Top Ten By Year: 1978

For those unaware of my Top Ten By Year project:
The majority of my viewing habits have been dictated by this project since September 2013. Jumping to a different decade each time, I pick weak years for me re: quantity of films seen and/or quality of films seen in comparison to other years from said decade. I use list-making to see more films and revisit others in a structured and project-driven way. And I always make sure to point out that my lists are based on personal ‘favorites’ not any notion of an objective ‘best’. I’ve completed 1935, 1983, 1965, 1943, 1992, and now 1978. Next I’ll be doing 1925.

So, we’re finally at the end. 1978 contained my longest watchlist and the longest time spent on an individual year in the Top Ten By Year project. I was reminded just how much I love 70’s cinema. That it’s not just about New Hollywood and the force of macho film-school bred auteurists. 1978 catches us between two worlds in American cinema. On the one end is the reign of the thinking man’s picture, mid-scale character dramas, revisionist genre play, and expansive rule-breaking. On the other end, this is three years after Jaws and a mere year after surprise phenomenon Star Wars; studios are quickly realizing that youth is the most potentially profitable demographic. Superman is about to become the first film deliberately constructed blockbuster, with the now ubiquitous strategic ad campaign and excessive merchandising. Though we now recognize the overlap between the two, the modestly scaled and heavily auteur-driven genre play of the 70’s will soon give way to the big-scale classic pop genre play of the 80’s. With Vietnam three years in the past, filmmakers are beginning to investigate the country’s very messy recent history. And while we somewhat rightfully refer to the nostalgia drenched culture of today as a poisonous succubus that has only recently swallowed up pop culture, looking at some of the top films of 1978 such as Grease, Superman, National Lampoon’s Animal House and Heaven Can Wait, demonstrates this as an age-old custom.

All Top Ten By Year: 1978 posts:
Poll Results
Movie Poster Highlights 
1978 Movie Music Mix
What I’ll Remember About the Films of 1978: A Love Letter (includes Suggested Double Features and Favorite Shots)
10 Honorable Mentions plus Grease

Biggest Disappointments:
California Suite
Same Time, Next Year
Capricorn One
Empire of Passion
Five Deadly Venoms

Some Blind Spots:
Gates of Heaven,  Perceval le Gallois, La Cage aux Folles, The Tree of Wooden Clogs, Who’ll Stop the Rain, The Boys from Brazil, Big Wednesday, The Green Room, Fingers, Graduate First (so sad I couldn’t find this), Lord of the Rings, Snake in the Eagle’s Shadow, Every Which Way But Loose, The Big Fix, Convoy, My Way Home, Crippled Avengers, American Boy: A Profile of Stephen Prince, Don, Nighthawks, China 9, Liberty 37, The Buddy Holly Story, The Shooting Party, The Scenic Route

I had seen 16 films prior to this. I’ve now seen 64 films from 1978.

TOTAL LIST OF FILMS SEEN IN 1978: (bold indicates first-time viewings during research, italics indicates re-watches during research):
Alucarda, Always for Pleasure, Autumn Sonata, Avalanche, Blue Collar, Blue Sunshine, California Suite, Capricorn One, The Cheap Detective, Coma, Coming Home, Dawn of the Dead, Days of Heaven, Death on the Nile, The Deer Hunter, The Demon, Despair, Drunken Master, Empire of Passion, Du er ikke alene (You Are Not Alone), Eyes of Laura Mars, Fedora, Five Deadly Venoms, Foul Play, The Fury, Girlfriends, Grease, Halloween, Heaven Can Wait, Heroes of the East, Interiors, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, I Wanna Hold Your Hand, In a Year of 13 Moons, Jubilee, Killer of Sheep, Krabat (The Sorcerer’s Apprentice), The Last Waltz, Long Weekend, The Mafu Cage, Magic, The Metamorphosis of Mr. Samsa (short), Midnight Express, Mongoloid (short), National Lampoon’s Animal House, Panna a Netvor (Beauty and the Beast), Pretty Baby, Remember My Name, Les Rendez-vous d’Anna (The Meetings of Anna), Same Time Next Year, Satiemania (short), The Shout, The Silent Partner, Straight Time, Superman, Thank God It’s Friday, The 36th Chamber of Shaolin, An Unmarried Woman, Up in Smoke, Violette Noziere, Watership Down, A Wedding, Who is Killing the Great Chefs of Europe?, The Wiz

FTV = First-Time Viewing
RW = Re-watch
LTF = Long Time Favorite

Mafu Cage 110. The Mafu Cage (US, Arthur) (FTV)
Top Ten By Year: 1978 is bookended with films directed by women. I couldn’t really say whether The Mafu Cage is well-regarded or not because it’s not regarded, period. Hell, it doesn’t even have a wikipedia page. In one way this makes sense; the majority of people are likely to be turned off by this claustrophobic and perverse story. In another way, it makes no sense whatsoever; just where oh where is the cult following for The Mafu Cage??? Come out from behind those bushes, people! There are so few of us (thank you author Kier-La Janisse, whose essential book House of Psychotic Women brought the film’s existence to my attention)! It’s massively fucked up and pretty tasteless, but surprisingly stirring, very intimate, and so very very loaded. It’s also one of the more bizarre and discomfiting fictional realms I’ve ever been invited to participate in. This is really uncomfortable stuff, people (extended appropriation of African culture as characterization and monkeys that no doubt felt some level of trauma in real life from the filming of this); familial support gone horribly horribly wrong. 

Where does The Mafu Cage fit within female-driven horror? Is it horror? Absolutely, (although it’s equal parts psychological chamber drama), especially its incorporation of taboo subjects and the way narrative plays out in regards to Cissy’s victims. It could easily be a companion to Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? and other psycho-biddy films. Just take out the aging camp legends and insert the apocalyptic Carol Kane.

I’ve always loved Carol Kane but this is a whole other can of worms; she is absolutely unapologetic here. What’s wrong with Cissy? Well, what isn’t wrong with her? She lives in self-imposed seclusion with her sister in a Los Angeles home that recreates the African jungle of her youth. She’s like a child, living off delusions and whims. She says “DUMBSHIT” when provoked, which is often. She screeches and yells a lot. She is possessive, entirely irrational, and in no way equipped to be functional within anything resembling reality. Capable of momentary self-reflection, it’s only a matter of time before she  inverses self-awareness. Kane plays Cissy as someone trapped in her own patterns of behavior, which are unfortunately defined by the death of people and animals alike. She is a tantrum-led woman suffering from severe unchecked mental illness. Her sister Ellen (Lee Grant) means well but is ultimately an enabler, keeping a promise to their father to protect her, shielding her instead of getting her the help she so clearly needs.

Karen Arthur was the first woman to win an Emmy for Outstanding Directing in a Drama Series (for a 1985 episode of “Cagney and Lacey”). She was the second female member of the DGA. Arthur does a beautiful job with this material, and it’s a shame the film mostly exists at a video quality level. The film is filled with strangely bewitching images. She confronts Cissy even though we and those around her walk on eggshells in her presence. Montages cement her behavior as part of a cycle. The Mafu Cage played at Cannes, received a good reception and then a weak independent release only to disappear. I’m hoping at least a few people seek it out because of this post.

i wanna hold your hand9. I Wanna Hold Your Hand (US, Zemeckis) (FTV)
From time to time Robert Zemeckis marries touchstone history to the lives of his characters. His success rate varies but his first film, I Wanna Hold Your Hand, is scaled to chaotic perfection. This isn’t Forrest Gump haplessly stumbling through hallmark events like a walking gimmick; this is a dogged unshakable group of fanatical girls who very much want to shove their way into a national moment; by gaining access to The Beatles on the day they’re set to perform on the Ed Sullivan show (February 9th, 1964).

In my Honorable Mentions post, in reference to Thank God It’s Friday, I mentioned my love for One Crazy Day/Night films (Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Modern Girls, Adventures in Babysitting, After Hours, Magnolia, ParaNorman; the list goes on and on). I Wanna Hold Your Hand is a lesser known treasure of the subgenre. It starts at the eventual final destination, with Ed Sullivan’s rehearsal session, and quickly branches out to our core group, made up of obsessives and reluctant and/or opposed tagalongs. When our characters enter the abyss of countless fanatics on the same quest, they quickly find themselves splintering off, and soon the characters are having their own individual adventures.

The most entertaining of these is the soon-to-be-married Pam (Nancy Allen) who at one point finds herself alone in The Beatles hotel room. I’ve grown so fond of Nancy Allen’s bright-eyed cherubic quality over the years, and seeing her lust over leftovers, instruments, and whatever else she can get her hands has become an instantly iconic movie moment for me.

Zemeckis’s debut doesn’t look down on or solely gawk at the devotion of fanaticism; it just hops on the insanity train. Regarding the tone it could have employed, I’m reminded of the recent snarky reactions from people, largely men, towards the collective mourning from One Direction’s largely female fan base over Zayn Malik’s recent departure. I Wanna Hold Your Hand playfully looks at Beatlemania as a phenomenon of ‘hell hath no fury’ fans, but also recognizes that fan bases are made up of individually felt emotional extremes, a very authentic loyalty, and sincere commitment.


The Shout8. The Shout (UK, Skolimowski) (FTV)
The only comparison I have for the cryptic and unknowable experience of The Shout are the films of director Nicolas Roeg and The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari. The ‘unknown’ at the center of The Shout, made up of aboriginal mysticism and an unreliable narrative, makes for a disturbing nucleus that resides underneath consciousness. Even the credits are hazy and out of reach.

Like our next film, sound is central to The Shout, employing an innovative Dolby mix to disorient. Alan Bates, who disrupts the lives of a young couple in the countryside (John Hurt and Suzannah York), claims to have attained occult powers, specifically ‘The Shout’, which apparently has the power to kill anyone who hears it. John Hurt plays an experimental electronic musician, and several scenes take place in his home studio as he records various noises. To him, ‘The Shout’ becomes the holy grail of sounds; something he, at least initially, denounces as hogwash. And finally, the score by Tony Bates and Michael Rutherford of Genesis, is an ambient soundscape that further dislodges the viewer. But then, everything about The Shout dislodges the viewer.

This is a world where everything may be a lie, or worse, everything may be true. A world where people can be controlled as long as you have their belt buckle. The cricket game in the framing device carries a waiting room kind of menace, as if this world will end as soon as one team wins. Films like The Shout are the kind I wait and hope for. These mind-fuck movies that are legitimate and hypnotic, fueled by rhythms that defy standard logic and are populated by mysteries that defiantly refuse to be solved.

invasion of the body snatchers7. Invasion of the Body Snatchers (US, Kaufman) (RW)
Philip Kaufman spends the first half of Invasion of the Body Snatchers, a remake of Don Siegel’s 1956 film, establishing a paranoid mood piece where the threat infiltrates safe spaces before we’ve even had time to settle into the picture. They may just look like plants, but fuck do they move fast. Everything is in plain sight right from the beginning, covering both the corners and foreground of the frame, and there is nothing anybody can do about it. Kaufman secretly plans to have it both ways by filling in the run-run-run second half with some startling practical effects sequences, allowing mutating slime and atmospheric smoke-screens to give way to each other.

I can’t think of a cooler ensemble than this; Donald Sutherland, Brooke Adams, Veronica Cartwright, Jeff Goldblum and the recently departed Leonard Nimoy who uses his soothing demeanor to chilling effect. Donald Sutherland in particular is in peak form doing his baritone Chia Pet thing.

Layers and layers of heartbeats, electronic white noise and throbs, rain sticks, and clanging and banging push in on us; a contemporary comparison for the cumulative impact of Denny Zeitlin’s score is Brian Reitzell’s ingenious work on “Hannibal”.

My first time seeing Invasion, I was totally unprepared to discover it’s the kind of slick and smart artful mainstream horror that doesn’t come around too often. Full of applicable social commentary, a genuinely rattling air you desperately want to shimmy off, and filled with fodder to dissect every which way you turn.

The Fury6. The Fury (US, De Palma) (FTV)
Pauline Kael’s review of The Fury is one of her most famous because it’s an anomalous hyperbolic rave, a viewing experience that sounds like it amounted to something like an orgasm. Much of the review’s notoriety stems from the generally lackluster reaction people tend to have to Brian De Palma’s follow-up to Carrie. De Palma devotees drool over it, and most others either casually dismiss or actively deride the film. But I’m with you Pauline. I’m with you.

On its face The Fury has a lot in common with Carrie. It’s also based on a novel. It’s also about a girl with telekinesis. It also features Amy Irving. But this one has conspiracies, chases, a father trying to find his son, an Xavier Institute equivalent. It’s a strange brew of supernatural spy thriller! Sound overcrowded? It is; but I love the hell out of The Fury‘s bloated convolution.

Even through its slower section The Fury is blisteringly alive. I can’t explain why, especially because John Ferris’s script (adapting his novel) is kind of a hacky mess, but it all felt like it mattered. Being thrown into the preposterous story, you either submit to it or scoff through it. Sure, the Kirk Douglas material is initially less interesting, but come on, who doesn’t want to see Kirk Douglas vs. John Cassavetes? How can one deny watching the star in his sixties, running around shirtless with a machine gun, and disguising himself to make him look, wait for it, old! And besides, this slowly but surely becomes Gillian’s (Irving) film. There’s also weird pockets of humor. De Palma often opens scenes by zeroing in on peripheral characters, whether it’s the cop who just got a brand new car, the little old lady who delights in helping out a trespasser, or the two security guards who like to trade Hershey bars for coffee.

It’s trademark De Palma to toy around with the nature of cinema, and The Fury is constantly interacting with itself. Gillian’s telekinetic link to the missing Robin (Andrew Stevens who is terrible, but I love sociopathic brat characters like this) is depicted visually, so the intimate and exclusive link between them also includes us. Since Gillian’s visions strike through sight (what else?), she acquires information by watching scenes play out in front of her eyes. She learns, and we learn through her. Gillian becomes, in her way, an audience member. This is cinema as the ultimate form of communication and information (surveillance is a recurring theme here too), something that can transcend the confines of the screen. At one point, Robin is even shown the first five minutes of the film! De Palma’s stylized techniques drive it all home; editing and rear-screen projection are used to emphasize and encompass, and characters are brought together by overlapping spaces and sounds. The camera often tracks conversations by moving around characters, covering all bases.

There’s a bravura four minute slow-motion sequence that turns the notion of the escape scene on its head. It isn’t until the end when we realize the slow-motion is in fact stretching out a character’s final moments. And you’d be hard-pressed to find a better send-off to any movie; I’m serious. It cannot be beat. Don’t even try to tell me it can. It’s the money shot to end all money shots, but shown from every possible angle. But it’s not just showstopper sequences like these that I fell in love with; it’s the whole damn film.

(There is a scene in which a horrified Gillian sees Robin, her face directed straight at the camera, horrified. This is exactly what Stanley Kubrick would do with Danny Torrance in The Shining a mere two years later.)

coming-home5. Coming Home (US, Ashby) (FTV)
Three years after the Fall of Saigon there were two Best Picture nominees that directly dealt with Vietnam. One was the wholly masculine collapse-of-camaraderie film The Deer Hunter. The other was the far more liberal-minded Coming Home, about tormented veterans and a woman who comes into her own politically and sexually following her husband’s departure for Vietnam. People tend to knock Coming Home for being a war film that ‘descends’ into something as ‘cliche’ as a love triangle. Is there any easier way to dismiss a film for daring to be about the female experience of wartime? These are three people (Jon Voight and Bruce Dern are the paraplegic lover and husband respectively) whose lives become inextricably linked through their traumas, their evolution, their bodies, and their love.

The film materialized through Jane Fonda’s tenacity, and her outspoken anti-Vietnam activism prohibits us from buying into the place her traditional sheltered wife character begins. But that doesn’t last for long. Everyone involved, not just Fonda, from Jon Voight to Hal Ashby to producer Jerome Hellman, were heavily concerned with post-war realities. Coming Home is a best case scenario message picture in the guise of an achingly human love story.

This was not a film I expected to have this kind of response to. Perhaps most of all, I had an all-in investment in the pairing of Jane Fonda and Jon Voight. Their relationship, which begins with, of all things, a broken pissbag, makes Coming Home one of the most erotic films I’ve ever seen. The two actors share a vitality that is not only palpable, but supports the core of the film; the basic necessity for people to connect with each other in times of strife, immeasurable hardship, and an unknown future.

Days of Heaven4. Days of Heaven (US, Malick) (RW)
Already with his sophomore feature, Terrence Malick brings his storytelling into the ether, the outer zones. The characters and their drama are contained in something bigger than themselves; the cornfields and the magic hour, and the narration of a child (Linda Manz), mumbling and halting. Her perception is omniscient if not all-knowing. It begins as a romanticized snapshot, not of Depression-era workers, but of what surrounds them. It gradually transforms into something else altogether, a kind of melodrama hiding in plain sight. The central house is like a mirage, and Days of Heaven is triangular, made up of people, land, and machinery, each interacting and needing the other. Like Badlands, there is a honeymoon period for these characters, the makeshift family, isolated but not wanting for anything. “I think the devil was on the farm” is just one of many Biblical allusions. Days of Heaven is as immense as the universe and as microscopic as a single house in the middle of a wheat field.

Satiemania3. Satiemania (short) (Yugoslavia, Gašparović) (FTV)
Visualizing the music of Eric Satie, Satiemania alternates between the mocking hustle-bustle of city life, where outsized caricatures fill the streets, and the melancholy hours where women drink and undress, their bodies of various shapes and sizes, eternally longing for something more. Not only do I love Satie’s “Gnossienne” pieces, but Gašparović’s animation style is exactly the kind of aesthetic I tend to respond to; messy and sketchy, action shown through ever-morphing dissolves as if the nights are forever slipping away; moments are lost even as they happen. The illustrations are exclusively about people, whether singled out in a crowd, pushed together in a bar, or by themselves in their most private moments.

Blue-Collar2. Blue Collar (US, Schrader) (FTV)
Blue Collar is probably the best working mans drama I’ve ever seen. Systematically shattering, from the bowels of an incensed and very hungry monster. These are people at their wit’s end, backed into a corner by corrupt unions, with no exit strategy. Blue Collar is frighteningly relevant in its portrayal of corruption as a trap that sees working class solidarity as just another thing to be exploited, suppressed and dismantled. Paul Schrader, in his debut film, is on the front line with them, never taking the easy way out. It’s direct and didactic and illuminating.

There is the scene where our three characters, played by Richard Pryor, Harvey Keitel and Yaphet Kotto, strategize about the stolen ledger. They talk about their options and each guy has a different idea. Three options are presented, yet it feels like they have none. These men aren’t stupid. They see through it all and make a concerted effort to exploit the exploiters. And it backfires. Big time.

The three main actors apparently all hated each other in real life, and it’s one of those things that results in a live-wire chemistry and onscreen camaraderie that authentically sings to the tune of empathetic disgruntlement. We become so attached to them and what they are to each other, whether together in the thick of it or blowing off steam. I sat at the edge of my seat sensing the trajectory of the film and wishing so badly to be proven wrong. Richard Pryor in particular is electric, by turns exhausted and exhausting. So earnest is he in his desire for change, a naive hope that he can make the system better if only he comes at it from the right angle.

girlfriends_sc1. Girlfriends (US, Weill) (FTV)
Let’s be honest, Frances Ha is an uncanny reworking of Girlfriends; narratively, structurally, thematically. Except this is way better (sorry ’bout it). There are hardly any films about women made by women from this era. Nowadays the fumbling twenty-something trying to figure it all out in NYC is an indie cliche. But in 1978?

This is a film to be cherished by everyone who sees it. No lie, my life can now be split into Before Girlfriends and After Girlfriends. Claudia Weill and screenwriter Vicki Polon have created something truly disarming here; an open and honest work about female friendships rightfully treated as life-defining, where change equals tailspin, resentment, and adjustment. It is equally about being comfortable with living alone, being comfortable with not living alone, and trying to build a creative career in a tough racket. The film is unstudied and charmingly choppy, primarily homegrown in its form. And at the same time, it’s entirely assured; the film and Susan (Melanie Mayron) are uniformly comfortable in their own skin, even when on the surface they doubt and fret. There is a painfully sincere and recognizable quintessential harmony at work with no affectation in sight.

The film admires Susan, loves Susan, but isn’t bewitched by her in that familiar way (you know what I’m talking about) where we shake our heads and coo ‘oh you’ at her. The film would be great regardless, but Melanie Mayron as Susan Weinblatt cements this as an all-time top 100 film of mine. I cannot even begin to do her justice. Drowning in hair with second grade glasses and a goofy and frumpy demeanor, she is completely laid-back in her neurosis, and somehow not awkward despite all this. A genuine character, and a special performance in a truly special film.

Top Ten By Year: 1978 – 10 Honorable Mentions plus Grease

I just started a second job so it’ll take a little while for the final Top Ten By Year post for 1978 to be written and go up (and then on to 1925!) Accompanied with that post will be a full list of the 1978 films I’ve seen and a Blind Spots list. For now, here are my ten honorable mentions. I always list and briefly write about five honorable mentions in my Top Ten By Year posts, but for 1978 and 1992 desperate times called for desperate measures. I’ve fallen in love with so many 1978 releases, which, of course is a great ‘problem’ to have. The fact that Violette Noziere, Pretty Baby and Long Weekend couldn’t even make the honorable mentions post shows how crowded this year was.

These 10 (plus Grease!) films are in alphabetical order

FTV = First Time Viewing
RW = Rewatch
LTF = Long Time Favorite 


Autumn Sonata/Höstsonaten (Sweden, Bergman) (RW)
I figured that Ingmar Bergman’s mother-daughter showdown was a sure bet for my final ten. The Magician made my 1958 list even though I far prefer this over that. But 1958 was a different template with different scales.

Autumn Sonata could also be called ‘The Meeting of the Bergmans’. This was the one and only collaboration between Ingmar and Ingrid, and it carried a finality for both (it was the director’s last exclusively theatrical release and the star’s final feature film appearance). The familial chamber drama pits mousy neglected daughter Eva (Liv Ullman) against her famous pianist mother Charlotte (Bergman) after a lifetime of pent-up resentment and stunted emotional baggage. The toxic and frayed dynamic shows itself through the film’s bifurcated halves. An initial impenetrable barrier of niceties and separate stirrings gives way to one fateful evening when Eva’s charges against Charlotte spill out in hyperventilating fits of anger; the director’s penchant for inescapable close-ups carries through all.

Ullman plays the final half  of Autumn Sonata as if possessed by the distilled anxiety of her child-self; the mere presence of Charlotte triggers an uncontrollable summoning bigger than herself. Eva’s collapse into memory is so total that presentational single-image flashbacks make their way into the film. Gradually, the accusations against Charlotte become more and more vague, unformed, and even off the mark. By the end, we’ve seen something possibly irreparable, almost delusional, take place. Changed but not changed.


Dawn of the Dead ( US/Italy, Romero) (RW)
For a horror film so universally worshiped, it’s easy to forget how peculiar the squib-filled Dawn of the Dead really is. It’s these peculiarities that so strongly lure me to it. The ragtag family of four. The zombies with an unsophisticated chalky blue tint on their cadaverous skin. The inevitable reclamation of consumerist domesticity as a mode of denial. The boldly goofy shifts in tone. The irreverent and hassle-free shopping montages. And spearheading all of this is the headstrong smoothness of Ken Foree as Peter, quite possibly my favorite male horror flick protagonist. This is George Romero at the peak of his powers.


Drunken Master (Hong Kong, Yuen) (FTV)
1978 was the year Jackie Chan’s career catapulted to stardom with Drunken Master and Snake in the Eagle’s Shadow. Replacing Bruce Lee as Hong Kong’s top box-office star, Chan molded his early screen persona as a scrappy underdog with acrobatic prowess, “comically exaggerated panic”(Bordwell, “Planet Hong Kong”), and an ever-resourceful reliance on slapstick. In the ludicrously fun Drunken Master, he plays the not with assured capability, but with a deer-in-headlights expression and the illusion that he is frantically grabbing any props within reach to defeat his opponent. Watching him feels like a sort of onscreen miracle, and every time I see a Jackie Chan film I marvel at his genius anew.


Eyes of Laura Mars  (US, Kershner) (RW)
Soft focus, red herrings, confounding twist ending, voyeurism; this is what American giallo looks like. This is also what pop sleaze looks like. Fashion photographer Laura Mars (Faye Dunaway) unwittingly sees through the eyes of a killer whose crimes eerily mirror her controversial work. Laura’s work is surface-level provocation, using artfully arranged violence to sell product. Funny thing is, the nature of her work and the film itself are kind of inextricable from each other. There’s some commentary about the public reception to Laura’s photographs, questioning her responsibility to people who use the images she creates as violent inspiration (something else I love about this film is that it’s a horror flick about adults with full-fledged careers). There’s a perhaps unintentional level of self-reflexivity going on here (who knows; scripted by John Carpenter yet produced by Jon Peters, a man devoid of self-awareness), but regardless the film playfully inverts itself in multiple ways, such as when Laura, seeing through the eyes of the killer, is looking at herself as the next victim, as prey. The ultimate voyeuristic conundrum.


Grease (US, Kleiser) (LTF)
In fourth grade we were assigned to make plaster masks for an art project. I made mine of Stockard Channing’s Rizzo. Sure I made her look like a melting hunk of cheese, but the dedication was there. The biggest money-maker of 1978 is a seamless blend of generations, a venue for peppy dressed-up youth to play out. It was released at just the right time, riding off the 50’s revival of American Graffiti from several years earlier and John Travolta’s newfound and entirely justifiable super-stardom. If you want to know what Grease is, just look at the climactic “You’re The One That I Want” number. Grease is Danny and Sandy’s DNA’s combined, a rare breed of wholesome filth that surely contributed to its mass appeal, feeding off the need for a hit musical that wasn’t dour in content and tone or cultish in origin and transgression.


Halloween (US, Carpenter) (RW)
John Carpenter wastes no time bringing deep-focus compositions and inquisitive camerawork into the daytime streets of ‘Haddonfield, Illinois’, creating an unassuming town scaffold where peaceful suburbia ought to be. Michael Myers is a stark specter, his blank white presence is direct and his sneakiness is presented directly, entirely without sneak. The camera is on a constant swinging pendulum, roving between Myers and our trio of girls. We are never with either of them. Not truly. Halloween occupies the space between predator and prey.

One of the most successful independent films ever made, Halloween established John Carpenter as a defining directorial presence moving into the 80’s and kicked off the (while being far from the first one) the fad of slice-and-dice slashers. But Halloween has an atmospheric restraint, and is far more interested in sustaining and encircling the unknown; qualities that can’t be found in its offspring. Prelude aside, it takes fifty minutes before someone is killed. That’s a long way from the kill-sex-kill-break-nudity-kill structure that slashers would become known for.


In a Year of 13 Moons (West Germany, Fassbinder) (FTV)
Rainer Werner Fassbinder made In a Year of 13 Moons in response to his former lover’s (Armin Meier) suicide. Opening with a beating, and text that tells of the fated tragedy of the cosmos, Fassbinder underlines that Elvira (Volker Spengler) is destined for doom. And it only goes downhill from there. It’s a high bar to clear, but this is Fassbinder’s most confrontational, openly hopeless work, a fusion of his evocative melodrama and his more anarchic leanings. When Suicide’s “Frankie Teardrop” casually plays in the background of a lengthy scene, there is a conscious effort to make us feel off-center in our own skin. But nothing compares to the butchery sequence, in which uncompromising graphic footage of animal slaughter is coupled with Elvira’s increasingly frenzied pitch of a voiceover (think Willy Wonka on the boat or Judge Doom’s toon voice), adding up to a nauseating visual and aural assault the likes of which I’ve never quite experienced.

If I could only pick one performance from 1978, Volker Spengler as Elvira would be it. He makes Elvira and her dangerous acquiescence and her comfort in the familiarity of abuse, all too human and frustrating (Elvira can be a very troubling character when looking solely through the lens of trans portrayals but that’s a whole other conversation). Demure and devoid of self-regard, his face begs everyone and anyone to give her something, any reason to keep going. Nobody does.

Killer of Sheep
Killer of Sheep

Killer of Sheep (US, Burnett) (FTV)
A major work of American cinema. A mosaic of evocative naturalism that observes, empathizes, and communicates through the mundane routines of life in the Watts area of Los Angeles. Intimately caught between narrative and free-form, adults and children, and yet immovably rooted in the experience of impoverished black America.


Krabat – The Sorcerer’s Apprentice/Čarodějův učeň (Czechoslovakia, West Germany, Zeman) (FTV)
Krabat was the penultimate film from seminal Czech filmmaker Karel Zeman. His far-reaching influence as an animator has inspired the likes of many, and after seeing this it’s easy to see why. In this dark-fantasy fairy tale, cut-out animation is assembled with carefully placed pieces of live-action background. The effect is a richly textured aesthetic where the stiff and often immovable expressions of the characters reflect the constrictions of the poor boys of the story, who are lured into forced labor.

Krabat is about conquering the oppressive and seemingly preternatural force of tyranny, a  tyranny that even conquers the mode of storytelling for the evil sorcerer is the only character given a speaking voice. The story is told by adult Krabat’s narration with the (even in its darkest turns) straightforward remove of a fairy tale which further forces the viewer to rely on the directness of the fixed animation. Krabat and his fellow captive apprentices learn to fear the cycle of life, and the inevitability of what is to come based on the season. Emphasis is given to the beauty of the seasons; at the inescapable and isolated mill, what should be a comfort has been curdled into something of a constant harbinger. And of course, it is love which must conquer all.


Thank God It’s Friday (US, Klane) (FTV)
Just so you know, disco music and the ‘One Crazy Day/Night’ scenario are two of my favorite things to find in a film. Put them together? Time capsule movie gold. Everyone wants in on the discotheque where The Commodores are set to perform with dance contest in tow. A wide variety of characters fleetingly bounce off each other throughout. Highlights include Jeff Goldblum as a sleazy ladykiller, Debra Winger as a clumsy gal, a young Terri Nunn (!!), and Otis Day as ‘Wrong Way Floyd’ who you should never put in charge of your instruments. If the film had a little more shape to it (with this many story threads, it should never feel like the film is killing time) it might have made my final ten. As it is, it’ll have to settle for being the kind of film I can randomly put on to enjoy again and again.

an unmarried woman

An Unmarried Woman (US, Mazursky) (FTV)
Jill Clayburgh prancing around in her undies, giggling uncontrollably in the throes of foreplay, and performing with a rare in-character spontaneity. All this and more support Paul Mazursky’s dramedy about a woman trying to rebuild a life after her husband abruptly leaves her. There is a fascinating knowingness and a concerted effort to tap into the what the ‘modern woman’s picture’ may look like that is by turns outdated and still shockingly relevant. As Erica tries to figure out who and what will define her new life, Mazursky displays an immense care in the particular wants, needs, struggles, inner life, experiences, sexuality, and empowerment of his heroine.  

What I’ll Remember About the Films of 1978: A Love Letter

My What I’ll Remember posts are an ongoing tradition. A logbook of sorts, they pay tribute to all the year-specific viewing I’ve done over the past however many months. It also stresses that, while the Top Ten list is the crux of this whole project, it’s really a means to an end. It goes without saying, but the process and journey of watching and re-watching these films is most important. I’ve recently looked back on previous What I’ll Remember posts and they evoke the feeling of a photo album, flipping through filmic memories of all shapes and sizes. Still to come are my Ten Honorable Mentions plus Grease post and the Top Ten.

At the end of the post I have a Suggested Double Features section and a compilation of some of my Favorite Shots of the year.

Top Ten By Year: 1978 posts so far: Movie Poster Highlights, Movie Music Mix, Poll Results

Previous What I’ll Remember posts: 1943, 1958, 1965, 1992, 2012, 2013,  2014

10 Performances of 1978: Volker Spengler (In a Year of 13 Moons), Geraldine Chaplin (Remember My Name), Carol Kane (The Mafu Cage), Richard Pryor (Blue Collar), Ingrid Bergman (Autumn Sonata), Jill Clayburgh (An Unmarried Woman), Melanie Mayron (Girlfriends), Isabelle Huppert (Violette Noziere), Christopher Reeve (Superman), Robert De Niro (The Deer Hunter)

Freeze frame endings (Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Pretty Baby, Capricorn One, Eyes of Laura Mars, Girlfriends, Magic, Blue Collar, The 36th Chamber of Shaolin, An Unmarried Woman, The Deer Hunter)

The fashion photo shoot montage scenes in Eyes of Laura Mars

“You’re my friend Jerry, but you’re thinking white” (Blue Collar)

The makeshift family unit in Dawn of the Dead

Donald Sutherland in Invasion of the Body Snatchers
Donald Sutherland in Invasion of the Body Snatchers

The end of Invasion of the Body Snatchers; still about the scariest thing I can think of. Poor Veronica Cartwright

The isolated presentational snapshot flashbacks of Autumn Sonata

Liv Ullman and Ingrid Bergman going head-to-head with pent-up mother-daughter angst in Autumn Sonata

Denny Zeitlin’s score for Invasion of the Body Snatchers as prelude for Brian Reitzell’s work on “Hannibal”

Abortion talk (Interiors, A Wedding, Long Weekend, Girlfriends, The Meetings of Anna, Dawn of the Dead, Autumn Sonata, An Unmarried Woman)

Isabelle Adjani in The Driver
Isabelle Adjani in The Driver
Maggie Smith in Death on the Nile
Maggie Smith in Death on the Nile

Women in suits (Isabelle Adjani, The Driver; Maggie Smith, Death on the Nile; Fiona Lewis, The Fury)

“You got a chair!”
“You changed your hair!” (Coming Home)

The half buried manatee carcass that gradually makes its way up the sands in Long Weekend

1978 Movie Marathon with Amanda! (Drunken Master, The Cheap Detective, Girlfriends, Long Weekend)

American pop giallo (Eyes of Laura Mars)

Favorite Characters of 1978: Susan Weinblatt (Melanie Mayron; Girlfriends), Annie (Nancy Loomis; Halloween), Rizzo (Stockard Channing; Grease)Peter (Ken Foree; Dawn of the Dead), Gillian Bellaver (Amy Irving; The Fury), Joe Pendleton (Warren Beatty; Heaven Can Wait)

Goldie Hawn in Foul Play
Goldie Hawn in Foul Play

Goldie Hawn = cutest librarian ever (Foul Play)

Terrence Malick already bringing his work into the ether for his sophomore film (Days of Heaven)

“Flick my Bic!!” (Blue Collar)

Has Alan Alda always been this insufferable and I’ve just never noticed it? (Same Time, Next Year)

The introduction of the five deadly venoms (Five Deadly Venoms)

John Travolta in Grease
John Travolta in Grease

Put aside the present day creepy Uncle vibes for a second and appreciate that there is nothing quite as deliciously sexy as John Travolta in his prime (Grease)

First experiences with these directors: Karel Zeman (Krabat), Jerzy Skolimowski (The Shout), Chantal Akerman (The Meetings of Anna), Les Blank (Always for Pleasure), Derek Jarman (Jubilee), Paul Mazursky (An Unmarried Woman), Yuen Woo-Ping (Drunken Master), Chang Cheh (Five Deadly Venoms), Liu Chia-Liang (The 36th Chamber of Shaolin, Heroes of the East)

The emphasis and innovative use of sound in The Shout

Wow, so Eli Wallach is weirdly attractive as the elder charming rabbi in Girlfriends

Hilarious peripheral characters ‘One Song Tinker’ (Scatman Crothers) in The Cheap Detective and ‘Wrong Way Floyd’ (Otis Day) in Thank God It’s Friday

You Are Not Alone
You Are Not Alone

The radical ending of You Are Not Alone

Death by paint fumes (Blue Collar)

The “part Mary Hartman, part Ingmar Bergman” gal pal gatherings in An Unmarried Woman

Maggie Smith playing an actress who loses an Oscar only to win an Oscar in real life for said performance. Surely the only time this has ever happened? (California Suite)

The painful experience of watching the unforgivably cartoonish Same Time, Next Year

The butchery scene in In a Year of 13 Moons; a raw collision of visual and aural assault quite unlike anything I’ve experienced

Speaking of; graphic slaughterhouse scenes in Killer of Sheep and In a Year of 13 Moons

John Savage in The Deer Hunter
John Savage in The Deer Hunter

Jesus H. Christ I had suppressed the grueling Russian Roulette-as-dramatic-device scenes in The Deer Hunter. Sound and image marry the casual pandemonium of the room with the intimate begging and communicative gazing between the actors. Robert De Niro, Christopher Walken and John Savage are all-in, and the experience looks legitimately tormenting for all

The rigorous training section of The 36th Chamber of ShaolinBody as focus, object of transformation and unparalleled discipline

The aggressively unfunny bedroom farce vignette of California Suite with Walter Matthau and Elaine May. Who would have thought that A New Leaf reunion could taste so sour?

The way the blow-up doll floats out of Dudley Moore’s closet in Foul Play

Emotional piano-playing in Autumn Sonata and The Deer Hunter

Christopher Plummer in The Silent Partner
Christopher Plummer in The Silent Partner

Crucial lesson learned from The Silent Partner; whatever you do, do not fuck with Christopher Plummer

Mother and daughter bed confessional in The Meetings of Anna

The charged sexual chemistry between Jane Fonda and Jon Voight in Coming Home 

The ingenious reveal that “Jeepers Creepers” is the “As Time Goes By” equivalent in the spoof The Cheap Detective

The immediate and out-of-nowhere inciting incident in Blue Sunshine

Jeff Goldblum, about to utter "Gorgeous" to himself in Thank God It's Friday
Jeff Goldblum, about to utter “Gorgeous” to himself in Thank God It’s Friday

Jeff Goldblum’s entrance in Thank God It’s Friday

Debut films from Robert Zemeckis (I Wanna Hold Your Hand), Errol Morris (Gates of Heaven), Paul Schrader (Blue Collar)

The Neils of The Last Waltz

The eternal magic hour coupled with Linda Manz’s narration in Days of Heaven 

What a year for horror; even if you don’t like half of these it’s an impressive group: (Halloween, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Dawn of the Dead, The Fury, Blue Sunshine, The Shout, Long Weekend, Martin, Alucarda, Magic, The Mafu Cage, Eyes of Laura Mars, Patrick, Piranha, The Grapes of Death, etc)


Nancy Allen in the Beatles’s hotel room, molesting and lusting over leftovers, instruments and whatever else she can get her hands on. In a just world, these moments would be iconic (I Wanna Hold Your Hand)

Mia Farrow playing crazy ladies (Death on the Nile, A Wedding). In A Wedding she’s like a woman-child version of that creepy photo from Repulsion

The “Born to Hand Jive” scene in Grease, my favorite movie scene as a young teen. Still watch it constantly. Actually, can you all hold on for just a few minutes? *runs off*

“Can you read my mind?” (Superman)

The shopping montages of Dawn of the Dead

Instances of films I’m conflicted about being ultimately more memorable and/or must-see than ‘solid’ works (Fedora, A Wedding, Remember My Name, Jubilee)

Brad Davis in Midnight Express
Brad Davis in Midnight Express

Well hello there Brad Davis (Midnight Express)

Paul Dooley and Dennis Christopher playing father and son in A Wedding, a year before Breaking Away

Diana Ross frantically running away from crows in The Wiz

Greatest ending ever or greatest ending ever? (The Fury)

The truly brutal child abuse/abandonment/killing in The Demon

Nell Campbell in Jubilee
Nell Campbell in Jubilee

My slight obsession with Nell Campbell resurfaces (Jubilee)

Greatest final line to a film?; “The electric blanket I had sent her came back undelivered.” (voiceover) (Fedora)

Another great final moment:
Peter: “How much fuel do we have?”
Fran: “Not much”
Peter: (with a shrug of a delivery) “……alright” (Dawn of the Dead)

2 of the 5 Best Picture nominees being about women and their sexuality, their experiences, their lives. Can this please stop being an anomaly? I’m begging you (Coming Home, An Unmarried Woman)

Melanie Mayron as Susan Weinblatt = my new hero (Girlfriends)

Eyes of Laura Mars 2
Tommy Lee Jones in Eyes of Laura Mars
Tim Curry
Tim Curry in The Shout

 Tommy Lee Jones + turtlenecks/Tim Curry + V-neck sweater (Eyes of Laura Mars, The Shout)

Least Favorite Characters of 1978: George (Alan Alda; Same Time, Next Year), Joey (Mary Beth Hurt; Interiors – basically everyone in Interiors except Pearl, but Joey especially for her disgusting ‘vulgarian’ remark), Kehaar (voiced by Zero Mostel; Watership Down)Richard ‘Ringo’ Klaus (Eddie Deezen; I Wanna Hold Your Hand), all the supporting dudes in Grease, everyone in The Demon, the central couple in Long Weekend, Toyoji (Tatsuya Fuji); Empire of Passion)

“Intelligence would take the bloom off your carnality” (Despair)

Sample dialogue from Avalanche:
Mia Farrow: (looking at a picture on the wall) “What is that?”
Robert Forster: “Guess”
Mia Farrow: “A goat?”
Robert Forster: “A ram”
Mia Farrow: “Oh, a ram”

Kathy Bates in Straight Time
Kathy Bates in Straight Time

Introducing! Dennis Franz (A Wedding, The Fury, Remember My Name), Jamie Lee Curtis (Halloween), Daryl Hannah (The Fury), Eddie Deezen (Grease, I Wanna Hold Your Hand), Jim Broadbent (The Shout), James Cromwell (The Cheap Detective), Kathy Bates (Straight Time), Alfre Woodard (Remember My Name), Mark McClure (I Wanna Hold Your Hand, Superman, Coming Home), Kevin Bacon (National Lampoon’s Animal House)

“A space flower?” (Invasion of the Body Snatchers)

Christopher Plummer, dead and in drag, descending down the escalator in The Silent Partner

Depiction of nature as something all-consuming and inescapable in Empire of Passion

The amazing wall-to-wall disco soundtrack in the preposterously fun Thank God It’s Friday

Christopher Reeve in Superman

Fully appreciating Christopher Reeve in Superman; adorable, eerily perfect, his performance pitched so we somehow buy into a world where mere glasses can obscure Clark Kent’s identity

The ‘Shout’ scene in National Lampoon’s Animal House

The near bottomless slapstick fun of Drunken Master

The revelatory and genuinely unnerving work by Geraldine Chaplin in Remember My Name and Carol Kane in The Mafu Cage

Capricorn One desperately needing to ditch everything and become a deadpan detective romcom with Elliot Gould and Karen Black

The rare female protagonist at the center of a 1970’s conspiracy thriller (Coma) (the only other example I know of is The Stepford Wives)

Panna a Netvor
Panna a Netvor

Realizing that the beast in Panna a Netvor is actually Birdman

Roaming through the streets of ‘Haddonfield’ in broad daylight (Halloween)

The “how do we know you’re that good” scene in The Driver

Bruce Conner + Devo = perfect combination (Mongoloid)

“I love you once, I love you twice
I love you more than beans and rice” (Pretty Baby)

“Peggy Ann Snow, Peggy Ann Snow
Please let me follow wherever you go” (Magic)


Jill Clayburgh ballet-prancing in her undies in An Unmarried Woman

The dummy in Magic making me scream out loud in terror

Aging male stars from 50’s Hollywood in their tighty-wighties (Kirk Douglas in The Fury, William Holden in Fedora)

Queen Isabelle Huppert kicking off her reign of enigmatic and unknowable women in Violette Noziere

Annie’s hiked-up yellow socks in Halloween

Re-enacting Jerry Lewis (In a Year of 13 Moons)

The re-watch of Halloween that finally clicked for me in a big way

The Detective: “I really like chasing you”
The Driver: “Sounds like you’ve got a problem” (The Driver)

Jordan in Jubilee
Jordan in Jubilee

The women of Jubilee, especially Jordan lip-syncing to Suzi Pinns’s “Rule Britannia”. Everyone else can go home

The far more compelling than they needed to be supporting cast of Eyes of Laura Mars (Tommy Lee Jones, Raul Julia, René Auberjonois)

Speaking of great casts, pretty sure the combination of Donald Sutherland, Brooke Adams, Veronica Cartwright, Leonard Nimoy and Jeff Goldblum can’t be topped (Invasion of the Body Snatchers)

Banner Years for (not exhaustive): Brooke Adams (Days of Heaven, Invasion of the Body Snatchers), Richard Pryor (Blue Collar, The Wiz, California Suite), Gordon Liu (The 36th Chamber of Shaolin, Heroes of the East, Shaolin Mantis (haven’t seen last one), Elliott Gould (The Silent Partner, Capricorn One, The Big Sleep (haven’t see the last one)), Mia Farrow (Death on the Nile, Avalanche, A Wedding), Maggie Smith (Death on the Nile, California Suite), Suzannah York (The Shout, Superman, The Silent Partner), Jeff Goldblum (Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Thank God It’s Friday, Remember My Name), Alan Bates (The Shout, An Unmarried Woman), John Hurt (Midnight Express, The Shout, Watership Down (voice), The Lord of the Rings (voice) (haven’t seen last one)), Jane Fonda (Coming Home, California Suite, Comes a Horseman (haven’t seen last one))

So many things I could pick from The Fury, but I’ll go with the peppy Paragon Institute montage accompanied by a proto-Harry Potter section of John Williams’s score (Video games are played! Frisbees are thrown! Laughs are had! Dogs are played with!)

Girlfriends 3

Girlfriends 2Girlfriends 1

All the sketchy dudes that pop up in Girlfriends

The “get Fats to shut up for five minutes” scene in Magic

The final scene of Capricorn One bringing me to tears (from laughter; slow-motion been more hilarious)

The pants burning scene in Drunken Master bringing me to tears (also from laughter)

The mosaic of evocative naturalism in Killer of Sheep  

Suggested 1978 Double Features:
The Fury/Eyes of Laura Mars (telekinetic horror cinema that plays with the act of ‘seeing’ to create intimacy with characters; filmmakers finding ways of allowing a film to interact with itself)
You Are Not Alone/Pretty Baby (Naturalistic coming-of-age films with controversial material regarding the telling/depiction of children (using child actors) in stories focused on sex/nudity. You can also thrown in The Demon for really thorny treatment of children but re: violence)
Violette Noziere/Remember My Name (Elusive Women Double Feature)
I Wanna Hold Your Hand/Thank God It’s Friday (Music-centric One Crazy Day/Night films)
The Shout/Long Weekend (use of sound/horror relating to Australia)
Drunken Master/Superman (Adorable Leading Men)

Favorite Shots of 1978 (in no way is this exhaustive. It’s more of a sampling):

A Wedding
A Wedding
The Fury
Pretty Baby
Pretty Baby
Straight Time
Straight Time
The Fury
The Fury
The Demon
The Demon
Days of Heaven
Days of Heaven
The Meetings of Anna
The Meetings of Anna
Days of Heaven
Days of Heaven
Killer of Sheep
Killer of Sheep
The Shout
The Shout
The Deer Hunter
The Deer Hunter
The Deer Hunter
The Deer Hunter
Autumn Sonata
Autumn Sonata
In a Year of 13 Moons
In a Year of 13 Moons
The Demon
The Demon
The Mafu Cage
The Mafu Cage
Violette Noziere
Violette Noziere
Krabat (The Sorcerer's Apprentice)
Krabat (The Sorcerer’s Apprentice)
Watership Down
Watership Down
The Driver
The Driver
In a Year of 13 Moons
In a Year of 13 Moons
The Fury
The Fury
Long Weekend
Long Weekend
The Mafu Cage
The Mafu Cage
Killer of Sheep
Killer of Sheep
Days of Heaven
Days of Heaven
The Mafu Cage
The Mafu Cage
The Deer Hunter
The Deer Hunter

Review: Cinderella (2015, Branagh)

“The old feels new in Kenneth Branagh and Disney’s live-action retelling of its 1950 animated feature (itself an adaptation of the Charles Perrault fairy tale). When did a classic take on a fairy tale become refreshing?

The answer is sometime during the current blockbuster cycle of revisionist live-action fairy tales. As Disney leads the way in the Revampathon of iconic properties, we’ve witnessed digitized world expansions, CGI battles galore, villains in the spotlight, needless mythology and lots of flavorlessness. Some of this has been successful (Maleficent translating the devastation of rape trauma) and most of it has not (everything else?). I step into this review admittedly on the defense. Singing the praises of Cinderella also means pushing against the kind = passive = bad line of thinking which has become prevalent regarding the titular character.”

Full review over at CriterionCast

Movie Music Mix: 1978


Unsurprisingly, 1978 had some incredible music at the movies. I’ve gradually been gathering the tracks that stick out to me over the last several months, and grooving to them throughout the course of my 1978 watchlist. This has a somewhat similarly sprawling vibe as the mix I made for 1992. But it’s also, I hope, more succinct. I tried to bookend the mix with disco blocks (because YES), start and end with songs that make a distinct impression, and get a little more contemplative in the middle. There’s a lot of different sounds represented here and I hope I made them work together in some fashion. There was one song I was unable to get a hold of, which irks me to no end. It’s one of the songs Sebastian wrote for the Danish coming-of-age film You Are Not Alone. Those songs are virtually impossible to acquire in the US. Other than that, I was able to attain everything else. So I hope you enjoy! In case you’ve forgotten, it is required that all the music be from the time period I’m focusing on. I’m not so strict that it needs to be from 1978, but anything more than a couple of years off and it’s disqualified (sorry “A Song for Europe” from In a Year of 13 Moons).

Other mixes made for Top Ten By Year: 1965, 1983, 1992, 1958, and, not related, 2014
Other Top Ten By Year: 1978 posts: Movie Poster Highlights of 1978, Top Ten By Year: 1978 Poll Results
Still to Come: What I’ll Remember About the Films of 1978: A Love Letter, 10 Honorable Mentions plus Grease, Top Ten By Year

The mix is available to listen to on 8tracks. Just click the link below!

Movie Music Mix: 1978

1. “Rule Britannia” – Suzi Pinns – featured in Jubilee
2. “Grease” – Barry Gibb and Frankie Valli – featured in Grease
3. “Thank God It’s Friday” – Love and Kisses – featured in Thank God It’s Friday 
4. “From Here to Eternity” – Giorgio Moroder – featured in Thank God It’s Friday 
5. “Greased Lightning” – John Travolta – featured in Grease
6. “Hard Workin’ Man’ – Captain Beefheart – featured in Blue Collar
7. “We Used to do Things Together” – dialogue by Linda Manz – featured in Days of Heaven
8. “Bright Eyes” – Art Garfunkel – featured in Watership Down 
9. “Dry Your Eyes” – The Band and Neil Diamond – featured in The Last Waltz
10. “Prisoner “(theme from Eyes of Laura Mars) – Barbra Streisand – featured in Eyes of Laura Mars
11. “Halloween Theme” – John Carpenter – featured in Halloween 
12. Piece from Long Weekend (title unknown) – Michael Carlos – featured in Long Weekend
13. “Days of Heaven” (end credits) – Ennio Morricone – featured in Days of Heaven
14. “Born to Hand Jive” – Sha-Na-Na – featured in Grease
15. “Zombi” – Goblin and Dario Argento – featured in Dawn of the Dead
16. “Mongoloid” – Devo – featured in the short film Mongoloid
17. “Let’s All Chant” (full version) – The Michael Zager Band – featured in Eyes of Laura Mars
18. “After Dark” – Pattie Brooks – featured in Thank God It’s Friday 
19. “Midnight Express” (theme) – Giorgio Moroder – featured in Midnight Express

Movie Poster Highlights: 1978

I’m adding a new event to the Top Ten By Year celebrations; a round-up of some of my favorite film posters from whichever year I’m focusing on.

I tried as best as I could to find artists and/or designers to credit for their work. I’ve noted where I fell short, and if you click on most of the posters, it will lead you to the site of origin.

First up: A couple of posters from Derek Jarman’s punk collage Jubilee, both focusing on Amyl Nitrate’s (Jordan) iconic “Rule Britannia” garb and snarl: 

Designer unknown
Artist unknown

Next up, two posters from the sleek and striped down neo-noir The Driver. What I love about the poster on the top is the street night color scheme, the stylized strokes used for hair, and the profile of Queen Adjani/how she and her hat are placed on top of the men. As for the Thai poster on the right, it’s just undeniably fun; the bright colors, the poker chips around Queen Adjani, Ryan O’Neal’s terrifying big blues and the policeman who seems to be waving hello to us in the upper right corner. 

Artist: M. Daily
Designer unknown

These next two feature bird figures of some kind and are both from Czech artist and poster designer Marek Ploza-Dolinski. Czech animator Karel Zeman’s Krabat (The Sorceror’s Apprentice) (top) features crows throughout, while The Silent Partner (bottom) does not, but how awesome is it seeing Elliot Gould rendered as a smug horned and winged creature? There’s also tribute paid to his pet goldfish who is unceremoniously murdered by Christopher Plummer in the film. 

Artist: Marek Ploza-Dolinski
Artist: Marek Ploza-Dolinski
Artist: Marek Polza-Dolinski
Artist: Marek Polza-Dolinski

Richard Amsel was one of the most distinguished American poster designers of all-time and managed a prolific and instantly recognizable body of work before his early death in 1985. His exquisitely detailed and bustling posters always managed to put focus, no matter how busy elsewhere, on the faces of stars, and that is certainly evident in his depiction of the all-star cast of Death on the Nile.

Artist: Richard Amsel
Artist: Richard Amsel

There are a ton of fantastic posters for Billy Wilder’s late career oddity Fedora. Here are my two favorites. 

Artist Unknown
Artist Unknown
fedora 2
Artist: Sovari/Country: Hungary

Next are two posters I love for films I love about girls I love. Got all that? The top is a French poster for I Wanna Hold Your Hand, here called Crazy Day. You can’t tell by the poster that it has anything to do with The Beatles, but I love the Nancy Drew quality of the thing. The bottom is a Spanish poster for Girlfriends, which I can’t find a bigger version of, but I’m drawn to the triangular use of space and the mustard yellow color. I’m also amused by the fact that though the film is called Girlfriends, this particular poster seems to feature 3 Melanie Mayron’s. 

Artist unknown
Artist unknown/Country: France
Artist unknown (although the central image is from the US poster for the film)
Artist unknown (although the central image is from the US poster for the film)

Two Polish posters, one from the Truffaut film The Green Room (La chambre verte) and the other from Terrence Malick’s Days of Heaven

Artist: Jaime Carlos Nieto
Artist: Jaime Carlos Nieto
Artist: Wiktor Sadowski
Artist: Wiktor Sadowski

Here are two posters that live and die on partially shielded photographs of enigmatic unknowable women framed by black with the film titles displayed in similar shades of pinkish red. Queen Huppert’s Violette Noziere looks straight at us, while Geraldine Chaplin gives us sunglasses, a cigarette and her profile, the film’s title telling us to remember her name…or else. 

Designer unknown
Designer unknown
Designer unknown
Designer unknown

Finally, my two favorite posters from 1978. On the top is the precise and doomed purple radiance of Petrus Wandrey for the Rainer Werner Fassbinder film Despair. On the bottom is Josef Vylet’al’s hauntingly direct yet endlessly mysterious work for the Czech fairy tale film Panna a Netvor (Beauty and the Beast or Virgin and the Monster)

Artist: Petrus Wandrey
Artist: Petrus Wandrey
Artist: Josef Vylet'al
Artist: Josef Vylet’al

Top Ten By Year: 1978 – Poll Results

Previous Top Ten By Year Polls: 1992, 1958

(Reminder of the Poll rules: Participants could vote for up to 10 films; no more, but certainly less. Order was not required since it had no bearing on the results.)

Thank you so much to everyone who voted in the Top Ten By Year: 1978 Poll! 101 people (including an Oscar nominee!) voted for 133 different films. Our biggest turn-out yet on both counts!

I started conducting these week long polls back in August while finishing up 1992. I had completed several other years for Top Ten By Year up to that point (1935, 1983, 1965, 1943). The primary objective of this project is to discover and rediscover films within the confines of a year in cinema. In my mind the films, taken as a whole, coalesce into one big extended family. For readers, I’ve always hoped that following the progress of the year in question would provoke discussion and/or increased awareness of what’s out there. Being reminded of films you love, films you don’t love, films that you grapple with, and perhaps most importantly, films that weren’t on your radar before and now are. I’m aware that’s a mighty large order to hope for with a measly little blog like mine but a girl can dream, can’t she?

The Poll has been designated as the kick-off event for the comprehensive celebrating to come (1978 Posters post, What I’ll Remember: A Love Letter, 1978 Movie Music Mix, 10 Honorable Mentions, and the Top Ten); an audience participation pre-show if you will. It gets people talking and familiarizing themselves over the chosen year. 1978, many correctly pointed out, is an embarrassment of riches for us horror lovers.

Taking into account the internet’s oversaturation with lists/listicles, I hope it’s clear that this project is anything but tossed off. Seeing what makes the collective top ten is a lot of fun, but may I direct your attention to the full breakdown of votes and the individual ballots? I’ve been up to my eyeballs in 1978 for over 3 months and a ton of films received votes that I’d never even heard of. My hope is that people now have a bunch of goodies to add to their watchlist.

So; surprising? Predictable? Comment or tweet at me your reactions to the results! As for me, the chosen ten are largely expected, although I was sure The 36th Chamber of Shaolin would be on there and it just missed the cut. I also didn’t realize how many people still love Superman. This is the second year in a row (1958 being the first) where a Bergman film made the list. In fact, his is the only solo international production on here (a big difference from the 1958 poll which had 5 countries represented in the 10). By far my biggest revelation here is that Killer of Sheep is a 1978 film! I had always thought of it as 1977 and for that reason it wasn’t on my watchlist. Realizing my mistake, I immediately procured a copy and can’t wait to finally see it. So thank you everyone for pointing that out to me. There are some films I assumed would get more votes than they ultimately did. Chief among them; Up in SmokeIn a Year of 13 Moons, Pretty Baby, The Rutles: All Your Need is Cash, Long Weekend and Five Deadly Venoms. Has nobody seen Pretty Baby, or do you all just not like it? I’m a big fan and hope to write about it a bit for my Honorable Mentions post.

One last observation is that three films that will either make my final cut or honorable mentions post got zero votes.

days of heaven

POLL RESULTS – Top Ten By Year: 1978:
1.  Days of Heaven (Malick, US) – 69 votes
2. Dawn of the Dead (Romero, US/Italy) – 56 votes
3. Halloween (Carpenter, US) – 54 votes
4. The Deer Hunter (Cimino, US) – 41 votes
5. Invasion of the Body Snatchers (Kaufman, US) – 39 votes
6. Superman (Donner, US) – 31 votes
7. Autumn Sonata (Bergman, Sweden) – 30 votes
8. Killer of Sheep (Burnett, US) – 27 votes
9. The Last Waltz (Scorsese, US) – 24 votes
10. The Driver (Hill, US) – 23 votes

The Rest:
19 votes The 36th Chamber of Shaolin, Blue Collar
18 votes – Watership Down, National Lampoon’s Animal House
17 votes – Gates of Heaven, Grease
16 votes – Interiors
15 votes – The Fury, Midnight Express
14 votes – Coming Home
13 votes – An Unmarried Woman
10 votes – Heaven Can Wait
9 votes – In a Year of 13 Moons, Empire of Passion, Straight Time, The Shout
8 votes – Girlfriends
7 votes – Drunken Master
6 votes – Jubilee, Perceval le Gallois, I Wanna Hold Your Hand, Five Deadly Venoms
5 votes – La Cage aux Folles, A Wedding, Piranha, The Silent Partner, The Tree of Wooden Clogs, Who’ll Stop the Rain, Death on the Nile, The Boys from Brazil, Big Wednesday, The Green Room
4 votes – Violette Noziere, California Suite, Fingers, The Meetings of Anna, Graduate First, Fedora, Thank God It’s Friday, The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith, Long Weekend
3 votes – Up in Smoke, Alucarda, Magic, Same Time Next Year, Martin, Eyes of Laura Mars, Coma, Lord of the Rings, Capricorn One, Snake in the Eagle’s Shadow, Always for Pleasure, Corvette Summer, Filming ‘Othello’
2 votes – Every Which Way But Loose, The Big Fix, Convoy, My Way Home, Despair, The Grapes of Death, Mongoloid, The Mongreloid, Pretty Baby, Foul Play, Crippled Avengers, American Boy: A Profile of Stephen Prince, Don, Nighthawks, China 9, Liberty 37, The Buddy Holly Story
1 vote: Starcrash, The Suspended Vacation, The Shooting Party, Silvesternacht – Ein Dialog, Doomed Love, Killer Butterfly, The Girl with the Red Scarf, Visions of a City, The Cat from Outer Space, The Rutles: All You Need is Cash,
Alexandria…Why?, Chameleon, Vertical Features Remake, The Inglorious Basterds, Koko: A Talking Gorilla, The Contract, The Demon, Who is Killing the Great Chefs of Europe?, Satiemania, Spiral, Within the Woods, Paradise Alley, Debbie Does Dallas, Make Me Psychic, Scared Straight!, Hooper, Renaldo and Clara, The Whole Shootin Match, Pennies from Heaven (BBC miniseries), Comment ca va?, The One and Only, Someone’s Watching Me!, Game of Death, Louder Faster Shorter, Northern Lights, The Hypothesis of the Stolen Painting, She Had Her Gun All Ready, Heroes of the East, The Scenic Route, The Brink’s Job, Ecce Bombo, Get Out Your Handkerchiefs, The Wiz, Warriors Two, Attack of the Killer Tomatoes, The Toolbox Murders, Satyam Shivam Sundaram, The Avenging Eagle, Cornell, Warlords of the Deep (aka Warlords of Atlantis), American Hot Wax

Individual Ballots:

@Cinematic_Life (of This Cinematic Life):
An unmarried woman, days of heaven, dawn of the dead, last waltz, body snatchers, drunken master, animal house, Halloween, superman, Killer of Sheep

@salesonfilm (Kristen Sales of salesonfilm, Movie Mezzanine, FilmFracture, etc):

1) The Shooting Party, 2) The Deer Hunter, 3) In a Year of 13 Moons, 4) Jubilee, 5) Days of Heaven, 6) Autumn Sonata 7) Invasion of the Body Snatchers, 8) The Girl with the Red Scarf, 9) Interiors, 10) Dawn of the Dead

@DanSchnidel (of, Los Angeles Magazine, Movie Mezzanine, etc.):

@Kza (Kent. M. Beeson):

@astoehr (Andreas Stoehr of Pussy Goes Grrr, Movie Mezzanine, etc.):
Autumn Sonata, Dawn of the Dead, Days of Heaven, Empire of Passion, The Eyes of Laura Mars, Halloween, In a Year with 13 Moons, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Jubilee, Watership Down

@TVMCCA (Terry McCarty):

@bybowes (Danny Bowes of Salt Lake City Weekly, and Indiewire):

K.K Barrett (production designer of Her, Where the Wild Things Are, Being John Malkovich, etc.)
Days of Heaven, The Driver, Grease, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, I Wanna Hold Your Hand, Killer of Sheep, The Last waltz, Midnight Express, Autumn Sonata, Thank God It’s friday

@Cinedaze (Paul Anthony Johnson of Film-Philosophy, Popmatters):
1.Dawn of the Dead 2. Days of Heaven 3. Halloween 4. Invasion of the Body Snatchers 5.The Deer Hunter 6.Straight Time 7.Gates of Heaven 8.Piranha 9.The Silent Partner 10.The Fury

@railoftomorrow (Scott Nye, writer and podcast co-host at CriterionCast, etc.):
Days of Heaven, The Deer Hunter, Convoy, Superman, Halloween, Autumn Sonata, The Driver, Animal House, Dawn of the Dead

1. KILLER OF SHEEP 2. Les Rendez-vou d’Anna, the rest: Days of Heaven, Dawn of the Dead, The Driver, Halloween, Jubilee, Girlfriends, An Unmarried Woman, and Fedora

@cruyffbedroom (of the They Shot Pictures podcast and The Next Thing):

@FyodorFish (Mel Valentin of Next Projection,, etc.):
Days of Heaven, Dawn of t/Dead, T/Driver, Heaven Can Wait, Watership Down, Who’ll Stop t/Rain, Big Wed., Body Snatchers, Midnight Express, Superman.

@erikgregersen (Erik M. Gregersen):
Filming Othello, Days of Heaven, The Deer Hunter, Satyam Shivam Sundaram, Snake in the Eagle’s Shadow, Autumn Sonata, 36th Chamber of Shaolin, Green Room; Cornell, 1965; Warlords of Atlantis

@DeusExCinema (David Neary of Next Projection and Film Ireland):
Autumn Sonata, Days of Heaven, The Driver, The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith, Gates of Heaven, The Boys from Brazil, Capricorn One, Grease, Killer of Sheep, and The Last Waltz

36 CHAMBERS OF THE SHAOLIN, The DRIVER, Halloween, Killer of Sheep, A Wedding, Gates of Heaven, Days of Heaven, Coming Home, and the first hour of the Deer Hunter

Coming Home, Days Of Heaven, The Deer Hunter, Gates Of Heaven, The Last Waltz, An Unmarried Woman, Foul Play, Midnight Express, Autumn Sonata, Heaven Can Wait

@adamhopelies (Adam Batty, Lecturer and founder of Hope Lies At 24 Frames Per Second):
Passe ton bac d’abord, Dawn Of The Dead, Days Of Heaven, The Green Room. Blue Collar, Perceval le Gallois, The Fury, American Boy: Profile Of Steven Prince, Comment ca va?, Les rendez-vous d’Anna

@nrm1972 (Neil Mitchell, author of Carrie (Devil’s Advocates) and Film Co-ordinator for the Aus NZ Arts Festival):
Blue Collar, The Boys From Brazil, Dawn of the Dead, The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith, Long Weekend, Killer of Sheep, The Shout, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Midnight Express and Capricorn One

@AnneBillson (Anne Billson of
Halloween, Dawn of the Dead, The Fury, Big Wednesday, The Driver, Eyes of Laura Mars, Coma, The Silent Partner, Who Is Killing the Great Chefs of Europe?, Invasion of the Body Snatchers

@ChrisBeaubien (Christopher Beaubien of Cinelation):

@whynotanna (of Start Focus End):
36th Chamber of Shaolin, Coming Home, Dawn of the Dead, The Fury, Halloween, I Wanna Hold Your Hand, Magic, Martin, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Piranha

@Phil_On_Film: (Philip Concannon of Phil on Film, Little White Lies, Sight & Sound, etc):
10: Empire of Passion, 9: Fingers, 8: Pretty Baby, 7: The Fury, 6: A Wedding, 5: Autumn Sonata, 4: Killer of Sheep, 3: Blue Collar, 2: The Deer Hunter, 1: Days of Heaven

@dallasshaldune (TJ Duane):
Days of Heaven, The Deer Hunter, Autumn Sonata, Halloween, La Cage aux Folles, Interiors, Coming Home, Dawn of the Dead, Watership Down

@alexkittle (Alex Kittle of and 366 Weird Movies):
Grease, Halloween, The Inglorious Bastards, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Hooper, Boys From Brazil, The Wiz, Drunken Master

@oblongpictures (Chris Salt):
killer of sheep, body snatchers, autumn sonata, halloween, drunken master, my way home, despair, animal house, dawn of the dead

@48ONIRAM (Brian!):
Blue Collar, Dawn of the Dead, Days of Heaven, Halloween, Killer of Sheep, Midnight Express, The Last Waltz, 36th Chamber of Shaolin, Five Deadly Venoms, Gates of Heaven

@JigsawLounge (Neil Young of Neil Young’s Film Lounge):
1 The Shout 2 Invasion of the Body Snatchers 3 Halloween 4 Fingers 5 The Deer Hunter 6 Coma


@TheEndofCinema (Sean Gilman of The End of Cinema; The George Sanders Show, and They Shot Pictures podcasts):
1. Days of Heaven 2. The 36th Chamber of Shaolin 3. Perceval le Gallois 4. Renaldo & Clara 5. Killer of Sheep 6. Crippled Avengers 7. Dawn of the Dead 8. The Last Waltz 9. The Contract 10. Halloween


@toro913 (Miran Terzic):
days of heaven, invasions body snatchers, blue collar, straight time, preparez vos mouchoirs, 36 chambers, deer hunter, animal house, le chambre vert, an unmarried woman

@ME_Says (Murtada of ME Says):
Grease, Coming Home, Midnight Express, Death on the Nile, Deer Hunter

Dawn of the Dead, The Deer Hunter, Superman, Halloween, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Heaven Can Wait, Midnight Express

@bmrow (Brent Morrow):
1. Perceval 2. Crippled Avengers 3. Nighthawks 4. China 9, Liberty 37 5. 36th Chamber of Shaolin 6. Days of Heaven, 7. The Shout 8. Big Wednesday 9. An Unmarried Woman 10. Someone’s Watching Me!

@AntiqueiPod (Brett Pardy):
1 Days of Heaven 2 Killer of Sheep 3 Coming Home 4 Jubilee 5 In a Year with 13 Moons, 6 Gates of Heaven 7 The Tree of Wooden Clogs 8 Halloween 9 Superman 10 Piranha

@notjustmovies (Jake Cole of Not Just Movies, Movie Mezzanine, Slant, etc.):
1. Perceval le Gallois, 2. In a Year of 13 Moons, 3. Big Wednesday 4. Dawn of the Dead 5. Days of Heaven 6. Halloween 7. The Driver 8. Jubilee 9. An Unmarried Woman 10. Martin

@willow_catelyn (of Curtsies and Hand Grenades):

Dawn of the Dead, Days of Heaven, Halloween, Invasion of Body Snatchers, The Last Waltz, Animal House, Superman, A Wedding

@rosstmiller (Ross Miller of Thoughts on Film):
Days of Heaven, Halloween, Body Snatchers, Interiors, Dawn of the Dead, Superman, Grease, Midnight Express, Game of Death

@UnpluggedCrazy (Arlo J. Wiley of the Gobbledygeek podcast):
1. Autumn Sonata, 2. Superman, 3. The Last Waltz, 4. Dawn of the Dead, 5. The Rutles: All You Need Is Cash 6. Halloween, 7. Animal House, 8. Grease, 9. Within the Woods, 10. California Suite

1. Superman 2. Halloween 3. Dawn of the Dead 4. Autumn Sonata 5. I Wanna Hold Your Hand 6. The Last Waltz 7. Invasion of the Body Snatchers 8. The Deer Hunter 9. Grease 10. The Fury

@christinalefou (Christina Newland of Verite, Canvas by Grolsch, etc):
The Driver, An Unmarried Woman, Blue Collar, Girlfriends, Days of Heaven, Coming Home

@alexyoungen (Alex Youngen):
Killer of Sheep, Gates of Heaven, Days of Heaven, Always for Pleasure, American Boy, Empire of Passion, Debbie Does Dallas, The Mongreloid, Scared Straight!, Halloween

@derek_g (Derek Godin of Dim the House Lights and Sound on Sight):

1. Days of heaven 2. Grease 3. Heaven can wait 4. Thank god it’s Friday 5. Halloween 6. Superman, 7. The last waltz 8. The deer hunter 9. California suite 10. The buddy holly story

@Andrew_Bemis (Andrew Bemis of Cinevistaramascope):
Dawn of the Dead, Halloween, Days of Heaven, Killer of Sheep, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Superman, The Deer Hunter, Coming Home, The Last Waltz, The Fury

@awolverton77 (Andy Wolverton of Arts of Darkness):

@redroomrantings (Justine A. Smith, Chief Film Editor and podcaster at Sound on Sight):
1. Days of Heaven 2. Dawn of the Dead 3. Violette Noziere 4. Watership Down 5. Autumn Sonata 6. The 36th Chamber of Shaolin 7. Alucarda 8. Halloween 9. Invasion of the Body Snatchers 10. Satiemania

@ProphetKotto (Alex Megaro):
Gates of Heaven Days of Heaven Nighthawks Dawn of the Dead Despair Blue Collar Coming Home The Driver The Deer Hunter Alucarda

@SchmanthonyP (Brian Schmid):
Animal House, Chameleon, Convoy, Dawn of the Dead, Deer Hunter, Halloween, Perceval, The Shout, Superman, Vertical Features Remake

1. 36th Chamber of Shaolin 2. Halloween 3. The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith 4. Mongoloid 5. Days of Heaven 6. dawn of the dead 7. The Five Deadly Venoms 8. Filming ‘Othello’ 9. Deer Hunter 10. Toolbox Murders

@ohrachelleigh (Rachel Leigh of
autumn sonata, boys from brazil, death on the nile, la cage aux folles, heaven can wait, watership down, midnight express, the deer hunter, interiors, the shout

Days of Heaven, Autumn Sonata, Superman, Grease and Coming Home

@TaybackX (Ken Adams):

@Flixwise (Flixwise Podcast):

@ch_williamson (Chuck Williamson of The Missing Slate):

@cine_scope (Giovanni Battista of CineScope and The Metropolist)::
Days of Heaven, The Tree of Wooden Clogs, The Deer Hunter, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, My Way Home, Passe ton bac d’abord, Hypothesis of the Stolen Painting, Dawn of the Dead, Midnight Express, Violette Noziere

@oldfilmsflicker: (Marya Gates of Cinema Fanatic, creator of #AYearWithWomen)
Animal House, Days of Heaven, Every Which Way But Loose, GirlFriends, Heaven Can Wait, Autumn Sonata, Interiors, The Last Waltz, An Unmarried Woman, Watership Down

@timothyeraw (Tim Evans of Verite, CineOutsider and Grolsch Film Works):
Autumn Sonata, Interiors, Fingers

@HellOnFriscoBay (Brian Darr of Hell on Frisco Bay):
Always For Pleasure, In a Year of 13 Moons, Days of Heaven, Visions of a City, Mongoloid, The Mongreloid, Make Me Psychic, China 9 Liberty 21, Louder Faster Shorter, and Northern Lights

@thefilmtemple (Max B. O’Connell of The Film Temple, Indiewire)::

@BarnesOnFilm (Daniel Barnes of Sacramento News and Review):
Blue Collar; Coming Home; Dawn/Dead; Days/Heaven; Deer Hunter; Halloween; I Wanna Hold…; Interiors; Invasion/Body.., Superman

@CocoHitsNewYork (Conrado Falco of Coco Hits New York):
The Last Waltz

@jchristley (Jamie N. Christley):
1. Dawn of the Dead 2. The Driver 3. Perceval le Gallois 4. The Fury 5. Days of Heaven 6. Filming ‘Othello’, 7. Same Time, Next Year 8. The Green Room 9. Fedora 10. Who’ll Stop the Rain

@oohhangon (Steve Grzesiak):
1. The Driver 2. Dawn of the Dead 3. Long Weekend 4. Halloween 5. The Shout 6. Snake in the Eagle’s Shadow 7. Autumn Sonata 8. Invasion of the Body Snatchers 9. The 36th Chamber of Shaolin 10. Coma

@jodamico1 (of John D’
Dawn of the Dead, The Whole Shootin Match, The Last Waltz, Autumn Sonata, Days of Heaven, Silvesternacht, Straight Time, Halloween, Who’ll Stop the Rain, Blue Collar

@labuzamovies (Peter Labuza, Author of Approaching the End, host of The Cinephiliacs, contributor to Variety, etc.):
Fingers, I Wanna Hold Your Hand, The Driver, Always For Pleasure, The Fury, Days Of Heaven, The 36th Chamber of Shaolin, Halloween, Alexandria Why?, Girlfriends

@danny_reviews (Danny Adler of Danny Reviews):
1. Autumn Sonata 2. Interiors 3. Watership Down 4. La Cage Aux Folles 5. Boys From Brazil 6. Same Time Next Year 7. Animal House 8. Death On The Nile 9. Eyes Of Laura Mars 10. The Deer Hunter

Blue Collar, Dawn of the Dead, Days of Heaven, Doomed Love, The Driver, Killer Butterfly, Killer of Sheep, StarCrash, The Suspended Vocation, Thank God It’s Friday

1. Dawn of the Dead 2. Days of Heaven 3. The Last Waltz 4. Halloween 5. Killer of Sheep, 6. The Deer Hunter 7. Animal House 8. Coming Home 9. Empire of Passion 10. Invasion of the Body Snatchers

@christinarice (Christina Rice, author of Ann Dvorak: Hollywood’s Forgotten Rebel):
Up In Smoke, Corvette Summer, Every Which Way But Lose, Grease, Heaven Can Wait, I Wanna Hold Your Hand, Animal House, Same Time Next Year, Superman, Deer Hunter

@cinemasights (James Blake Ewing of Cinema Sights):
1. Days of Heaven 2. Watership Down 3. Invasion of the Body Snatchers 4. Dawn of the Dead 5. Halloween 6. The Lord of the Rings 7. Autumn Sonata

Gates of Heaven, Dawn of the Dead, Days of Heaven, The 36th Chamber of Shaolin, The Deer Hunter, Don, The Fury, Straight Time, The Tree of Wooden Clogs, The Driver

Killer of Sheep, Days of Heaven and Dawn of the Dead

Days of Heaven, Autumn Sonata, Dawn of the Dead, Halloween, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, La Cage Aux Folles, The Driver, Deer Hunter, Gates of Heaven, Superman

Dawn of the Dead, The 36th Chamber of Shaolin, Superman, Days of Heaven, Halloween, Blue Collar, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, The Deer Hunter, Koko: A Talking Gorilla, Five Deadly Venoms

Grease, Interiors, Fedora, Ecce Bombo and Gates of Heaven.

Watership Down, Days of Heaven, Killer of Sheep, La cage aux folles, The Deer Hunter, L’albero degli zoccoli, Autumn Sonata, Grease

Autumn Sonata, Days of Heaven, The Deer Hunter, An Unmarried Woman, Interiors, The Last Waltz, Midnight Express, Magic, Pretty Baby, Halloween

Blue Collar, Days of Heaven, The Driver, Halloween, Dawn of the Dead, The Fury, The Grapes of Death, Empire of Passion, and Paradise Alley

1. In Year with 13 Moons – 2. The Grapes of Death – 3. Dawn of the Dead – 4. Midnight Express – 5. Straight Time – 6. Killer of Sheep

Watership Down, Foul Play, Corvette Summer, Halloween, The Lord Of The Rings, Superman

Autumn Sonata / Pennies From Heaven (miniseries) / Days of Heaven / Empire of Passion / Dawn of the Dead / The Shout / Drunken Master / Daguerreotypes (disqualified; 1976 release)

10. Fedora (Billy Wilder) 9. An Unmarried Woman (Paul Mazursky) 8. Midnight Express (Alan Parker) 7. Empire of Passion (Nagisa Oshima) 6. Blue Collar (Paul Schrader) 5. The Driver (Walter Hill) 4. Autumn Sonata (Ingmar Bergman) 3. The Tree of Wooden Clogs (Ermanno Olmi) 2. The Deer Hunter (Michael Cimino) 1. Days of Heaven (Terrence Malick)

Criterionrefs (David Blakslee of Criterion Reflections):
Coming Home, Dawn of the Dead, Days of Heaven, The Deer Hunter, Five Deadly Venoms, Gates of Heaven, Interiors, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Up in Smoke, Watership Down

Halloween, Dawn Of The Dead, The Deer Hunter, Superman: The Movie, Days Of Heaven, The Driver, Straight Time, Who’ll Stop The Rain, California Suite, Big Wednesday.

Halloween, Days of Heaven, Dawn of the Dead, The Deer Hunter, Grease, Superman, The Cat from Outer Space

Grease, Halloween, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Animal House, Superman


Days of Heaven, Les Rendez-vous d’Anna, In a Year With 13 Moons, Killer of Sheep, Empire of Passion, Jubilee, The 36th Chamber of Shaolin, Animal House, Halloween, Up In Smoke

Travis Clark:
Interiors, Days of Heaven, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Dawn of the Dead, Gates of Heaven, The Silent Partner, Straight Time, Violette, The Deer Hunter, A Wedding

Niall McArdle:
1. Days of Heaven, 2. Animal House, 3. Superman, 4. Watership Down, 5. Capricorn One, 6. The Shout, 7. The Deer Hunter

Movie Maniac:
1. Halloween (John Carpenter), 2. Superman (Richard Donner), 3. Invasion of the Body Snatchers (Philip Kaufman), 4. Dawn of the Dead (George A. Romero), 5. Autumn Sonata (Ingmar Bergman), 6. The Deer Hunter (Michael Cimino), 7. The Demon (Yoshitarô Nomura), 8. Interiors (Woody Allen), 9. An Unmarried Woman (Paul Mazursky), 10. Midnight Express (Alan Parker)

Dan Heaton:
1. Days of Heaven, 2. Halloween, 3. Invasion of the Body Snatchers, 4. Dawn of the Dead, 5. Superman, 6. The Last Waltz, 7 Gates of Heaven, 8. Killer of Sheep, 9. Watership Down

Will Kouf:
Halloween, Dawn of the Dead, Superman, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Drunken Master, 36th Chamber of Shaolin, Snake in the Eagle’s Shadow, The Avenging Eagle

Amanda S (BFF):
Girlfriends, Drunken Master, Long Weekend, Grease

American Hot Wax, The Buddy Holly Story, California Suite, Corvette Summer, Heaven Can Wait, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, The last Waltz, Superman

Matt A. (boyfriend):
1. Halloween, 2. Dawn of the Dead, 3. Invasion of the Body Snatchers; Girlfriends, Grease, Animal House, Magic, Watership Down, Attack of the Killer Tomatoes, Thank God It’s Friday

Adam K (friend):
Autumn Sonata, Killer of Sheep