I have been watching all of the movie I own on DVD/Blu in chronological order, and posting thoughts on Facebook after 5 or so, sometimes more thoughts than other. I am a slow watcher so I will never actually finish this, but I’m in the early 70s now and here are the last ten I saw:
Don’t Look Now is one of the greatest films ever, the best use of the color red in any movie, an unshakable blur across the consciousness, the color of intuition and ultimately fate.
Friends of Eddie Coyle, The Long Goodbye, and Mean Streets vividly reflect the cities of Boston, LA, and NYC, three of my favorite cities in the 1970s. All three films are very different and are masterful on their own terms, guided tours through the eclectic underbellies of these distinct cities back when they were a bit more distinct, and meticulously detailed and engrossing places to spend a few hours.
O Lucky Man: It’s funny to see this movie again so soon after “Sorry to Bother You”. It’s clearly a partial template for that film, right down to a very, very similar left-field plot twist. I’m surprised more people haven’t used this film’s “greek chorus” approach to the band and soundtrack (“There’s Something About Mary” sort of does), although it’s hard to replicate the era of sarcastic singer-songwriters that produced the Newmans, Nilssons, and Alan Prices of the world. Harder still to replicate the era of peak Malcolm McDowell and Helen Mirren sex appeal.
Disney’s Robin Hood I had always liked this one as a kid, mostly for the Roger Miller tunes and the archery contest. It wasn’t until I was an adult that I learned this movie was a sexual awakening of sorts for a lot of people, primarily young girls? I guess Robin and Maid Marion are much more sensual than they need to be for a cartoon, but I still can’t relate. What I do notice now as a parent, even though my kids don’t give a crap about this movie, is how kind the characters are to one another. It’s a nice break from current animated movies where everyone is rude. Maybe all the girls were into Robin Hood for his personality.
Ssssss We almost let our kid watch this and wisely decided against it—for the rest of his life he’d have to say that the first movie that really freaked him out (after Pee Wee’s Big Adventure) is this terrible B movie from 1974 about people turning into snakes. But there is something undeniably freaky about being violently transformed into a reptile against your will via cheap special effects.
The Wicker Man The most delightful thing about this movie, undeniably one of the best of all time, is watching the stuffy constable who is so deeply entrenched in the Catholic and policeman patriarchy grow more and more indignant until he goes full Daffy Duck when faced with—well, not a matriarchy but something where the genders are on a little more equal footing. I’m not sure why this movie has always been labeled a horror when it’s clearly a comedy complete with a happy ending.
Godfather 2 Not much to say here. With all the greatness of this movie, Pacino’s eyes are the star—they swim through the film like the fin on the shark in Jaws, eventually devouring everything. A stray observation: when I was younger I swore this was the better film, but now I think the first one is. (Both are, obviously, masterpieces, and this is splitting hairs). The inky blacks of the cinematography look absolutely incredible on this relatively recent Blu Ray release—you could watch this movie with the sound off.