1971-1980

Peter Bogdanovich – Directed by John Ford (1971)

A documentary on the life and films of director John Ford.

Plot Synopsis by Clarke Fountain
This documentary profiles the great American filmmaker John Ford (1895-1973). Among the films he directed were The Young Lincoln, Stagecoach, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, and The Grapes of Wrath. Ford’s work was distinguished by its great emotional clarity, which some see as sentimentality, and storytelling which evokes and defines what it is to be American. The film features interviews with Ford and with many of his stars, as well as exemplary clips from his films. Many of Ford’s films were westerns, and interviews with him are filmed in Monument Valley, one of his favorite film settings. It is narrated by director Peter Bogdonavich, whose own work shows Ford’s influence. Among the actors interviewed are John Wayne, Jimmy Stewart and Henry Fonda. Read More »

Rainer Werner Fassbinder – Die Ehe der Maria Braun aka The Marriage of Maria Braun [+Extras] (1979)

A World War II widow seeks to adjust to life in postwar Germany. Read More »

Robert Greenwald – Xanadu (1980)

Synopsis:

In Los Angeles, artist Sonny Malone reluctantly returns to his job at Airflow Records – his job to do poster-sized exact renderings of album covers for on-site promotions, the renderings to be as close to the originals as possible – as he could not make a living as a freelance artist, where he could truly use his artistic vision. On his first day back at Airflow, he gets sidetracked by the thoughts of a young woman who literally roller skates into him. What he is unaware of is that their initial encounter and subsequent encounters are not by accident as she, Kira, a muse, was awakened by his lamentations about his art, she sent to help him achieve his artistic vision. This day, Sonny also meets aging Danny McGuire, a former big band musician turned construction company owner, he who wants to return to his roots by owning a live music venue. Danny initially and Sonny also do not know that their meeting is not by accident as Sonny will soon discover that Kira was part of his past. Sonny and Danny achieving their dreams is threatened by Kira knowingly albeit unpurposefully having broken the rules. Read More »

David Cronenberg – The Brood [+Extras] (1979)

SYNOPSIS:
A man’s wife is under the care of an eccentric and unconventional psychologist who uses innovative and theatrical techniques to breach the psychological blocks in his patients. When their daughter comes back from a visit with her mother and is covered with bruises and welts, the father attempts to bar his wife from seeing the daughter but faces resistance from the secretive psychologist. Meanwhile, the wife’s mother and father are attacked by strangely deformed children, and the man begins to suspect a connection with the psychologist’s methods.

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Rainer Werner Fassbinder – Despair (1978)

Germany in the early 1930s. Against the backdrop of the Nazis’ rise, Hermann Hermann, a Russian émigré and chocolate magnate, goes slowly mad. It begins with his seating himself in a chair to observe himself making love to his wife, Lydia, a zaftig empty-headed siren who is also sleeping with her cousin. Hermann is soon given to intemperate outbursts at his workers, other businessmen, and strangers. Then, he meets Felix, an itinerant laborer, whom he delusionally believes looks exactly like himself. Armed with a new life insurance policy, he hatches an elaborate plot in the belief it will free him of all his worries. Read More »

Robert Altman – A Perfect Couple (1979)

Ebert’s plot description:
“A sometime rock singer and a middle-aged Greek-American businessman who meet through a videotape computer dating service…
The movie’s mostly about the perfect couple of the title, a matching of Second City veteran Paul Dooley and Broadway actress Marta Heflin. He’s part of a genuinely bizarre family presided over by a ruthless Greek father who requires compulsory attendance at such family rituals as concerts and dinners. She plays a somewhat forlorn member of a music group, ‘Keepin’ em Off the Streets,’ which is part rock band, part extended communal family.” Read More »

Alberto De Martino – L’assassino… è al telefono AKA The Killer… is on the Telephone (1972)


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Quote:
A woman whose husband was murdered five years previously, is stalked by his killer, who wants to eliminate her as a potential witness. What he doesn’t know is that the shock of his murder caused her to have amnesia, and she doesn’t remember anything. Read More »