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RE: 70s Poll Countdown

 
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RE: 70s Poll Countdown - 26/7/2012 8:42:26 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
119. The Day Of the Jackal



(1973; Fred Zinneman)
Highest Vote: Rebenectomy

(in reply to rawlinson)
Post #: 31
RE: 70s Poll Countdown - 26/7/2012 9:13:27 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
118. American Graffiti



(1973; George Lucas)
Highest Vote: Matty

There's no doubt that George Lucas is an overrated director amongst popular opinion. He should be known for his ability to create characters and stories, like in Star Wars and Indiana Jones, but his directional efforts in the Star-trooping series have been disappointing to say the least, except for the original, which remains the best of the series. However, there's light at the end of the tunnel; American Graffiti is a very good film, and maybe even Lucas' best. Both written and directed by the man who has raped more childhoods than anybody else in recorded history, Graffiti tells the story of a bunch of teenagers on the night before they all go to college. There's the senior prom and cruising around the streets. There's no real overarching plot, just a series of linked events and stories that surround the boys and girls. It's a film with no real cause apart from to create characters, and that's what it does rather well. Bolander (Ronnie Howard), Curt (Richard Deyfruss), Milner (Paul Le Mat), and the Toad (Charles Martin Smith) are all finely crafted, three dimensional characters, with traits, personalities, and characteristics that make them human. They live like us, think like us, fear like us, and react like us. It may be a 70s, cheesy, clichéd version of humanity, but humanity runs through this film all the same. All set to a cracking soundtrack.

- Piles.

< Message edited by rawlinson -- 26/7/2012 9:50:55 PM >

(in reply to rawlinson)
Post #: 32
RE: 70s Poll Countdown - 26/7/2012 9:17:31 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
117. Fist of Fury



(1972; Lo Wei)
Highest Vote: Rhubarb

Despite the strong anti-Japanese sentiment, Fist of Fury is probably Bruce Lee's strongest film. Set in 30s Shanghai, Lee plays the student of a martial art school who returns to find his master has been murdered. Japan is in control of Shanghai and Lee knows that his master was murdered by a rival Japanese school. Lee tries to keep to his master's principles of non-violence, but living at a time when the Chinese are taunted from within as the sick man of Asia, and signs saying No Dogs and No Chinese allowed are commonplace, he knows he can't count on the police for help. Eventually he goes on a revenge mission. As much as I love the iconic Enter the Dragon, Fury feels tighter and more coherent and Lee's revenge attacks seem to do more to create his near mythical persona. Quite simply it's one of the best action films of all time.

- Rawlinson

(in reply to rawlinson)
Post #: 33
RE: 70s Poll Countdown - 26/7/2012 9:20:57 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
115. The Killing of a Chinese Bookie



(1976; John Cassavetes)
Highest Vote: Rawlinson

Gazzara plays Cosmo Vitelli, owner of a low-rent strip joint. At the beginning of the film, Cosmo makes the final payment on a debt to a sleazy loanshark. In celebration of his freedom from the debt, he has a night out with three of his favourite dancers, ending in a card game where he loses $23, 000, placing him back in debt again. When the mobsters that Cosmo owes the money to find out that he can't afford to pay, they convince him to kill a rival of theirs instead. They describe him as a 'Chinese bookie', neglecting to tell Cosmo that he is in fact a high-ranking Chinese gangster. Cosmo carries out the hit, but is wounded himself in the process when he finds himself in deeper than he expected.

Like all Cassavetes films, Killing of a Chinese Bookie is a character study. Cassavetes has no interest into glamorising his gangsters, but then he was never a director to give in to the cliches of cinema. He's interested in the person behind the persona. I think what appealed to him about the gangster film are the ways they present family ties and male behaviour. The posturing of the gangsters here isn't a million miles away from the way the characters in Husbands try to present themselves to the world. Even though Cosmo runs a low rent, garish strip club, he seems to feel as if it's a respectable business, even allowing the dancers to indulge themselves with incredibly poor routines in order to pretend they're not strippers. The idea of people pretending something is something else is a recurring one, just as the strip show pretends to be a respectable act, everyone pretends that Gazzara's situation is something other than it is, just as Gazzara himself pretends he's a suave and upright citizen. Beneath it all, Cosmo Vitelli is a lonely, deluded and troubled figure, his initial reluctance to carry out the murder shows he's a man with some conscience, but the life that he lives means that a conscience is something you have to be willing to push to the side in order to survive.

Cassavetes is interested in the way people behave and his films work on moods and emotions. He explores the depths of the soul in order to capture emotional truths and he captures performances that are so raw that they become painfully intimate. His characters exists in moments where their lives are on the brink of destruction, the illusions of their lives are being stripped away and they're being forced to deal with what remains. Even though it seems like they have choices to make, their personalities seem to pre-determine that they're going to make the wrong choices most of the time. It's not a film to watch if you're expecting a Godfather style gangster film, even though Cassavetes still manages to make Killing of a Chinese Bookie into a suspenseful film. What you do get is one of cinema's most uncomfortable viewing experiences as you watch Cosmo's life fall apart in front of your eyes. It's like watching a nightmare unfold before you and it's a tribute to Cassavetes' great strengths as a director and Gazzara magnificent performance that you never want to look away.

- Rawlinson

115. The Cars That Ate Paris



(1974; Peter Weir)
Highest Vote: Movie Addict

(in reply to rawlinson)
Post #: 34
RE: 70s Poll Countdown - 29/7/2012 12:20:24 AM   
TRM


Posts: 4797
Joined: 20/10/2006
From: Bristol
114. The Muppet Movie



(1979; James Frawley)
Highest Vote: Harry Tuttle

_____________________________

I'm going out to the states to redeem the social outcasts. My only real ambition is to cultivate Texas. I love Texas. You must watch "The last picture show". That film! It was my first real sexual relationship.

(in reply to rawlinson)
Post #: 35
RE: 70s Poll Countdown - 29/7/2012 12:22:01 AM   
TRM


Posts: 4797
Joined: 20/10/2006
From: Bristol
113. Le Boucher



(1970; Claude Chabrol)
Highest Vote: Rebel Scum

Claude Chabrol's third best film (according to IMDB) is "the Butcher”, a Hitchcockian thriller-cum-psychological drama that manages to succeed on both levels. The story is of Helene (Stephane Audran), a gentile and polite schoolteacher, who forms a strange friendship with a butcher named Popaul (Jeanne Yanne). As they meet, greet, and become friends, a string of murders begin to occur within the small, quaint town. The major strength of this film is that it works as both a thriller and a psychological drama. I go into this in detail in my full review I did for my top fifty films thread, so I won't do so again here, but I used to dislike that the film couldn't make up its mind about what it wanted to be. But, really, "Le Boucher” decides that it wants to be both, and succeeds admirably. The characterisation is superb, particularly of the lead pair, and this is backed up by two really quite great performances from Yanne and Audran. I love the contrast of the two characters. Audran's Helene is quiet, polite, and gentile, whereas Yanne's Popaul is boisterous and a real physical presence. And yet, strangely, they are drawn together. The film doesn't really make it clear why these two opposites attract, but perhaps it's because each one feels like they can open up to the other, because the other is so far removed from their own personality that it's somehow okay. The film looks great, with a palette of pastel colours to reflect the quaint nature of the tone, and the score (or lack of… instead of musical pieces we are treated to single chimes and notes) helps to amplify the air of mystery.- Piles

< Message edited by TRM -- 29/7/2012 12:26:42 AM >


_____________________________

I'm going out to the states to redeem the social outcasts. My only real ambition is to cultivate Texas. I love Texas. You must watch "The last picture show". That film! It was my first real sexual relationship.

(in reply to TRM)
Post #: 36
RE: 70s Poll Countdown - 29/7/2012 12:23:28 AM   
TRM


Posts: 4797
Joined: 20/10/2006
From: Bristol
112. Blood on Satan's Claw


(1971; Piers Haggard)
Highest Vote: WifeofRaw

Two things I should say to start off this review. Firstly, if you've never seen or are unfamiliar with the film, ignore the title. The film is nowhere near as corny as it suggests. It's part of that tradition of giving a horror film as lurid a title as possible in order to gain some notoriety. Second, if you are familiar with the film but haven't seen it, you'll probably be aware that most discussion of this film at some point turns to Linda Hayden's nude scene. Yes, she looks beautiful. Yes, the scene is incredibly sexy. No, it's not the only reason people like the film. 

Anyway, onto the film itself. The basic plot revolves around a farmhand who discovers a deformed skull. Without knowing it, he's actually dug up some satanic beast. The beast then goes on to infect the children of the village, converting them to Satanism. 

The film's greatest strength is that it just feels so authentic. While some of the effects relating to the demonic possession (Aclaw, strange furry skin) feel dated, the look and the feel of the film itself make it seem somehow like a genuine 17th Century village. It feels like a companion piece to another British horror of the same period, Witchfinder General. They both have a brutal feel absent in Hammer/Amicus movies. One notable difference is in the way the witchhunter characters are portrayed. Vincent Price's Matthew Hopkins in Witchfinder is a sadistic man who takes pleasure in his power. Patrick Wymark's judge in this film is fighting evil because he has to, not because it can bring him rewards. 

The film is beautifully crafted with an intense atmosphere. The director really makes good use of the beautiful, yet bleak and gloomy landscapes. The characters are well developed and the performances are all strong, in fact, I'd rank the acting as among the strongest in any horror film. Particular acclaim has to go to Linda Hayden's performance as Angel Blake. A difficult role to pull off, she needs to be able to be sweet and innocent, almost child-like at times and then change into pure evil. The character attempts to seduce a priest and leads the village children to rape and murder and she does it all without ever seeming over-the-top. It's a remarkable performance, one that would probably have gained award attention if it it wasn't in a horror film. (Or if the character and actor had been male) Her nude scene does need to be discussed. The fact that it seems to hold such a fascination has to be for a better reason than there just being a pretty woman naked on screen. It's all in her performance, the seductiveness and raw sexuality she displays. Why she wasn't one of the biggest stars of the era is a mystery. 

If the film slips up anywhere it's in its screenplay. Blood... was first planned as an anthology film but all three stories were conflated to form the film as we know it. As a result, the pacing can feel a little uneven at times. But that's a minor quibble for what is not only of the best horror films of the 1970s, but one of the finest of all time. 
- Rawlinson

< Message edited by TRM -- 29/7/2012 12:27:10 AM >


_____________________________

I'm going out to the states to redeem the social outcasts. My only real ambition is to cultivate Texas. I love Texas. You must watch "The last picture show". That film! It was my first real sexual relationship.

(in reply to TRM)
Post #: 37
RE: 70s Poll Countdown - 29/7/2012 12:25:20 AM   
TRM


Posts: 4797
Joined: 20/10/2006
From: Bristol
111. And Now For Something Completely Different


(1971; Ian MacNaughton)
Highest Vote: Gimli


_____________________________

I'm going out to the states to redeem the social outcasts. My only real ambition is to cultivate Texas. I love Texas. You must watch "The last picture show". That film! It was my first real sexual relationship.

(in reply to TRM)
Post #: 38
RE: 70s Poll Countdown - 31/7/2012 7:09:35 AM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
109. The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie



(1972; Luis Bunuel)
Highest Vote: Rawlinson

As Bunuel got older his sense of humour didn't lose any of its vicious streak. His final films contain some of his most outraged and outrageous work as he savaged the middle-class repeatedly. The films are comic masterworks, often reminiscent of the material Monty Python and Spike Milligan were producing for television in Britain at the time. The Discreet Charm... works as a series of interlinked sketches with each one revealing what lurks beneath the respectable facade of these characters, showing their hypocrisy and their ridiculous sense of entitlement.

Fernando Rey plays Don Rafael, a drug-dealing ambassador of a Latin American country. He is having an affair with Delphine Seyrig's character, the wife of a close friend, and lives in fear of being kidnapped by terrorists. He's an unpleasant man and Rey has a ball playing him. Rey is our notional lead and throughout a series of vignettes that are stories within stories and dreams within dreams we see Rafael and a group of friends try to eat dinner and find themselves constantly interrupted. In many ways it's a companion piece to Bunuel's earlier work, The Exterminating Angel which had a group of similar characters unable to leave a house after a meal.

We're never sure what's real and what's dream, there's the possibility that all the leads are dead and in their version of hell, a place where societal rules keep being undermined. Death does hang over the film, they're told a ghost will join them during a play; a soldier, who may himself be dead, tells stories of his dead mother. One of their attempted lunches is interrupted by the death of the restaurant owner, the rest of the staff try to keep the business running but the characters refuse to eat there, not out of respect for the dead but because the death is an inconvenience to them.

This desire to keep the rules of their society sacred is another recurring theme in the film. A couple postpone a lunch to have sex but rather than do it in the house where they can risk being heard they do outside in the bushes. When a bishop dresses as himself the leads fawn over him, when he dresses as a gardener they abuse him. They don't want to violate the rules of their society for their fear that a break from the norm could expose their sins, something the constantly interrupted dinners seems set to do.

I think people often approach Bunuel in the wrong way, if they're not shocked by his work then they find it a failure. I think it's nonsense to try and boil down a film to just one element, you can appreciate this film for the talented direction, the acting or just how damn funny it is. Bunuel was one of cinema's true originals, always willing to walk his own path and create unusual and compelling films like this one.

- Rawlinson

109. Scum



(1979; Alan Clarke)
Highest Vote: Spectator of Suicide

Probably Alan Clarke's most famous work, Clarke originally directed Scum as an episode of Play for Today, when the BBC rejected it for broadcast, he set about remaking it as a cinema film. Set in a borstal, Scum exposed the brutal system that young offenders were being thrown into. The film focuses on Carlin (Ray Winstone) a new inmate who quickly sets about establishing himself as the 'daddy', the head of all the prisoners. Scum shows how the system strips the humanity from the guards as well as the prisoners, and how everyone involved is left with very little hope. Ray Winstone gives an astonishing performance as Carlin and he's supported by a brilliant young cast, including Phil Daniels and Mick Ford (David Threlfall in the original play) I don't think the film is as good as the original television play. But both versions are must-see films, both for what they have to say about British society at the time, and for the intelligence and anger of the writing, directing and acting.

- Rawlinson

(in reply to TRM)
Post #: 39
RE: 70s Poll Countdown - 31/7/2012 7:11:15 AM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
108. The Last Wave



(1977; Peter Weir)
Highest Vote: Elab

A group of Aboriginals are arrested and charged with murder, Richard Chamberlain plays a young middle-class lawyer, David Burton, assigned by Legal Aid to defend them. At first, ancient tribal rules prevent him from gaining information from the suspects. Burton has been suffering from strange, prophetic nightmares that seem to provide him with details about the case, so he steeps himself in Aboriginal history with one of the accused acting as his spiritual guide. But what does the case have to do with the freak weather conditions that have been battering Australia?

If you judged Peter Weir only on his later Hollywood films, you'd probably have no idea that he could create a film as atmospheric and intelligent as The Last Wave. At least I wouldn't have anyway, Weir's Australian work is about as far removed from Ethan Hawke standing on a desk as it's possible to get. The Last Wave is shot through with unease and uncertainty. The unknown hangs over this film in the form of ancient tribal magic and the possibility of a coming armageddon, and Weir manages to make it both terrifying and seductive.

Weir also manages to get great performances from his cast, Chamberlain is surprisingly strong in the lead, and David Gulpilil yet again shows why he could have been a huge star with the right films. The stand-out though is a superb Nandjiwarra Amagula as the leader of the tribe. A tribal leader in real life, Amagula should have been the frontrunner in that year's Supporting Actor Oscar race.

There have been some critics who've attacked the film, complaining that Weir's handling of the Aboriginals is racist because it explores the idea of magical rituals and wisdom. Absolute nonsense. If anything The Last Wave is a much a plea for cultural understanding as it is an 'end-of-the-world' movie. There's very much a sense that modern society has become alienated from anything spiritual, and, like another Australian classic of the era, Long Weekend, the issue of man's aggressive form of communication with the natural world is very much an issue. The question of Australian identity and what it actually means to be Australian, a country where the native race was ruled over by immigrants, was a running theme through the new wave of Australian cinema in the 70s. Weir here offers an interesting companion piece to films like Long Weekend and The Chant Of Jimmy Blacksmith, where a complacent ruling society is thrown into disarray by a form of uprising. Not Weir's greatest film, but one that deserves attention, and one that should certainly be seen by everyone who thinks only of Dead Poet's Society and The Truman Show when they hear Weir's name.

- Rawlinson

(in reply to rawlinson)
Post #: 40
RE: 70s Poll Countdown - 31/7/2012 7:19:06 AM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
107. Five Easy Pieces



(1971; Bob Rafelson)
Highest Vote: Fritzl

I want you to hold the blurb between your knees

(in reply to rawlinson)
Post #: 41
RE: 70s Poll Countdown - 31/7/2012 7:27:51 AM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
106. The Last House On The Left



(1972; Wes Craven)
Highest Vote: Garviel

(in reply to rawlinson)
Post #: 42
RE: 70s Poll Countdown - 31/7/2012 9:09:14 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
105. The Last Waltz



(1978; Martin Scorsese)
Highest Vote: Fritzl

(in reply to rawlinson)
Post #: 43
RE: 70s Poll Countdown - 31/7/2012 9:16:28 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
104. The Castle of Cagliostro



(1979; Hayao Miyazaki)
Highest Vote: Harry Tuttle

(in reply to rawlinson)
Post #: 44
RE: 70s Poll Countdown - 31/7/2012 9:30:40 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
103. McCabe & Mrs Miller



(1971; Robert Altman)
Highest Vote: Toast

Altman's take on the western revolves around a small camp town called Presbyterian Church in the Washington mountains. McCabe (Beatty) is a gambler who rides into town dressed as a businessman and quickly manages to take over the whole place. Like all smart businessmen, McCabe soon realises there's a gap in the market in this small town - sex. He sets about opening a low class brothel only to receive a proposition when Mrs. Miller (Christie) arrives in town. She convinces McCabe that she can run a brothel better than he can and comes up with an idea where he owns the place and she runs it. Together they turn his low-class whorehouse into a thriving business. Eventually big business comes calling in the form of a large company who wants to buy up McCabe's brothel and his land. When McCabe refuses the company sends three assassins to kill him, deserted by the townsfolk in his hour of need, he finds himself being hunted down by the three gunmen in the midst of a snowstorm.

McCabe feels so authentic that it could be easy to mistake Altman's intentions of subverting the genre. Both McCabe and Mrs. Miller could easily have been stock western characters, the hooker with a heart of gold and the noble man trying to give up his former violent life. That neither characters fall into that trap is partly down to the superb performances from Beatty and Christie (With Beatty at possibly a career best) and also down to the screenplay that refuses to make them romantic characters, even if does make them poetic ones. McCabe is useless with women but longs for love, Miller has hardened herself to everything, she refuses to even acknowledge the idea that she could be happy with McCabe, she prefers to hide from her life in opium dreams.

While he doesn't neglect the characters, Altman's big theme here is the formation of Capitalist America. Altman uses the western genre to examine how the pioneer spirit is linked to the darker realities of capitalism, where big business can destroy the small trader with ease. Altman wraps this idea up in a haze of sex, unrequited love, alienation and suffering. Altman also questions the truth behind the legends of the Old West. We're told early in the film that McCabe has a reputation as a gunfighter, but we're told this by a character prone to storytelling. We don't find out until the dying moments of the film if there's any truth to this legend at all. Even the final shootout, something so iconic to the western, is subverted. Instead of facing down the assassins on the main street of the town, McCabe runs for his life while the gunmen stalk him. Altman offers us the desolate truths behind the glorious myths and manages to create one of the genre's greatest offerings.

- Rawlinson

(in reply to rawlinson)
Post #: 45
RE: 70s Poll Countdown - 31/7/2012 9:39:26 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
101. Bedknobs and Broomsticks



(1971; Robert Stevenson)
Highest Vote: Rebel Scum

101. The Devil In Miss Jones



(1973; Gerard Damiano)
Highest Vote: Rebenectomy

Yes, it's a porn film, get the sniggering over and done with, because The Devil in Miss Jones deserves its reputation as the Citizen Kane of porn. Miss Justine Jones (Spelvin), a middle-aged virgin, is a lonely soul and she commits suicide because of her despair. She thinks she'll go to Heaven but is told because of her suicide she'll be sent to Hell instead. She's given a second chance to go back to Earth and have some fun and actually earn her place in Hell.

Spelvin is a striking presence, older than most actresses you find in this kind of film, and she gives a superb performance by any standard. This is a porn film that actually cares about its lead character and so much of that has to be down to Spelvin's oddly moving performance. There's a standard idea of pornography as something ugly and impersonal, Spelvin proves that you can actually be made to feel something other than arousal for the stars of these films.

She goes through the standard hardcore porn scenes and speaking personally it's difficult to find the film erotic in any sense. Instead it's an unsettling, despairing vision of an unhappy and lonely woman finally learning to enjoy her life when it's far too late. The film's ending, where Miss Jones is punished in a very ironic way just adds to the feeling that you haven't watched a porn film, but a vision of a personal hell.

- Rawlinson

(in reply to rawlinson)
Post #: 46
RE: 70s Poll Countdown - 1/8/2012 5:39:13 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
100. The Jerk



(1979; Carl Reiner)
Highest Vote: Fritzl

Steve Martin was already a big name thanks to his sell-out stand-up concerts and hit albums, but it was The Jerk that made him a world famous film-star. Martin plays Navin R. Johnson, "A poor black child." He's spent his life raised by a poor black family who eventually decide to tell him the truth, he was adopted, and he's going to stay that colour. Navin always knew he didn't fit in, especially when it came to musical taste. One night he hears a radio broadcast that rocks his world and he decides to go out and see some of America. Navin hitch-hikes his way across from town to town, goes to work in a gas station, then a carnival, acquires a dog named Shithead, meets the love of his life, and makes and loses a fortune. Navin is the kind of guy who writes a song about a thermos, gets excited about having his name in the phone book and thinks his special purpose in life is his penis. He's an idiot, but a loveable one. It's the perfect performance of the man-child as comedy icon, and a slap in the face to those who think Martin only makes safe and dull family films.

- Rawlinson

(in reply to rawlinson)
Post #: 47
RE: 70s Poll Countdown - 1/8/2012 5:44:04 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
99. Pink Flamingos



(1972; John Waters)
Highest Vote: Rawlinson

If there was ever a form of cinema terrorism, then John Waters would be its Osama Bin Laden. With Pink Flamingos, he set out to make one of the most offensive films imaginable, and he succeeded. Regular Waters player, Divine, stars as Babs Johnson. In case you're not aware, Divine was a 300 pound man who usually played women in Waters' films. Babs, her son, Cracker (Danny Mills), her mother (Edith Massey) and Ms Cotton (Mary Vivian Pierce) are the filthiest family live. We know this because a tabloid proclaims Babs to be the filthiest person alive. A nearby couple, Connie and Raymond Marbles (Mink Stole and David Lochary) want the title for themselves and vow to do whatever it takes to get it. The Marbles are the evil filthy people, while Divine and co. are our anti-heroes. The Marbles run an adoption agency where they kidnap women, rape them, and then sell the babies to lesbian couples. Soon, all-out war breaks out, as Divine and family prove just why they are the filthiest family in the world. The film, despite its claims of being trash or filthy, is really one of the only ways those involved had of lashing out against the middle-class conformity around them. Pink Flamingos may disgust many viewers, but the way it cherishes individuality is something to be celebrated. If the underclass in the film are celebrating perversity and excess, so are the middle class, only the middle class are a lot less joyous about it. The film provides some of the most memorable moments in the history of cinema, from the sight of Edith Massey sitting in a playpen and obsessing over eggs, to the singing arsehole, Divine and Mills licking the Marbles' furniture and of course THAT ending, all towered over by an incredible performance by Divine. It's the film's fortieth anniversary this year. We should all do something disgusting in homage.

- Rawinson

(in reply to rawlinson)
Post #: 48
RE: 70s Poll Countdown - 1/8/2012 5:54:17 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
98. The Goodbye Girl



(1977; Herbert Ross)
Highest Vote: Elab

Paula (Marsha Mason) and her young daughter's plans to go to California with her actor boyfriend are shattered when he dumps her to go to Italy. He leaves her a note telling her that they're over, he doesn't bother to tell her that he's sublet their apartment. Enter Elliot Garfield (Richard Dreyfuss) He's neurotic, egotistical and his habit of sleeping naked and playing his guitar all night is a bad influence on Mason's impressional daughter. To make things worse, he's another actor. Circumstances force the three to share the apartment as Paula tries to find work as a dancer and Garfield makes his off Broadway debut playing Richard III. The only problems are Paula is out of shape and Garfield is being forced to play Richard as high camp, or to quote the play's director as "The Queen who wanted to be King." Dreyfuss is magnificent in a deservedly Oscar winning role. Elliot is the kind of character who could easily be annoying, but Dreyfuss makes him fun and genuinely interesting to be around. Mason as well is superb as a character who could come across as whining and needy, but Mason makes her vulnerable trying to front as hard, and makes the walls she puts up against Elliot believable. One of the most genuinely feel-good movies of all time and if you're not grinning like an idiot by the time Dreyfuss channels Bogie on the rooftop then you need a heart transplant.

- Rawlinson

(in reply to rawlinson)
Post #: 49
RE: 70s Poll Countdown - 3/8/2012 2:41:46 AM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
97. The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes



(1970; Billy Wilder)
Highest Vote: Garviel

There was a moment in the first episode of series two (take a breather) of Sherlock that got me overly excited and because there was no one else to appreciate my enthusiasm I paused the show and explained in great painful detail to my mother why what had just occurred was awesome. Some people get a thrill when their home town is mentioned on television or a place five miles down the road is on the news, I got that thrill watching Sherlock because it was referencing what I think is one of the most underappreciated films on my list. A film that I think deserves to be recognised not only as a great Sherlock Holmes effort but purely as a fantastic piece of cinema, despite being broken and having an hour of footage missing.

I've read scathing reviews of Private Life from apparently diehard Sherlockians, that's great but I too consider myself a big fan of Sherlock Holmes having read all of Holmes' Adventures more than a dozen times, owning numerous (cumbersome) copies of the Holmes Collection and the Sherlock in my head is nothing like the ones we've been given on screen. Most of the problem seems to be that Life takes our beloved characters and shakes them about a bit and lightly lampoons them, though I've always thought it was an affectionate teasing and not a mocking attack. Of all the Holmes I've seen Brett, Cushing, Wilmer, Howard, Cleese, Cook, Everett, Cumberbatch, Downey Jr, Frewer, Data, Richardson, Livanov, Plummer, Rathbone, Pryce, Roxburgh, D'Arcy and Williamson, Robert Stephens is still my Holmes.

The banter, the little moments and the conversation between Stephens' (not so brilliant amateur) Holmes and Colin Blakely's often agitated, blustering Watson are a joy to watch and listen too, there is a real connection between the actors and the characters. We are presented with a believable relationship one that has its ups and downs and one that will recover any problem it encounters, a true friendship and though I'm loathe to type it there is a love between them. Perhaps not in a romantic sense but in a longing, a dependability, a love that is difficult to define and even more so to express.

Billy Wilder was a perfectionist but Private Life isn't perfect but the direction is still superb, the script has to be listened to, it's funny, it's melancholic and it's surprising. The recreation of Holmes' world is effectively brought to life, the mysteries are memorable and there is a glorious soundtrack provided by Miklós Rózsa.

Of all those on my list that have come before and those still to come I believe that The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes is the film I genuinely love the most, it's not flawless, it's a little silly, Christopher Lee is a little bit useless and it's not as unconventional as many would have you believe, it's still fucking magical though.

Thanks Mr Wilder, thank you.

- Impqueen

(in reply to rawlinson)
Post #: 50
RE: 70s Poll Countdown - 3/8/2012 2:44:25 AM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
96. The Railway Children



(1970; Lionel Jeffries)
Highest Vote: Gimli

The Railway Children (Lionel Jeffries, 1970) is a modern British classic, capable of reducing 25-year-old journalists with curly hair to tears. And real men too. Jenny Agutter is Bobbie, the oldest of three siblings who move to the country after their dad is accused of espionage and become "the railway children" – solving problems big and small with the aid of the station master and the passing passengers. It's colourful, dreadfully moving and very British, with appealing performances across the board and fine location shooting.

Favourite bit: "Daddy! My daddy!"

- Rick_7

(in reply to rawlinson)
Post #: 51
RE: 70s Poll Countdown - 4/8/2012 8:48:15 PM   
TRM


Posts: 4797
Joined: 20/10/2006
From: Bristol
95. Enter the Dragon


(1973; Robert Clouse)
Highest Vote: Harry Tuttle


_____________________________

I'm going out to the states to redeem the social outcasts. My only real ambition is to cultivate Texas. I love Texas. You must watch "The last picture show". That film! It was my first real sexual relationship.

(in reply to rawlinson)
Post #: 52
RE: 70s Poll Countdown - 4/8/2012 8:49:48 PM   
TRM


Posts: 4797
Joined: 20/10/2006
From: Bristol
94. Superman



(1978; Richard Donner)
Highest Vote: Spectator of Suicide

_____________________________

I'm going out to the states to redeem the social outcasts. My only real ambition is to cultivate Texas. I love Texas. You must watch "The last picture show". That film! It was my first real sexual relationship.

(in reply to TRM)
Post #: 53
RE: 70s Poll Countdown - 4/8/2012 8:51:54 PM   
TRM


Posts: 4797
Joined: 20/10/2006
From: Bristol
92. The Warriors



(1979; Walter Hill)
Highest Vote: Rebenectomy


The Warriors are one of several gangs in the New York area. Along with the other gangs, they've been brought together for a group meeting led by Cyrus (Roger Hill), head of one of the most powerful gangs. He calls for all the rivalries to be put aside, and for the gangs to unite and take over the city. During the meeting, Cyrus is gunned down by Luther (David Patrick Kelly) leader of minor league gang, The Rogues. Luther blames The Warriors for the murder and the gang find themselves hunted men, pursued through the city by all other gangs, with their every move broadcast over the airways by a mysterious D.J. (Lynne Thigpen). The Warriors' only hope is to make it back to their Coney Island base, but with every other gang wanting them dead, they soon start losing members. 

Despite the controversy about the film inciting gang violence, it's actually a lot camper a film than you might be expecting, both in the colourful gang costumes and in the cartoonish violence, and you'd be forgiven for dismissing it on the basis of its undeniable silliness. And in truth, it probably shouldn't be as good as it is, neither the script or any of the performances feel particularly memorable when looked at in isolation, but when it all come together there's something about it that just works. One of the film's greatest strengths is actually the fact that none of the characters are very well developed. It gives theWarriors the feeling of a gang working together for their own survival, when people fall out of step with that, they die. Hill also refuses to soften the Warriors. They're our heroes, but only because everyone is after them. Even while running for their life they find the time to threaten a girl with gang rape, these are not nice people, and we're not allowed to forget that. 

The visuals are also incredible, the costume designs that split the gangs into easily identifiable gangs, along with the urban decay of the locations, gives the film an oddly out of time feel. Hill was aiming for the epic feel of myth with this film, and what he achieves is a story that (modern trappings aside) could have taken place anywhere, at any time. But at its heart, The Warriors is pure pulp, and that's why it works so well. It It's thrilling, intense, undeniably silly, but so much fun that you don't care. It's one of the defining cult films, and for good reason. 
- Rawlinson
92. Network



(1976; Sidney Lumet)
Highest Vote: Toast

Perhaps Lumet's greatest achievement (yes, I have seen Serpico, Dog Day Afternoon, and the sublime Twelve Angry Men), Network is a satirical dramedy about TV and the effect that it can have on human emotion. The plot sees Howard Beale (Peter Finch, recipiant of the first ever posthumous Oscar) appointed as a prophecy-spewing madman on TV by Diana Christiensen (Faye Dunaway), who in turn is having an affair with Beale's best friend and network high-up Max Schumacher (William Holden). But that's just what's going on in the foreground of this film, because what's going on in the background is much, much more interested. Despite the clever direction and superb performances, the best thing about the film is the writing and the execution. Not only does Network provide deep insight into the every day running of a TV network in the 1970s, it is also a pointed satire against the effects of television and - most of all, perhaps - the American dream. Pointing a finger on the all-seeing, all-knowing TV, and how it has become the only source of information and education for a whole generation, Network attacks the idea of TV's influence from the inside. But the best scenes are those between network executive Schumacher and his trampled-on wife, who knows that he's had an affair but can't do anything about it, or the scenes between Schumacher and Christiensen. Not only does Max live out these deceptive events, but he narrates them - telling the truth about how predictable, banal, and unreal movies actually are. Everything that he says is going to happen, or everything that TV and film has told him will happen, doesn't. What's left is a sad, sorry mess; a broken marriage, several ruined lives, and a corpse. There is no happy ending. Things aren't wrapped up neatly in half an hour episodes. TV, unfortunately for a generation that has been brainwashed, is not the answer.-  Piles 

< Message edited by TRM -- 4/8/2012 10:30:41 PM >


_____________________________

I'm going out to the states to redeem the social outcasts. My only real ambition is to cultivate Texas. I love Texas. You must watch "The last picture show". That film! It was my first real sexual relationship.

(in reply to TRM)
Post #: 54
RE: 70s Poll Countdown - 4/8/2012 8:53:29 PM   
TRM


Posts: 4797
Joined: 20/10/2006
From: Bristol
91. Cries and Whispers



(1972; Ingmar Bergman)
Highest Vote: Garviel

I've seen several extreme films in my time, and I feel I can hold my own with even the most jaded cinemagoer. But this is quite possibly the most difficult film I've ever watched. The emotions in this film are so strong that they become painful as they scream at you from the screen. In fact, it's only because I've been unable to subject myself to a rewatch that the film is so low down the list. Cries and Whispers is dark and perceptive, a psychological drama about a dysfunctional family at the turn of the century. It's about the secrets they keep and the distances between them. 

The action takes place at the turn of the century in a remote country house. Agnes (Andersson) is dying, and is cared for by her two sisters, Karin (Thulin) and Maria (Ullmann) but the only comfort she receives is from her maid (Sylwan) Agnes dies a slow and painful death over the course of the film, so much of the film's emotional thrust comes from regret, both for things that have been done and those that haven't. The film is also about suffering and pain, and about the way that isolation and a lack of communication and love can lead people to become icy and self-contained. The three leads are all in some sort of agony, be it emotional or physical. Agnes punctuates the narrative with screams of agony, and flashbacks reveal the emotional horrors Maria and Karin have suffered. 

All of the sisters are damaged in some way. Agnes has the regret of a woman who has lived an empty life. Now bedridden and dying of cancer, she is the only one who realises how damaging the distance is. Karin is sexually repressed and bitter to the extent that she mutilated her vagina with broken glass. While Maria is little more than a self-absorbed child. Even while their sister dies, both Karin and Maria are too self-involved to tend to her. It's pretty much understood that with such a strong cast the film is going to be superbly acted, but I would honestly rate the acting from the four leading ladies as among the best ever captured on film. 

Cries and Whispers is rich, textured and intelligent. It's also one of the bleakest films I've ever seen. It seems to be saying that pain can only be overcome in fleeting moments, such as when the maid allows Agnes to suckle her breasts as an act of comfort. As an exploration of the soul, and of our great capacity for cruelty and torment, it's one of the most depressing experiences you can put yourself through. 
- Rawlinson

< Message edited by TRM -- 4/8/2012 10:31:40 PM >


_____________________________

I'm going out to the states to redeem the social outcasts. My only real ambition is to cultivate Texas. I love Texas. You must watch "The last picture show". That film! It was my first real sexual relationship.

(in reply to TRM)
Post #: 55
RE: 70s Poll Countdown - 4/8/2012 8:54:34 PM   
TRM


Posts: 4797
Joined: 20/10/2006
From: Bristol
90. Rocky II



(1979; Sylvester Stallone)
Highest Vote: Spectator of Suicide

_____________________________

I'm going out to the states to redeem the social outcasts. My only real ambition is to cultivate Texas. I love Texas. You must watch "The last picture show". That film! It was my first real sexual relationship.

(in reply to TRM)
Post #: 56
RE: 70s Poll Countdown - 4/8/2012 8:55:24 PM   
TRM


Posts: 4797
Joined: 20/10/2006
From: Bristol
89. Vanishing Point


(1971; Richard C. Sarafian)
Highest Vote: Rhubarb

_____________________________

I'm going out to the states to redeem the social outcasts. My only real ambition is to cultivate Texas. I love Texas. You must watch "The last picture show". That film! It was my first real sexual relationship.

(in reply to TRM)
Post #: 57
RE: 70s Poll Countdown - 4/8/2012 8:56:11 PM   
TRM


Posts: 4797
Joined: 20/10/2006
From: Bristol
88. Punishment Park


(1971; Peter Watkins)
Highest Vote: Elab

_____________________________

I'm going out to the states to redeem the social outcasts. My only real ambition is to cultivate Texas. I love Texas. You must watch "The last picture show". That film! It was my first real sexual relationship.

(in reply to TRM)
Post #: 58
RE: 70s Poll Countdown - 4/8/2012 8:57:01 PM   
TRM


Posts: 4797
Joined: 20/10/2006
From: Bristol
87. Invasion of the Bodysnatchers


(1978; Philip Kaufman)
Highest Vote: Matty

_____________________________

I'm going out to the states to redeem the social outcasts. My only real ambition is to cultivate Texas. I love Texas. You must watch "The last picture show". That film! It was my first real sexual relationship.

(in reply to TRM)
Post #: 59
RE: 70s Poll Countdown - 4/8/2012 8:57:48 PM   
TRM


Posts: 4797
Joined: 20/10/2006
From: Bristol
86. Watership Down


(1978; Martin Rosen)
Highest Vote: WifeofRaw

_____________________________

I'm going out to the states to redeem the social outcasts. My only real ambition is to cultivate Texas. I love Texas. You must watch "The last picture show". That film! It was my first real sexual relationship.

(in reply to TRM)
Post #: 60
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