Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Thieves like Us (1974) 70's Marathon 11#

Directed by: Robert Altman
Crime, Drama
123 Minutes

Robert Altman’s 1930’s-set bank heist movie is one of a different approach to the genre that does not consist of theatrical hold-ups and shoot-outs. Instead, we are given a character study of a group of thieves in possibly one of the most dysfunctional families in cinema. Keith Carradine, Shelley Duvall and Louise Fletcher all give this film its quality, of showing the strange relationships all these characters have.

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

McCabe and Mrs Miller (1971) 70's Marathon 10#

Directed by Robert Altman
Western, Drama
120 Minutes

It has been enjoyable exploring the films of Robert Altman along this 70’s marathon, and his style does show. The use of zoom lenses, the way dialogue is recorded, the music choices, the characters- these are among the traits of Altman’s style. The best fantastic set design and costumes absorbs us into the 19th century setting almost invisibly. Warren Beatty and Julie Christie also give memorable performances, which makes McCabe and Mrs Miller somewhat of an overshadowed film of the 70’s.

Sunday, 27 April 2014

MASH (1970) 70's Marathon 9#

Directed by: Robert Altman
Comedy, War
116 Minutes

At the beginning of the 1970’s Robert Altman brought to the screen Richard Hookers novel MASH: A Novel About Three Army Doctors- a story set in a ‘Mobile Army Surgery Hospital’, during the Korean War. To those who do not know of the book, the premise of this appears to sets the stage for a gritty drama, but instead we get a roll-on-the-floor comedy full of pranks and laughs. M*A*S*H today is considered one of the great comedies, and one of the best films from the 70’s for its hilarity, and satirising war (and also with subtext of the Vietnam War). It still maintains its comedic elements, and it is easy to see why.

Saturday, 26 April 2014

The Sting (1973) 70's Marathon 8#

Directed by: George Roy Hill
Comedy, Crime

129 Minutes

After watching the Carnival-styled intro with the song “The Entertainer” playing in the background, I knew I was going to enjoy this film. Anything set in the period of the 20’s and 30’s I truly adore, and The Sting has a terrific story and great characters. Robert Redford is charmingly witty and you cannot help but cheer him on his journey. The film is spot on in the area of nostalgia looking back at the 30’s and the Hollywood genres of yesteryear. Start to finish, you will find yourself surprised, subverted and giving cheesy smiles of relief and awe with everything that happens.

Friday, 25 April 2014

Lord of the Rings (1978) 70's Marathon 7#

Directed by: Ralph Bakshi
128 Minutes
Animation, Fantasy

One immediately thinks of Peter Jackson’s epic trilogy in the world of film, but many should know that this was one of Jackson’s influences for the film adaptation of J.R.R Tolkien’s adventurous novel. Ralph Bakshi’s adaptation when looking at it now is definitely sloppy in some areas, but by no means a ‘bad’ movie. You can see how he wants to do justice to this world of fantasy, and it must not have been an easy task at all. The films problem is this is a story that simply could not be told in a short time.

Thursday, 24 April 2014

Coming Soon to the Cabinet...

I have gotten back into the spirit of movie watching, talking, reviewing, loving and discussing, and in the future I have a few ideas. To get to the point, here is a bullet point list of what I intend to do over the next 4 months here on the blog!

  • Interact with movie-watchers out there and get guest writers from other blogs/websites on movies.
  •  Review weird, strange, obscure and cult films. Everyone knows stuff about classic movies, that are masterpieces, but do not need much more said. So, it is good to spread the lesser-known films, such as b-movies and silent films. 

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

All the President's Men (1976) 70's Marathon 6#

Directed by: Alan J. Pakula
138 Minutes


During the early 1970’s, a huge scandal took place in the U.S, which climaxed with the resignation of President Richard Nixon, and had a real impact on American politics and the White House. This was known as the “Watergate Scandal”. In my opinion, this film requires contextual knowledge of what it is about, as it was released shortly after the scandal had been going on and exploded. The film requires you to know facts and the more you know- the richer your experience will be. Therefore, I did some research and read stuff up on Watergate, and I still found the great direction and solid performances from Hoffman and Redford to make this an interesting film.

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Bananas (1971) 70's Marathon 5#

Directed by: Woody Allen
82 Minutes

I do not have much to say on this one, but I did enjoy the moments where you can see the silent comedy influence on Woody Allen. The character he plays (Fielding Mellish) here is a very awkward, nervous and lonely man, who ends up being a part of a revolution group after being dumped by his activist girlfriend.

Monday, 21 April 2014

Fantastic Planet (1973) 70's Marathon 4#

Directed by: René Laloux
Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Animation
71 Minutes

I don’t know where to start with this one. It was a surreal and entrancing experience. It was as if the art style of Dr Seuss met the Monty Python animations, and experimented with acid; producing a truly psychedelic animated movie. The film has an extraordinary vision, of a society divided between the Traags and the Oms, with Oms being considered ‘pets’ and ‘animals’ to the Traags, who appear to be a species of knowledge and information. What I love about the 70’s through to the 80’s is all the odd and offbeat animated films that began being made that were more directed towards a mature audience, and this one adds to the list of peculiar animation. The images alone will get you interested to watch this one!

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Silent Running (1972) 70's Marathon 3#

Directed by: Douglas Trambull
89 Minutes

What I love about being a film buff, is making discoveries of little films like this. This somewhat forgotten Sci-Fi B-Movie was surprisingly enjoyable. It plays out with the pure theme of machine vs. nature, and man vs. technology as a young Bruce Dern tries to save the last of what is left of nature. The sets are fascinating to look at, and the camera is very well used with plenty of great shots. As a film that predates Star Wars, I love the imagination of this film that is patient and calm with the viewer. This is UK Film critic Mark Kermode’s favourite movie of all time, and I can see what it is he likes about it.

Saturday, 19 April 2014

The Last Picture Show (1971) 70's Marathon 2#

Directed by Peter Bogdanovich
121 Minutes

Based on a novel of the same name (which at first, the director did not like the sound of) The Last Picture Show stands now as an important film in American cinema history. As a coming-of-age tale, this black and white drama telling the story of a group of teenagers in a small Texas town, this is definitely an essential viewing of the 1970’s. It is a film of love, friendship, adolescence, relationships and moving on- themes that continue to be explored in coming-of-age movies.

Friday, 18 April 2014

3 Women (1977) [70's Marathon] 1#

 Directed by: Robert Altman
123 Minutes

To kick off the marathon, I wanted to watch Robert Altman's 3 Women, which has turned out to be an odd, but entertaining experience. Inspired by a dream Altman had, the film follows Shelley Duvall (Milly) and Sissy Spacek (Pinky/Mildred), two women who become roommates and have a strange relationship with one another. With all the chilling music and bizarre paintings, the film creates a unique atmosphere giving us the sense of tension and uneasiness in both the characters and their relationship to one another. This is the best acting I have seen from Duvall, she really brought something to the character. So, what is it that makes this an interesting watch?

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Little Shop of Horrors (1986) Feed me Seymour!

Directed by: Frank Oz
94 Minutes
Comedy, Musical

If anyone has seen the original 1960 Roger Corman’s B-movie, you will see a dramatic difference with the two. It is odd to think that inspiration for a musical came from a film about a rundown flower shop and a flesh eating plant. Here Muppet show puppeteer Frank Oz takes the director’s chair in turning the Broadway show into a wacky musical film. This one stars Ghostbuster’s Rick Moranis, Ellen Green and hilarious and bright cameos from John Candy, Bill Murray and Steve Martin. For cameo appearances in films this film nails it, it is great to see stars like Murray, and Martin put into the same film. It started as a 1982 Broadway musical that sprouted into this charming comedy film. If you can laugh at the concept of it’s fun filled antics and the cliché poking style, Little Shop of Horrors can be a funny and entertaining musical experience.

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

The Summer Movie Marathon Project Series!

Robert De Niro in The Deer Hunter
Now that I am off for my first year of University (with one exam in May), I will have over 4 months to kill- and for a film buff what that means is movie watching! There are tons of movies I want to watch, and I thought it would be fun to run several different marathons including 70's films, Japanese cinema and a few other little ideas. I want to discover more cinema, and hopefully find new favourites. I hope you enjoy the series, and I hope it helps spread the love of cinema! The films will be recorded on letterboxd, so links will be added in this post later on. Below is the list of the marathon titles, and the films that will be in it. Subject to change, in due time! Enjoy!

Metropolis (1927) Rise against the machine!

Directed&Written by Fritz Lang
Sci-Fi & Fantasy
153 Minutes

In 3 years, the film will be 90 years old, and with the film's incredible age (and extremely well restored & reconstructed edition now available on DVD/Blu-Ray), it stands the test of time as a great Sci-Fi movie. The film's influence is phenomenal, with several filmmakers following in the footsteps of Fritz Lang's ambitious masterpiece with the film's elaborate and prodigious sets and effects. Metropolis was a film ahead of its time and one of the most important in cinema history.

Monday, 14 April 2014

Side by Side (2012) Film V.S Digital

Directed and Written by Christopher Kenneally
99 Minutes
More Info here
Trailer here
 I demand that every cinephile, film buff and movie watcher sees this documentary, that looks at the medium of film, and how the digital revolution has affected cinema. This doc looks at the conversion of film (such as 35mm) to digital filming and projection, and both the innovations and pitfalls of this. The interviews are great, and for anyone who likes movies or technology it is fascinating to see the evolution of the camera, and how our society has changed so much with technology.

Sunday, 13 April 2014

The New Blog and Letterboxd!

Johnny Depp in Ed Wood.
Ahhh, back to blogging again! In 2011 I started a blog, and for the following 1 1/2 years I wrote reviews there and then I stopped. I joined letterboxd last summer, and now I would like to have my own blog again but this time things will be neater. Well, I would like to say thanks for stopping by my blog, and hope you enjoy future posts and lists I do.

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