Web
Analytics Made Easy - StatCounter
View My Stats

1971-1980

Rolando Klein – Chac: Dios de la lluvia aka Chac the Rain God (1975)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

A very unique and incredible film, Rolando Klein made it in 1974 after spending two years living among the Tzeltal Indians of Chiapas, collecting stories, events, and anecdotes from their culture. A graduate of UCLA film school and of Chilean birth, Klein “returned to his Hispanic roots” at the urging of director and mentor Jules Dassin in 1972. A village is experiencing a drought detrimental to their crops and, resultantly, their survival. After only failure comes from consultation with their usual shaman, they attempt to gain aid from a mysterious diviner living in the mountains, who is said to practice the ancient ways forgotten by all else in the village. After securing his help, the diviner leads twelve tribesmen on a long journey as part of the rain-bringing ceremony. Eventually they return to the village to enact the ceremony proper, and incredible events ensue. In the meantime, there is always skepticism of the diviner’s abilities; indeed, he might be merely bewitching the village for his own purposes. Or is he…? Read More »

Jirí Menzel – Na samote u lesa AKA Seclusion Near a Forest (1976)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

Synopsis:
Fed up with the daily hassle in the urban Prague, Oldrich Lavička, his wife and their children Zuzana and Petr decide to buy a summerhouse in a rural place, for the weekends. They reach an agreement with the 70-year old owner of the house, Komárek, to rent the place while he is suppose to move away and live with his son. The Lavička family encounters the rural life: a goat eats their cakes, villagers all wonder how can they sleep for so long while they encounter a flea plague. In the end, however, Komárek decides to stay in the house. Read More »

William Friedkin – The French Connection (1971)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

Quote:

“The French Connection” is routinely included, along with “Bullitt,” “Diva” and “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” on the short list of movies with the greatest chase scenes of all time. What is not always remembered is what a good movie it is apart from the chase scene. It featured a great early Gene Hackman performance that won an Academy Award, and it also won Oscars for best picture, direction, screenplay and editing.

The movie is all surface, movement, violence and suspense.
Roger Ebert Read More »

Lucio Fulci – Non si sevizia un paperino AKA Don’t Torture a Duckling (1972)

SYNOPSIS
An often overlooked but accomplished giallo (Italian detective story) from the macabre mind of Italian director Fulci. After several small boys are found murdered in a small town, a journalist goes in search of the killer. Even in a town steeped in ancient superstitions and suspicion, the twisted motives of the murderer are more shocking than anyone could have ever imagined. (Rotten Tomatoes)

Read More »

Roland Kibbee – The Midnight Man (1974)

The Midnight Man is one of the eerier and more startling mystery films of its period, sustaining for nearly two hours a mood that veers very carefully between seductive, quiet lyricism and lurking violence and despair. It was something of a tour de force for Burt Lancaster, who not only starred in it, but also co-directed the movie (with Roland Kibbee, who did most of the directing) and co-authored the screenplay, also with Kibbee. The plot is one of the more violent and complex in a mystery of this era, hinged around a series of seemingly unrelated events, starting with a robbery that turns more vicious than it needs to for no good reason, and leading to a series of shootings, bludgeonings, and other mayhem that leaves a bloody stain across its small border-state college-town setting. Read More »

Sam Peckinpah – The Killer Elite (1975)

http://img31.imageshack.us/img31/2338/killerelitecover.gif

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

Overview:
As steady hands carefully wire a bomb and meticulously set the timer to the eerie sounds of children singing in the background, and as the deadly device explodes, rupturing a building into fragments and splintering the tranquility of the theatre. Elite assassins Mike Locken and George Hansen take on jobs too risky for even the CIA to handle. They’re best friends, superior marksmen and on the A-list when it comes to killing. But when one high-powered hitman betrays another, the intrigue, the violence and the trills become more than just a dangerous game of who-kills-whom first…It becomes a very personal war! Read More »

Eric Mitchell – Underground U.S.A. (1980)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

In June 1980, (Eric) Mitchell released a sixteen-millimeter feature that was specifically designed to be shown at midnight and was called Underground U.S.A. More Morrissey than Warhol (with a cameo appearance by Taylor Mead), the film is Sunset Boulevard out of Heat, transposed to no-wave haute monde. The Gloria Swanson character, here a faded underground underground superstar obviously modeled on Edie Segdwick, is played with convincing self-absorption by platinum-haired Patti Astor, another Poe graduate. Mitchell, whose emotional affect  makes Joe Dallesandro seem like a Jack Lemmon hysteric, is the hustler who manages to briefly install himself in her foredoomed life; while, in a witty bit of casting, Factory juvenile René Ricard enacts the von Stroheim-like protector whom Mitchell nudges aside but fails to replace. Underground U.S.A.  is well acted and handsomely shot, but never redeems the comic potential of its first twenty minutes, inexorably going vague over the punk-underground art-world milieu that it sets out to lampoon. Nevertheless, due in large part to Mitchell’s skill as a self-promoter, the film ran at midnight for twenty weekends at the St. Marks until midnight October 1980.

J. Hoberman, Midnight Movies Read More »