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I think that makes The last waltz work is the fact that The Band are obscure. They were "musicians musician" in the main, so the documentary becomes about the music of that era rather than just a promo for one artist or the other. My favorite bit is Muddy Waters singing "Mannish Boy".
My favorite bit is Van Morrison blowing the roof off the house with "Caravan".
Watched 1969 film Age of Consent.
Ever hear people marveling about how attractive Helen Mirren looks in her senior years? Well imagine Helen Mirren in 1969. Now imagine Helen Mirren in a movie pretty much wholly dedicated to showing her naked, in which she plays an artist's model.
Anyway, it was the last theatrical feature ever made by Michael Powell. Nine years earlier he had made a now-famous movie called Peeping Tom about a voyeuristic serial killer; the rather limited amount of nudity in that film was so controversial that it pretty much destroyed his career. Age of Consent demonstrates how much that taboo was dead by 1969. It's an odd movie, quite flawed in some ways, quite good in others. There are multiple references to how Mirren's character is underage, which might be squicky if it weren't so howllingly obvious that Mirren wasn't really underage (she was 22).
The Panic in Needle Park, 1971. Al Pacino as a heroin addict with a heroin addict girlfriend. Got just about everything you'd associate with a New Hollywood movie. New York looking shitty, The Big Rotten Apple. Drug addiction examined directly and unflinchingly, more so than in probably the only Hollywood movie to examine that theme before, The Man with the Golden Arm. Prostitution, despair...
...pretty good flick, though. Pacino is, unsurprisingly, amazing. This movie got him the part in The Godfather.
Pacino in the '70s was a very different actor from what '80s Pacino. A better one in my view.
He was never more handsome or good looking than in those early films.
Oh to be sure. The thing about Pacino was that he didn't shout ALL THE TIME, so when he did shout it really packed a punch, like the "IN MY HOME! WHERE MY WIFE SLEEPS!" scene from The Godfather Part II. Starting with Scarface probably he just yelled all the time.
He kept his volume down in Donnie Brasco.
Edited by DS9guy on Oct 18th 2018 at 10:05:16 AM
He did. Also in Christopher Nolan's Insomnia, which is underrated. He's had some good performances since the end of the New Hollywood era. But surely his peak corresponds pretty exactly to that era, to the 1970s.
I concur that 70s Pacino is sexiest Pacino.
Watched Chinatown. I think this is the only Jack Nicholson performance I've ever liked. I thought it was a great neo-noir and very New Hollywood with its Downer Ending and sort of ambitiously good/bad protagonist.
Edited by LongTallShorty64 on Oct 18th 2018 at 12:09:56 PM
Chinatown is just goddamned perfect. Just a spinning clockwork of a movie, everything fits together, everything works.
The Passenger also from the same era is also a good Nicholson performance and one where he's subdued, but then it's directed by Michelangelo Antonioni. Antonioni despite being Italian is kind of like a founding father for the New Hollywood era. Blow-Up ended censorship and spawned two American Spiritual Successor in The Conversation and Blow Out. His Zabriskie Point despite flopping on release is arguably a bigger time capsule of the '60s counter-culture than any other American film of the time. And it's portrayal of a woman protagonist makes it less dated than other movies of that time does.
And man, nobody knew how to end a film better than Antonioni.
Watching the 1968 version of A Midsummer Night's Dream. Not sure I can recommend it. The film as it appears on Amazon Prime is obviously some old public domain dupe print, the picture's not the sharpest, and every so often there are random bits that have just disappeared in the movie, brief seconds that are just gone. It presents most of the text of the play and frankly could have stood to have some moments edited out. The film was obviously made on No Budget as well.
But my God, the cast in this movie. Ian Holm, Diana Rigg, David Warner, Helen Mirren in her second movie, Ian Richardson, and last but not least, a mostly naked and shockingly sexy Judi Dench. Yes, Judi Dench (Titania).
Night of the Living Dead.
My favorite thing is that Cooper the obnoxious bald guy is right about retreating to the cellar, while handsome, charismatic Ben is completely wrong about defending the house. One of the all-time great examples of Jerkass Has a Point.
Watched a movie I'd never heard of until I looked it up, and I'm kind of amazed I never heard of it.
Scarecrow, starring Gene Hackman and Al Pacino as two drifters—Hackman a kind of mean, rage-prone one who happens to be an ex-con, Pacino a cheerful, happy-go-lucky one. Hackman is hitchhiking cross-country, intending to take his little nest egg and start a car wash, and Pacino tags along. Buddy Picture, Road Trip Plot, pretty good. Won the Palme d'Or, and I'd never heard of it until I was looking up those Palme d'Or movies, thought it was some European art-house flick.
Since it's Election Day and the fate of our nation is at stake as we fight against creeping fascism, I'd like to recommend what is very possibly the best political movie of all time.
That one I need to see.
Among American political movies, I like Bulworth a lot and it's made by Warren Beatty, New Hollywood royalty. And All The President's Men is great. As is Nashville.
Though it's kind of weird in retrospect since what happened in 2016 is so much worse than the nightmare scenarios of the 70s.
I liked Bulworth a lot, although of course its well out of our time frame. As is Bob Roberts, the closest fictional analogue to what's happened to America.
Nashville would be a great example from this time period. One might even count Taxi Driver.
Taxi Driver isn't really saying anything about politics other than political assassination and vigilantism is bad. I mean it speaks to gun rights issues today of course. Nashville also talks about assassination but it's also saying stuff about politics becoming more media and image-conscious and being less about the message than about the medium, which was a big '70s concern thanks to Marshal McLuhan who was quoted and discussed by Altman and Woody Allen and Kubrick and others.
Paul Schrader, screenwriter of Taxi Driver, directed his first feature Blue Collar, and that's a very political movie about the working class becoming fragmented and polarized by race and corrupt unions. That was made in 1978. Heaven's Gate was also a very political Epic Movie though it's kind of confusing if you try to make sense of it. It's saying that rich people oppress the poor but the whole background and historical detail is too heavily fictionalized for it to make sense. Michael Cimino was also an objectivist or someone with a lot of confused ideas, and he seemed to have liked the idea of saying big political stuff rather than meaning it.
Watching Lenny with Dustin Hoffman. Biopic of Lenny Bruce. Deliberately Monochrome, which I guess is meant to evoke the 1950s but to me seems more redolent of New Hollywood.
Watched Fat City, a boxing film from 1972. Having seen later boxing films such as the Rocky films and Raging Bull, it's painfully obvious that the makers of Fat City had no idea how to shoot boxing. I'm also not a huge fan of the decision to make most of the major characters thoroughly unsympathetic, and the rest bland.
I've never seen Fat City, but the boxing in Rocky isn't all that realistic, hardly any clinching, all those roundhouses to the face. Looks great in a movie though.
Boxing in both Rocky and Raging Bull is highly unrealistic (as a boxing aficcionado, the most realistic-looking boxing films in my opinion would be Southpaw and Creed).
I think what he means, though, is that they have no idea how to shoot a boxing scene in the sense of making boxing look cinematic. Rocky codified this by essentially aiming for a approach that mimics the emblematic HBO school of boxing broadcast which codified the whole genre, so all those flat wide shots behind or slightly above the ropes with some occasional cuts to closer angles to the fighter corners. It's pretty much a slightly fancier of the (now universal) approach to film boxing HBO codified.
Raging Bull codified doing the opposite and swimming as far as humanly possible from the HBO model in showing movie boxing by sticking the camera in the ring and following the fighters through closer, more personal and experimental angles. Taking an approach of "let's show the fight from the perspective of the fighters" rather than the perspective of a hypothetical audience.
Edited by Gaon on Dec 30th 2018 at 6:58:40 AM
Edited by Draghinazzo on Dec 30th 2018 at 1:18:43 PM
Yes, exactly. The problem with the boxing in Fat City isn't that it's unrealistic, but that it's dull to watch.
Re-watched The Sting. Man, do I love this movie. It's really rare finding two major stars like Paul Newman and Robert Redford who not only have great on-screen chemistry but also don't outshine each other.
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