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RE: 70s Poll Countdown - 4/8/2012 8:58:48 PM   
TRM


Posts: 4797
Joined: 20/10/2006
From: Bristol
85. Harold and Maude


(1971; Hal Ashby)
Highest Vote: Harry Tuttle

Probably the definition of a cult comedy, this Hal Ashby masterpiece is a darkly comic love story between Harold (Bud Cort), a wealthy young man who only really feels alive when faking his own death, and Maude (Ruth Gordon), a 79 year old who seems filled with the joy of life. Harold's socialite mother (a wonderfully snobby Vivian Pickles) has decided Harold needs to settle down and find a wife, as long as the wife is the correct one. But every attempt she makes to introduce him to the right kind of girl is met with another faked suicide. Harold's obsession with death extends beyond that, he drives a hearse and attends the funerals of complete strangers. At one funeral he meets Maude and the two form a friendship where she attempts to teach him the need to make the most of his life. Both characters are outsiders, Maude has experienced great horror (she's an Auschwitz survivor) and decided to live life on her own terms, while Harold is the typical alienated youth hero of his era, suffocated by the society around him who try to live his life for him. Ruth Gordon gives her finest performance here, outstripping even her Oscar winning turn in Rosemary's Baby, while Cort gives another great quirky outsider performance. In the hands of a lesser talent than Ashby this kind of material would have just been crass and silly, here it's given great depth and charm. There's also a fantastic soundtrack from Cat Stevens. - Rawlinson

< Message edited by TRM -- 4/8/2012 9:06:24 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 #: 61
RE: 70s Poll Countdown - 4/8/2012 8:59:37 PM   
TRM


Posts: 4797
Joined: 20/10/2006
From: Bristol
84. Valerie And Her Week Of Wonders



(1970; Jaromil Jires)
Highest Vote: Garviel

In an Eastern European village, Valerie, a thirteen year old girl experiences her first period and gets mixed up in a tale of incest, lesbianism, potential sexual molesters and vampirism. Valerie lives with her grandmother who warns her not to wear her mother's magical earrings, she warns her that the earrings are dangerous, even though her brother says they'll protect her. One morning, Valerie sees the earrings being stolen by a vampire-priest, starting a dangerous dream-like pursuit that sees Valerie face seduction and death at every turn. 

Valerie... obviously takes its inspiration and its symbolism from fairy tales and European folklore, but Jires draws out the sexual undertones of these tales to reflect Valerie's own sexual awakening. Valerie is seduced by her "aunt", propositioned by the vampire-priest, and generally faces the temptations of sex at every turn. Despite the references to underage sex, incest and lesbianism, there's no salaciousness to this film. That said, the film would attract controversy if made now, in fact it would be near impossible to make because of the age of Schallerova (13/14) at the time of filming. The recent controversy surrounding Hounddog demonstrates the sort of reaction Valerie could receive today. 

Sex, religion, hypocrisy and the fairytale style of Carroll's Wonderland mix together in a film that seems to run on the logic of the subconscious. The ambiguity of the narrative means it's difficult to ever be sure what's really going on, how much of this is just the fantasy of a girl beginning her sexual awakening. Valerie is basically a surreal coming-of-age story. So many of these films are betrayed by overly precocious lead actors, Schallerova however is remarkable. It's a perfectly judged performance, one of the best by a teen performer, keeping Valerie grounded against all bizarre occurences. In the absence of clarity, what Jires leaves us with is a haunting gothic fairytale, filled with creepy and enigmatic imagery 
- Rawlinson

< Message edited by TRM -- 4/8/2012 10:32:19 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 #: 62
RE: 70s Poll Countdown - 4/8/2012 9:00:30 PM   
TRM


Posts: 4797
Joined: 20/10/2006
From: Bristol
83. Grease


(1978; Randal Kleiser)
Highest Vote: Rebenectomy

_____________________________

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 #: 63
RE: 70s Poll Countdown - 4/8/2012 9:01:27 PM   
TRM


Posts: 4797
Joined: 20/10/2006
From: Bristol
82. Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory


(1971; Mel Stuart)
Highest Vote: Movie Addict

_____________________________

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 #: 64
RE: 70s Poll Countdown - 4/8/2012 9:02:22 PM   
TRM


Posts: 4797
Joined: 20/10/2006
From: Bristol
81. Rabid


(1977; David Cronenberg)
Highest Vote: Gimli

This was my first experience with Cronenberg, caught on a late-night screening on C4 when I was fairly young and it scared the hell out of me. Former Ivory Soap girl and porn queen Marilyn Chambers stars as Rose, a young woman who suffers serious injuries following a bike crash. She's rushed to a hospital where radical new treatment is used to save her life. Unfortunately the surgery has side-effects, a phallic spike, hidden in an orifice under the arm, the need to feed on human blood, and infecting those she feeds on with a form of rabies. After the surgery, Rose slips into a coma, a few weeks later she wakes and immediately begins to feed on another patient. Escaping from the clinic, Rose returns to the city to look for her boyfriend and for help, spreading the epidemic as she goes. Cronenberg created this as a companion to his earlier work, Shivers. But while Shivers contained its virus to one building (and many would say actually had a message of freedom through sexual release) Rabid is darker and spreads it to a city. While this is obviously as much a film of vampirism and zombies as it is about rabies, it's also a great example of horror as social statement, turning the vampirism and the contagion into a metaphor for the spread of viruses both sexual and man-made. It's been rumoured that Sissy Spacek was considered for the lead, and as fine an actress as she is, it's impossible to imagine this film without Chambers. A better actress than many will admit, she makes remarkable use of the baggage she brings to the role from her porn career, making her character's seduction of her victims both sexual and oddly sympathetic. As much as I've enjoyed Cronenberg's recent work, I can't help but wish he'd make a return to his glory days of the 70s and 80s and make something this incredible again. - Rawlinson

< Message edited by TRM -- 4/8/2012 10:32:51 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 #: 65
RE: 70s Poll Countdown - 4/8/2012 9:03:23 PM   
TRM


Posts: 4797
Joined: 20/10/2006
From: Bristol
80. Dark Star


(1974; John Carpenter)
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 #: 66
RE: 70s Poll Countdown - 5/8/2012 8:53:57 AM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
79. Drunken Master



(1978; Yuen Woo Ping)
Highest Vote: TRM

Fei Hung is the son of a martial arts master who is constantly getting himself into trouble when he should be learning kung fu. Fei Hung believes that because of his status as the masters son, he already has the martial arts abilities to be able to stand up to all challengers and should command the respect of the town. This ego problem results in Fei Hung getting into fights with an assistant martial arts teacher, a female guardian of a visitor to the town, a fight with the son of an influential man in town, as well as mounting debts he cant pay with local restaurants. After hearing about all of these troubles, Fei Hung's father decides he has had enough and enlists Begger So, who is known to push his students to the limits of what their body can handle, to train Fei Hung in the art of drunken boxing.

While the plot may sound fairly standard for martial arts films, Chan gives it a comedic edge which sets it above most. Its his ability to flow through seemingly impossible stunts while adding slapstick humour to the fights which has made him such a massive idol of martial arts fans. It is this ability Chan has which has since led to Hollywood producers believing he could be a big hit in the west, but it is pretty easy to say that none have come anywhere close to recreating what made him so great in the first place.
So why does this deserve a place in the Hall of Fame? Well noticeably there has been a massive lack of Martial arts films (none nominated) and even Hong Kong films (The Killer and Infernal affairs are the only films to receive nominations) despite the fact that the best films produced by this country are just as deserving of a place here as anything else nominated so far.

- TRM

(in reply to TRM)
Post #: 67
RE: 70s Poll Countdown - 5/8/2012 8:10:49 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
78. THX 1138



(1971; George Lucas)
Highest Vote: Spectator of Suicide

(in reply to rawlinson)
Post #: 68
RE: 70s Poll Countdown - 5/8/2012 8:16:36 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
77. Deep End



(1970; Jerzy Skolimowski)
Highest Vote: Elab

One of the oddest of all coming-of-age films, Deep End is a teen boy's tale of alienation and obsession. 16 year old Mike has just taken his first job working in a swimming baths. He develops a fixation on Sue (Jane Asher) Sue isn't much older than Mike but she's already sexually active and a more worldly, cynical person. Mike on the other hand is a true outsider, repressed sexually and in just about every other way, the world around him is a threatening place. Mike's obsession with Sue is always doomed and Deep End follows this fixation to its tragic conclusion.

- Rawlinson

(in reply to rawlinson)
Post #: 69
RE: 70s Poll Countdown - 5/8/2012 9:13:49 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
76. Live And Let Die



(1973; Guy Hamilton)
Highest Vote: Rebel Scum

(in reply to rawlinson)
Post #: 70
RE: 70s Poll Countdown - 5/8/2012 9:22:16 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
75. The Holy Mountain



(1973; Alejandro Jodorowsky)
Highest Vote: Rawlinson

The film starts with The Thief lying unconscious on the ground. He is befriended and resurrected by a limbless dwarf and he soon enters the nearby city to observe the madness of modern life. His resemblance to Jesus inspired people to use his likeness for various ends. Tiring of the city, he soon spots a bag of gold lowered from a tall tower. The thief climbs the tower and meets the alchemist who lives there. The thief shits, which is then turned into gold by the alchemist. The thief is then introduced to seven powerful people who represent the planets and personify the worst aspects of that planet. The alchemist instructs them to burn their money along with a wax image of themselves. The characters are then led through death and rebirth rituals before journeying to Lotus Island to learn the secret of immortality from the masters who live on the holy mountain. They plan to learn their ways and then replace them. On the island they become sidetracked by people who have abandoned their own quests for the holy mountain to engage in other activities. They manage to break away and ascend the mountain to discover their own personal visions, but the alchemist has one last surprise for them.

The Holy Mountain is loosely based on both The Ascent of Mt. Carmel by St. John of the Cross and Rene Daumal's Mount Analogue, but Jodorowsky fills it with his own mystical beliefs, including many references to the tarot. The Thief is said to represent The Fool as well as Christ, and various other characters also have tarot counterparts. Even the tower where the alchemist lives is a reference to a card. This religious symbolism is said to have been something Jodorowsky drilled into his actors. The cast members are reported to have undertaken three months of spiritual exercises before filming, featuring lessons from various religions, as well as living in a commune style in Jodorowsky's home. The Actors also took mushrooms during shooting to help their spiritual exploration.

The film has a dark wit running through it and the ending reveals just how subversive the film actually is. We're constantly being warned about the dangers of illusion and the end scene takes that distrust a step further. It's fitting that Jodorowsky cast himself as the alchemist, because as a director he himself is a magician, often turning shit into gold. It's difficult to grasp everything Jodorowsky is trying to tell us here and I'm not sure exactly how much of the film is being played as a wink to the audience, but it's a daring and enthralling film either way. A true classic that deserves far more than a cult audience.

(in reply to rawlinson)
Post #: 71
RE: 70s Poll Countdown - 5/8/2012 9:54:25 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
74. Walkabout



(1971; Nic Roeg)
Highest Vote: Rebenectomy

Walkabout seared itself into the minds of a generation of teenage males thanks to one scene - Jenny Agutter's naked swim. It may seem shallow to bring it down to that scene but you mention Walkabout to most heterosexual males and their first words will be something to do with Agutter's swim. The lovely miss Agutter appears to have brought an entire generation of teenage boys into puberty and the role rightly turned her into an icon of British cinema. So let's get that out of the way and on to the film itself.

Jenny Agutter and Luc Roeg play a young English brother and sister living in Sydney. The film opens with their father taking them for a drive into the outback. Once there, he attempts to kill them before setting fire to the car and then killing himself. The children are stranded in the desert, they have no transport back to civilisation, with no food and no idea how to survive in the desert heat, things look bad for them. Then they meet a young Aboriginal boy, played by David Gulpilil. Unable to communicate with the words, the three become friends and join together as a group. The boy is on his walkabout, a rite-of-passage where a boy goes off into the outback. Both Gulpilil and Agutter are undergoing sexual awakenings, but Gulpilil's inability to communicate his interest, and Agutter's fear of the unknown lead to tragedy.

In the early days of his career, Roeg was a great director of place. His early work (Walkabout, Performance, Don't Look Now) all manage to capture a unique environment. They share something in common in that the ideas of freedom associated with these locations is matched by a sense of confinement. They become oppressive and they change the characters in ways they may neither expect or want. Walkabout is an extraordinary film, a film that understands the brutality and sensuality of nature as well as it's great beauty.

- Rawlinson

(in reply to rawlinson)
Post #: 72
RE: 70s Poll Countdown - 5/8/2012 10:16:14 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
73. Straw Dogs



(1971; Sam Peckinpah)
Highest Vote: Rebenectomy

Straw Dogs sees David (Dustin Hoffman) and his young wife, Amy (Susan George), moving to the small Cornish village where she grew up. Hoffman appears to be fleeing the chaos over Vietnam in America. Once in their new home, David buries himself in his work, ignoring Amy and leaving her to rekindle old flirtations. David finds himself taunted by the local builders who are working on his home and his refusal to stand up to them further alienates Amy. Things come to a head when David decides to protect a child-like villager who has accidentally killed a local girl.

Straw Dogs is probably most famous for its brutality, not just the violence of the siege finale, but also for the rape of Amy by two of the workmen. The rape scene, and Amy's reactions, saw the film attacked for what was seen to be as Peckinpah condoning rape, or saying that women enjoy being raped. While there can be said to be some ambiguity around the way the first rape is filmed, the second rape, plus Amy's reactions afterwards clearly show how traumatic an experience it was.

Because despite all of the obviously American influences, it's a British horror right through. It speaks to our fear of the countryside, of those strange, isolated little communities in exactly the same way that The Wicker Man does. It also fits neatly into that cycle of ultra-bleak British horror films that were surfacing in the late 60s/early 70s, from the work of Michael Reeves to The Wicker Man, Don't Look Now, Blood on Satan's Claw, even non-horror offerings like Get Carter. All those films exude an atmosphere that tells you that everything is hopeless, pre-dating the punk ethos of 'no future' by 5 - 10 years.

- Rawlinson

(in reply to rawlinson)
Post #: 73
RE: 70s Poll Countdown - 5/8/2012 10:30:30 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
72. The Towering Inferno



(1974; John Guillermin, Irwin Allen)
Highest Vote: Gimli, Matty

(in reply to rawlinson)
Post #: 74
RE: 70s Poll Countdown - 5/8/2012 11:25:37 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
71. Duel



(1971; Steven Spielberg)
Highest Vote: Gimli

Remember when Spielberg was content with being a great horror/action director? The Spielberg of the 70s would have run over the war horse with a tank.

(in reply to rawlinson)
Post #: 75
RE: 70s Poll Countdown - 6/8/2012 9:51:39 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
70. Barry Lyndon



(1975; Stanley Kubrick)
Highest Vote: Fritzl

Stanley Kubrick was a genius. Barry Lyndon was one of his finest films. Anyone who tells you otherwise is just plain wrong. The film features narration by Michael Hordern, if you're not already convinced of its genius then you're beyond all hope. As for plot, it tells the life and adventures of Redmond Barry, a young Irishman in the 18th Century. Following a squabble over the heart of his cousin, and a duel that forces him to flee his hometown, Barry enlists in the army and finds himself through a series of misadventures trapped in Europe. Eventually Barry befriends the Chevalier de Balibari, takes to gambling, and marries into a noble family, but even wealthy marriage can't bring a happy ending for Barry.

Ryan O'Neal plays Lyndon, and that's the film's biggest problem. It would have been nice if Kubrick had hired someone at least remotely capable of expressing emotions. He simply doesn't have the range that Lyndon requires. It's been remarked in the past how much of an improvement it would have been if Leonard Rossiter had been cast as Lyndon instead of as the duelling rival, Captain Quin, and I'd tend to agree. But oddly considering it's the lead role, that one piece of miscasting doesn't destroy the film. It often feels that Barry is a victim of circumstance, a passive participant in his own life, and for that reason it seems somehow fitting that everything else in the film overpowers O'Neal. It helps that there's a wonderful supporting cast, including Murray Melvin, Andre Morell and Patrick Magee and they are all (especially Rossiter and Marisa Berenson) excellent in their roles. It's difficult to express just how overwhelmingly beautiful a film Lyndon is. Kubrick's films are always a feast for the eyes, but this may be his strongest visual work. There's a painterly elegance to the cinematography that's rarely seen, and it deservedly won the Oscar for John Alcott. Its glacial pace may put off many, but for those willing to try it with an open mind, Lyndon gives endless rewards.

- Rawlinson

(in reply to rawlinson)
Post #: 76
RE: 70s Poll Countdown - 6/8/2012 10:08:16 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
69. Get Carter



(1971; Mike Hodges)
Highest Vote: Matty

One of the best British gangster films ever made, Get Carter sees Michael Caine's small time gangster, Jack Carter, returning from London to his native Newcastle following the death of his brother. Suspecting murder, Carter begins investigating the death by questioning Newcastle's gangsters. Carter encounters a hostile bunch of people who want him out of Newcastle as soon as possible. When Carter uncovers the truth, he sets out for revenge on the men who destroyed his family.

Get Carter is a film that owes a debt to American noir while maintain a uniquely British sensibility. Newcastle is painted as a grim world of crumbling houses and smoke-stained pubs, filled with violence and despair, it should be the perfect place for a brute like Carter. But the attempts at urban renewal suggest a city looking to the future, and Carter can't move into the future. The presence of Caine would make most people expect the typical cheeky Cockney stereotype he so often trades in. But Carter is possibly his best work, he plays a man so dead inside that when he gets upset and actually shows emotions, it's like being slapped in the face. It's a cruel performance, harsh and unforgiving, a British equivalent to Lee Marvin's performance in Point Blank. This is British cinema at it's finest, a hard-boiled gangster thriller to rival anything coming out of America, or even the French films of Melville. Simply put it's one of the essential films of the 1970s.

- Rawlinson

(in reply to rawlinson)
Post #: 77
RE: 70s Poll Countdown - 6/8/2012 10:16:15 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
68. The Deer Hunter



(1978; Michael Cimino)
Highest Vote: Spectator of Suicide

(in reply to rawlinson)
Post #: 78
RE: 70s Poll Countdown - 6/8/2012 10:39:12 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
67. Silent Running



(1972; Douglas Trumbull)
Highest Vote: Elab

(in reply to rawlinson)
Post #: 79
RE: 70s Poll Countdown - 6/8/2012 10:57:04 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
65. Le Cercle Rouge



(1970; Jean-Pierre Melville)
Highest Vote: Rhubarb, Toast

Melville's film mixes classic film noir with the honour of Japanese samurai movies, but it doesn't celebrate its gangsters in the way other directors do. It shows admiration for the characters while still acknowledging the futility of their life. In fact the whole film is fatalistic. the characters are manouvered by destiny, a theme set out by Melville right from the opening quotation "Siddhartha Gautama, the Buddha, drew a circle with a piece of red chalk and said: 'When men, even unknowingly, are to meet one day, whatever may befall each, whatever the diverging paths, on the said day, they will inevitably come together in the red circle.."

Of course this could easily have become nothing more than some style over substance nonsense, but unlike many lesser directors, you never feel that Melville's films are a pose. While there is obviously something incredibly cool and iconic about his films, they never feel like Melville is indulging his style or obsessions over the substance of his work. His philosophy feels genuine and it adds a deeper level to the film than you might expect. He takes the honour codes of the genre and shows that the criminals have the same sense of morality as the police and that both are heading towards a conclusion beyond their control.

There's the sense that the characters are little more than chess pieces and they're doomed to repeat the same moves over and over. The entire film is a meditation on destiny and a sense of inevitabilty hangs over the characters throughout the film. Everything is business to them, fate is driving them and when you know you have a job to do what's the point in delaying it? There's very little in the way of dialogue and what there is avoids the hard-boiled cliches you may expect. Much of this goes to achieve a sense of tension, especially in the film's silent robbery sequence. It also goes towards adding to the relentless pace and the inevitable march towards a conclusion.

It's hard to escape that feeling of iconic cool when you watch a Melville gangster film and I feel that for many people that's all they've become, a name that gets dropped by Tarantino as an example of gangster cool. But they're so much more than that, there's a depth and a profundity about Melville's best work to equal any of the great directors and he deserves to have that acknowledged.

- Rawlinson

65. Solaris



(1972; Andrei Tarkovsky)
Highest Vote: Fritzl

On a space station in orbit around a planet named Solaris, the crew and the mission have fallen into a crisis. A psychologist named Kelvin is sent to explore the problem, discovering that the crew have been suffering from vivid hallucinations of figures from their past. Solaris is a planet covered with a vast, sentient, ocean and Kelvin soon finds himself plagued by hallucinations as well as he is haunted by the ghost of his wife.

Solaris is often compared to 2001 and while it's true that they're both slow-moving and meditative films, 2001 is more concerned with technology while Solaris mixes that science with philosophy and humanity as it exploresthe nature of love and what it actually means to be human. The replica of Kelvin's wife is no simple sci-fi double. She's self aware, she knows she's not real, she knows the person she's based on has died, she knows she's not really meant to exist. To Kelvin she looks exactly like the woman he loved, only she's alien to him because she doesn't understand human behaviour. Like many Tarkovsky films, Solaris is interested in what defines its characters. Also, like in other Tarkovsky films (The Mirror especially) Solaris is concerned with the past and how it always has some element of control over our actions and reactions.

In many ways Solaris is an old-fashioned ghost story. The space station stands in for the haunted house and elements of the film, including the initial appearances of the ghost like figures created by Solaris are similar to those we find in more artistic ghost stories. In fact for much of the film I found myself remembering stories like The Beckoning Fair One, The Haunting Of Hill House or The Turn Of The Screw, where much of the haunting takes place because of the psychology of the characters.

Many people find Solaris to be a cold film, and I really can't understand why. Maybe it's because it's Russian that we go into the film expecting a level of detachment, then we look for that coldness and place such emphasis on it that it overwhelms the film. For me, Tarkovsky's films aren't cold. It's true that he seems slightly detached from his subject, but only in a way that allows the viewer to see more of the film. I always found Solaris, like most Tarkovsky films, to be a beautiful, emotional experience. A great work by a deeply poetic director.

- Rawlinson

(in reply to rawlinson)
Post #: 80
RE: 70s Poll Countdown - 8/8/2012 4:36:47 AM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
64. The Conformist



(1970; Bernardo Bertolucci)
Highest Vote: Fritzl

(in reply to rawlinson)
Post #: 81
RE: 70s Poll Countdown - 8/8/2012 4:46:17 AM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
63. The Spy Who Loved Me



(1977; Lewis Gilbert)
Highest Vote: TRM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FbJDHn7B7gs

nsfw

< Message edited by rawlinson -- 8/8/2012 4:47:11 AM >

(in reply to rawlinson)
Post #: 82
RE: 70s Poll Countdown - 8/8/2012 4:53:54 AM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
62. Two Lane Blacktop



(1971; Monte Hellman)
Highest Vote: Garviel

James Taylor and Dennis Wilson play 'The Driver' and 'The Mechanic', two young hot-rods who are on a cross-country trip in their 55 Chevy. Along the way they race against other drivers for money in order to survive. It's only when they meet G.T.O. (Oates) the film kicks into high gear as they challenge each other to a race for pink slips, the winner takes the loser's car. They meet a girl (Bird) known only as The Girl, she hitches a ride with them and has sex with them all, swapping cars at times, before eventually leaving them all behind. They duel with each other, but the race never actually seems that important, when a car breaks down they help each other out, and the race eventually just fizzles out as the film itself breaks down.

This isn't the road movie that you might be expecting. If you're just interested in the race itself, with screeching tyres or high speed pursuits, this isn't for you. After setting up the bet and the race, Hellman loses interest in it. But that's ok because the film isn't actually about the race, it's about the road. But it's not about the road as freedom, it's about the road as just another thing to become trapped on. Two-Lane Blacktop is the ultimate existential road movie, as much as I enjoy Easy Rider, at times it feels like they were just a few stoners playing around, this feels authentic, this feels like the film Hopper wanted to make. A large part of that is simply because Hellman is a much better director than Hopper.

The acting is mostly passable at best, Taylor and Wilson are musicians and are pretty much blank slates on screen, there for the audience to project their own feelings, and Bird is a bit of a void as well. But that's exactly what these characters demand, they're ciphers rather than fully-rounded humans. The performance that helps lift the film to a different level is that of Warren Oates. It's a magical performance from Oates, one of the finest I've ever had the pleasure to see. They're all lost and they know it, but only G.T.O. fights against it and searches for a human connection. G.T.O. is just as lost as they are and he uses his car to try and escape. G.T.O. is garrulous, with a different story for everyone he talks to. It's this verbose quality that shows you there's a humanity left in G.T.O. that seems absent in everyone else, even if he is just another lost soul drifting on the open road.

The film raises questions it has no intention of answering, questions about the characters, their backgrounds, why they're racing in the first place, what they're all trying to escape from. The film takes them down the legendary Route 66 and when you think of the mythic connotations of that highway, it always seems associated with a sense of freedom and escape. But the highway in Blacktop just brings about a disturbing sense of loss. It's as if everyone here got lost or forgotten somewhere along the way. It's the forgotten America, all small-towns and long stretches of open road. It's the America Springsteen would evoke in Darkness on the Edge of Town, The River and Nebraska. Blacktop leaves the viewer feeling unsettled, it's like Hellman felt something was ending in America and he was trying to express it through film, the temptation to view this film as a comment on the death of 60s idealism is tempting but possibly a bit too simplistic. The infamous ending suggests all is lost, but I think that there's still some hope in the film, because as long as all the GTOs keep trying to make connections, one of them just might succeed.

- Rawlinson

(in reply to rawlinson)
Post #: 83
RE: 70s Poll Countdown - 8/8/2012 4:55:14 AM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
61. Carrie



(1976; Brian De Palma)
Highest Vote: Spectator of Suicide

There's more to Carrie than the fact that its partly responsible for a countless last shocks in sub-par horror films. In fact, it's odd that it is regarded as such a horror classic, as it excels more (in my opinion, at least) as a high school film, a genre that was relatively unexplored in 1976. With Carrie, though, that changed (for good and bad). For the countless efforts by many filmmakers (namely the late John Hughes) to recreate its success, though, it's really Brian De Palma who can pride himself of having creating the genre's magnum opus.

Starring Sissy Spacek as the titular character, the film is a partly realistic (in the sense that it's honest) and partly supernatural (in the sense that there's, you know, telekinesis involved) examination of bullying at its worst. Carrie White is a school outsider with no friends and no company except for an overly religious mother who really should reconsider her parenting abilities. Carrie has the ability to move things at will, a talent that at first seem to be just a clever way to heighten how much of an outsider she is, but really acts as the key ingredient in the film's deservedly iconic climax, one of the best in cinema ever. Perhaps you know the story already. Either way it's worth checking out this masterpiece.

- Dantes Inferno.

(in reply to rawlinson)
Post #: 84
RE: 70s Poll Countdown - 8/8/2012 4:56:35 AM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
60. The Hourglass Sanatorium



(1973; Woijech Has)
Highest Vote: Movie Addict

A young man, Joseph, takes a strange ride on a dilapidated train to visit his dying father. His father is staying in a mysterious, ruined gothic sanatorium. The sanatorium is run by Dr. Gotard who preserves life by slowing down time. Time has been tampered with to such an extent that it has started to flow backwards. The time problems affect Joseph and he finds himself caught in memories, fantasies (sexual and otherwise) and visions. He revisits his own childhood and explores fantasies and hallucinations before accepting the responsibility that age can bring.

Based on the stories of Bruno Schulz, Has also uses the film to explore the impact of the Holocaust, but not in a "lets bring up the Holocaust because it'll add some mock-profundity to the film" way, but in a honest and thoughtful way, the way it would impact Joseph's life. Schulz himself was killed during World War 2, executed for being a Polish Jew and adding the references to the Holocaust seem fitting.

If you watch the film with a cynical eye there's no apparent logic to The Hourglass Sanatorium, but if you're willing to immerse yourself in the rabbit hole of the story you'll find a Bunuel-esque exploration of the nature of memory and mortality. The film looks stunning, the complex set designs could put Gilliam to shame and help to make Joseph's bizarre fantasies fully convincing. The stream of consciousness approach to the narrative can be overwhelming at first, but stick with it because it has a graceful rhythm. It combines the playful with the frightening in a poetic, paranoid and downright eccentric tale.

- Rawlinson

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Post #: 85
RE: 70s Poll Countdown - 8/8/2012 4:57:45 AM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
59. The Spirit Of The Beehive



(1973; Victor Erice)
Highest Vote: Rebel Scum

Set in post Civil War Spain, six year old Ana and her older sister Isabel live in an isolated village with their parents. Their father spends most of his time with his beehives while their mother writes loveletters to a distant lover. The sisters watch a print of James Whale's Frankenstein that's been brought to their village. Ana is fascinated with the monster and asks Isabel why the monster kills the little girl in the film and why the people kill him. Isabel tells her that it's just a film and that none of it really happened and that the monster is a spirit who lives near the village. She takes Ana to the place where she tells her the monster lives and the monster becomes a part of Ana's fantasy life, leading to a confusion where Ana mistakes a rebel soldier for the monster and forms a short but tragic friendship.

Many see Spirit of the Beehive as a subtle condemnation of post-Civil War Spain, and it's easy to see a parallel between the horrors of the war that seem distant from this little village and the unknown childhood horrors that lurk in the woods. When both come into the world of Ana (the fact that she confuses a soldier with the monster speaks volumes), it leads to tragedy and it forces Ana to mature long before her time.

The sequence where they see Frankenstein is electric, watching the children view this classic for the first time is like seeing it with fresh eyes yourself and you can once again appreciate the beauty and the weirdness of that magnificent film. The scene afterwards where Isabel tells Ana that movies are a lie is like the film in microcosm, Ana is finding out that everything the adult world presents you with is a lie, or at least hiding its true self. From the beginning of our lives we experience a series of lies, that our parents are invincible and that we're the centre of the universe are among the biggest, and this film is about lies being stripped away. Cinema changes reality even as it captures it and it's fitting that so much of Spirit is based on the viewing of a film.

What The Spirit of the Beehive does best is provide us with a coming-of-age tale told from a child's point of view and shot through with fear, wonder and a menacing dread. Torrent gives a magnificent performance. She was an eerie and unconventional child actor, one who was capable of conveying layers of darkness and wonderment.

A final word should be saved for the wonderful cinematography by Luis Cuadrado, who was going blind at the time. His remarkable work creates incredible dream-like imagery that help this lyrical mood piece becomes one of cinema's most beautiful and reflective films.

- Rawlinson

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Post #: 86
RE: 70s Poll Countdown - 8/8/2012 8:38:49 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
58. MASH



(1970; Robert Altman)
Highest Vote: Matty

(in reply to rawlinson)
Post #: 87
RE: 70s Poll Countdown - 8/8/2012 8:39:42 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
57. Deliverance



(1972; John Boorman)
Highest Vote: Matty

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Post #: 88
RE: 70s Poll Countdown - 8/8/2012 8:42:16 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
56. Love and Death



(1975; Woody Allen)
Highest Vote: Rhubarb

In terms of pure comedy, this could be Woody's funniest film. Set during the Napoleonic era, Woody plays Boris Grushenko, a pacifist forced to enlist in the army. He's desperately in love with his cousin, Sonja (Diane Keaton), even though she doesn't want him. When he inadvertently becomes a war hero, he marries Sonja and both get embroiled in an attempt to assassinate Napoleon. Filled with references to classic Russian literature, this is early Woody at his finest. Quick-witted, cowardly and incredibly charming.

- Rawlinson

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Post #: 89
RE: 70s Poll Countdown - 8/8/2012 8:43:17 PM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
55. Eraserhead



(1976; David Lynch)
Highest Vote: Fritzl

David Lynch's startling feature debut is the tale of Henry, a printer on vacation from his job, he seems to have no hobbies or friends so he spends his vacation daydreaming. He receives a message that his girlfriend, Mary wants to see him. After a perverse dinner with her family, he's informed that Mary has given birth to a mutant baby. Mary and the baby, who whines constantly day and night, move into Henry's apartment, but following a strained few weeks she deserts him to raise the child on his own. After she leaves, a series of increasingly strange events befall Henry.

For many people Eraserhead has become a byword for a "pretentious" indie film. Seemingly because the meaning of much of the film hides itself. But I've always thought clarity of meaning to be somewhat overrated. I've given this same reasoning in defence of films on this thread in the past, but does it always matter if we understand everything a film is trying to tell us? Even if parts of the film are difficult to interpret, there is great clarity to the atmosphere that Lynch creates. We are lost in Henry's world, through his eyes we see a dark and industrial city, one that seems to isolate everyone who lives there. It looks like the world we know, but it isn't quite right. Henry uses his dreams and fantasies, however twisted, to escape the reality that surrounds him. A reality where all he knows is loneliness, thwarted sexuality, deformity and urban decay.

We're never sure how much of the film is a dream, but the film is one of the most impressive cinematic evocations of dream logic you'll ever hope to see, aided in no small part by the unique and distressing soundtrack. The film starts with a vision of the mysterious Man in the Planet. He appears again at the end and inbetween we are given other visions such as the Lady in the Radiator and the now infamous eraser head sequence. We are thrown into dreams and the possibility is that the whole film is a dream. Certainly the world Henry lives in could be a nightmare interpretation of reality, the mutant baby could be the fear of a disabled child. Because the narrative is unclear, Lynch forces us to examine it more closely to try and find our own meanings in what he provides us. It's possibly Lynch's most personal film, it's certainly his most provoking. It's a world of fear and nightmares and Lynch is unwilling to guide us through this frightening world, he forces us to find our own path and our own interpretations of so much of the film. It's the work of a true artist, and one of the best American feature debuts.

- Rawlinson

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Post #: 90
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