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1001 films you must see before you die- Part IX: 1965-1969

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die- Part IX: 1965-1969

Mensaje  JM el Lun Nov 02, 2009 10:59 pm

456
Masculin, féminin (Jean-Luc Godard, 1966)




Juxtaposing images of pristine, romantic innocence with ones of mute, meaningless violence, Godard's Masculin-Féminin first lulls with a hypnotic, disjointed story line and then stuns with scenes of tremendous depth and meaning. This outrageous film follows the somewhat ineffectual courtship of Madeline, an aspiring pop singer, by Paul, an erstwhile journalist and interviewer but mostly groundless searcher. As in most Godard films, plot mechanics are secondary to elements such as dialog (generally marvelous, but sometimes a bit too pointed), lighting (bizarre and oversaturated, but never less than fascinating), shot framing (extraordinarily thoughtful), and performance. Godard allows his camera to linger on single faces, without cutting, for what seems by modern standards to be extremely long segments--perhaps even excruciatingly long--but the remarkably subtle cast members never disappoint, particularly the fantastically adept and frequently hilarious lead actors, Jean-Pierre Léaud and Chantal Goya. The filmmaker has little to add to our collective understanding of the relationship between masculine et feminine writ large; in fact, most of the female characters are uncomfortably stereotypical, framed as either willfully oblivious to the world or subtly (or overtly) deadly. But as an examination of a young generation faced with the prospect of war in Vietnam and the vagaries of French socialism, Masculin-Féminin proves remorselessly and chillingly trenchant. A towering influence, it would seem, on Whit Stillman's similarly themed Barcelona--but while Stillman lacks the conviction to follow his instincts to their logical, violent conclusions, Godard faces his uncompromising story with elegance and courage.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die- Part IX: 1965-1969

Mensaje  JM el Lun Nov 02, 2009 11:04 pm

457
Au hasard Balthazar (Balthazar) (Robert Bresson, 1966)




Au hazard Balthazar can have a profoundly moving effect on those who are sensitive to its power. Like any film by Robert Bresson, it provokes widely different responses: Many critics have hailed it as a masterpiece, while others (as Pauline Kael observed) "may find it painstakingly tedious and offensively holy." It all depends on what the viewer brings to Bresson's seemingly simple tale of a donkey named Balthazar, who experiences kindness and cruelty as he is passed from owner to owner. Populated by a variety of sinners and saints alike, the film can be seen as a simple animal fable, as Balthazar suffers nobly at the hands of his handlers. Dig deeper into Bresson's art, however, and you're likely to find a very Catholic story with strong parallels to the life of Christ and his unbearable burden of the sins of mankind.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die- Part IX: 1965-1969

Mensaje  JM el Lun Nov 02, 2009 11:08 pm

258
2 ou 3 choses que je sais d'elle (Two or three things I know about her)
(Jean-Luc Godard, 1967)




Two or Three Things I Know About Her (2 ou 3 choses que je sais d'elle) (1967) is a French film directed by Jean-Luc Godard, one of three features he completed that year. Like the other two (Week End and La Chinoise), it is considered both socially and stylistically radical. Many American critics, including Village Voice critics Amy Taubin and J. Hoberman, consider it one of the greatest achievements in filmmaking.
The film follows the sophisticated but empty lives of Juliette Janson (Marina Vlady) and other characters in 1960s Paris. Juliette is a bourgeois housewife, a loving wife and mother, and a call girl.
'She', the woman to which the title alludes, simultaneously refers to Paris, Juliette Janson and Marina Vlady.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die- Part IX: 1965-1969

Mensaje  JM el Lun Nov 02, 2009 11:11 pm

259
The graduate (Mike Nichols, 1967)




Few films have defined a generation as The Graduate did. The alienation, the nonconformity, the intergenerational romance, the blissful Simon and Garfunkel soundtrack--they all served to lob a cultural grenade smack into the middle of 1967 America, ultimately making the film the third most profitable up to that time. Seen from a later perspective, its radical chicness has dimmed a bit, yet it's still a joy to see Dustin Hoffman's bemused Benjamin and Anne Bancroft's deliciously decadent, sardonic Mrs. Robinson. The script by Buck Henry and Calder Willingham is still offbeat and dryly funny, and Mike Nichols, who won an Oscar for his direction, has just the right, light touch.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die- Part IX: 1965-1969

Mensaje  JM el Lun Nov 02, 2009 11:16 pm

460
Playtime (Jacques Tati, 1967)




Play Time is French director Jacques Tati's fourth major film, and generally considered to be his masterpiece. It was shot in 1964 through 1967 and released in 1967. In Play Time, Tati again plays Monsieur Hulot, a character who had appeared in some of his earlier films, including Mon Oncle and Les Vacances de Monsieur Hulot. However, by 1964 Tati had grown ambivalent towards playing Hulot as a recurring central role. Unable to dispense with the popular character altogether, Hulot appears intermittently in Play Time, alternating between central and supporting roles. Shot in 70mm, Play Time is notable for its enormous set, which Tati had built specially for the film, as well as Tati's trademark use of subtle, yet complex visual comedy supported by creative sound effects; dialogue is frequently reduced to the level of background noise.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die- Part IX: 1965-1969

Mensaje  JM el Lun Nov 02, 2009 11:38 pm

461
Report (Bruce Conner, 1967)




One of Conner's dazzling found-footage assemblies, REPORT anticipates Stone's JFK by twenty-four years. While not as sheerly astounding as Conner's A MOVIE (the real inspiration for such Stonean Cuisin-Art as NATURAL BORN KILLERS), this mix of JFK-assassination audio, Jack Ruby stock footage, and plentiful pitch blackness is plenty weird, and is sure to chill the blood of high-school history-class kids encountering it in some highbrow museum somewhere.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die- Part IX: 1965-1969

Mensaje  JM el Lun Nov 02, 2009 11:46 pm

462
Hombre (Martin Ritt, 1967)




Paul Newman is the blue-eyed "savage," a white man raised by the Indians who rejects so-called civilized society for his spiritual family, in Elmore Leonard's take on Stagecoach. It's not exactly Grand Hotel on wheels. The hypocrites, crooks, and racists Newman travels with cast him out of their polite company in the coach, then turn to him for salvation when outlaws hold up the stage and hunt them through the desert. It's hard to "like" Newman's cold, hard survivor, but you can't help but respect his cunning and his unsentimental directness. Fredric March is sweaty with corruption as a crooked Indian agent, and Richard Boone smiles his deadly charm as a lusty bad man. While this 1966 Western wears its social politics on its dusty sleeves, director Martin Ritt tempers the revisionist moral of the tale with a stripped-down ruthlessness befitting the rugged, unforgiving landscape.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die- Part IX: 1965-1969

Mensaje  JM el Mar Nov 03, 2009 12:02 am

463
Belle de jour (Daylight beauty) (Luis Buñuel, 1967)




A young Paris housewife, Séverine, grows bored with her stable husband. When she learns of the presence of a high-class brothel in her neighborhood, she quietly goes to work there--but only during the day, until five o'clock in the afternoon. This sublime 1967 film is one of the latter-day masterpieces of the Spanish-born director Luis Buñuel, whose career forms one of the greatest and boldest arcs in cinema. By the time of Belle de jour, Buñuel had become almost completely deadpan in his style, which not only leaves the motivation of Séverine a mystery (despite a few flashbacks to degradations of her youth), but also casts the entire plot in doubt. An old surrealist from the 1920s (when his first classic, Un chien andalou, was made in collaboration with Salvador Dali), Buñuel suggests that what we see may be real, or simply Séverine's imagination. Because he was the least pretentious of directors, Buñuel keeps his material playful, wicked, yet cutting. As Séverine, the impossibly lovely Catherine Deneuve uses her cool demeanor to great effect--she never breaks her deadpan, either. In 1995, after having been out of official circulation for years, Belle de Jour was re-released in America and became an unexpected art-house hit.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die- Part IX: 1965-1969

Mensaje  JM el Mar Nov 03, 2009 12:07 am

464
Les Demoiselles de Rochefort (The young girls of Rochefort)
(Jacques Demy, 1967)




The French director Jacques Demy scored a worldwide hit in 1964 with The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, a bittersweet candy-colored romance in which all the dialogue was set to music. Equally enchanting is the musical that reunited Demy with the star and composer of Umbrellas, Catherine Deneuve and Michel Legrand. The film is The Young Girls of Rochefort, an effervescent concoction about traveling players and dreamy-headed demoiselles in a seaside town. Deneuve and her real-life sister, Françoise Dorléac (who died in a car accident not long after the movie was made), play twins who fantasize about life in Paris. But before they leave town, they are distracted by the weekend fair and its colorful singers and dancers. They're also destined to meet an American composer--gloriously, it's Gene Kelly, carrying the aura of classic MGM musicals in his lighter-than-air wake. He was 55 at the time, but much younger in movie years. (Another American, George Chakiris, also dances his way through the film.) Legrand's music isn't as powerful as his Cherbourg score, and some of the choreography would fit right into an Austin Powers discotheque sequence. And the costumes--well, the excesses of '60s mod designs have not aged well. Yet the crazy hairstyles and vinyl boots fit right into the film's sense of gleeful fun. There is a sunny, daffy spirit to this movie that becomes positively infectious. It deserves to be better known. (Try to catch a widescreen version, if possible.)


Watch Les Demoiselles de Rochefort, 1967, by Jacques Demy in Entertainment Videos | View More Free Videos Online at Veoh.com

JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die- Part IX: 1965-1969

Mensaje  JM el Mar Nov 03, 2009 12:18 am

465
Week End (Jean-Luc Godard, 1967)




Jean-Luc Godard and Luis Buñuel enjoyed an ardent misanthropic duel in the '60s and '70s, but who won is anyone's call. Godard's Weekend lays down the trump in a harrowing and darkly funny allegory in which social mores fray along political lines. Played out in a metafilm in which characters question their own reality, a morally bankrupt Parisian couple tries to leave the city on a much-loathed country holiday with the wife's parents. Along the way, endless traffic jams, sudden violence, and vistas of gory car crashes underscore their corrupted values. Their lethal encounter with the in-laws and kidnap by an anarchic band of radical cannibals finds the couple--and presumably "decent" society with them--reverting to a nasty primitivism. The idea is of course that the bored, apathetic heart of the bourgeoisie is never far from acting out its most homicidal fantasies.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die- Part IX: 1965-1969

Mensaje  JM el Mar Nov 03, 2009 12:21 am

466
Le samourai (The samourai) (Jean-Pierre Melville ,1967)




Alain Delon is the coolest killer to hit the screen, a film noir loner for the modern era, in Jean-Pierre Melville's austere 1967 French crime classic. Delon's impassive hit man, Jef Costello, is the ultimate professional in an alienated world of glass and metal. On his latest contract, however, he lets a witness live--a charming jazz pianist, Valerie (Cathy Rosier), who neglects to identify him in the police lineup. When Costello survives an assassination attempt by his employers, he carefully plots his next moves as cops and criminals close in and he prepares for one last job. Melville meticulously details every move by Costello and the police in fascinating wordless sequences, from Costello's preparations for his first hit to the cops' exhaustive efforts to tail Jef as he lines up his last; and his measured pace creates an otherworldly ambiance, an uneasy calm on the verge of shattering. Costello remains a cipher, a zen killer whose façade begins to crack as the world seems to be collapsing in on him, exposing the wound-up psyche hidden behind his blank face. Melville rethinks film noir in modern terms, as an existential crime drama in soft, somber color and sleek images (courtesy of cinematographer extraordinaire Henri Decaë). Le Samouraï inspired two pseudo-remakes, Walter Hill's Driver and John Woo's Killer, but neither film comes close to the compelling austerity and meticulous detail of Melville's cult masterpiece.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die- Part IX: 1965-1969

Mensaje  JM el Mar Nov 03, 2009 12:23 am

467
Cool Hand Luke (Stuart Rosenberg, 1967)




Paul Newman gives one of the defining performances of his career, and cemented his place as a beautiful-rebel screen icon playing the stubbornly tough and independent title character in Cool Hand Luke. And before he became familiar as a sidekick in 1970s disaster movies (Earthquake and the Airport movies), George Kennedy won an Oscar for playing Dragline, the brutal chain-gang boss who tries to beat loner Luke's cool out of him. It's a classic rebel-against-the-repressive-institution story in the line of One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest or The Shawshank Redemption. Certain moments have become classics--particularly the hardboiled egg-eating contest, and the immortal line (drooled by Strother Martin, as a sadistic redneck prison officer), "What we have here is a failure to communicate." And don't forget, Luke is also the source of the oft-quoted driving ditty, "I don't care if it rains or freezes, long as I have my plastic Jesus, right here on the dashboard of my car..." He is cool, all right.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die- Part IX: 1965-1969

Mensaje  JM el Mar Nov 03, 2009 3:46 pm

468
Point blank (John Boorman, 1967)




Walker (Lee Marvin) strides through Los Angeles with the steel-eyed stare of a stone-cold killer, or perhaps a ghost. Betrayed by his wife and best friend, who gun him down point-blank and leave him for dead after a successful heist, Walker blasts his way up the criminal food chain in a quest for revenge. Did he survive the shooting or return from the grave, or is it all a dying dream? The question is left in the air in John Boorman's modern film noir, a brutal revenge thriller based on Richard Stark's novel The Hunter (remade by Brian Helgeland as Payback), set in the impersonal concrete and steel canyons of Los Angeles and eerily empty cells of Alcatraz. Walker kills without remorse, guided by shadowy "informant" Keenan Wynn, whose own agenda is carefully concealed, and assisted by Angie Dickinson, as he desperately searches for someone, anyone, who can just give him his money. But if Walker is an extreme incarnation of the revenge-driven noir antihero, the modern syndicate has been transformed into a world of paper jungles and corporate businessmen, an alienating concept to the two-fisted, gun-wielding gangster. Boorman creates a hard, austere look for the film and fragments the story with flashes of painful memory, grafting the New Wave onto old genres with confidence and style. Haunting and brutal, Point Blank remains one of the most distinctive crime thrillers ever made.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die- Part IX: 1965-1969

Mensaje  JM el Mar Nov 03, 2009 3:48 pm

469
Wavelength (Michael Snow, 1967)




Wavelength is a short, forty-five minute film that made the reputation of Canadian experimental filmmaker Michael Snow. Considered a landmark of avant-garde cinema, it was filmed over one week in December 1966 and edited in 1967. It was released in May 1967, and is an example of what film theorist P. Adams Sitney describes as "structural film."
Wavelength consists of almost no action, and what action does occur is largely elided. If the film could be said to have a conventional plot, this would presumably refer to the three "character" scenes. Snow's intent for the film was "a summation of my nervous system, religious inklings and aesthetic ideas," he said of the 45-minute-long zoom that incorporates in its time frame four human events, including a man's death. In the first scene two people enter a room, chat briefly, and listen to "Strawberry Fields Forever" on the radio. Later, a man (played by filmmaker Hollis Frampton) enters inexplicably and dies on the floor. And last, the female owner of the apartment is heard and seen on the phone, speaking, with strange calm, about the dead man in her apartment whom she has never seen before.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die- Part IX: 1965-1969

Mensaje  JM el Mar Nov 03, 2009 3:50 pm

470
Bonnie and Clyde (Arthur Penn, 1967)




One of the landmark films of the 1960s, Bonnie and Clyde changed the course of American cinema. Setting a milestone for screen violence that paved the way for Sam Peckinpah's The Wild Bunch, this exercise in mythologized biography should not be labeled as a bloodbath; as critic Pauline Kael wrote in her rave review, "it's the absence of sadism that throws the audience off balance." The film is more of a poetic ode to the Great Depression, starring the dream team of Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway as the titular antiheroes, who barrel across the South and Midwest robbing banks with Clyde's brother Buck (Gene Hackman), Buck's frantic wife Blanche (Estelle Parsons), and their faithful accomplice C.W. Moss (the inimitable Michael J. Pollard). Bonnie and Clyde is an unforgettable classic that has lost none of its power since the 1967 release.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die- Part IX: 1965-1969

Mensaje  JM el Mar Nov 03, 2009 8:14 pm

471
Csillagosok katonák (The red and the white) (Miklos Jancso, 1967)




Miklós Janscó takes the romance out of Russia's Revolutionary struggle in this simultaneously beautiful and brutal look at the civil war following the Bolshevik coup of 1918. Set in a remote region of Central Russia in 1919, The Red and the White follows the shifting balance of power around an abandoned monastery. The anti-Bolshevik White Army has embarked on a campaign to completely eradicate the area of Red Army soldiers, and scores of Hungarians, former Bolshevik prisoners thrust into battle, are caught in the middle. The graceful camerawork and lush, lovely landscape captured in stunning black-and-white widescreen stand in sharp contrast to the abrupt on-the-spot executions and sadistic cat-and-mouse games of the White Army, hiding behind a mask of politeness and civility as they line up their next row of victims. But Janscó's portrayal of the Bolsheviks, while decidedly more heroic, isn't much more sympathetic. The dreamlike poetry of Janscó's cinema and the surreal atmosphere of doom carries the film in place of a strong story or a central set of characters, but there is no mistaking his sympathies for the victims of the struggle--peasants and prisoners and civilians caught between collision of two armies, systematically stripped of their dignity and their lives as the battle rages around them like an evocation of hell on Earth. It's a brave stance for a Hungarian filmmaker working on Soviet soil in 1968 and it makes for a powerful film.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die- Part IX: 1965-1969

Mensaje  JM el Mar Nov 03, 2009 8:17 pm

472
Marketa Lazarova (Frantisek Vlacil, 1967)




Mikolás (Frantisek Velecký) and his brother Adam (Ivan Palúch) rob travellers for their tyrranical father Kozlík (Josef Kemr). During one of their "jobs" they end up with a young German hostage whose father escapes to return news of the kidnapping and robbery to the King. Kozlik prepares for the wrath of the King, and sends Mikolás to pressure his neighbour Lazar (Michal Kozuch) to join him in war. Persuasion fails, and in vengeance Mikolás abducts Lazar's daughter Marketa (Magda Vásáryová), just as she was about to join a convent. The King, meantime, dispatches an army and the religious Lazar will be called upon to join hands against Kozlik. Stripped-down, surreal, and relentlessly grimy account of the shift from Paganism to Christianity.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die- Part IX: 1965-1969

Mensaje  JM el Mar Nov 03, 2009 8:21 pm

473
The jungle book (Wolfgang Reitherman, 1967)




A classic 1967 Disney animated film that's loosely based on Rudyard Kipling's book of the same name, Jungle Book tells the story of a young boy Mowgli who was raised by animals in the jungle. When tiger Shere Khan threatens to return to their part of the jungle, the other animals decide that Mowgli must return to the man village in order to ensure his safety. Panther Bagheera has difficulty convincing Mowgli to follow him to the man village and recruits the help of a big lovable bear Baloo. Mowgli's journey is one of wit, song, and many surprises. A timeless film populated by strong characters bursting with personality, great music like "Bare Necessities" and "I Wanna Be Like You," and inspiring animation by Frank Thomas, Ollie Johnston, and other master animators, Jungle Book captivates audiences of all ages.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die- Part IX: 1965-1969

Mensaje  JM el Mar Nov 03, 2009 8:26 pm

474
Hoří, má panenko (The firemen's ball) (Milos Forman, 1967)




A milestone of the Czech New Wave, Milos Forman's first color film The Firemen's Ball (Horí, má panenko) is both a dazzling comedy and a provocative political satire. A hilarious saga of good intentions confounded, the story chronicles a firemen's ball where nothing goes right-from a beauty pageant whose reluctant participants embarrass the organizers to a lottery from which nearly all the prizes are pilfered. Presumed to be a commentary on the floundering Czech leadership, the film was "banned forever" in Czechoslovakia following the Russian invasion and prompted Forman's move to America.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die- Part IX: 1965-1969

Mensaje  JM el Mar Nov 03, 2009 10:55 pm

475
Terra em transe (Land in anguish) (Glauber Rocha, 1967)




In the hypothetical Latin-American country of Eldorado, the idealistic and anarchist poet and journalist Paulo Martins (Jardel Filho) fights against the populist governor, Felipe Vieira (José Lewgoy), and the conservative president Porfirio Diaz (Paulo Autran), supported by revolutionary forces. Paulo is depressed, since the two corrupt politicians were his former friends and have been elected with his moral support.
If the reader has had the opportunity of reading Machiavelli's "The Prince", he or she will see how the behavior of politicians remains unchanged along the centuries. However, keeping in mind that this is a 1967 movie, and Brazil was under a tough military dictatorship, this movie is a milestone in the history of Brazilian New Cinema. Glauber Rocha was very braze, discussing forbidden themes such as fight of classes, manipulation of the submissive masses by the elites, corruption in politician, anarchism, campaign promises not kept after the elections, economical power of foreign groups (or countries) in Latin American countries and coup d'état. In 1967, "Terra em Transe" was awarded with "Great Prize" in the Locarno Festival (Switzerland); "Luis Buñuel Prize" in Cannes Festival; "Federation of International Critics Prize" in Cannes Festival; and Best Movie of the Year in the Air France Prize, among other prizes.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die- Part IX: 1965-1969

Mensaje  JM el Mar Nov 03, 2009 11:09 pm

476
Ostře sledované vlaky (Closely watched trains) (Jiri Menzel, 1966)




Jiri Menzel's funny, tragic 1966 film, set during the years of Germany's occupation of Czechoslovakia, may be admired today more out of nostalgia than anything, but in fact it holds up very well as a wry satire from the years of the Czech New Wave. Vaclav Neckar stars as an unambitious youth whose chief preoccupation is a wish for sex, but who secondarily sees the draw of joining the organized Resistance movement. The latter, however, would require energy and focus, and Neckar's character--who does as little work as possible as an apprentice railway platform guard--prefers the inertia of his small-town depot. Spending his time observing the philandering of an older guard, keeping clear of his wild-eyed boss, and flirting with the female conductor of a passing train, the young hero has his priorities in order but must deal with an increasing responsibility to a larger rebellion. The film has a nice mix of rural lethargy, surreal hints, and comic knowingness about the landscape of teenage ambivalence. Finally, there is something else: the shock of a confrontation between dreams and real-world obligation, particularly in a world gone mad through no fault of one's own.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die- Part IX: 1965-1969

Mensaje  JM el Mar Nov 03, 2009 11:28 pm

477
Viy (Spirit of evil) (Konstantin Yershov & Georgi Kropachyov, 1967)




An eerie, foreboding, rarely-seen classic horror film from Russia, "Viy" is based on 19th century writer Nikolai Gogol's original story of Thomas Brutus, a theology student who is forced to read scripture for a young woman who has died. What he doesn't know is, she is the devil's emissary on earth. Over the three nights of his mission, Thomas is tempted and tormented by all the minions of hell as the young man's faith and courage are tested in a trial by fire.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die- Part IX: 1965-1969

Mensaje  JM el Mar Nov 03, 2009 11:30 pm

478
Gaav (The cow) (Dariush Mehrjui, 1969)




The Cow (Persian: Gāv) is a 1969 Iranian movie directed by Dariush Mehrjui, written by Gholam-Hossein Saedi based on his own play and novel, and staring Ezatolah Entezami as Masht Hasan. Some believe that "New Wave" of Persian cinema emerged after this film.
The story begins by showcasing the close relationship between a middle-aged Iranian villager Masht Hasan and his beloved cow. Hassan is married but has no child. His only valuable property is a cow that he cherishes - the only cow in the village.
When Hasan must leave the village for a short time, the pregnant cow is found dead in the barn. Hasan's fellow villagers fear his reaction & cover up the evidence of the death and tell him upon his return that his cow has run away. Finding great difficulty confronting the loss of his beloved cow, as well the loss of livestock that affects his social stature at the village, Hasan gradually goes insane following a nervous breakdown and believes he is the cow, adopting such mannerisms as eating hay. His wife & the villagers try their best to bring him back to the normal life but all in vain. The tragedy ends with Hasan's death.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die- Part IX: 1965-1969

Mensaje  JM el Mar Nov 03, 2009 11:47 pm

479
C'era una volta il West (Once upon a time in the West)
(Sergio Leone, 1968)




The so-called spaghetti Western achieved its apotheosis in Sergio Leone's magnificently mythic (and utterly outlandish) Once upon a Time in the West. After a series of international hits starring Clint Eastwood (from A Fistful of Dollars to The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly), Leone outdid himself with this spectacular, larger-than-life, horse-operatic epic about how the West was won. (And make no mistake: this is the wide, wide West, folks--so the widescreen/letterboxed version is strongly recommended.) The unholy trinity of Italian cinema--Leone, Bernardo Bertolucci, and Dario Argento--concocted the story about a woman (Claudia Cardinale) hanging onto her land in hopes that the transcontinental railroad would reach her before a steely-eyed, black-hearted killer (Fonda) does. (The film's advertising slogan was: "There were three men in her life. One to take her ... one to love her ... and one to kill her.") Meanwhile, Leone shoots his stars' faces as if they were expansive Western landscapes, and their towering bodies as if they were looming rock formations in John Ford's Monument Valley.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die- Part IX: 1965-1969

Mensaje  JM el Mar Nov 03, 2009 11:59 pm

480
Planet of the apes (Franklin J. Schaffner, 1968)




Many early science fiction films are now, quite inadvertently (and in most cases undeservedly), objects of camp attention: we laugh at the silly makeup, tin-can special effects, and the naive "high-tech" dialogue. Planet of the Apes is no such film. Its intelligent script, frightening costuming, and savagely effective conclusion (which needs no big-budget special effects to augment its impact) remain both potent and relevant. When Colonel George Taylor (the fabulous Charlton Heston) crash lands his spacecraft on what seems to be an unfamiliar planet, he is captured and held prisoner by a dominant race of hyperrational, articulate apes. However, the ape community is riven with internal dissention, centered in no small part on its policy toward humans, who, on this planet, are treated as mindless animals. Befriended and ultimately assisted by the more liberal simians, Taylor escapes--only to find a more terrifying obstacle confronting his return home. Heavy-handed object lessons abound--the ubiquity of generational warfare, the inflexibility of dogma, the cruelty of prejudice--and the didactic fingerprints of Rod Serling are very much in evidence here. But director Franklin Schaffner has a dark, pop-apocalyptic sci-fi vision all his own, and time has not dulled the monumental emotional impact of the film's climactic payoff shot. If you don't know what I'm talking about here, you owe it to yourself to check out this stone classic, and even if you do, see it with fresh eyes; and don't be surprised if you get the chills all over again... and again... and again.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die- Part IX: 1965-1969

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