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Old 23-11-2005, 00:11   #21
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I thought The Conversation was more to do with morality and solipsism than anything else - the technology Harry uses to intrude on someone else's problem (and thereby make it his own) is besides the point (although then it's easy to get into a debate about a neutral technology - both surveillance equipment and film - "lying").
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Old 23-11-2005, 00:44   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gunner
I think that the most groundbreaking film of the 70's has to be StarWars. It almost changed the face of movies for good with its effects and merchandising.
For me Star Wars is the film that single-handedly brought to an end *my* golden age of (Hollywood) cinema (approximately from Kubrick's 2001 until Starwars) and gave rise to the nadir that was the 80's.

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Old 24-11-2005, 22:29   #23
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"You Can't Learn Some People..."

The film that really got me into movies in a big way was Dawn Of The Dead. Almost as soon as I started watching it, I knew that I was having a revelatory experience. It absolutely blew me away like no film ever had.

I remember being incredibly excited when, several weeks later, my A-level Media Studies teacher announced that we were to watch it as part of the course. Sadly, most of the students completely misunderstood the point of the film and roundly mocked the effects and acting. Perhaps an unfashionable opinion, but my teacher proclaimed it to be the greatest film of the '70s, and that statement has stayed with me to this day. I view anyone who doesn't appreciate the film with a great deal of suspicion! :suspect:
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Old 25-11-2005, 18:05   #24
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I think the "Seventies Golden Age" thing is starting to get just as boring and predictable as the old Halliwell idea that cinema got lost during the early 1950s. I prefer an attitude which can be summed up as the view that there was no golden age, that each era of cinema has its points of merit and dismerit and that at every single point of the history of cinema there were talents who could produce incredible work regardless of the constraints placed upon them by the money men, the censors and public taste.

If I was forced to choose a single period of cinema as being of particular interest I'd choose the decade (or near decade) between 1951 and 1962 - roughly "Streetcar" to "Manchurian Candidate". But it's a pointless and self-defeating exercise.

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Old 25-11-2005, 18:40   #25
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There's merit in that argument Mike, and it's foolish of anyone to pretend that there isn't pure gold in any era; the '70s is probably looked on so fondly because, for many, it's an era they can readily identify with (I suppose it forms the soundtrack to their lives), and it's seen, rightly or wrongly, as 'The Last Great Age'.

OT, but the pre-code era has always fascinated me and there's work of considerable merit therein; the coming of the Hayes Office posed sometimes insurmountable problems for film-makers (though those as astute as Lubitsch, succeeded in dancing around the restrictions with, for example Trouble in Paradise). Warners coming 'Pre-code' box will be a real eye opener for those less familiar for life, some seven decades ago now, before the code, and who think that, a la Larkin, sex was only invented in 1963...

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Old 25-11-2005, 18:59   #26
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The main reason I find '70s cinema so interesting is the outright paranoia and vicious cynicism that wriggled its way serpentine into mainstream US cinema: you obviously get elements of that all the way through American cinema (noir, Wilder, Preminger, Peckinpah, various horror cycles) but none, well, so downright emphatic as in the '70s. Obviously, all manner of things, cinematic and social, find coterminous avenues in that decade - I just happen to like the particular shape of the cinema it wrought.

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Old 25-11-2005, 19:07   #27
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And also I'd say because, generally speaking, American studio films of the 1980s were so unambitious in comparison. But then there are great films and bad films from every decade and, maybe in twenty years time we'll look back at the last ten years as a golden age.
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Old 25-11-2005, 19:17   #28
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The main reason I find '70s cinema so interesting is the outright paranoia and vicious cynicism that wriggled its way serpentine into mainstream US cinema: you obviously get elements of that all the way through American cinema (noir, Wilder, Preminger, Peckinpah, various horror cycles) but none, well, so downright emphatic as in the '70s. Obviously, all manner of things, cinematic and social, find coterminous avenues in that decade - I just happen to like the particular shape of the cinema it wrought.

You'll find as may films of this type during the 1950s as you will during the 1970s and most of them are equally hard-edged and cynical if not more so. You don't just get "elements" of it in earlier American cinema, it's there fully formed right from the silent era. The cynical/flip voice is one of the defining elements of American art per se. It just becomes less subtle and more self-evident in the 1970s, largely because of the social context you mention.
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Old 25-11-2005, 19:34   #29
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And also I'd say because, generally speaking, American studio films of the 1980s were so unambitious in comparison.

But I don't think they were. You could obviously compare, say, "Top Gun" to "Chinatown" and notice obvious decline in ambition. But on the other hand, it could be pointed out that during the 1980s, major studios gave us "The Right Stuff", "The Last Temptation of Christ", "Do The Right Thing", "Prince of the City" and "Under Fire" instead of the 1970s diet of "Oliver's Story", "The Great Gatsby", "Lucky Lady", "Airport 1977" and "Ice Castles".
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Old 25-11-2005, 19:34   #30
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Hey, I'm a boor. I never said I was astute. I need things thrust in my face in the most vehement manner possible.
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Old 25-11-2005, 19:34   #31
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Oh dear, I seem to have returned into an argument. Just offering my views folks, no offence intended to anyone.
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Old 25-11-2005, 19:36   #32
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It's nice to have you back, btw Mike. Other people let me get away with mouthing all sorts of genero-crap, but you always pull me up

Last edited by anephric; 25-11-2005 at 20:07. Reason: Because I sound like a pathetic, mewling fool
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Old 25-11-2005, 20:10   #33
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But I don't think they were. You could obviously compare, say, "Top Gun" to "Chinatown" and notice obvious decline in ambition. But on the other hand, it could be pointed out that during the 1980s, major studios gave us "The Right Stuff", "The Last Temptation of Christ", "Do The Right Thing", "Prince of the City" and "Under Fire" instead of the 1970s diet of "Oliver's Story", "The Great Gatsby", "Lucky Lady", "Airport 1977" and "Ice Castles".
Sure, point taken and we do tend to forget the amount of dreck made in the 1970s. I suppose the difference was that in the 70s (up until Jaws and Star Wars) the studios saw big bucks in intelligent films for grown-ups. After all, The Godfather was the biggest box-office hit up to that point. In the 1980s, the studios still funded challenging films, but I don't think they ever thought they were going to make big bucks from them - the cash was now to be made from a teenage audience going to see blockbusters. Of course, you could say that tradition was there in the 70s too - with films like The Towering Inferno.

Also, the number of cinemas (and the quality of them) dipped massively in the 80s (in this country at least) and attendance dropped too - more people in the UK went to see One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest than saw The Empire Strikes Back, say. Fewer screens did mean that what was on offer changed and no doubt some films did get squeezed out. The more screens and spectators you have, the greater the variety and, arguably, the greater the quality - one reason why the 1940s produced so many great films - partly because they just produced so much, some of it was bound to be good! In the 1980s, costs meant that fewer films were made over all (I believe) and with spiralling budgets, studio heads did take fewer risks. Scorsese, say, made some good films in the 1980s, but he never had the kind of budgets he'd been given in the late 1970s.

So, er, I guess my point is, it felt different!
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Old 25-11-2005, 20:12   #34
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mouthing all sorts of genero-crap
I guess I was guilty of this too! Cheers for making me at least try to justify my opinions, Mike!
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Old 25-11-2005, 20:20   #35
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If you speak to almost anyone who watched a lot of films in the 70s as they came out, the decade certainly didn't seem all that golden, being full of generic buddy movies and disaster epics. It only seems like a golden age in retrospect, when you filter out all that crap.

The 80s was my era for intensive film-watching (many of the 70s classics I wasn't old enough to see on release) and I suspect we're still a little close to it and the derivative crap is still very evident. Give it a few years and I suspect we may be beginning to rehabilitate that decade.

John - that pre-Code box sounds fascinating. What's in it?

Last edited by Gary Couzens; 25-11-2005 at 20:24.
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Old 25-11-2005, 20:26   #36
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John - that pre-Code box sounds fascinating. What's in it?
Doesn't it just? Warners flagged it in the last HTF chat, but haven't indicated any titles yet.
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Old 25-11-2005, 20:33   #37
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Convention City and The Story of Temple Drake (both 1933) are the films usually cited as causing the Hays Code to be enforced - but presumably neither will be in the set. The former was a Warners film but is lost and the latter was from Paramount.

The 1932 Doctor Jekyll and Mr Hyde is an eye-opener in what could be allowed pre-Code, but that's already out. The BBFC cut half an hour out of it at the time.
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Old 25-11-2005, 21:00   #38
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Is Mamoulian's Dr Jekyll complete on dvd or is it still missing bits and bobs? I've never shelled out for it.
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Old 25-11-2005, 21:22   #39
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Originally Posted by anephric
Is Mamoulian's Dr Jekyll complete on dvd or is it still missing bits and bobs? I've never shelled out for it.
There is still some footage lost forever apparently; but this version is pretty much all there.
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Old 25-11-2005, 21:50   #40
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And you also get the fascinating mess of the 1941 version with it. They make for a very instructive comparison.
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