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I am pretty sure that the frozen lake in the movie is actually not located in Germany. In universe it might be, but in reality, they leave the city and are suddenly somewhere in Scandinavia. Frozen lakes over which you can chase someone aren't all that common near Hamburg.
Oh the movie never says. Beatty hops on the car truck in Hamburg and the truck eventually stops...somewhere, somewhere wooded and rural with a frozen lake. Hollywood Geography probably.
Saw The Panic in Needle Park which was mentioned by jamespolk up thread. Good movie. It's strange to me that it screams 1970s even though it was only made in 1971...Was NYC just ahead in 1970s grittiness?? Anyways, reading the Ebert review of the time and he really disliked the puppy overboard scene. He doesn't really explain why other than it's obvious. I found it a fine why to show their lack of...well, everything. And he mentions the whole needle to the arm thing as shocking but just seems like pretty small potatoes almost 50 plus years later.
Edited by LongTallShorty64 on Feb 17th 2019 at 10:16:16 AM
The 1970s was famous as a nadir for New York when everything looked shitty like The Panic in Needle Park and Taxi Driver. The city was going bankrupt and begged the feds for relief and Gerald Ford refused in a presidential address that was famously summarized by the NY Post as "Ford to City: Drop Dead". (Helped cost him the 1976 presidential election.). So yes, NYC was definitely ahead of the curve in 1970s grittiness.
Edited by jamespolk on Feb 17th 2019 at 7:32:39 AM
Watched Murder on the Orient Express. This was my first Agatha Christie adaption I've ever watched. I quite enjoyed it. I couldn't really guess the ending which, although not a deal-breaker for me when it comes to a mystery, it does dampen the fun a bit. Finney is a great Poirot.
Watched Wanda, Barbara Loden's only film as a director (she also wrote the movie and starred in it). I wasn't a big fan. The setting is a Crapsack World filled with poverty, which I tend not to enjoy watching (I didn't particularly like Bicycle Thieves for the same reason). The title character is a complete ditz, which got annoying pretty quickly, and I thought the pacing was off—the story only really took a new direction (besides "being poor and living in a low-income community sucks") after two thirds of runtime, and by that time I was already deep into Eight Deadly Words territory. It felt like the movie was trying to say something, but I cannot for the life of me figure out what.
Watched The Heartbreak Kid (1972). I had already watched the remake with Ben Stiller many years ago, and I didn't like that version. The basic plot is that a man realizes on his honeymoon that the prospect of spending the rest of his life with the woman he married isn't all that appealing to him, and then he falls for another woman...
Basically, the characters are all pretty terrible, with the notable exception of the other woman's father, who is instead the Only Sane Man. The movie is a kind of Cringe Comedy, except it's not really a comedy. It's more of a "being annoyed at all the characters for being jerks or otherwise very flawed" kind of movie. It has a couple of funny moments, such as the aforementioned father calling the protagonist out on his bullshit and the protagonist pulling a Bavarian Fire Drill to get his crush's classmates to leave the two of them alone, but otherwise it's more of a drama about how people can ruin their own lives and the lives of others.
Watched Killer of Sheep, a 1977 Slice of Life film about people living in a poor African-American community (the main character works at a slaughterhouse, hence the title). The film really embodies ennui—we described it as "low-key depressing, and high-key boring". It's listed in the book 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die, and from what I can gather that's because of the way the film handles race—there is no race-related conflict, no references to systemic issues, and very little in the way of stereotypes (though one character calls another a "jive turkey" and they do use racial slurs to address one another). In other words, the race of the characters is pretty incidental, and the movie could easily have been made about a racially quite dissimilar community with only minor alterations.
If there was one thing that stuck around from New Hollywood once the Blockbuster era began, it was less reliance on sound stages and backlots and more emphasis on location shooting.
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