accomplishment and worthy of its place in the list of great films of the 70’s. It’s a coming of age tale set in a small, dusty Texas town in the 50’s. The story centers around two best friends, Sonny (Timothy Bottoms) and Duane (a very young Jeff Bridges) as they pass from being highschool seniors into adult life. Director Peter Bogdanovich’s vision is risqué but honest, as he captures the moments when innocence lurches into experience. His movie makes you think about transitions in your own life. How do you handle this critical time from being on the highschool football team one year to being on your own without much safety net the next? Yet in a wider context, the film bids farewell to a bygone era, capturing the nation’s shifting interests (it was a time when Cinema was replaced by Television entertainment). Robert Surtee’s stark, yet attractive black and white cinematography brilliantly captures that era. We get a sense of the North Texas wind blowing through this isolated town where there is nothing much to do and a whole lot of time to do it. Boredom, depression, and a lot of dust. Middle-aged women bored with their lives, old men dying, and the young ones discovering life. It all leaves a feeling of emptiness and despair, a feeling that was not uncommon, especially in small towns in the 50’s.
It all started with a TV show called “Monty Python’s Flying Circus”, featuring five British comedians, John Cleese, Michael Palin, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, Graham Chapman, and an american named Terry Gilliam. Six years later, and with a minimal budget, “Monty Python And The Holy Grail” was released, and it was written by the whole Python crew and codirected by Gilliam and Jones. From a technical point of view, the movie is easily flawed and impaired. I seriously doubt that anyone working on the project at the time believed it would spark such a cultural phenomenon. Afterall, the inspiration for that show of surrealistic humor wasn’t really a stroke of genius, but rather the need to get characters from one place to another with a budget so low that actual horses were out of the question (weird huh?). To be honest, I thought the film was a bit obnoxious at first; nothing made sense, and some of the jokes looked a bit dated. But it started to grow on me after the first 20 minutes, when I found myself laughing out loud at some of the silliest, yet smartest jokes I’ve ever seen (and I rarely do that). “Holy Grail” nails one hilarious joke after another, but only lacks a satisfying end. Still, you don’t walk away thinking it’s a bad ending, you start quoting the taunting frenchman instead, or the leader of the knights who keeps saying “Ni!”, or the black knight who loses both arms yet is convinced that “it’s just a flesh wound”. That’s what makes this movie a true classic, and if this is your cup of tea, then you’ll enjoy it as much as I did.
The movie that started it all, putting both Martin Scorsesse and Robert De Niro on the map permanently. They later worked together on “Taxi Driver”, “The King Of Comedy”, “Raging Bull”, “Goodfellas” and finally “Casino”. “Mean Streets” is about a small time hood (Harvey Keitel) who works for his uncle, reclaiming bad debts. He and his irresponsible friend Johny (De Niro) spend most of their time making deals in the mean streets of New York’s little italy. Watching this movie was like watching birth; the birth of Martin Scorsesse’s style that is. His later movies became instant classics, but if you’re a true fan of his work, then I suggest you check out “Mean Streets”. It might not look as great today as it did back then, mainly because most of the story techniques and intense dialogue were re-done and over done to the point of cliche, but it’s still a fine movie and a worthy addition to Scorsesse’s collection.
Because i’m a huge fan of Woody Allen, I decided to list all of his movies with my own ratings. I hope this helps you decide which movies you must watch, and the ones you can avoid. Enjoy!
1-What’s Up Tiger Lilly? (1966): 2.5/4
2-Casino Royale (1967): 2.5/4
3-Take The Money And Run (1969): 3/4
4-Bananas (1971): 3.5/4
5-Play It Again Sam (1972): 3.5/4
6-Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Sex But Were Afraid To Ask (1972): 3/4
7-Sleeper (1973): 3/4
8-Love And Death (1975) :3/4
9-The Front (1976): 3.5/4
10-Annie Hall (1977): 3.5/4
11-Interiors (1978): 3/4
12-Manhattan (1978): 3.5/4
13-Stardust Memories (1980): 2.5/4
14-A Midsummer Night’s Sex Comedy (1982): 3/4
15-Zelig (1983): 3/4
16-Broadway Danny Rose (1984): 3/4
Hitchcock at his best, telling the story of London strangler (who only murders young women), and an innocent man framed for murder.
All the usual Hitchcock ingredients are here, a delicious mix of suspense and black humour. One of the master’s best!
Fascinating sci-fi movie about a group of people who encounter an alien spaceship and try to uncover the truth behind those weird events. Steven Spielberg directed this amazing classic which remains until this day one of the most beloved movies of all time. Great cast includes Richard Dreyfuss (who’s terrific) and Francois Truffaut. The special effects (though 30 years old) are simply brilliant, and the final 40 minutes will leave you breathless. What a movie!