10 posts tagged with cinema and 70s.
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Gritty, not glossy: 70s films

"Why were American movies so much better in the 1970s than in the decades since — and most of the decades before? Simple. Our movies then were not as inhibited by censorship (self-imposed) as they were prior to the '60s.

"And they were not as obsessed with huge box office grosses and commercial values as they became afterward — following the stunning financial success of those two '70s superhits, 'Jaws' (1975) and 'Star Wars' (1977). Instead, during most of the '60s and '70s — liberated both by the collapse of the old studio system strictures and by the greater acceptance of film as art from critics and audiences — American filmmakers of all generations, from Martin Scorsese ('Mean Streets') and Hal Ashby ('Harold and Maude') to Sidney Lumet ('Dog Day Afternoon') and Mike Nichols ('Carnal Knowledge') to Alfred Hitchcock ('Frenzy') and Billy Wilder ('Avanti'), tried things they wouldn't have dared in the decades past. More often than not, they succeeded." (Michael Wilmington, Chicago Tribune) [more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Dec 5, 2014 - 285 comments

Bowie: "Get your own pig!"

"There are reasons why this film is obscure. It is, in the most charitable possible evaluation, a mess: Bowie has described it as "my 32 Elvis films rolled into one." And yet life on that ever-dwindling island of not-on-region-one DVD films is a harsh fate for any film and particularly for this one, which is at least as interesting as its cast suggests and a good deal more. You don't need to dig out the VHS player to watch Mick Jagger run an agency of gigolos in The Man From Elysian Fields—you shouldn't have to do so to watch Bowie play one. " David Bowie's Lost 70s-era Weimar Berlin Movie: Just a Gigalo.
posted by The Whelk on Feb 2, 2013 - 17 comments

Robert Altman's "3 Women"

And so I descend once more into the mysterious depths of 3 Women, a film that was imagined in a dream. Robert Altman's 1977 masterpiece tells the story of three women whose identities blur, shift and merge until finally, in an enigmatic last scene, they have formed a family, or perhaps have become one person. I have seen it many times, been through it twice in shot-by-shot analysis, and yet it always seems to be happening as I watch it. - Roger Ebert [more inside]
posted by Trurl on May 20, 2012 - 21 comments

Walter Hill's "The Warriors"

As brutally stylish as it is when the fists and baseball bats are flying, the underlying themes of family and perseverance are what make The Warriors stand out from the rest of the "grim future" epics of the period. - Celluloid Dreams
posted by Trurl on Apr 10, 2012 - 49 comments

Alan J. Pakula's "The Parallax View"

Welcome to the testing room of the Parallax Corporation's Division of Human Engineering. [more inside]
posted by Trurl on Jan 5, 2012 - 29 comments

Werner Herzog's "Aguirre, the Wrath of God"

Despite appearing early in his career, Aguirre, the Wrath of God is for me the quintessential Herzog movie. ... It deals with possibly the most obsessed group of people in history, the Spanish conquistadors, and their desperate hunt for the most magic of all Grails, the elusive golden land of El Dorado – leaving destruction and death to millions in their wake. A few lines in an old chronicle is all that remains of the historical facts, thus leaving plenty of room for Herzog to employ his imagination and re-arrange the facts. In short: an ideal topic for a visionary director, tackled with just the right crew, and on a location guaranteed to make the shooting an ordeal in itself.
posted by Trurl on Nov 24, 2011 - 40 comments

Arthur Penn's "Night Moves"

[Arthur Penn's Night Moves] does belong to a traditional, indeed obsolescent genre, but the distance it keeps from it (not an ironic or critical distance, just a distance) is such that genre-related expectations become irrelevant. Most of the time, the story line seems to meander aimlessly, taking in extraneous material, doubling back, going round in circles (the aimless is deceptive, a smoke screen obfuscating the complex, rigorous organization of an exceptionally well-structured script). The "mystery" aspect of the plot is dealt with in the most peculiar, topsy-turvy manner, withholding not the solution of the problem but the problem itself until the very end, when, in a dazzling visual tour de force, both are conjured up almost simultaneously. - Jean Pierre Coursodon [more inside]
posted by Trurl on Oct 1, 2011 - 19 comments

Logan's Run

Logan's Run is a 1976 science fiction film... It depicts a dystopian future society in which population and the consumption of resources are managed and maintained in equilibrium by the simple expediency of killing everyone who reaches the age of thirty, preventing overpopulation. (related 2004 post worth clicking through for) [more inside]
posted by Trurl on Sep 3, 2011 - 121 comments

Michelangelo Antonioni's "Chung Kuo"

[Michelangelo Antonioni's Chung Kuo] as a documentary film was one which was draped with fascination for both filmmakers as well as an audience, rather than championing anti-whatever sentiments from either side of the world. Not having seen many movies, either features, shorts or documentaries made during the Cultural Revolution era or about that era in question (propaganda included), I think this Antonioni film has more than made its mark as a definitive documentary that anyone curious about the life of the time, would find it a gem to sit through.
posted by Trurl on Jul 11, 2011 - 3 comments

Disaster Movies of the 1970s

Disaster movies are as old as cinema itself. But their golden age began in 1970 with Airport - which, despite being an Academy Award nominee for Best Picture, is now remembered chiefly for the parody it inspired. Earthquake - exhibited in Sensurround - set a record for the number of stunt performers used. But the Master of Disaster was Lost in Space producer Irwin Allen. His The Poseidon Adventure grossed the equivalent of $450 million in today's money. And The Towering Inferno - the filming of which destroyed all but 8 of its 57 sets - is still unsurpassed.
posted by Joe Beese on Feb 24, 2011 - 66 comments

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