Saturday, January 31, 2009

70s Films

Gaston's Films

Godfather II
Days of Heaven
The Deerhunter

Honorable Mention:

Azimuth's Films

Best Films, 1970-1979

1. The Godfather
2. The Godfather, Part II
3. Chinatown
4. Annie Hall
5. Jaws

Notable Films, 1970-1979

6. Star Wars
7. Taxi Driver
8. Days of Heaven
9. Apocalypse Now
10. Network
(tie: Nashville)


Gaston Monescu said...

Here's what we have to choose between.

* The first two Godfathers (epic dramas from the new Hollywood)

* Manhattan and Annie Hall (70s comedies which Allen ruled)

* Star Wars and Jaws (films that are the textbook definition of blockbuster)

*Chinatown and Taxi Driver - two neo-noirs, one period, one contemporary

*Days of Heaven and Network and Nashville

1. Godfather the first gets the nod. And we only get to have one Coppola, so Apocalypse Now is toast.

2. In the essential category, Annie Hall is the clear winner. At the time, it was the lowest grossing feature film to ever get the best picture nod. It's style, narrative structure, and star-making role for Keaton are enough for me. I still think Manhattan is a better picture, but...

3. Star Wars, although I'm open to an argument for Jaws. Star Wars unleashed the blockbuster sequel. Jaws resuscitated the monster film. I think Star Wars gets the nod simply for its cultural impact/phenomenon status.

4. Chinatown wins. It singlehandedly brought the noir back. But Taxi Driver is awesome. I was watching Jackie Brown AGAIN yesterday, and I think Samuel Jackson's offing of DeNiro's character takes on this meta-quality apropos to DeNiro's career. "What happened to you, man? Your ass used to be beautiful!"

5. There's no other film in the 70s up to Days of Heaven's snuff. PLEASE take this.

T. Azimuth Schwitters said...

Hmmm...several interesting (and astute) proposals here.

1. GODFATHER 1 vs. 2: I'm with you. GODFATHER 1 is the more important movie and, really, the tighter of the two films. Especially after watching it again, it's amazing how much ground that film covers while still feeling perfectly placed. Although GF2 is a 'bigger' film (and more visually impressive), it's a lot looser and less iconic. This one is locked down.

2. I think we have to say ANNIE HALL. You made the argument for me.

3. I agree with the pairing here, but I've still gotta say JAWS. First of all, JAWS is a PHENOMENALLY better movie than STAR WARS: the writing is better, the cinematography is better, the acting is LEAGUES better...the only categories where SW has an edge are FX and the always-ambiguous 'cultural significance.' As for the first, I agree: SW had groundbreaking special effects that merit its consideration for this list. But how much weight can that actually carry? After all, JURASSIC PARK has the best effects of the '90s, but it sure as hell isn't going to make our list. Ditto for Michael Bay, etc. I say that 'criteria' is a wash. So, on to the other big point: cultural significance/phenomenon. Honestly, I'm sick of STAR WARS playing this card, and I think the insane travesties of the 'new trilogy' seriously hurt SW's cred in the 'culture' department. I think the days of that being enough to get SW on top 10 and top 100 lists are over. Oh, and the last important point? It's not even the best STAR WARS movie--EMPIRE is waaay, waay better. So why don't we throw EMPIRE into consideration for the (already weak) '80s and axe this sucker.

4. I'll take CHINATOWN, too. I love TAXI DRIVER, but CHINATOWN is a more impressive film.

5. This is the big point to debate. I LOVE DAYS OF HEAVEN. You know I do. And I'm willing to relegate NETWORK to the also-ran pile. But it's reeeally hard to dismiss NASHVILLE--there just aren't any other movies like it. However, unlike DAYS, which works the shit out of its 90 minutes, NASHVILLE draaaaags itself out for 3 hours. So let's do this: DAYS OF HEAVEN gets the fifth spot, NASHVILLE takes Honorable Mention this round.