Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Favorite Films: The 1970's

The Godfather pts I & II (1972/1974) Francis Ford Coppola - This may seem like, and may be a cop out. But I don't care. The fact of the matter is that these two films are one story, follow one arc, are perfect and belong to the greatest decade in the history of cinema, and as it is the greatest decade in the history of cinema it deserves to have double the pictures (totaling nearly 6 1/2 hours) than the other decades have had. As I have already stated, these two films are completely perfect. There is little that I can say that can add to the endless literature on these two pictures, the arc of a man's life from young idealist that wants nothing to do with the "family business" to running it. Al Pacino delivers two of the great performances of his career, if not of all time as Michael Corleone and Marlon Brando and Robert de Niro both give knock out performances as Michael's father, Vito 'Don' Corleone. The constant tragedy that envelopes this family are incredible, the way that they're able to wade through it and get passed it...or become it. However, despite both of these films being as great as they are, there is one scene that goes beyond the point of perfection at the end of the first film wherein Coppola shows the baptism of a child and the end of a bloody gang war, and the juxtaposition of the scene may be the greatest scene I have ever seen on celluloid.

The Rest:

3 Women (1977) Robert Altman
Cries and Whispers (1973) Ingmar Bergman
Jaws (1975) Steven Spielberg
McCabe & Mrs. Miller (1971) Robert Altman
Nashville (1975) Robert Altman
Network (1976) Sidney Lumet
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975) Milos Foreman
Scenes From a Marriage (1974) Ingmar Bergman
Stroszek (1978) Werner Herzog
Taxi Driver (1976) Martin Scorsese

And here's where my self-imposed cutoff is killing me. But I will resist naming any other films from the 1970s.

Honorable Mentions: Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore, Agguire: The Wrath of God, Annie Hall, Autumn Sonata, Chinatown, Dog Day Afternoon, Five Easy Pieces, Manhattan, M*A*S*H, Mean Streets

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