Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Favorite Films: The 1960's

Dr. Strangelove, or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964) Stanley Kubrick - Let it be known that Stanley Kubrick is one of the greatest filmmakers ever. Period. Even those who do not enjoy his pictures can recognize the skill and care of the craft. Kubrick was nothing if he weren't a technical master. That said, this is his masterpiece. Dr. Strangelove, is quite possibly the funniest film ever made. If it is not, I'd be hard pressed to think of any better. But This film is more than hysterical, it is also incredibly smart and nearly perfectly crafted. The film is a satire of the Nuclear threat that was on constant red alert in the United States and in the Soviet Union. At the center of this "hot line suspense comedy" is a triad of performances by the vastly under appreciated, Peter Sellers. His portrayal of the US President was so funny and irreverent that the film was due to come out in November 1963, but after the assassination of John F. Kennedy, Kubrick decided that it wouldn't be appropriate for release and personally held it back until February 1964. Which is the kind of man and filmmaker Kubrick was, as we was quoted as saying, "One man writes a novel. One man composes a symphony. It is necessary for one man to make a film."

The Rest:

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) Stanley Kubrick
Bonnie and Clyde (1967) Arthur Penn
The Faith Trilogy (1961-63) Ingmar Bergman
The Good, The Bad and The Ugly (1966) Sergio Leone
The Graduate (1967) Mike Nichols
A Hard Days Night (1964) Richard Lesster
Persona (1966) Ingmar Bergman
Psycho (1960) Alfred Hitchcock
The Virgin Spring (1960) Ingmar Bergman
Who's That Knocking At My Door (1968) Martin Scorsese

*Apologies to 8 1/2, Battle of Algiers, Breathless, Jules and Jim, Band of Outsiders, La Dolce Vita and Ivan's Childhood for forgetting you on this list. Probably only 2 of you had a real chance of getting on anyway. Consider this an Honorable Mention for the French New Wave and Italian Neo-Realists.

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