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1001 films you must see before you die- Part XI: 1975-1979

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die- Part XI: 1975-1979

Mensaje  JM el Dom Nov 08, 2009 6:09 pm

615
Novecento (1900) (Bernardo Bertolucci, 1976)




1900 is one of Bernardo Bertolucci's adventures in epic filmmaking that never found the reception he had hoped for. Originally more than six hours long, it was chopped down to four hours for its U.S. release and as a result looked, well, choppy. Eventually, he restored it to five hours--but one wonders at all the effort on behalf of this alternately muddled and stunning story. The film, with a decidedly socialist agenda, examines two lives that begin the same year in rural Italy: the weak-willed son of the aristocracy (Robert De Niro) and the hardy, courageous son of peasants (Gerard Depardieu). They grow up as best friends on the same estate, until class differences pull them apart and then the era's fascist politics divide them for good. Despite strong performances by both leads, as well as Sterling Hayden, Donald Sutherland, Dominique Sanda, and Burt Lancaster, this one is strictly for Bertolucci's most avid fans.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die- Part XI: 1975-1979

Mensaje  JM el Dom Nov 08, 2009 6:12 pm

616
The man who fell to Earth (Nicolas Roeg, 1976)




While other films directed by Nicolas Roeg have attained similar cult status (including Walkabout and Don't Look Now), none has been as hotly debated as this languid but oddly fascinating adaptation of the science fiction novel by Walter Tevis. David Bowie plays the alien of the title, who arrives on Earth with hopes of finding a way to save his own planet from turning into an arid wasteland. He funds this effort by capitalizing on several highly lucrative inventions, and in so doing becomes the powerful leader of an international corporate conglomerate. But his success has negative consequences as well--his contact with Earth has a disintegrating effect that sends him into a tailspin of disorientation and metaphysical despair. The sexual attention of a cheerful young woman (Candy Clark) doesn't do much to change his outlook, and his introduction to liquor proves even more devastating, until, finally, it looks as though his visit to Earth may be a permanent one. The Man Who Fell to Earth is definitely not for every taste--it's a highly contemplative, primarily visual experience that Roeg directs as an abstract treatise on (among other things) the alienating effects of an over-commercialized society. Stimulating and hypnotic or frightfully dull, depending on your receptiveness to its loosely knit ideas, it's at least in part about not belonging, about being disconnected from the world--about being a stranger in a strange land when there's really no place like home.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die- Part XI: 1975-1979

Mensaje  JM el Dom Nov 08, 2009 6:16 pm

617
Star Wars- Episode IV: A new hope (George Lucas, 1977)




Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope (originally released as Star Wars) is an American 1977 space opera film, written and directed by George Lucas. It was the first of six films released in the Star Wars saga: two subsequent films continue the story, while a prequel trilogy contributes backstory, primarily for the troubled character of Darth Vader. Ground-breaking in its use of special effects, this first Star Wars movie is one of the most successful films of all time and is generally considered one of the most influential as well.
Set far in the past in a distant galaxy, the movie tells the story of a plot by a group of freedom fighters known as the Rebel Alliance to destroy the Death Star space station of the oppressive Galactic Empire. The plot follows the tale of farm boy Luke Skywalker who is suddenly thrust into the role of hero when he inadvertently acquires the robots carrying the schematic plans of the station. He must accompany Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi on a mission to rescue the owner of the robots, rebel leader Princess Leia Organa, deliver the plans to the rebels' secret base, and help destroy the station before it reaches and destroys the rebel base.
Inspired by films like the Flash Gordon serials and the samurai films of Akira Kurosawa, as well as such critical works as Joseph Campbell's The Hero with a Thousand Faces, Lucas began work on Star Wars in May 1973. Produced with a budget of $11,000,000 and released on May 25, 1977, the film went on to earn $460 million in the United States and $337 million overseas, and received several awards, including 10 Academy Award nominations, among them Best Supporting Actor for Alec Guiness and Best Picture. It was re-released several times, sometimes with significant changes; the most notable versions are the 1997 Special Edition and the 2004 DVD release, which were modified with computer-generated effects and recreated scenes.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die- Part XI: 1975-1979

Mensaje  JM el Dom Nov 08, 2009 6:19 pm

618
Close encounters of the third kind (Steven Spielberg, 1977)




Anybody who has written him off because of his string of stinkers--or anybody who's too young to remember The Goodbye Girl--may be shocked at the accomplishment and nuance of Richard Dreyfuss's performance in Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Here, he plays a man possessed; contacted by aliens, he (along with other members of the "chosen") is drawn toward the site of the incipient landing: Devil's Tower, in rural Wyoming. As in many Spielberg films, there are no personalized enemies; the struggle is between those who have been called and a scientific establishment that seeks to protect them by keeping them away from the arriving spacecraft. The ship, and the special effects in general, are every bit as jaw-dropping on the small screen as they were in the theater (well, almost). Released in 1977 as a cerebral alternative to the swashbuckling science fiction epics then in vogue, Close Encounters now seems almost wholesome in its representation of alien contact and interested less in philosophizing about extraterrestrials than it is in examining the nature of the inner "call." Ultimately a motion picture about the obsession of the driven artist or determined visionary, Close Encounters comes complete with the stock Spielberg wives and girlfriends who seek to tether the dreamy, possessed protagonists to the more mundane concerns of the everyday. So a spectacular, seminal motion picture indeed, but one with gender politics that are all too terrestrial.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die- Part XI: 1975-1979

Mensaje  JM el Dom Nov 08, 2009 6:22 pm

619
The last wave (Peter Weir, 1977)




Nominally a supernatural thriller, Peter Weir's third feature resonates with the director's underlying fascination with the collision between the modern, rational world and the primordial mysteries of older belief systems. In The Last Wave, the keys to an enigmatic murder, as well as baffling disturbances in the weather, are gradually revealed to an Australian lawyer (Richard Chamberlain) within the shadowy, nomadic culture of aborigines living in and around Sydney who until now were presumed to be assimilated into its modern--and white--social fabric. In the process, Weir brings us toward an apocalyptic climax that is foreshadowed with a haunting series of events that cohere around water imagery, from an improbable drowning on dry land to downpours from cloudless skies, sudden hailstorms on the sere Australian land, and ghostly invasions of frogs.
The film's power (as well as what skeptics might regard as its pretension) emanates from Weir's stately, deliberate pace. Violating most of the conventions of suspense, he unravels his mystery with an unsettling calm underscored by its sparse soundtrack, which replaces conventional orchestral cues with the low, brooding rattle and hum of the didgeridoo. Instead of sudden camera movements or quick cuts, Weir circles his subjects almost diffidently. The stillness of that approach only amplifies the mounting unease Chamberlain's character, David Burton, feels as he steps for the first time beyond the bland safety of his privileged life and into the mystical world of the native Australians. Taking on the defense of the aborigines suspected of murdering the drowned man through tribal magic, his own beliefs are tested by the suspects' evident, intuitive connections to nature.
Chamberlain's Anglicized performance seems fussy and epicene, which only heightens the quiet intensity and watchful grace conveyed by the two aborigines, Chris Lee (David Gulpilil) and the shaman, Charlie (Nandjiwarra Amagula), who give Burton his first glimpse of their culture's "dreamtime" and the potent symbolism it contains.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die- Part XI: 1975-1979

Mensaje  JM el Dom Nov 08, 2009 6:36 pm

620
Annie Hall (Woody Allen, 1977)




Annie Hall is one of the truest, most bittersweet romances on film. In it, Allen plays a thinly disguised version of himself: Alvy Singer, a successful--if neurotic--television comedian living in Manhattan. Annie (the wholesomely luminous Dianne Keaton) is a Midwestern transplant who dabbles in photography and sings in small clubs. When the two meet, the sparks are immediate--if repressed. Alone in her apartment for the first time, Alvy and Annie navigate a minefield of self-conscious "is-this-person-someone-I'd-want-to-get-involved-with?" conversation. As they speak, subtitles flash their unspoken thoughts: the likes of "I'm not smart enough for him" and "I sound like a jerk." Despite all their caution, they connect, and we're swept up in the flush of their new romance. Allen's antic sensibility shines here in a series of flashbacks to Alvy's childhood, growing up, quite literally, under a rumbling roller coaster. His boisterous Jewish family's dinner table shares a split screen with the WASP-y Hall's tight-lipped holiday table, one Alvy has joined for the first time. His position as outsider is uncontestable he looks down the table and sizes up Annie's "Grammy Hall" as "a classic Jew-hater."
The relationship arcs, as does Annie's growing desire for independence. It quickly becomes clear that the two are on separate tracks, as what was once endearing becomes annoying. Annie Hall embraces Allen's central themes--his love affair with New York (and hatred of Los Angeles), how impossible relationships are, and his fear of death. But their balance is just right, the chemistry between Allen's worry-wart Alvy and Keaton's gangly, loopy Annie is one of the screen's best pairings. It couldn't be more engaging.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die- Part XI: 1975-1979

Mensaje  JM el Dom Nov 08, 2009 6:42 pm

621
Last chants for a slow dance (Jon Jost, 1977)




Last Chants for a Slow Dance is a 1977 drama film directed by Jon Jost and starring Tom Blair.
A terminal "road-movie," Last Chants single-mindedly follows the path of its central character, Tom Bates, through an unspecified period of time as he talks to a hitch-hiker and then throws him out of his truck, visits his wife and has a fierce argument with her, talks to a man in a breakfast cafe, picks up a woman in a bar and has a one night stand with her...

JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die- Part XI: 1975-1979

Mensaje  JM el Dom Nov 08, 2009 8:52 pm

622
Stroszek (Werner Herzog, 1977)




Stroszek is one of Werner Herzog's most accessible films, and one of his best. Herzog's clever use of kitschy folk music is just one perfect element in this mesmerizing, seriocomic "ballad" of America, in which a trio of unlikely friends leave their dreary lives in Berlin, certain that wealth and comfort await in America. Their naive American dream turns sour in rural Wisconsin, and the title character (played by Bruno S., the fascinating nonactor from Herzog's The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser) becomes an insanely tragic figure, celebrating a bitterly absurd Thanksgiving in the film's unforgettable closing scenes. By fusing his own intuitive, enigmatic style with factual details from the life of Bruno S., Herzog captures the elusive "ecstatic truth" that motivates his enduring cinematic vision. While deepening one of the most unusual actor-director collaborations in the history of film, Stroszek presents an American nightmare that's funny, bizarre, and deeply, magnificently human.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die- Part XI: 1975-1979

Mensaje  JM el Dom Nov 08, 2009 8:59 pm

623
Czlowiek z marmuru (Man of marble) (Andrzej Wajda, 1977)




Man of Marble (Polish: Człowiek z marmuru) is a 1976 Polish film by Andrzej Wajda. It chronicles the fall from grace of a heroic Polish bricklayer, Mateusz Birkut (played by Jerzy Radziwiłowicz), who became the symbol of the worker in Nowa Huta, a new (real life) socialist city near Kraków. Agnieszka, played by Krystyna Janda in her first role, is a young filmmaker who is making her diploma film on Birkut, whose whereabouts seems to have been lost two decades later. The title refers to the propagandistic marble statues made in Birkut's image. It is somewhat of a surprise that Wajda would have been able to make such a film, sub silentio attacking the Stalinist Realism of Nowa Huta, and presaged the loosening grip of the Soviets that came with the Solidarity Movement.
Agnieszka has trouble making the film from archival sources and museum collections and people who answer her questions vaguely. Her father suggests that if he were making a film on someone, he would like to find that person first. With this inspiration, Agnieszka tracks down his son, Maciej, in the Gdańsk shipyards. There she finds out from Maciej that his father had died years ago, presumably at the shipyards, where many people had been shot by the Polish Secret Police


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die- Part XI: 1975-1979

Mensaje  JM el Dom Nov 08, 2009 9:11 pm

624
Saturday night fever (John Badham, 1977)




Saturday Night Fever is one of those movies that comes along and seems to change the cultural temperature in a flash. After the movie's release in 1977, disco ruled the dance floors, and a blow-dried member of a TV-sitcom ensemble became the hottest star in the U.S. For all that, the story is conventional: a 19-year-old Italian American from Brooklyn, Tony Manero (John Travolta), works in a humble paint store and lives with his family. After dark, he becomes the polyester-clad stallion of the local nightclub; Tony's brother, a priest, observes that when Tony hits the dance floor, the crowd parts like the Red Sea before Moses. Director John Badham captures the electric connection between music and dance, and also the desperation that lies beneath Tony's ambitions to break out of his limited world. The soundtrack, which spawned a massively successful album, is dominated by the disco classics of the Bee Gees, including "Staying Alive" (Travolta's theme during the strutting opening) and "Night Fever." The Oscar®-nominated Travolta, plucked from the cast of Welcome Back, Kotter, for his first starring role, is incandescent and unbelievably confident, and his dancing is terrific. Oh, and the white suit rules.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die- Part XI: 1975-1979

Mensaje  JM el Dom Nov 08, 2009 9:19 pm

625
Killer of sheep (Charles Burnett, 1977)




Killer of Sheep is a 1977 American film written, directed, produced and shot by Charles Burnett. It features Henry G. Sanders, Kaycee Moore, Charles Bracy, among others. The drama depicts the culture of urban African-Americans in Los Angeles' Watts district. The film's style is often likened to Italian neorealism.
At the time of its completion the film could not be released because the filmmakers had not secured rights to the music used in the film. The rights were purchased in 2007 at a cost of US$150 000 and the film was restored and transferred from a 16mm to a 35mm print. Killer of Sheep received a limited release 30 years after it was completed, with a DVD release in late 2007.
Movie critic Dana Stevens describes the film plot as "a collection of brief vignettes which are so loosely connected that it feels at times like you're watching a non-narrative film." There are no acts, plot arcs or character development, as conventionally defined.
Stan (Henry Gayle Sanders) works long hours at his job in a slaughterhouse in Watts, Los Angeles. The monotonous slaughter affects his home life with his unnamed wife (Kaycee Moore) and two children, Stan Jr. and Angela (Jack Drummond and Burnett’s niece, Angela).
Through a series of episodic events — some friends try to involve Stan in a criminal plot, a white woman propositions Stan in a store, Stan and his friend Bracy (Charles Bracy) attempt to buy a car engine — a mosaic of an austere working-class life emerges in which Stan feels unable to affect the course of his life.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die- Part XI: 1975-1979

Mensaje  JM el Dom Nov 08, 2009 9:24 pm

626
Eraserhead (David Lynch, 1977)




Eraserhead is a surrealist-horror film written and directed by David Lynch, and released in 1977. In 1971, Lynch moved to Los Angeles to study for an MFA (Masters of Fine Arts) degree at the AFI Conservatory. At the Conservatory, Lynch began working on his first feature-length film, Eraserhead, using a $10,000 ($33,849.74 today due to inflation) grant from the AFI. The grant did not provide enough money to complete the film and, due to lack of a sufficient budget, Eraserhead was filmed intermittently until its release in 1977. Lynch used money from friends and family, including boyhood friend Jack Fisk, a production designer and the husband of actress Sissy Spacek, and even took a paper route to finish it.
The film stars Jack Nance and Charlotte Stewart. Eraserhead polarized and baffled many critics and movie-goers, but has become a cult classic.
The film is set in a slum in the heart of an industrial center. It is rife with urban decay, rundown factories, and a soundtrack composed almost exclusively of the noises of machinery. Henry Spencer (Jack Nance) is a printer who is "on vacation." At the start of the film, Henry, who has not heard from his girlfriend, Mary X (Charlotte Stewart) for a while, mistakenly believes that she has ended their relationship. He is invited to have dinner with Mary and her parents at their house. Briefly we see Mary's catatonic grandmother in the kitchen. Mrs. X mixes the salad with the grandmother's hands. At the dinner table the conversation is obviously strained and awkward. They are having artificial chicken for dinner, which promptly starts to twitch and emit a large amount of blood through its rear end when Henry attempts to carve it up. They stare at it in shock, then the two women burst into tears and leave the room. After the failed meal Henry learns that Mary has just had a baby after an abnormally short pregnancy. Henry is then obliged to marry her.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die- Part XI: 1975-1979

Mensaje  JM el Dom Nov 08, 2009 9:31 pm

627
Ceddo (The outsiders) (Ousmane Sembene, 1977)




Banned in Senegal on an absurd technicality, Ceddo, Sembene’s most ambitious film, uses the story of a beautiful princess’s kidnapping to examine the confrontation between opposing cultural forces: Muslim expansion, Christianity, and the slave trade. The “Ceddo” - or feudal class of common people - cling desperately to their customs and their fetishistic religion amidst the impending changes. Nominally set in the nineteenth century, Ceddo ranges far and wide to include philosophy, fantasy, militant politics, and a couple of electrifying leaps across the centuries to evoke the whole of the African experience.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die- Part XI: 1975-1979

Mensaje  JM el Dom Nov 08, 2009 9:45 pm

628
Der Amerikanische Freund (The American friend) (Wim Wenders, 1977)




A thriller that's nearly devoid of thrills? That's not a complaint--it's what makes The American Friend one of the most stylish (and, at the time, most expensive) films to emerge from the New German Cinema of the 1970s. Loosely adapting Patricia Highsmith's mystery novel Ripley's Game, director Wim Wenders shifted priority from plotting to character, emphasizing a richly colorful and atmospheric approach to locations in Hamburg, where a picture-framer (Bruno Ganz) is lured into an assassination scheme involving a mysterious Frenchman (Gerard Blain) and the titular American friend, Tom Ripley (played by Dennis Hopper, a far cry from Matt Damon's portrayal of the same character in The Talented Mr. Ripley). The plotting is vague to the point of irrelevance; Wenders prefers to maintain the aura of mystery, as opposed to generating any conventional suspense, and expresses his affection for American movies by casting favorite directors Nicholas Ray and Samuel Fuller in pivotal supporting roles. The result is an intoxicating example of cinematic cross-pollination.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die- Part XI: 1975-1979

Mensaje  JM el Dom Nov 08, 2009 9:49 pm

629
The hills have eyes (Wes Craven, 1977)




Fans of Wes Craven's more recent major studio work (the Scream series) may be put off by the low-budget griminess of his sophomore feature, The Hills Have Eyes, but the director's longtime supporters and aficionados of '70s horror will be riveted by this unsettling culture clash fable. Originally titled Blood Relations, Hills strands a suburban family (which includes E.T.'s Dee Wallace Stone and future documentarian Robert Houston) in the desert and pits them against a clan of inbred cannibals. The resourceful killer brood quickly decimates the outsiders' numbers, forcing the survivors to fight back with equally savage means. Like Craven's debut, Last House on the Left, Hills is a relentlessly tense film which demolishes numerous societal taboos (fratricide and infant kidnapping, for starters), but it also delivers a powerful subtext about family and the fine line between civilization and animal behavior amidst the mayhem. Highly recommended for Craven completists and fans of no-holds-barred horror.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die- Part XI: 1975-1979

Mensaje  JM el Dom Nov 08, 2009 9:56 pm

630
Soldaat van Oranje (Soldier of Orange) (Paul Verhoeven, 1977)




Based on real events, Soldier of Orange tells the story of Dutchman Erik Lanshof (a star-making performance by Rutger Hauer) and a small group of students as they struggle to survive the Nazi occupation to the end of the Second World War. The destinies of the characters range from joining the German army to making for England, the OSS, and the Resistance. Across a canvas lasting almost three hours, director Paul Verhoeven unfolds a saga of friendship, espionage, and romance with almost documentary realism--though not as graphically violent as his later American films, the torture scenes are intense--crafting a deeply affecting film widely regarded as the greatest ever made in Holland. Comparable recent films such as Enigma (2001) and Charlotte Gray (2002) do not come close. Hauer is brilliant at the heart of what is a detailed and thoughtful drama made with integrity and passion. Twenty years later in 1997, Verhoeven made Starship Troopers, a satirical science-fiction companion to this modern European classic.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die- Part XI: 1975-1979

Mensaje  JM el Dom Nov 08, 2009 10:00 pm

631
Suspiria (Dario Argento, 1977)




Outside of devoted cult audiences, many Americans have yet to discover the extremely stylish, relentlessly terrifying Italian horror genre, or the films of its talented virtuoso, Dario Argento. Suspiria, part one of a still-uncompleted trilogy (the luminously empty Inferno was the second), is considered his masterpiece by Argento devotees but also doubles as a perfect starting point for those unfamiliar with the director or his genre. The convoluted plot follows an American dancer (Jessica Harper) from her arrival at a European ballet school to her discovery that it's actually a witches coven; but, really, don't worry about that too much. Argento makes narrative subservient to technique, preferring instead to assault the senses and nervous system with mood, atmosphere, illusory gore, garish set production, a menacing camera, and perhaps the creepiest score ever created for a movie. It's essentially a series of effectively unsettling set pieces--a raging storm that Harper should have taken for an omen, and a blind man attacked by his own dog are just two examples--strung together on a skeleton structure. But once you've seen it, you'll never forget it.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die- Part XI: 1975-1979

Mensaje  JM el Dom Nov 08, 2009 10:17 pm

632
The chant of Jimmie Blacksmith (Fred Schepisi, 1978)




The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith is a 1978 Australian film directed by Fred Schepisi and based on the Booker Prize-nominated novel of the same name by Thomas Keneally. The novel is based on the life of bushranger Jimmy Governor.
The story is written through the eyes of an exploited Aborigine who explodes with rage. It is based on an actual incident. Keneally has said he would not now presume to write in the voice of an Aborigine, but would have written the story as seen by a white character. For Schepisi the film's reception was a disillusioning experience and he left Australia soon after to work in Hollywood, returning to Australia ten years later to make Evil Angels.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die- Part XI: 1975-1979

Mensaje  JM el Dom Nov 08, 2009 10:22 pm

633
Mm Dook (Five deadly venoms) (Chang Cheh, 1978)




One of the loopiest kung-fu movies ever made, a garish masterpiece of martial kitsch by the hard-boiled master of the genre, Chang Cheh. The five muscle-bound paragons of the title have fighting skills so hyperdeveloped that they border upon the occult, each modeled on the behavior of a different venomous beast: centipede, snake, lizard, toad, and scorpion. This "poison clan" is embroiled in a complex plot to lay claim to an ill-gotten fortune, but the story line feels like an afterthought. The nonstop wall-crawling action sequences, which match up the cast members in every conceivable combination, are the be all and end all here. This is late, decadent Chang Cheh, without the poise and sweep of earlier epics like Blood Brothers and Vengeance (the noble David Chiang-Ti Lung team ups that inspired John Woo), but it's great fun on its own terms. The painted masks worn by the Venoms, which make them look like berserk extras in a wrestling film, are based upon the belligerent warrior face paint of Chinese opera.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die- Part XI: 1975-1979

Mensaje  JM el Dom Nov 08, 2009 10:27 pm

634
L'Albero degli zoccoli (The tree of wooden clogs) (Ermanno Olmi, 1978)




L'Albero degli zoccoli is a 1978 Italian film written and directed by Ermanno Olmi. It was released as The Tree of Wooden Clogs in the USA and as The Tree with the Wooden Clogs in the UK. The film concerns Italian peasant life in the late 19th century. It has some similarities with the earlier Italian neorealist movement, in that it focuses on the lives of the poor, and the parts were played by real farmers and locals, rather than professional actors. It won fourteen awards including the Palme d'or at Cannes and the César Award for Best Foreign Film. The original version of the movie is spoken in Bergamasque, an Eastern Lombard dialect.
It includes footage of several real animal killings, including a pig being gutted while still partially alive.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die- Part XI: 1975-1979

Mensaje  JM el Dom Nov 08, 2009 10:34 pm

635
The deer hunter (Michael Cimino, 1978)




Winner of five Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director, The Deer Hunter is simultaneously an audacious directorial conceit and one of the greatest films ever made about friendship and the personal impact of war. Like Apocalypse Now, it's hardly a conventional battle film--the soldier's experience was handled with greater authenticity in Platoon--but its depiction of war on an intimate scale packs a devastatingly dramatic punch. Director Michael Cimino may be manipulating our emotions with masterful skill, but he does it in a way that stirs the soul and pinches our collective nerves with graphic, high-intensity scenes of men under life-threatening duress. Although Russian-roulette gambling games were not a common occurrence during the Vietnam war, they're used here as a metaphor for the futility of the war itself. To the viewer, they become unforgettably intense rites of passage for the best friends--Pennsylvania steelworkers played by Robert De Niro, John Savage, and Oscar winner Christopher Walken--who may survive or perish during their tour through a tropical landscape of hell. Back home, their loved ones must cope with the war's domestic impact, and in doing so they allow The Deer Hunter to achieve a rare combination of epic storytelling and intimate, heart-rending drama.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die- Part XI: 1975-1979

Mensaje  JM el Dom Nov 08, 2009 10:51 pm

636
Grease (Randal Kleiser, 1978)




Riding the strange '50s nostalgia wave that swept through America during the late 1970s (caused by TV shows like Happy Days and films like American Graffiti), Grease became not only the word in 1978, but also a box-office smash and a cultural phenomenon. Twenty years later, this entertaining film adaptation of the Broadway musical received another successful theatrical release, which included visual remastering and a shiny new Dolby soundtrack. Without the vibrant colors, unforgettably campy and catchy tunes (like "Greased Lightning," "Summer Nights," and "You're the One That I Want"), and fabulously choreographed, widescreen musical numbers, the film would have to rely on a silly, cliché-filled plot that we've seen hundreds of times. As it is, the episodic story about the romantic dilemmas experienced by a group of graduating high school seniors remains fresh, fun, and incredibly imaginative.
The young, animated cast also deserves a lot of credit, bringing chemistry and energy to otherwise bland material. John Travolta, straight from his success in Saturday Night Fever, knows his sexual star power and struts, swaggers, sings, and dances appropriately, while Olivia Newton-John's portrayal of virgin innocence is the only decent acting she's ever done. And then there's Stockard Channing, spouting sexual double-entendres as Rizzo, the bitchy, raunchy leader of the Pink Ladies, who steals the film from both of its stars. Ignore the sequel at all costs.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die- Part XI: 1975-1979

Mensaje  JM el Dom Nov 08, 2009 10:55 pm

637
Days of heaven (Terrence Malick, 1978)




Richard Gere works in a Chicago steel mill at the turn of the century, but must flee the city after accidentally killing a man. Heading for the wheat fields of Texas, he packs up his girlfriend (Brooke Adams) and his younger sister (Linda Manz). Instead of a better life, they head straight into tragedy when a wealthy farmer (Sam Shepard) falls for Adams. Believing him to be dying and expecting to inherit a fortune, she agrees to marry him. Their plans change when Shepard fails to die and Gere takes matters into his own hands. Aesthetically flawless, this film about a romantic love triangle is diminished by the small scope of video. Originally shown in 70mm, it is an eye-catching period piece that won its cinematographer, Néstor Almendros, a 1978 Oscar. Texture and color are the unbilled characters in this tragic tale, and are just as important as the players. The story, sadly, fades somewhat when compared to the glory of the visuals.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die- Part XI: 1975-1979

Mensaje  JM el Dom Nov 08, 2009 11:11 pm

638
Dawn of the dead (George A. Romero, 1978)




Dawn of the Dead (alternately called Zombie: Dawn of the Dead) is a 1978 American horror film, written and directed by George A. Romero. The film stars David Emge, Ken Foree, Scott H. Reiniger and Gaylen Ross. It was the second film made in Romero's Living Dead series, preceded by 1968's Night of the Living Dead, and followed by Day of the Dead in 1985. Dawn of the Dead contains no characters or settings from its predecessor, and shows in larger scale the apocalyptic effects a zombie epidemic would have on society. In the film, a plague of unknown origin has caused the reanimation of the dead, who prey on human flesh, which subsequently causes mass hysteria. Several survivors of the outbreak barricade themselves inside a suburban shopping mall.
Dawn of the Dead was shot over approximately four months, from late 1977 to early 1978, in the Pennsylvania cities of Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Monroeville. Its primary location is set in the Monroeville Mall. The film was made on a relatively modest budget estimated at US$650,000, and was a significant box office success for its time, grossing an estimated $55 million worldwide. Since opening in theaters in 1978, reviews for the film have been nearly unanimously positive.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die- Part XI: 1975-1979

Mensaje  JM el Dom Nov 08, 2009 11:15 pm

639
Shào Lín sān shí liù fáng (Shaolin master killer / The 36th Chamber of Shaolin)
(Liu Chia-liang, 1978)




A pure old-school martial arts movie, beloved by aficionados, that also appeals to nonfans simply as a rousing action film. The often-imitated fact-based plot (see The Karate Kid) centers upon the rigorous training process undergone in the mid-19th century by the anti-Manchu Chinese patriot San Te (Gordon Liu). It's depicted as a grueling voyage into the unknown. Cast out of his home village when he stands up to the cruel warlord (Lo Lieh) who slaughtered his parents, the refugee seeks out the martial monks of the Shaolin Temple, who steer him through a torturous series of "chambers"--horrendous ordeals designed to build strength and agility--before he's even allowed to study boxing or swordfighting. Finally he defeats a rival by inventing a brand-new weapon, the three-section chain-linked staff. But innovation can be carried only so far; when San Te suggests opening a "36th chamber" in the temple that would teach Shaolin techniques to the populace at large (so that they can fight the nasty Manchus) he is drummed out of the corps. Naturally he returns to his home village, slaughters the baddies, and prepares to open China's first public Shaolin-style kung fu school. Many of the pupils San Te recruits in the final reel became legendary martial artists in their own right, the "Fathers of the Church" of the Chinese kung fu tradition. This is strong action entertainment with real historical resonance.


JM

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Re: 1001 films you must see before you die- Part XI: 1975-1979

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