Top Ten By Year: 1969

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 weird notion of an objective best.  

Previous 1969 posts: 
New is the Now: Hollywood in 1969
What I’ll Remember About the Films of 1969: A Love Letter
Top Ten By Year: 1969 Poll Results

Previous Top Ten By Year lists: 
1935, 1983, 1965, 1943, 1992, 1978, 1925, 2005


10. The House That Screamed (aka La residencia) (Spain/Serrador) (available on Blu-ray/DVD from Scream Factory)

“None of these girls are any good… in time you’ll find the right girl… you need a woman like me!”

AIP’s American title and marketing for La Residencia (released in the States in 1971), one of only two films directed by Narciso Ibáñez Serrador, suggest something altogether more sensational and cliched than what it is: an eerie and mournful psychosexual pre-giallo tale of female repression (aka my favorite things). By confining the dangers of disappearing girls and bottled up libidos in a secluded boarding school, it looks forward to films like The Beguiled and Suspiria.

Led by strict Headmistress Fourneau (Lili Palmer), the girls live in a rigid authoritarian system built on manners and obedience. The film’s lifeblood is the tension of girls unable to be girls. Even the purpose of mandatory ballet is amusingly described as a distraction from “morbid thoughts”. They ache for release in so many ways. You see it when bedtime approaches and everyone is finally left alone with new arrival Teresa (Cristina Galbó). The door closes, and in an instant a flurry of excited questions and friendly chaos bursts forth. Their repression is best illustrated when the girls spiritually feel and hear the laughs and moans of the lucky student chosen to sneak away and fuck the one man that comes around every month. They ball up their yarn and thread their needles (god, I live for overt sexual symbolism), the non-diegetic sound uniting everyone as they work themselves up into a frenzy, reflected in their soft-lit lips, escalating editing, feverish yearning, and quickening actions.

There is a form of release for some. Headmistress Fourneau, too fearful to rule her students or young son (John Moulder-Brown) with anything but an iron fist, exercises her authority and the sadistic latent lesbian archetype (think a much more humanized Mercedes McCambridge) by forcing the misbehaved into her dungeon. She and the student elite, led by svelte sadist extraordinaire Mary Maude (with eyes like actual fire and a suit-like dress that visually evokes fascism), unleash themselves by flagellating their prisoner and leaving her to rot for a few days. This punishment is the known threat. But there is an unknown threat, because something else is making the students disappear….

The house may not be haunted but it’s critical to the film. The tour given in the opening act provides a need-to-know sense of geography that solidifies our sense of the space as the girls know it, while still withholding the house’s mysteries. Shooting with wide-angle lenses, the painterly production design (and costumes) are a gorgeous palette of burnt amber oranges and clay browns, earthy tones that suggest dormant passions. Each time the film’s trajectory seems apparent, the story surprises by zigging a little when you expect it will zag. Thirty minutes in, we suddenly begin following a character we have never seen. Our protagonist is suddenly…not our protagonist. Our evil teen tyrant shifts into a more investigative role. And while the twist is not hard to see coming, the shock of it still lands.

Films set in all-girl boarding schools are one of my movie kinks, and they don’t get better than this. La Residencia plays off its decade of voyeurism and Hammer’s period Gothic scares, and, with its predictive essence of giallo, slashers, and twist endings, telegraphs the long-term direction of European horror and beyond.
9. Psychout for Murder (Salvare la Faccia) (Italy/Brazzi) (only available to watch on youtube, no official release on any format)

“Don’t you realize I’ll destroy you like I destroyed all the others?”

If you are one of the few familiar with Psychout for Murder, you’ll understand the post-viewing impulse to learn everything possible about its phantom sphinx star, Adrienne La Russa. Born in New York, she starred in a couple of Italian films in the late 60s, and briefly appeared on “Days of Our Lives” in the 70s. She’s in The Man Who Fell to Earth, but I cannot find one photo of her from it to spur my memory. In the 1980s she was shortly, apparently, Mrs. Steven Seagal. Yet not one picture of them is on the internet. The few photos branded as the married couple are actually of Arissa Wolf, another former companion. No footage from her other work (outside of the Italian ones) or her soap opera stint exist on Youtube. At some point she left acting and went into real estate. It’s as if she existed only in 1969, not before or after.

In a just world, her Licia, an editorial Aphrodite for the flower child era, would be a pivotal female icon of the time. Each brandished look (you better believe there are many) exhibits head-to-toe consideration, with a precision reminiscent of early Jean Seberg. Everything about her is cleanly symmetrical: wispy columns of straight hair that would be a constant nuisance to anyone else, vulpine doe eyes framed by eyelashes so striking she makes me miss mine, and a slight overbite that suggests she could have been Sharon Tate’s younger sister. She dons mostly mini-skirts and frocks of loud prints and swirling patterns, accentuated with just the right number of gaudy accessories.

The joys of Psychout for Murder come from watching this fashionable fiend wreak havoc on those that wronged her. Within the first ten minutes she is sacrificed by her family in the name of business and sent to an insane asylum after her lover uses her a pawn with which to blackmail her tycoon father (played by Brazzi). Returning home to her unfeeling family, she sets out to slowly destroy them.

Licia is shown to be unhinged, sexual, child-like and childish. She has temper tantrums, prone to rip up and toss paper in the air, stomp on flowers, or angrily run around the family pool. She is mischievous. Her plans involve wind-up toys and she sets up her contraptions with deliberate focus and light-hearted joy. Licia is both infantilized and sexualized in reductive ways (the cut from Licia’s childhood dolls to her pleasuring herself with a showerhead) but La Russa owns every frame of this movie.

Psychout for Murder is often mislabeled as a giallo precursor. It’s more of a loose psychedelic frolic. Sprinkled throughout are non-linear montages cut together by Armando Giomini with the progressive discontinuous editing rhythms of the time, fusing past to present and projecting a sense of Licia’s anarchic mischief. These are set to various riffs of Benedetto Ghiglia’s main theme, a harpsichord melody that has the soothing sweep of a melancholic fairy tale. Since Licia draws out her payback with elaborate fake-outs and long cons, everything major happens in the first ten minutes and the last twenty. Mostly we follow Licia as she seduces, schemes, and acts out. There’s a layer of class satire with lots of going on concerning “the factory”, but I’m here for the vibes.

This has never had a video release of any kind. Hardly anything has ever been written about it outside of a few blog posts. But there is a great looking version of it on youtube. Please watch it, and thank me later.

8. Last Summer (US/Perry) (not yet available to stream, rent, or on home video. $$$ VHS or download your only bet)

“I am absolute ruler over your world”

No piece of fiction disturbs me more than Roald Dahl’s short story “The Swan”, which my unsuspecting kid self read at a very young age. In it, two boys mercilessly bully and torture another boy, menacing him at gunpoint in various ways before slaughtering a swan, tying its wings to him, and forcing him to jump off a roof. I tend to struggle most with stories that portray youth newly cognizant of their ability to inflict cruelty and exclusion on their peers. They turn me naïve and physically shaken, as if discovering for the first time the bottomless savagery people are capable of.

Last Summer is this kind of story. It’s a story of pretty people in a pretty place that uses the free spiritedness of the era to expose the inherent hierarchies of bored privileged youth. It is Lord of the Flies in heat. A trio of teens that bond during a summer on Fire Island are left to occupy the endless days while their parents booze and schmooze. The boys, Peter and Dan (Richard Thomas and Bruce Davison), are average in their unremarkable handsomeness and callous charm, full of the kind of constant arousal that is unpracticed and itching for rushed blunt release. And then there is Sandy (Barbara Hershey), the girl with a high IQ and no empathy. She yearns to test her the boundaries of her control, playing people off of and against each other, giving and teasing just enough of herself to keep those around her in worship. None of the characters are written or played as villains. They are always eerily and banally human.

Sandy shapes the trio’s bond as a self-made myth, full of secrets and rituals, unshakable loyalty and pacts, and the unfilled potential for group love. Early on, Frank Perry takes a carefree tone with a narrative ease common for the forward-thinking filmmakers of the time. The three are crowded into frames as a super-force, or given free rein to streak and splash across the beaches. And then along comes Rhoda (Catherine Burns).

The symbolic captured seagull the boys discover Sandy training, and Rhoda, a plump outsider desperate for inclusion but not afraid to stand up for herself and others, illustrate the consequences of resistance. Rhoda is pliable, because the trio make an enchanting entity (and she loves Peter), and there is nobody else around. But she is also obstinate, and they exact escalating prices of vulnerability and submission in exchange for fleeting moments of inclusion. This is a smart girl, pathetic only in how obvious her loneliness and awkwardness are. You get the sense that she would not hang around these three if she had other options besides solitude. But between the two she continues to willfully, and heartbreakingly, compromise herself (usually after initial refusal) in the hopes of being permanently accepted.

She lays herself bare, telling the story of her mother’s death (in a shattering one-take monologue by Burns), even confessing she once spit on her grave. For this she is given a ritual hair-washing. She becomes their project, training her (seagull parallel alert!) to swim, but they are aggressive and impatient about her fear of water. They use her to play a nasty prank on a Puerto Rican man that Sandy places even lower on the food chain than Rhoda. There is a limit to what Rhoda will do for them. Her stoicism at the film’s climax is powerful. Sandy can no longer shake or shock her. Tragically, this mobilizes Sandy to sic her faithful dogs on Rhoda, and she will exit the woods forever changed.

To this day Last Summer registers as an unflinching work (initially receiving the X rating, it is downright shocking when placed next to the beach parties, juvenile delinquency, or Disney films on the menu up to this point), exploring the nastier sides of sexual awakening and moral decay within adolescents. It is only available on a very expensive and rare VHS, its meager available visual quality help support the sense that it could be the hazy glow of Peter’s memories. It’s a dark and disturbing film precisely because these horrors emerge out of fun-loving montages, folk-pop tracks, and a wistful glow. It is a stark portrait of teenage ugliness masked behind sun-drenched faces.


7. That Cold Day in the Park (US/Altman) (available from Olive Films & Masters of Cinema)

“….do you think I’m lonely? I am, you know, but, um…I don’t think about it”

The year before Robert Altman hit the big time with MASH (which would be the third highest grossing film of 1970), he made That Cold Day in the Park, a critical and financial flop that tends to be filed as a “for completists only” dry run for the small but essential collection of films he would go on to make about female identity and/or madness (Images, 3 Women, Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean). It is easy to see why it was dismissed. It’s a beguiling film, and a great one. Its obliqueness actively rejects the molds one would otherwise ascribe to it. You could say it’s part of the psycho-biddy genre, or an aimless character piece typical of the late 1960s (think The Rain People), but it is neither. To the dissatisfaction of many, Altman actively eschews all threats of coded genre atmosphere, while the familiar archetype of unhinged Grande Dame is subverted and complicated by Sandy Dennis’s youth (though she fills the troubling Sexual Repression = Female Madness trope to a tee). A challenging and unnerving character study that burrows deep in the marrow, the film occupies a seldom approached space, not unlike Frances Austen’s (Dennis) apartment.

Sandy Dennis is remembered as one of the great eccentrics, both onscreen and off. Personified by vocal tics full of false starts and her New England yawp, she usually possesses a jumpy energy that threatens to sprint in different directions on a word-to-word basis (she was characterized by Pauline Kael as having “made an acting style of postnasal drip”). Altman said of her — “You don’t direct Sandy Dennis. You establish boundaries for your film and let her create the character freely within them”. And isn’t this the Altman dream? Doesn’t this describe the freeing collaborative space he was known for creating with, and providing for, actors?

The tension of That Cold Day in the Park comes from Dennis’s nervy energy being kept under an unshakable shroud of facial stillness, a cringy desperation and mounting awakening of her pitiable state of a life unlived. Altman uses this stillness as the crux he will shift and alter, viewing her through a multitude of warped reflections and off-kilter framings. Sandy Dennis’s tendency to defy age (she is 31 here) exposes Frances as a woman both too young and too old for her early thirties. Isolated by the circumstances of her class, temperament, and previous life as her mother’s caretaker, she is non-existent to the outside world, and alone and invisible (even more invisible in company) within hers.

Her instincts towards The Boy (Michael Burns) are that of a mother and a lover (the two dangerously meld and combust at the film’s climax). The Boy’s arrival triggers a desire she has no idea what to do with, and a suffocating awareness that the world outside and its individuals are permanently alien to her. The Boy himself is a curious leech, voluntarily mute. He is softly lit, his young undefined flesh and the fact of him as sexual being are emphasized throughout. Michael Burns has the expressive face of a trickster (you’ll find yourself saying “what a smug little shit he is”), helping to create a perplexing dynamic populated by observances, inquisitions, games, and anticipation, finding discomfort and suspense in apprehension and suppressed motivations.

She traps him in her trapped world. Her mental collapse is choreographed and performed as just legible enough, but ultimately elusive. But I love That Cold Day in the Park because I feel Frances in my gut. I understand her moment-to-moment in a way that feels intimate and rare. This never renders her simple or unchallenging; quite the opposite. The nuances in Sandy’s face are almost imperceptible but convey everything. She is so exposed and achingly untried we want to turn away but cannot. 1982 was the last year I did for this project and it finally got me to see Altman & Dennis’s other collaboration, Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean, which became a new favorite. I am happy to say the same goes for That Cold Day in the Park


6. Women in Love (UK/Russell) (DVD/Blu-ray available on Criterion)

“It was a complete experience. She’s a wonderful woman, but I hate her somewhere. It’s curious.”

Women in Love is one of the most primal films ever made about sex. It’s about bodies in relation to the pastoral, and plunging into the messiness of the natural, whether wheat, mud, water, grass, or snow. It is also about naked bodies and bodies entangled with one another. And it is a film about love. Spiritual love, emotional love, physical love, and the ways these often work against each other. These four characters have enough self-awareness to be crushed by their ultimately abstract philosophies and conflicting wants. It is about love, and decidedly not about romance.

Women in Love casts a spell in my inability to grasp its peculiarities and the psychologies defined by philosophies. Ken Russell’s filmmaking favors theatrical expressions of bombastic freedom and drawn-out cheekiness (oh, that fig!), momentarily getting at the fullness of these characters before they slip through his and our fingers. Make no mistake: he understands them. But his focus is on exploring ideas through a spectacle of creativity. Steady long shots are suddenly disrupted by crude handheld shots (the Gerald horse scene, the cattle, the sex scenes). The editing is so fluid, punctuated with sharp blunt cuts.

Always one to court controversy, Russell’s extreme instincts lie latent but unmistakable. It can be a jarring film, incredibly raw in its depiction of sex. There’s the wrestling scene (we’ll get there) but also other sexual encounters and explicit talk of sex, desire, and sexual acts that threaten to ignite the loins (“I want to drown in flesh. Hot, physical, naked flesh.”) Ken Russell was a risktaker in ways that left his films uneven. The latter half of Women in Love meanders, and tests our patience with our increasingly frustrating lovers. But all this is part of what makes them, and him, distinct.

Perhaps more than anything else, Women in Love is here because of Oliver Reed. I’ve written about him before but he is, to me, the most magnetic male screen presence there ever was or ever will be. Gerald’s doom is direct and transparent. He is physically different from the Gerald in the book, but he is the essence of the character, a “smiling wolf”, with a “strange guarded look…as if he did not belong to the same creation as the people about him”, with a “sinister stillness”, “the lurking danger of his unsubdued temper”, his blood seeming “fluid and electric”, etc etc. Who better to embody these qualities than Reed? There is a hushed tragedy to him here, and the dark animalistic sexuality he always embodies. His Gerald is heartbreaking; lost and coarse and unreachable.

I can’t end this any other way that discussing the justifiably famous wrestling scene. Nudity is par for the course, male nudity much less so. It’s not the existence of the nudity that shocks, but its thrilling and invigorating openness, and how the male nude body in motion is used to communicate a homoerotic connection that Rupert and Gerald are incapable of communicating and expressing any other way. Their fireside tumbling is a beautiful, sensual, animal, and cathartic thing. The same could be said for Women in Love.

boy 3

5. Boy (Japan/Oshima) (available on FilmStruck)

“I’m a cosmic messenger of justice!”

I admit I have a hard time engaging with Nagisa Oshima. His particular combination of stony remove, political purpose, and stylistic aggression often keeps me at bay. Boy has all of these things, but Boy is different.

Japanese New Wave filmmakers often turned their attention to the underbelly of post-war Japan, in this case a ripped-from-the-headlines family who survive by drifting from town to town, faking car accidents and scamming anxious dupes into out-of-court settlements. Boy is stark and sociopolitical to be sure, but it’s also a deeply felt and compassionate film. Its emotional devastation is achieved through its matter-of-factness. Forcibly kept from society so he can fulfill his life-risking family obligation of playing victim, Oshima commits to externalizing the alienation and distorted world the “Boy” (Tetsuo Abe) is brought up in. This approach gives us direct emotional access to the child. 

The family, consisting of a disabled veteran father, a stepmother, and infant named PeeWee, are themselves framed as societal outsiders. They can often be found shunted to the side, in the back, lurking around the edges, or confined from everyone and everything, even each other. Where other filmmakers might’ve used shallow focus to illustrate the separation between family and society, Oshima does the opposite. As the nomadic family travels all over Japan (eventually ending up in snowy Hokkaido) he wants to make sure we see the world they inhabit. Astonishing color Cinemascope compositions with a powerful depth of field suggest the slightly dulled blush of an old postcard. We feel the isolation because Japan is not abstracted.

Visually, the boy is even further splintered from this remove. The framing often separates him from his family. Even in shots where the family is blocked as one, the film isolates him with its narrative focus. We are afforded his interior experience and nobody else’s: perspective creates remove. And finally, he is isolated as he is formed by falsehoods and misdeeds. He is taught the monetary and emotional currency of lying because it feeds and houses them. Going through the make believe ruse of injury is the only way he can be cared for by his family. He talks to his little brother of aliens. He is not enrolled in school. He is loyal because there is nothing else to be. He is told his grandparents don’t want him. He is used as a pawn in the petty power plays between husband and wife. And so on and so on.

Oshima externalizes the boy’s alienation and upbringing as unearthly by using sight and sound to disorient us. Without warning the film stock will change. And without warning, the film stock will change back. Hikaru Hayashi’s score is essential. It uses the xylophone, horns, wood, and string instruments to create a slow scrawl of repetitive dissonance both unnerving and foreboding. It has a dread that reminded me of the score on the The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari DVD I grew up with. And its particular harshness reminded me of Jonny Greenwood’s score for The Master (also used to externalize a kind of post-war alienation).

A rare outburst of pent-up anger occurs when the boy destroys a snow mound he built for PeeWee. It represents the marriage of his escapist alien fantasies and his guilt over being responsible for the death of a young girl. The shot gradually drifts into slow motion, and a profound sense of poetry emerges. This scene demonstrates Boy as an unsentimental film capable of exhibiting surprising poignancy.

Within the worldview of Boy, the film does a radical thing by caring about him. Like Sandy Dennis in That Cold Day in the Park, he is alone even when he isn’t. His family doesn’t care for him. Society doesn’t care for him. But, in his most humanistic work, Oshima sees and cares for him. And now we see and care for him.


4. Cactus Flower (US/Saks) (available on DVD)

“Well…I am no sex goddess, but I haven’t spent my life up a tree!”

Cactus Flower is based on one of the sexless sex farce Broadway hits, common in the fifties and sixties, about the spousal trials and tribulations of a city cad in over his head with the women in his life (except the central conceit here is there is no spouse!). Cactus Flower is also one of Hollywood’s creaky attempts to demonstrate how contemporary they were after the studio system’s collapse, appealing to the broadest possible masses by folding the hippie lifestyle into old-fashioned films populated by seasoned icons.

Its vision of New York hippies is endearing. It reminded me of the way beatniks are portrayed in Bell, Book, and Candle, if perhaps a little less self-aware. There is a vibrant and brightly lit Greenwich Village record store called Stereo Heaven, and a happening club called The Slipped Disc that plays variations of “I’m a Believer”. Hippies are romanticized, and as represented by Toni (Goldie Hawn), full of unwavering ideals revealed as hopelessly naïve. Flower stickers too childish for a grade-schooler and a single psychedelic poster with the words “Flower Power” awkwardly adorn her apartment. There are lots of indoor sunglasses, amorphous dancing, and the frequent show-and-tell of beads.

The witty script and breezy, if not brisk, direction by comedic stage-to-screen expert Gene Saks give the film a leg up, but this should still have rendered it ultimately forgettable. Instead, Cactus Flower is a testament to the power of performers. The three leads, Walter Matthau, Ingrid Bergman (taking the role Lauren Bacall originated on the stage, in her first time on American screens in over a decade), and Goldie Hawn in her Oscar-winning debut, separately and collectively elevate this into one of the most charming and infectious romps ever made.

Nearly anyone else in Walter Matthau’s role as a scheming dentist and the film goes bust. He made a career out of playing inherently likable louses, paradoxically because it never seems like he gives a damn what we think of him.

You completely fall in love with Goldie Hawn’s daffy waif. Her eyes are so big and inquisitive you could fall into them, and her every word is overenunciated like a girl who just learned how to assert herself. As Toni’s screwy quest for a clean conscience becomes a series of earnest ultimatums, Hawn stakes her claim as the “It” girl of the era.

And finally, Ingrid Bergman. Who would have thought my performance of hers would be in a late career sex comedy? She fully inhabits Stephanie Dickinson, the frigid late-bloomer spinster, with no-nonsense comic timing, instilling equal parts deadpan conviction, wit, and longing. She is so clearly above the shenanigans she is pulled into. Watching her find vigor and agency within the scheming and outside of it is a privilege.

There’s also a fourth character played by a wannabe Jimmy Stewart type, but let’s not waste our time on him.

1969 films are chockful of extended dance scene detours, halting suddenly to give its characters room to groove. The many dated pleasures of Cactus Flower culminate in five of the most exuberant and joyous minutes in cinema, the dance scene to end all dance scenes! As Quincy Jones fills The Slipped Disc, all our players unknowingly convene on the dance floor. While Goldie’s cartoonish jives pre-date Martin Short by decades, Ingrid finally lets loose, absolutely glowing as she invents a new dance move called “The Dentist” and prances through the crowd with jolly abandon. It’s hard, yet increasingly necessary, to find things that exhibit and provide this kind of jubilation. This scene, and this film, do.

3. A Married Couple (Canada/King) (available on FilmStruck, Criterion Eclipse set)

“But what I really felt…was that I was really sorry that I said this morning that I loved you. I thought, you gotta be the biggest schmuck in this world”

Direct cinema, the fly-on-the-wall approach to documentary filmmaking developed and popularized in the 1960s (as well as legitimizing the documentary as theatrical experience), captures the hybrid of reality and truth that gets summoned into existence by a camera’s presence. A Married Couple puts us uncomfortably up close and personal in the lives of its subjects; husband, wife, friends of filmmaker Allan King, and new Toronto residents, Billy and Antoinette Edwards (plus son and dog). Nearly forty years before the reality TV era, King broke ground by peeking behind the curtain of domestic privacy that society at one time saw as sacred.

Inviting a camera into your home is an indulgent act. And Billy and Antoinette are indulgent people. Described by King as “lapsed bohemians”, this project presented an opportunity to participate in something wild and unconventional. The more you watch, the more it feels like a performative act of masochism. Unlike reality TV, the situations and scenarios here are not manufactured. But they are goaded on by the unspoken elephant in the room: if a camera is on you, you must provide material. There are times conversations or moments start stilted; you feel the couple warming up to the filming sessions (done with an unobtrusive barebones two-person crew) and trying to act natural. But once they get into it and things get ugly, as they so often do between these two, the reality of this marriage and its adjacent layer of performative awareness become inextricable.

A key scene shows an interpretive dance between the two set to The Beatles “A Day in the Life”. It’s a special moment in its communion and improvisation, but you can’t help but know deep down it wouldn’t exist if not for the camera. This does nothing to sully what we see; it enhances and helps define the film by considering what it means to share yourself with a camera.

King has been open about the limitations of presenting a decade-old marriage in ninety minutes, that the Billy and Antoinette seen are not the Billy and Antoinette of reality. But that’s precisely what makes the film so endlessly thought-provoking. Because documentaries, just like narrative features, are, brace yourself, full of deliberate decisions! What are we shown? What is the story being told? Out of the 70 hours of material shot, why were these scenes chosen, compressed, and arranged this way? Is there a specific truth or a sense of truth that Allan King is trying to reach? The result is exhaustingly spiteful, surprisingly funny (“Tough titty!”, “I’m going through a period where I’m destroying my feet”), and unbelievably engrossing.

We feel the familiarity and history within marriage that can’t be replicated, and we witness the toxic patterns between two individuals with very specific offenses and defenses, living through the advent of woman’s lib. We sit in on arguments all the more unsettling because you just know they’ve been over this shit a million times. Billy is kind of the worst; dismissive and condescending, often wearing only a pair of ghastly red briefs that will forever haunt me. Antoinette is sly, instigative, and persistent (I love her, her strengths and weaknesses, all of it, she is so entertaining and alive), stuck in the age-old conundrum of marriage that requires wifely submission and financial dependence that can be turned against her when she wants anything, be it a say or a harpsichord.

The loaded sexual, gender, and power dynamics just beg for endless discourse. Having lunch with a friend, Antoinette says that she needs strong men who put her in her place. The realization that she is superior to them, that they are “weak” and controllable, is the death knoll. She also says that she worshipped and looked up to Billy, who is over a decade older than her, and that when they married, he had never told her he loved her. She never felt wanted, turning self-loathing into exhaustive efforts to look better for him. She uses the threat of flirtations and flings against him on a semi-regular basis. Yeah, chew on all that.

Their son, the normality of their dysfunction, and that financial dependence keep her hanging on. Her only pastime seems to be riling up Billy so he can say something awful (which he always does very quickly), thereby inciting her actual anger and giving her something to do. The two laugh and are capable of sharing an array of positive moments, but it collapses so quickly (at least via the way the film compresses time) that it’s hard to find anything sustainable left between them. It’s abundantly clear Billy doesn’t respect her as an autonomous other half.

Coming in at the tail end of their union means we only get glimmers and hindsight into what once was. And thanks to Allan King, we are compellingly thrown into the deep end of what’s left.


2. Femina Ridens (The Laughing Woman) (Italy/Schivazappa) (DVD from Shameless)

“I’ll give you any wild order I desire and you would obey me, won’t you?” “Yes”

There’s nothing like the blue moon instance you discover a new DNA film. Those few films that help define you; that appeal, speak, and connect on a level that can’t be quantified. More than anything I’ve seen in years (the last time this happened was seeing Valley of the Dolls 3 years ago), Femina ridens is that film for me. It syncs up in every conceivable way with my sensibilities and interests, with the things I jive with and am drawn towards.

It’s a wickedly bizarre and outrageous treat that could only have been made in Italy in the late 60s. It falls into the “Continental Op” category, films of the late 60s and early 70s defined by highly stylized retro-futuristic production & costume design, encapsulating the era’s various modes of pop art, mod, camp, kitsch, and psychedelia. Dr. Sayer (Phillipe Leroy) has a Space Age Bachelor Pad. A reproduction of Niki de Saint Phalle’s “Hon-en katedral”, a funky sculpture of a woman’s bottom half, is used for a cartoonish vagina dentata metaphor (have I mentioned how much I love overt sexual symbolism?). Between this and a feline web-weaving dance scene primed for Tarantino apeing, Femina ridens is full of surface pleasures all the better because they couldn’t belong to any other film.

Its deliciously perverse battle of the sexes is less a battle and more a sly transfer of power (but of course it’s more complicated than that). The Sadean sexploitation of it all is bracketed by all sorts of artificial fantasy, from its absurdist execution to Dr. Sayer’s over-the-top misogyny to what we learn of our two protagonists. It openly tries to grapple with the growing self-sufficiency of women in a narrative switcharoo that satisfyingly attempts to have its cake and eat it too. Its quasi-feminist slant is amusing, constructed within a world of utter outrageousness and executed with a ruthless triumph. The whole thing feels like Kubrick Goes Kinky(er). It’s hard not to think of A Clockwork Orange with the cheeky deviousness of its perils and the lady-leg prominence of their production designs.

The film uses tone as its playground, its chameleon-like playfulness supported and made possible by Stelvio Cipriani’s flexible and ultra-cool lounge score, filled with the ethereal bossa sounds so common in the era’s Italian scores. The threat and act of torture looming over many scenes, and Dagmar Lassander’s (who I want to see in everything now) attempt to escape Savoy’s summer estate, could be from a horror film. When sex is imminent, it is shot like a Spaghetti Western showdown (eye close-ups abound). One later section feels like a breezy romance, with smiles, skipping, and a composition you’d mistake for being in a Wes Anderson film. It’s all of these things while refusing to be any of them. It’s an outrageously stylish, alarming, groovy, psychological, zany, S&M flick that has left me out of ways to profess my love that don’t involve drooling and listing an endless string of adjectives.

1. Funeral Parade of Roses (Japan/Matsumoto) (available from Cinelicious & Eureka)

“What a mix of cruelty and laughter”

After watching Funeral Parade of Roses I stated, in a typical display of twitter hyperbole, that “movies peaked with this movie”. Yet there may be some truth to this. Thanks to its 4K restoration/release in 2017, this mammoth work from the Japanese New Wave is being discovered more than ever. Watching Toshio Matsumoto’s radical and anarchic avant-garde smorgasbord, it’s hard not to mourn how formally safe today’s films are, even when they strive not to be. Matsumoto crafts something like an unsullied document, borne from within its Tokyo LGBT underground scene (with overlap from neighboring hippie avant-garde cliques), incorporating a documentary flavor with its extensive street footage and meta-layers (a sex scene finishes filming, actors are interviewed about the parts they play and the lives they live, pre-dating Centre Stage by decades).

I’ve never felt cinema as alive and vital as it does here, with its “fearlessness on mixing registers” and “libidinous intensity” (Film Comment, Jonathan Romney). It shows a specifically Japanese gay and trans subculture, defined in refreshingly messy and culturally specific ways. And Peter, playing “gay-boy” Eddie, is a stunning star cut from Warholian cloth, capturing the interiority and disassociation of one whose past looms large over the entire film, beckoning our Oedipus Rex towards inevitable doom. It is at once dense and playful, reinventing itself every minute even as it weaves back through elliptical images and text. It is both immersive and probing, fusing pop art, farce, horror, erotica, and comic book sensibilities through an inviting and provocative avant-garde lens. It is propelled by an untamed punk spirit, unleashing the medium’s rarely seen range when freed of formality and convention.

Complete List of Films Seen in 1969: (bold = first-time viewing/italic = rewatch)
99 Women, Army of Shadows, The Arrangement, The Babysitter, “Bambi Meets Godzilla”, Barbara the Fair with the Silken Hair, The Big Cube, Black Rose Mansion, Blind Beast, Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice, Boy, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Cactus Flower, Camille 2000, “Carrots and Peas”, Cemetery without Crosses, Check to the Queen, The Comic, The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes, The Cow, The Cremator, Daddy’s Gone A-Hunting, The Damned, Downhill Racer, Easy Rider, Eye of the Cat, Femina Ridens, Funeral Parade of Roses, Une femme douce, The Girl from Rio, Go-go second time virgin, Goyokin, Hello Down There, Honeycomb, The House that Screamed, Invocation of my Demon Brother, The Italian Job, Kes, Last Summer, Law and Order, Le grand amour, “Lemon”, The Love God?, The Mad Room, A Married Couple, Medea, Medium Cool, Me, Natalie, Midnight Cowboy, Mississippi Mermaid, Model Shop, Mr. Freedom, My Night at Maud’s, One on Top of the Other, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, Paranoia, Paint Your Wagon, Pit Stop, Portrait of Hell, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, Psychout for Murder, Putney Swope, The Rain People, Several Friends, The Sterile Cuckoo, Sweet Charity, Take the Money and Run, Temptress of a Thousand Faces, That Cold Day in the Park, They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?, Topaz, Une femme infidelie, Venus in Furs, What Ever Happened to Aunt Alice?, The Wild Bunch, “Winnie Pukh”, Women in Love


New is the Now: Hollywood in 1969

Previous 1969 Posts:
What I’ll Remember About the Films of 1969: A Love Letter
Top Ten By Year: 1969 Poll Results

The following is largely about Hollywood in the late 60s. Obviously I would’ve liked to be more inclusive, and there was so much more happening around the globe, but most of what I read and researched for this year was Hollywood-centric. My observations in the What I’ll Remember post cover a lot more geographic territory. And my Top Ten write-ups will feature films from Japan, Spain, Britain, and Italy.

Medium Cool1
Medium Cool

American cinema was embarking on a self-reflexive era. For indisputable proof, look no further than Haskell Wexler’s Medium Cool, which aims to reflect the seismic social and political upheaval of late 1960s America. A loose tapestry of documentary and fiction (documentary and fiction walk past each other in the above photo), the film employs cinema verite techniques to position us in the eye of the storm. It openly speculates on the camera’s function. What is the inherent power of the images that artists and journalists choose to use? What is their responsibility in using those images? What should film do? Who should film represent? Because it turns out we can’t trust “them” to speak for us; we must speak for ourselves. Hollywood had, until this point, a history of reflecting its values through romanticized fantasies of glamour or conformity. Now, the question and the quest, for producers looking to bank and directors looking to express, had gradually become about authentic reflection. As we will see, this quest would be short-lived. But for a brief time, in the uncertain chaos of the very late 1960s and very early 1970s, “’different’ had become a genre” (Mordden, 155).

The candid recognizability of the images onscreen were still relatively new to audiences. Slowly but surely, they were beginning to see characters question and defy their place within social, sexual, and political norms; not on studio lots, but out there, in the US of A. It was as divergent and turbulent a time as there ever has been in American history. Authority had become openly suspect. Sudden acts of violence and countless flash cuts mirrored the times, where assassinations, riots, and Vietnam, had birthed widespread disillusionment. Movements and activism of all kinds were everywhere, from Civil Rights to campus and anti-war protests, to second wave feminism and environmentalism. It was during this period, between 1967 and 1971 (but most unmistakably from 1969-1970), that the main impetus of American filmmaking could be found in a genre-free ennui, a search for the real (but still white) America in countercultural youth and aimless adults. Film was no longer seen as “normative above all”, but as “an agent of transformation…defiant of the ruling interests” (Mordden, 241).  Cinema is always behind the present. For Hollywood, this goes double. It had long been clear that spectacle and escapism, at least the kinds they’d been making, had temporarily reached their expiration dates. Audiences were now clamoring to look inward. The industry was in dire straits, its very survival dependent on catching up with the revolution and connecting with the now-dominant youth demographic. And in 1969, this key transitional year, before the counterculture burns out and evolves into something less trippy and more hopeless, they kind of do.


Above: Jane in her debut feature, Tall Story (1960). Below: Jane at the end of the sixties (in the thirties) in They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? (1969)

It’s difficult to grasp the cultural and financial shift that took place in Hollywood during the sixties (for an idea of what was happening in the movies, try tracking Jane Fonda, Warren Beatty, or Natalie Wood). Hollywood was at the bottom of the pack in pinpointing what was cool and modern. World cinema, if you’ll excuse the blanket term, was coming off of, but not cooling off from, a “furious springtime” (as described by Cahiers du Cinema in 1967), well-entrenched in a myriad of trends, waves, innovations, transgressions, and modish cultural impact. Throughout the 1950s and 60s, there were more moviegoing options, more regular exposure to international imports and independent productions (I Am Curious (Yellow) and Z are the 11th and 13th highest grossing film of 1969). The Bonds, the Blowups, the Beatles. That is where it was at. And besides, the myths and legends of the sixties were primarily borne from music, not film. Music accounted for the tastemakers, the time markers, the dignitaries.

Younger generations both escapist and rebellious were fueled by drugs, free love, music, and anti-establishment philosophies. But the energy of the free love lifestyle was already starting to exhibit the slightest signs of waning. Brains would soon be fried from psychotropic tripping, and it turns out the sexual revolution carried with it all the hypocrisies, misogyny, and manipulations of “the system”, just under the guise of liberated ideology. The pervasive bloodshed and destruction of the era had been injected into hippiedom and the entertainment sphere with Charles Manson and Altamont. These happened far too late in the year to be reflected in film. But on top of all the killing that came before, and the barrage of icons about to drop drop dead and form the ’27 club’, the comedown had begun.

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Star! (1968), just one of many very expensive flops costing the studios (20th Century Fox in this case) more than they had to spare

Meanwhile, Hollywood was consumed with dragging itself out of an inherited recession. Hard lessons with no solutions were passed down from the outdated Old Guard to the outdated New Guard. It had been a decade of declining audiences (attendance was down 40% from already the meek 1965 turnout), annual losses, conglomerate buyouts, and the abysmal failure of an all-in strategy of overinvesting in bloated epics and roadshow musicals. Industry-wide unemployment ran as high as 80% and almost every studio was posting significant annual losses. The new owner of MGM even went so far as slashing their staff in half and auctioning off countless priceless ephemera from movie history in the hopes of making up for a 1969 loss of $35 million. The way of the future pointed towards two new objectives; first, realign focus to distribution and finance, allowing independent producers to be contracted. International co-productions were now common, and it was increasingly hard to say which country some films called home. Second, to capitalize on the oversaturated industry buzzword of the time, the phrase on everybody’s lips: “the youth market”.

The new studio heads were desperate. Jack Valenti had recently reported that 65% of audiences were under 24 (Ramaeker). In the 1960s there was growing awareness that ‘The Audience’ was a multifaceted and influential entity. And the colossal hits of Bonnie & Clyde and The Graduate signaled a sense of the “now”, films defined by anti-establishment or existential ethos, and a provocative point-of-view. Sure, some old-fashioned films were still making bank, but their bloated budgets meant that even hits were often still losses. And winners like The Love Bug and Oliver!, assessment of quality aside, didn’t exactly electrify the atmosphere.

It was time to ditch the mega-productions and invest in small and personal films shot on-location. Only 16 of the 72 films in production by major studios in 1969 were shot on sound stages (Ramaeker). These new films would be entrusted to up-and-coming directors, or auteurs du jour; those who could bring a more authentic voice and intimate vision to the screen. Dennis Hopper. Paul Mazursky. Frank Perry. Michael Ritchie. Francis Ford Coppola. Arthur Penn. Haskell Wexler. Break through the divide by letting the storytellers shape and tell the stories. Invest in promising filmmakers interested in working within conventional moviemaking yet also looking to disrupt, rebel, defy, and challenge authority. Remarking on this strategy, Orson Welles observed that Hollywood “needs youthful hands to guide her. The trust is rather touching, slightly ridiculous, and very hopeful for the future of American movies” (Welles). The timing of this worked particularly well because most of the major censorship battles had been fought in the 1950s and 1960s. After a decade of films both stateside (The Pawnbroker, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?) and beyond (Blowup, Victim, countless others) challenging censors, there was a much freer range of the kinds of stories that could be told and the kind of content that could be shown. A fascinating paradox was taking hold. As Hollywood became folded into the larger corporate food chain, the industry itself adopted a much smaller and altered focus. In short, Hollywood was being run by syndicates and hippies.

Lana Turner in The Big Cube (1969)

By 1969, Hollywood is at its starkest cross-section of the past and present. Going from film to film can cause whiplash, yet it all feels so distinct you could never mistake it for any other year. It’s as if the remnants of old and new are but particles in the air, thrumming with a strange kinetic dullness often at odds with itself, about to realign in some still-forbidden form. This old-new concoction often presents itself in quaint and awkward ways. LSD pictures are populated with aged stars like Jackie Gleason, Lana Turner, and Groucho Marx. Overblown productions still linger as ‘No Name City’ is entirely constructed to adapt a stodgy musical, refurnished with polygamy and hip stars (Paint Your Wagon). Hippies are to Cactus Flower what beatniks are to Bell, Book and Candle: harmless and amusing caricatures. The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie looks and feels old-fashioned but is actually about the dangers of romanticizing. Bob Fosse throws everything he can think of at Sweet Charity, but for every spirited stylistic device, it still feels safe for sticking with the musical’s regressive re-imagining of Charity’s line of work. True Grit saw the mythic simplicities of Western iconography still demanding attention. Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice advertises open marriages and orgies, but shows that propelling yourself into a progressive lifestyle in order to be “with it” can just force you into another set of constraints. These components of old and new had been detectable before this, (Valley of the Dolls is, more than any film I’ve seen, the example of Hollywood’s inner conflict at the end of this era), but by 1969 the new was starting to win.

Many films during this era broadly fall in categories of Daring or Tame (not also known as Good or Bad). There’s tame: Elvis in his final year of film performances with Charro!, Change of Habit, and The Trouble with Girls. There’s daring: the raw and angry satires of Mr. Freedom and Putney Swope. There’s tame: scandalous yet digestible schlock thrillers and Grande Guignol leftovers Eye of the Cat, The Mad Room, What Ever Happened to Aunt Alice?, and Daddy’s Gone A-Hunting. There’s daring: the oppressive hopelessness and monstrosities of They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? and The Damned. There’s tame: the tedious teeny-bopper boredom of Hello Down There and The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes.

The Wild Bunch (1969)

The seeds of the hypermasculine cinema “that would dominate the indefinite future” were also being planted during these years (Kennedy, 125). The most meaningful romances and bonds were now between men. Joe and Ratso in Midnight Cowboy. Butch and Cassidy. Wyatt and Billy. Enter the listless and/or bastard hero, and examinations of “the masculine arts of war, crime, and meditations on violence” (Kennedy). The Wild Bunch would shock with its barbarism and allegorical use of vicious violence. Model Shop saw Gary Lockwood cruise around Los Angeles, completely adrift as a man of his time. The list goes on. The women’s picture, long essential in previous decades, had been largely phased out. There are certainly plenty of exceptions of men, and women, making female-centric films in the New Hollywood. 1969 has Francis Ford Coppola’s The Rain People, with Shirley Knight speaking directly to dissatisfied married women everywhere when she abruptly abandons her life, explaining to her husband on the phone “I used to wake up in the morning and it was my day, and now it….it belongs to you”. But notably, the year accurately foreshadows a decade of emphatically male disillusionment. Not unlike the protagonists of Britain’s relatively recent kitchen-sink dramas, the cruelty and callousness of men was used to signal challenging character psychologies and insights into the human condition.

Cruelty was becoming its own language, for both characters and creators, everywhere. A girl is bullied and ultimately raped in the woods by her peers in Last Summer. They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? shows the impoverished as sideshow entertainment during the Depression. A hedonistic Aryan beauty ascends to power by forcing himself, and suicide, on his mother in The Damned. On Her Majesty’s Secret Service leaves Bond in a rare pitiless place of sudden loss. In Boy, a young son is visible to the adult figures in his life only when they need him to risk everything, so they can con and dupe. The kestrel that has given young Billy purpose and connection is unceremoniously killed and dumped in the trash in Kes. Carroll Baker, the main character of Paranoia, is heartlessly tossed off a ledge as if she were the trash. A maniacal cremator systematically slaughters his family in the name of his new love; Nazism (The Cremator). In documentaries, marriage and the law are shown as unsafe structures as a couple play at misery and passive-aggression in A Married Couple, and police have so little shame they openly assault and brutalize people of color in Law and Order in the known presence of a camera. Gang-rape, suicide, and murder populates the high-rise agony of Go-go Second Time Virgin. A captive and captor amputate themselves to death in order to feel something, anything, in Blind Beast.

Characterization had started to take the form of unknowable-as-depth. Robert Redford in Downhill Racer (and his other Michael Ritchie collaboration, The Candidate) is uncharacteristically cold, but this unreachability often registers as female. Shirley Knight in The Rain People. Glenda Jackson in Women in Love. Sandy Dennis in That Cold Day in the Park. Catherine Deneuve in Mississippi Mermaid. Dominique Sanda in Une femme douce. The post-Belle de Jour remove of bourgeois forbidden desire is represented by Haydée Politoff in Check to the Queen. We are made to be at once closer and farther from characters. Closer because there is heightened interest in weaving character subjectivity into the very fabric of a film. Farther because in trying to grapple with human complexity or the senselessness of the times, characters are often made into ciphers who challenge our ingrained sense of straightforward character motivations. In Check to the Queen we often get lost in Politoff’s S&M fantasies, drifting with her to the recesses of her mind. We’re closer. But she is blank, impossible to read from the outside, and a puzzle to us and those around her. We’re farther.

Pit Stop (1969)
The Babysitter (1969)

Throughout the late 1950s and 1960s, unchecked and in plain sight, the B-movie was revolutionizing moviemaking. It had long been a second feature and staple of the children’s matinee until the early 60s when maverick filmmakers started mining its potential for low-risk experimentation. Young upstarts using bare bones resources, and mind-expanding drugs, learned and honed their craft, and other adjacent creative facets, simply by going in and getting their hands dirty. These films were “nonconformist thus virtuous” and possessed a vitality regardless of their wide range of quality (Mordden). During the 1960s, low-rent genre fare had a relatable sleaze that you couldn’t, and weren’t, seeing elsewhere. It was relatable because it dared to exist. And in this time, in this medium, recognizable is revolutionary. It is here you find Jack Hill’s Pit Stop. A film with admittedly grander aspirations than the average b-film, it is the existentialist picture of 1969. Made for very little, and under the skids and screeches of a racing film (pair it with Speed Racer for something opposite in tone but similar in theme), a greaser loner careens through Figure-8 tracks while in danger of losing himself to ambition, the racetrack, and capitalism. It’s thrilling and intimate, inarguably on-the-level, and fucking cool. For every Pit Stop, there are ten The Babysitter’s, a sleazy exploitation film about a nymphomaniac babysitter with motorcycle gangs, blackmail, lesbians, nude go-go dancing, garage bands, and suggestive taco-eating. But even a cheapie like The Babysitter is alive and inventive. Tasteless, yes. But also, a lot of fun.

America was getting used to the salacious. Between the B-movie and the 1,000-plus arthouse cinemas across the country, sex had become a semi-fixture of controversy. The need for guideposts was unmistakable when in 1968, the Motion Picture Association of America implemented the rating system. And thus, the X-rating, the mark of smut, was born. Court rulings over the years had opened the door for “nudie cuties” and “roughies”, and by this time, sexploitation was here to stay. Abroad, sadomasochism was becoming a taboo of choice for titillation and exploration. Radley Metzger (with his Audubon Films production company), Russ Meyer, Jess Franco and the like, were thriving. Softcore tropes, like bodies and faces passively and awkwardly rubbing up against each other, groovy tunes, and casual sex-less nudity, would give way to the more explicit pornography boom of the 1970s. But for now, sex is graphic because it’s casual and somewhat newly capable of being the very reason a film exists. More critically, “it’s when the commercial start to authenticate the breaking of taboos then you know the times are changing”, and that is exactly what was happening in 1969 (Mordden, 44). Perhaps this is why the sudden cut to Pamela Franklin’s breasts, in an extended scene in broad daylight, as she poses nude for her teacher in The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie feels more sexually transgressive than anything I watched from 1969 (save Women in Love’s primal openness). After all, “the controversial films are controversial because they are not trash”; they are “cultural touchstones in the making, a hint of the future, where things are going” (Mordden).

Before addressing the new look and various techniques of the Hollywood film, let me talk a little bit about two types of film elsewhere. ‘Elsewhere’ deserves way more attention than I can give it here. It’s admittedly much easier to focus on American cinema because it is in such a critical fascinating moment during this time.

“The Continental Op” film: In 2012 Tim Lucas, co-founder of the recently deceased Video Watchdog, coined this issue 168. He is, to my knowledge, the only one to bring together, define, and consider these films as a collective group. In watching films from the mid 1960s to early 1970s, you may encounter one overtaken by abstract or highly stylized retro-futuristic production & costume design, encapsulating the era’s various modes of pop art, mod, camp, kitsch, and psychedelia. A film that “belong to the past yet looks forward to a future that never happened”, that seems “poised on the very cusp of insanity – but a fine madness” (Lucas, 17, 18). This is the “Continental Op” film. These garish artificial trappings were rarely present stateside (1965’s The 10th Victim is a rare example). It was too conceptual, too aesthetically cartoonish, and the total opposite of the realism American cinema was striving for. This was exclusive and unattainable hyper-mod. In Camille 2000, characters fuck and lounge on inflatable furniture and have a high-concept prison party orgy filled with gold foil interiors and themed attire to match. A pop-art fashion line and boutique in London called “Mr. Freedom” was inspired by William Klein’s anti-war superhero satire. Femina Ridens features a reproduction of Niki de Saint Phalle’s “Hon-en katedral”, used for deliciously blunt metaphor. Check to the Queen showcases stars Haydée Politoff and Rosanna Schiaffino in dozens of costumes, each more opulent or wacky than the next. The Continental Op is one of my new favorite subgenres. It’s an approach that could, and did, crop up anywhere, from giallo to sexploitation to comedy to spy capers, linked across the globe by their geometric abstractions, turning poor taste into chic irony, and the near-guarantee of boobs and kitsch. This was en vogue surface-as-purpose. Dive into a world that is extravagant and indulgent, with haute couture that characters don as if they were prêt-à-porter. While tricky to define and link, and with many films of the time that fit this in spirit but only in spirit, there is immediate recognition when watching one. They have the best music, the best fashion, the best women, the best production design. They are moving pop art, films that construct their identities by committing to the kind of in-camera pizzazz that no longer exists.

Funeral Parade of Roses (1969), having a “Continental Op” moment

During this time, Japan possessed the world’s wildest cinema. By 1969, they are far into a unique and radical New Wave. The sixties saw modern Japanese filmmakers moving up in the studios in the 1960s, breaking free and rejecting austerity and convention for heavily political or stylistic postwar tales, collectively tackling taboos with brazen abandon. Color filters and film stock shifts were common. There is a focus on scavengers and fringe members of society. Disquieting sexual and violent content were par for the course. These films could be deliberately hostile or aggressive in their mix of visual anarchy and politics. Anything could, and should, be possible. Funeral Parade of Roses demonstrates this boundless energy best, using ellipses as a throughline to reinvent itself every minute, employing farce, horror, and avant-garde techniques in its depiction of Tokyo’s gay underground from the inside looking out. Other key Japanese New Wave films from 1969 include Boy, Diary of a Shinjuku Thief, Go-go second time virgin, Eros Plus Massacre, Double Suicide, and Aido: Slave of Love.

Between the low-budget freedom of the B-movie, and directors like Arthur Penn (particularly with Mickey One), Richard Lester (particularly with his American feature Petulia), and Mike Nichols popularizing and adopting various art cinema techniques throughout the 1960s, the rulebook on American movie aesthetics was gradually being rewritten. Counterculture ennui and the transcendence of drug use were being fused with an elusiveness. Film had started to feel and look different. I like to think of this era (1967-1971) as a demo run of New Hollywood’s final form. Taut running times and conventional pacing are upended. Now films would float and glide, meander and explore (see: Model Shop). They hang out. Scenes often end abruptly. Fantasy and reality are blurred. Flashbacks have no visual coding; they are now imperceptible unpunctuated flashes. New trends of all kinds are becoming standardized, many already established elsewhere, include “subjective realism, documentaristic camerawork, discontinuous editing, abstract stylistic effects, restricted and elliptical narration, and depth of narration” (Ramaeker). This dogged effort for realism is often achieved with French New Wave devices that call attention to form. For most of these young filmmakers, realism meant scrapping the invisible edit. Endings are often unresolved or downtrodden.

The Arrangement (1969)

Elia Kazan’s The Arrangement is a key text of 1969. Kazan, adapting his own novel about an ad-exec having a mid-life crisis, tries to stay up-to-date by cluttering his film with stubbornly mercurial editing patterns & an incoherent mish-mash between past and present, reality and fantasy. The Arrangement is one of these more common “digressive narratives built around goal-less characters” about people who feel alienated by society, or their successes or failures; people in defiance of authority, looking for meaning and identity (Ramaeker). It can read, within The Arrangement and beyond, as alternately invigorating and trying.

Images were just beginning to look soft and grainy, the aesthetic of 1970s cinema; a New Look for the Real America. Cinematographic trends developing around this time include hand-held camerawork, the ever-present zoom, long lensing, desaturation, fewer lights, illusions of “natural” lighting, and chemical film stock processes as “pushing” and “flashing”. The Kodak 5254 was introduced in 1968, proving critical for location shooting because it allowed for a reduction in lighting equipment.

Easy Rider (1969)

The counterculture art film was having its short-lived heyday. Little did Hollywood, or these young auteurs, know that a few rebellious hits did not a trend make. Some were already calling bullshit on this trend. A Newsweek piece “quoted Dustin Hoffman, Arthur Penn, and Alan Pakula to the effect that studio-produced counterculture movies often coddled the young and their fantasies, simply substituting new myths for old” (Ramaeker, 110). Audiences wouldn’t be interested for long either. These largely forgotten films would prove too elusive, too similar, too formless. Audiences needed genre. They needed structure. A hook besides a reflection of the times they lived in.  Andy Warhol said it best with “Too much sixties and not enough story”. Easy Rider ended up being to the counterculture film what Broadway Melody of 1929 was to the revue film of the early talkie era. Every studio gave rush greenlights to multiple counterculture art films. But within a couple of years many of these youth-oriented, or campus revolution, projects would be cancelled.  In 1972, Variety accused Easy Rider and Alice’s Restaurant of spawning 23 flops. It was actually the unknowingly prescient Bonnie & Clyde that best reflected the next decade of American filmmaking, and the main momentum of the coming Hollywood Renaissance: the art-genre film. These were films that synthesized commercial genres (gangster, musical, noir, etc) with the subjective and aesthetic tools and lax censorship influenced by European cinema, and established in American cinema, during roughly 1967-1971. But in this uncertain and charged period of reinvention, “different” was the genre. Characters were out there on the land and on the streets, finding themselves. We followed as they danced, fucked, hallucinated, and failed. Soon it wouldn’t be enough, but for the time being, new was the now.

  1. Mordden, Ethan. Medium cool: the movies of the 1960s. New York, Alfred A. Knopf, 1990.
  2. Kennedy, Matthew. Roadshow! the fall of film musicals in the 1960s . New York, Oxford University Press, 2014.
  3. Ramaeker, Paul Burkhart. A new kind of movie : style and form in Hollywood cinema 1965-1988. Dissertation, University of Wisconsin, Madison, 2002.
  4. Welles, Orson. “But Where Are We Going?.” Look, November 3, 1970.
  5. Lucas, Tim. “Continental Op”. Video Watchdog, No. 168, May/June 2012

What I’ll Remember About the Films of 1969: A Love Letter

Previous What I’ll Remember posts:
1925, 1930, 1943, 1958, 1965, 1978, 1982, 1992, 2012, 2013, 2014

It’s that time again! The What I’ll Remember posts are a Top Ten By Year trademark; a fun, engaging, and personalized way of collecting movie memories that represent my time with the years chosen for this project. It’s something I work on gradually while making my way through the watchlist, whether it’s writing down observations, grabbing screencaps, or making notes of what to include. When I look back on these long afterwards, I find countless things I would have otherwise forgotten (despite the name of this feature!) and am always so grateful for having made them. What we take from movies should be more than the, understandably, ‘big picture’ way we tend to evaluate, enjoy, or talk about them. Hopefully this does a little to parse out all the different ways that film, whether taken individually or as a group, can be memorable!

I started 1969 way back in February of 2017, easily the longest time I’ve spent with any year! The write-up for 1969 and Top Ten will go up as two separate posts next month. After that, I’ll have limited copies of a 1969 zine I’m making available for anyone interested!

Don’t forget to check out the bottom of this post where I collected 25 images from the films of 1969. Needless to say there are so many images to choose from but for one reason or another, or many, these are the ones I went with. And now, without further ado!

(Note: I am posting this without having actually seen Camille 2000. It is the last one on my watchlist and I will update this post with anything I need to afterwards)

boy 2.pngThe gorgeous Cinemascope compositions in Boy, anthropologically framing the family as criminal aliens on the outskirts of Japanese society

 In which a striking balance of subjective realism and objective realism is no longer an anomaly, but a legitimate facet of American cinema. Comfortably present in other national cinemas by this time, but a new formal trend in the States. Results in late 60s pacing patterns being equal parts provocatively exploratory and a weary slog

Deaths: Judy Garland, Sharon Tate, Boris Karloff, Josef von Sternberg, Leo McCarey, Thelma Ritter, Karl Freund, Natalie Talmadge

Watching Funeral Parade of Roses and thinking that maybe, just maybe, movies peaked with this movie

The ‘Continental Op’ film (trademark by Tim Lucas):
Films of the late 1960s to early 1970s overtaken by abstract or highly stylized retro-futuristic production & costume design, encapsulating the era’s various modes of pop art, mod, camp, and psychedelia. Rarely present in
American filmmaking (Mr. Freedom, Femina ridens, Check to the Queen, Camille 2000, The Girl from Rio, Erottisimo, Temptress of a Thousand Faces, Funeral Parade of Roses (present at times but not nearly defined by re: Funeral)

The homoerotic fire-lit naturalism of Women in Love’s infamous nude wrestling scene. The best sex-scene-that-technically-isn’t-a-sex-scene ever filmed. Thrilling and invigorating in its openness

Male Love and/or Male Bonding in iconic 1969 films: a foreshadowing of the New Hollywood MO (Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Midnight Cowboy, Women in Love, Easy Rider)

The state of Hollywood in 5 films:
Paint Your Wagon, Easy Rider, The Arrangement, True Grit, Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice

Poly-ish Movies:
(Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Paint Your Wagon)


The Very Brief Life of the LSD Film wanes down
Easy Rider, The Big Cube, The Stewardesses, Angel, Angel, Down We Go, The Cycle Savages)

The multitude of extended group dancing sequences
Cactus Flower, The Babysitter, Paranoia, Psychout for Murder, The Big Cube, The Sterile Cuckoo, Sweet Charity, Pit Stop, Funeral Parade of Roses, Midnight Cowboy, One on Top of the Other, Medium Cool, Eye of the Cat, Mississippi Mermaid)

The importance and primitiveness of bodies entangled with each other, wheat, water, mud, grass, and snow in Women in Love

 Italian Bossa, psychedelic-laced jazz, & ethereal vocalizations of the Italian Cine & realizing this is my new favorite genre & era of music
(various composers including Piero Piccioni, Piero Umiliani, Riz Ortolani, etc.):
(Femina ridens, Psychout for Murder, Camille 2000, Check to the Queen (aka The Slave), Paranoia, One on Top of the Other, 99 Women, The Girl from Rio, Mother’s Heart, countless more)

On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, the Bond for people who can take or leave Bond (hey, that’s me!): bleak, carefree, thrilling all at once. Even the sluggish sections invoke an odd sense of comfort


The menacing stillness of Rudolf Hrusinky’s often distorted egghead, his persistent monotonous preaching filling the film wall-to-wall (The Cremator)

Men Are the Worst: 1969 Edition
Billy (Billy Edwards, A Married Couple), Kenneth (Scott Hylands, Daddy’s Gone A-Hunting), The Boy (Michael Burns, That Cold Day in the Park), Peter Donovan (Lou Castel, Paranoia), Luis (John Moulder-Brown, The House that Screamed), Gordon (Robert Duvall, The Rain People), Peter (Richard Thomas, Last Summer), Dan (Bruce Davison, Last Summer) Father (Fumio Watanabe, Boy), Fred Miller (Tony Randall, Hello Down There), Dr. Sayer (Philippe Leroy, Femina ridens), Wylie (Michael Sarrazin, Eye of the Cat), Jud (Freddie Fletcher, Kes), Bob (Robert Culp, Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice), Martin (Helmut Berger, The Damned) and also everyone in The Damned, Michio (Eiji Funakoshi, Blind Beast), Jimmy Logan (James Darren, Venus in Furs)

Psychedelic-tinged sex and eroticism conveyed with (often hallucinogenic) color filters, slow-motion, and/or jazz in 99 Women, Psychout for Murder, Paranoia, The Babysitter, Black Rose Mansion, Check to the Queen (aka The Slave), The Girl from Rio, Midnight Cowboy, Funeral Parade of Roses, One on Top of the Other, Femina ridens, Camille 2000, Venus in Furs, etc.

Disorienting and destabilizing viewers via hard cuts, oppressive sounds, fluid explorations of time, and up-close-and-personal lensing/framing

psych 16

In a just world Adrienne La Russa as Licia in Psychout for Murder would be some sort of cult fashion & character icon

The MPAA created the ratings system in 1968, marking the debut of the notorious ‘X’. Major releases initially given the X rating: Midnight Cowboy, The Wild Bunch, Last Summer, Medium Cool, Can Heironymus Merkin Ever Forget Mercy Humppe and Find True Happiness?, The Damned, Laughter in the Dark

Forgotten Actors of the Era (I use “forgotten” loosely so don’t come at me):
Pamela Franklin, Carol White, Alexandra Hay, Michael Burns, Adrienne La Russa, Rosemary Forsyth, Maria Rohm, Catherine Burns, Haydee Politoff, Angela Scoular, Wendell Burton, Marisa Mell, Dagmar Lassander, Gayle Hunnicutt, Barbara McNair, Danielle Gaubert

 Biggest Disappointments:
Venus in Furs, Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice (a film I concede is great in its skewering of American sexuality & rich clueless hippies but my level of enjoyment with it is another matter), Me Natalie, Mississippi Mermaid, Le femme infidelie

Goyokin, the first Japanese film shot in Panavision


The commercials in Putney Swope

It is universally acknowledged that Tony Randall is the worst, right? Right?
(Hello Down There)

Rewatching Midnight Cowboy and thinking Dustin Hoffman’s performance aged terribly during the first half and then feeling the opposite during the second half

The intimate impact of letting us observe characters philosophize via long takes in My Night at Maud’s


Dagmar Lassander’s slinky web-weaving dance in Femina ridens

 The way Glenda Jackson, and also everyone, says “Ursula” in Women in Love

 Hotties of 1969:
Oliver Reed (always and forever), Robert Redford, George Chakiris, Kurt Russell, Tom Holland, Adrienne La Russa, Mary Maude, Haydee Politoff, Robert Forster, Jean-Louis Trintignant, Jean Sorel, Helmut Berger, Jack Nicholson (always), Ingrid Thulin (specifically in The Damned), Dagmar Lassander

Future director Tom Holland (Fright Night, Child’s Play) being a total dreamboat and showing up in Model Shop for one scene as Gerry, the guy who just wants to see a Czech film

Domination dynamics in Femina ridens, The Rain People, The House that Screamed, 99 Women, That Cold Day in the Park, Paranoia, Black Rose Mansion, Last Summer, Check to the Queen (aka The Slave), Mississippi Mermaid, Camille 2000, Blind Beast, etc


So many fabulously garish things to look at in The Girl from Rio, but a special shout-out to this phallic penis phone

I found it: the scariest possible audio/visual combination. Don Knotts in a flailing squawking frenzy in The Love God?

Bob Fosse’s debut feature, the aggressively showy and meandering Sweet Charity, a film I sort of love because of, and in spite of, its unforgettable quirks and failings

The oppressive sideshow hopelessness of They Shoot Horses, Don’t They

Impromptu nude go-go dance party in The Babysitter!


Missing long takes that allow us to absorb major performance moments without obvious calculated intent (see: intentional “this will get you your Oscar” moments) or showboating (The Sterile Cuckoo, The Rain People, Last Summer)

The period schoolgirl elegance of buttoned-up sexual repression, where the sadist turns protagonist turns victim in The House that Screamed

Raw anger administered via satire. Satire as text.
(Mr. Freedom, Putney Swope)

Favorite Performances of 1969:
Oliver Reed (Women in Love), Peter (Funeral Parade of Roses), Robert Redford (Downhill Racer), Maggie Smith (The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie) Pamela Franklin (The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie), Mary Maude (The House that Screamed), Haydee Politoff (Check to the Queen aka The Slave) Geraldine Page (What Ever Happened to Aunt Alice?), Jane Fonda (They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?), Ingrid Bergman (Cactus Flower), Goldie Hawn (Cactus Flower), Sandy Dennis (That Cold Day in the Park), Liza Minnelli (The Sterile Cuckoo), Sid Haig (Pit Stop), Tetsuo Abe (Boy), Jon Voight & Dustin Hoffman (Midnight Cowboy), Lee Marvin, (Paint Your Wagon), Dagmar Lassander (Femina ridens), Jean-Louis Trintignant (My Night at Maud’s), Helmut Berger (The Damned)

Favorite Characters of 1969:
Licia (Adrienne La Russa in Psychout for Murder), Antoinette Edwards (Antoinette Edwards in A Married Couple), Alice (Ruth Gordon in What Ever Happened to Aunt Alice?), Gloria (Jane Fonda in They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?) Mark Focus (Eric Krupnis in Putney Swope), Sandy (Pamela Franklin in The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie), Stephanie Dickinson (Ingrid Bergman in Cactus Flower), Zoie (Rosalba Neri in 99 Women), Horace Tabor (William O’Connell in Paint Your Wagon), Maria (Dagmar Lassander in Femina ridens), Martin von Essenbeck (Helmut Berger in The Damned)


The rainbow crystal Fraggle Rock-esque sets/matte drawings, chicken décor, and therianthropy of Barbara the Fair with the Silken Hair 

The decadent rot and corrupt abstraction of The Damned, culminating in a nightmare fuel image that I can’t get out of my head. Wedding as funeral. Ugly and relentless. Pair with They Shoot Horses, Don’t They for the bleakest possible (1969 or otherwise) double feature.

The faces in Army of Shadows conveying fatalism and cold unyielding perseverance. Two brothers with nothing in common, so isolated by their secret callings that they will never know the other is a Resistance fighter

The avant-garde new wave transgressions and subcultural immersion of Funeral Parade of Roses. Reinvents itself every minute even as it circles back over images, scenes, shots, and ideas


The perfect possible shot in cinema! Sex as seen through the eye of a cat!
(Daddy’s Gone A-Hunting)

Ingrid Bergman in Cactus Flower: my favorite performance I’ve seen from her? Portrays longing, yet is allowed to be sexy, deadpan, and full of conviction through surface stuffiness

Is holding a camera passive? Who has a voice? Whose story are you telling?
(Medium Cool)

Recurring needle drops
(Psychout for Murder, Paranoia, The Sterile Cuckoo, 99 Women, Check to the Queen aka The Slave, Midnight Cowboy, Hello Down There, One on Top of the Other, Venus in Furs, etc.)

The jolting and mobile action in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, constructed with relentless edits that carry an almost shocking level of momentum and immediacy (thank you editor-turned-director Peter Hunt!)


Pierre and Jacques dancing adorably in the cafe in Le Grand Amour

The whimsy and wit of floating beds in Le Grand Amour

Having an amazing boyfriend to watch so many of these with! (@Reelbrew)

Suddenly bursting into tears at the ends of Model Shop and The Sterile Cuckoo

What better way to introduce Shelley Winters than seeing her get massaged by a young stud? (The Mad Room)


One on Top of the Other, featuring the worst photoshoot ever (where a poor woman has a pipe cleaner spider on her back and a dragonfly on her butt in the name of fashion) and the best strip routine ever (huge gold motorbike ftw!)

Jimmy and his stupid horn in Venus in Furs, a film that would be 30 minutes if you cut out all the scenes of Jimmy playing on his stupid horn

Femina ridens fast becoming a DNA film of mine; seemingly made for me and my tastes, a thing I will obsess over and build personal meaning with for years to come

By the end of the 1960s, images of female adolescence are sparse and can be summed up as either needy, sociopaths, or needy sociopaths (Last Summer, Me, Natalie, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, The House that Screamed, The Sterile Cuckoo)

mad room 3

Stella Stevens’s hideous Pollyanna hair in The Mad Room

The grueling race scenes in They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?

The car race footage in Pit Stop, second only to its nomadic soul & surprisingly complex characters, most notably Sig Haig as Hawk

Watching Paint Your Wagon with my best friend and creating many new memories (“Horace Tabor! From Worcester, Massachusetts”)

Existentialism at The Movies:
Model Shop, Easy Rider, Pit Stop, They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?, The Rain People, Check to the Queen (aka The Slave), Army of Shadows, My Night at Maud’s


Faye Dunaway’s purple sunglasses in The Arrangement

Me, Natalie getting trapped in the abrasive ugly duckling angst of its title character

Clashing with black militants in Medium Cool

Color filters and/or film stock shifts being a Japanese art-film go-to
(Go Go Second Time Virgin, Black Rose Mansion, Boy)

 The boy wailing on the alien snow mountain, the gradual and imperceptible transition into slow-motion feeling poetic and profound (Boy)

The visual before & after of Portrait of Hell (picture)

The satisfying Hitchcock-goes-nudie potboiler that is One on Top of the Other

Wishing Charity had been played by someone other than Shirley MacLaine. She is impeccable at playing Charity but it never feels like she is her. It’s all the wrong kind of ‘too much’ (Sweet Charity) 

Prissy the Cat in Daddy’s Gone A-Huntin & Major the Dog in The Mad Room. Both crucial players with scenes from their perspectives. Both rad. Both murdered by cruel genre tropes.

The concrete high-rise agony of Go, Go Second Time Virgin, populated with gang rape, suicide, murder, and brooding teens


Suzanne Charny, a bionic force-of-nature leading the way in “Rich Man’s Frug”, Sweet Charity’s loving burlesque of deadpan chic. Side note: putting together that this is what Eliza Dushku is watching at one point in Bring It On was akin to a major epiphany

 The venom in Jane Fonda’s line delivery of
“Why drop another sucker into this mess?” (They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?)

Naming a bruise on my knee Sailor after Red Buttons in They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? (don’t ask)

My emotional journey with the songs from the wretched Hello Down There:
First: “Oh my god, baby Richard Dreyfuss lip-syncing to a completely different man’s voice is hysterical”
Then:”Will these terrible songs ever end? This is the 3rd time we’ve heard “Glub”!”
Now: :voluntarily puts on ‘Glub’ for the umpteenth time:

Ruth Gordon going up against Geraldine Page is the match-up of the year
(What Ever Happened to Aunt Alice?)


The confusion of Helmut Berger as an extremely hot pedophilic monster in The Damned

The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes reminding me that the most irredeemable kind of film is a tedious one. You know you’ve watched a dud when the culmination of a film is Kurt Russell looking constipated on a quiz show

 George Chakiris, somehow still hot in The Big Cube even as he crawls, shirtless, sweaty, and high in a squalid apartment, reprimanding an ant for being on a sugar cube laced with LSD

Delphine Seyrig’s plentiful red perm in Mr. Freedom

Billy and Antoinette’s indulgent yet revealing interpretive dance to “A Day in the Life” in A Married Couple


Michio’s surrealist studio cave/prison in Blind Beast

Paint Your Wagon: Seven Brides for Seven Brothers meets McCabe and Mrs. Miller

The rare Western female protagonist in Cemetery without Crosses. She learns the hard lesson of revenge as an agent of further suffering

The Italian Job is so boring and pointless that I cannot wrap my mind around people liking it

Ingrid Bergman and Goldie Hawn dancing “The Dentist”; one of the all-time great dance scenes, and that rare occasion when a film can make you forget everything but its own gaiety (Cactus Flower) 


Geraldine Chaplin getting a bucket of cockroaches dumped on her in La Madriguera

The scenes between Martin and Lisa in The Damned, shocking and repulsive in their frankness of intent even today

Stelvio Cipriani’s score for Femina ridens, a new favorite I listen to routinely at work

 A rare tic-less Sandy Dennis: shot in clouded solitude, talkative through loneliness, yet still and quietly harrowing in That Cold Day in the Park


Billy Edwards and those ever-present red briefs that will haunt me forever
(A Married Couple)

 Reading the source materials of Last Summer, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?, That Cold Day in the Park, Women in Love

Jess Franco extensively using his Rio de Janeiro carnival footage in two films
(Venus in Furs, The Girl from Rio)!

 Retro-futurist sets & BDSM = my dream movies/favorite subgenre?
(Check to the Queen, Femina ridens, Camille 2000)

temptress 5

Temptress of a Thousand Faces, where lady thieves and spies reign supreme in a world full of lairs, dastardly doings, face swapping, and more! Such a blast, and with a legitimately great climactic shootout to boot!

Proto-Manic Pixie Dream Girls
(Liza plays a girl named Pookie Adams for God’s sake)
(Goldie Hawn in Cactus Flower, Liza Minnelli in The Sterile Cuckoo)

The five minute (at least) recap of Paranoia at the end of Paranoia, followed by Carroll Baker being unceremoniously and cruelly thrown off a balcony

Loving Last Summer so much while simultaneously acknowledging that I will likely never be up to revisiting it. Same goes for the devastating Kes


The most moving scene from any 1969 film I watched or rewatched: Billy opening up to his classmates and teacher about all of his knowledge and accomplishments capturing and training his kestrel (Kes)

Piero Tosi’s costumes in Medea, a theatrical amalgamation of different cultures and textures. Weighty in bulk, jewelry, and tradition

Being able to track A Clockwork Orange through the pop aesthetics and formal cheekiness of both Funeral Parade of Roses and Femina ridens

 Expecting mindlessly fun pop erotica fare with Check to the Queen and getting an unexpectedly introspective, psychological, and political film. Post-Blow-Up in its outrageous fashion, love of photoshoots, & interior décor, and Post-Belle de Jour in its blank slate protagonist and escapes from bourgeois boredom into sexual fantasy


Virtually every shot of The Color of Pomegranates and forever wanting to see color the way this film does

Antoinette’s black bra/white pearls/red wine/fuck you Billy aesthetic in A Married Couple

 Mr. Freedom hilariously chucking a guy off the balcony while Delphine Seyrig gives an exposition dump indoors

Dick Van Dyke playing a dual role as a comic and his gay son, complete with putty nose, in The Comic. The son’s homosexuality is portrayed as the final nail in the coffin of the titular comic’s failures…..


If this photo doesn’t convince you to watch One on Top of the Other, I don’t know what will

Nude frolicking fun montage with Kirk Douglas & Faye Dunaway in The Arrangement

Tatsuya Nakadai defiant amongst the glowing embers of his charred daughter in Portrait of Hell


“I don’t mind being scared with you. I mean, when you’ve got somebody you can depend on, that you know will be there all the time to take care of you, then you can afford to be scared. I’ve never had a somebody like that before”
(Sweet Charity)

“And here I thought I’d fallen into something all fruitcake and fetishes”
(Eye of the Cat)

Psychiatrist: “I had never heard ‘tee-tee’ before”
Alice: “What expression do you use with your children?”
Psychiatrist: “Vagina”
(Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice)

“I’m looking for my stirring stick”
(Paint Your Wagon)

“If I gotta be afraid in order for your argument to work, then you got no argument”
(Medium Cool)

Mr. Chappelet: “Well, I just hope you don’t end up askin’ yourself the question some folks ask me. ‘What’s he do it for?'”
David Chappelet: “Well, I’ll be famous. I’ll be a champion.”
Mr. Chappelet: “…World’s full of’em.”
(Downhill Racer)

“I have taught you how to love chickens”
(On Her Majesty’s Secret Service)

“What a pair of Draculas”
(Model Shop)

Hermione: “How can you not think me sensual?”
Rupert: “All you want is pornography! Looking at yourself in mirrors. Watching your naked animal actions in mirrors.”
(Women in Love)

“First we’ll have an orgy. Then we’ll go see Tony Bennett”
(Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice)

“What’s more beautiful than life?”
“Maybe the reflection of life”
(Model Shop) 

Lisa: “Get out of my house! All of you! Get out!”
Lalo: “Man, I bet she even wears pajamas to bed!”
(The Big Cube)

“I’m a cosmic messenger of justice”

Gudrun: “In a Norse myth, Gudrun was a sinner who murdered her husband.”
Gerald: “And will you live up to that?”
Gudrun: “Which would you prefer me to live up to, Mr. Crich? The sinner or the murderer?”
(Women in Love)

“Deny a young boy the right to buy a gun, and you’ll suppress his destructive urges, and he’ll turn out to be a homosexual!”
“I’d rather have my son be a fag than a killer.”
“Your son is a fag!!”
“You took him on that picnic!”
(Putney Swope)

“She’s a social worker, and her favorite hobby is emasculation”
(Putney Swope)

“I used to wake up in the morning and it was my day, and now it….it belongs to you”
(Shirley Clarke in The Rain People)

Gerald: “Do you know what it is to suffer when you’re with a woman? It tears you like a silk. And each bit and stroke burns hot. Of course, l wouldn’t not have had it. It was a complete experience. She’s a wonderful woman, but l hate her somewhere. lt’s curious.”
(Women in Love)

“Tough titty!”
(A Married Couple)

“I’m going through a period where I’m destroying my feet”
(A Married Couple)

“Do you want some advice to save your soul?”

“I want the finality of love”
(Women in Love)

“But what I really felt…was that I was really sorry that I said this morning that I loved you. I thought, you gotta be the biggest schmuck in this world”
(A Married Couple)

“I’m not Hassan. I’m his cow”
(The Cow)

“She thinks to intimidate me by the use of quarter hours.”
(The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie)

“I’m not sure about God, but I am now quite sure about witches.”
(The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie)

“For girls who like that sort of thing, that is the sort of thing they like.”
(The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie)

Dr. Winston: Where were you all night?
Stephanie: It’s all a blur, a beautiful blurry blur.
(Cactus Flower)

25 IMAGES FROM 1969 
(Whether I can’t get them out of my head, or for their context/meaning within the story, for pure aesthetics or for the actors faces, these are a handful of images that have, and will, stick with me among the countless memorable compositions)

The Color of Pomegranates
Une femme douce
The Color of Pomegranates
portrait of hell
Portrait of Hell
medea 7
Cemetery without Crosses
Women in Love
Funeral Parade of Roses
A Married Couple
Funeral Parade of Roses
Women in Love
go go 6
Go Go Second Time Virgin
The Damned
The Color of Pomegranates
Femina ridens
Check to the Queen
Invocation of my Demon Brother
That Cold Day in the Park
liza 2
The Sterile Cuckoo
alice 4
What Ever Happened to Aunt Alice?
They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? 
a married couple
A Married Couple
Putney Swope
psych 9
Psychout for Murder
prie 3
The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie


Top Ten By Year: 1969 – Poll Results

Previous Top Ten By Year Polls: 1925, 1958, 1978, 1992, 1930, 1982

Poll Rule Reminders: 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.)

Note: All votes for Once Upon a Time in the West, Salesman, If…, High School, Pretty Poison, I Start Counting, Finian’s Rainbow, Andrei Rublev, The Party, Hatchet for the Honeymoon, In the Year of the Pig, Black Girl, did not count towards the final tally. To keep consistency with awkward titles that have two years associated with it, I disqualified them for this (though they still appear in your individual ballots) because they are more often associated with other years.

I am slowly working through 1969, an odd and most masculine transitional year (foreshadowing the hypermasculinity of the New American Cinema). Some of 1969 feels like the remnants of old and new are but particles in the air, thrumming with a strange kinetic dullness at odds with itself, about to realign in some new forbidden form. That formal “new” had already developed in a multitude of ways within other national cinemas, but by 1969 it was settling in as a component of American movies. This “new” is not yet the norm, but it’s also not an outlier. A fusion with the old often presents itselfin quaint, intriguing, and/or awkward ways. It’s two years after initial game-changers like Bonnie and Clyde in 1967. And it’s one year after the impossibly rich 1968, which is reeling from within the eye of the storm. 1969 is still volatile and breaking boundaries, full of well-established formal freedoms and fluidity abroad (short films are also very much present in this way; they account for 1/3 of the films that received votes). But the year also has an air of tumbleweeds about it. I’ll save my thoughts until I can develop them more, and extrapolate in the Top Ten post. These are just some unformed, and uninformed, thoughts I’ve been having. I hope to have something of substance ready by the time I finish up the year.

And so, with about 50% of the 1969 watchlist left to go, I decided to enact the (film twitter) famous poll. Seeing everyone’s votes is both an opportunity for me to make any final additions or deletions to my watchlist, and to use the enthusiasm with which people represent their favorites as fuel moving forward. These results have definitely inspired me to seek out more 1969 shorts and add a couple of films to my watchlist.

First off, thank you so much to everyone who voted! Unsurprisingly, the number of participants in this poll far exceeded the others. 244 people voted for 242 different films!

I guess I should rewatch The Wild Bunch? It’s a film I didn’t like when I saw it many years ago, but it’s presence across all types of voters is making me think I should make a point of revisiting.

Taking into account the Internet oversaturation of lists/listicles, I hope it’s clear that this project is anything but tossed off. The Top Ten By Year Project is an effort to reclaim what I love about lists in the first place. 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? My hope with these polls is that, in addition to planting seeds of anticipation for the related posts to come (What I’ll Remember About the Films of 1969: A Love Letter, Favorite Shots, and the Top Ten), they mainly serve as a resource for anyone looking for new films to watch whether it’s from seeing:

a. what ‘Film Twitter’ collectively loves
b. more importantly, the films towards the bottom of the list, the ones you’ve never heard of that are begging for (re)discovery.
c. the individual ballots from people whose taste and knowledge you value

Surprises? Disappointments? General thoughts? Leave your thoughts on the poll in the comments section!


1. The Wild Bunch (Sam Peckinpah / US) – 123 votes
2. Midnight Cowboy (John Schlesinger / US) – 94 votes
3. Army of Shadows (Jean-Pierre Melville / France) – 92 votes
4. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (George Roy Hill / US) – 85 votes
5. Z (Costa-Gavras / France/Algeria) – 84 votes
6. Easy Rider (Dennis Hopper / US) – 72 votes
7. My Night at Maud’s (Éric Rohmer / France) – 68 votes
8. Medium Cool (Haskell Wexler / US) – 57 votes
9. On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (Peter Hunt / UK) – 52 votes
10. They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? (Sydney Pollack / US) – 50 votes
(Ken Loach / UK) – 50 votes (tie)

37 votes:
Take the Money and Run 
36 votes:
Funeral Parade of Roses, Putney Swope
33 votes: The Color of Pomegranates
29 votes: Women in Love, Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice
27 votes: True Grit, The Italian Job 
24 votes: The Passion of Anna
21 votes: Fellini Satyricon
19 votes: Downhill Racer, The Cremator, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie
18 votes: Boy, Une femme douce (A Gentle Woman)
15 votes: Hello, Dolly!
14 votes: Alice’s Restaurant, The Sorrow and the Pity, The Damned, Model Shop 
13 votes: The Rain People, Love is Colder than Death, L’amour Fou 
12 votes: La femme infidele (The Unfaithful Wife)
11 votes: Le grand amour, Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed
10 votes: Femina Ridens (The Laughing Woman), Eros + Massacre, Sweet Charity
9 votes: This Man Must Die (Que la Bête Meure), Invocation of my Demon Brother, Last Summer, Play Dirty
8 votes: Double Suicide, The Milky Way, T,O,U,C,H,I,N,G, Venus in Furs, Where Eagles Dare
7 votes: Bambi Meets Godzilla, Cactus Flower, Destroy, She Said, Diary of a Shinjuku Thief, The Honeymoon Killers, Law and Order, Mississippi Mermaid, The Night of Counting the Years (The Mummy), La piscine (The Swimming Pool), Porcile (Pigsty), Support Your Local Sheriff!
6 votes: Age of Consent, Anne of the Thousand Days, The Bed Sitting Room, A Boy Named Charlie Brown, The Learning Tree, Lions, Love (& Lies), Medea, Mr. Freedom, The Sterile Cuckoo
5 votes: Birds, Orphans, and Fools, Blind Beast, Camille 2000, Dillinger is Dead, Le Gai Savoir (Joy of Learning) , Go, Go, Second Time Virgin, Goodbye Mr. Chips, The House that Screamed (La residencia), Invasion, The Joke, The Reivers, What Ever Happened to Aunt Alice?
4 votes: A.K.A. Serial Killer, Antonio das Mortes, Bronco Bullfrog, Burn! (Queimada), Castle Keep, Cemetery without Crosses, The Cow, Goyokin, Katzelmacher, Lemon, The Love God?, Paint Your Wagon, That Cold Day in the Park, Tom, Tom, the Piper’s Son 
3 votes: The Arrangement, The Battle of Britain, Carry On Camping, The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes, Diaries, Notes, and Sketches, For My Crushed Right Eye, Goto, the Isle of Love, The Illustrated Man, The Madwoman of Challiot, A Married Couple, Pit Stop, Stereo, Topaz
2 votes: Acts of Apostles, American Revolution, The Assassination Bureau, Back and Forth, Cat Food, City of Contrasts, The Confrontation, El dependiente, Eye of the Cat, For the First Time (Por primera vez), Frosty the Snowman, The Gladiators, Godzilla’s Revenge, Hamlet, Hitokiri (Tenchu!), Horrors of Malformed Men, Kirsa Nicholina, The Magic Christian, The Merchant of Venice, Moon, My Name is Oona, Pippi Longstocking, Return of the One-Armed Swordsman, Running in Madness, Dying in Love, Several Friends, Sorrows, Tell Them Willie Boy is Here, Tepepa, The Valley of Gwangi, The Virgin’s Bed, Visual Training, A Walk with Love and Death, Watersmith
1 vote: World Series: Mets vs Orioles, Moon landing, 100 Rifles, Acephale, The Appointment, April Fools, Aradhana, Beatles Electroniques, Bhuvan Shome, Black Rose Mansion, Blaumilch Canal, Brilliantovaya Ruka (The Diamond Arm), Cabascabo
Calcutta, Capricci, Celebration at the Botanical Garden, Circle, The Comic, Coming Apart, Conversations in Vermont, Cosmic Ray, Las crueles (The Exquisite Cadaver), Dead End, Death of a Gunslinger, Ditirambo, Django the Bastard, Double Face (A doppia faccia),, Dracula (The Dirty Old Man), Dripping Water, Eggshells, Electronic Moon #2
Electronic Opera #1, The Wedding Party, Where It’s At, Yawar Mallku (Blood of the Condor), Eyes (from Night Gallery), Fellini: A Director’s Notebook, A Fish out of Water
Fluxes, Forgotten Pistolero, Fuego, Gamera vs. Guiron, The Gay Decievers, Gena the Crocodile, The Golden Sword, The Gypsy Moths, Hannibal Brooks, Honeycomb, Have Sword Will Travel, The Inextinguishable Fire, Institutional Quality, Intimate Lighting, The Invincible Fist, Journey to the Far Side of the Sun (Doppelgänger), Killers Five, The Land, Le labyrinthe , Larks on a String, Lawale. The Lottery, Macunaima, Marlowe, McKenna’s Gold, Mondo Trasho, More, More Dead than Alive, Muhammed Ali: The Greatest, La muñeca perversa, My Side of the Mountain , Night Gallery (made for TV), Nubes, Oblivion, The Oblong Box, Oh! What a Lovely War, One on Top of the Other (Una sull’altra)
One Thousand and One Nights, Permian Strata, Phantom India, Pirosmani, The Plot Against Harry, Popi, Portrait of Hell, The Price of Power, Prologue, Reason Over Passion, The Red Tent, Ring of Bright Water, Samurai Banners, Sara Akash, The Secret of Santa Vittoria, The Sicilian Clan , Spare Bedroom, Soundtrack, Stairs, Storm Troopers USA, The Sun’s Gonna Shine,, Temptress of a Thousand Faces, A Time for Dying, Tops, Transparency, Twisted Nerve, The Ultimate Degenerate, The Undefeated, Uski Roti, Vinni-Pukh (Winnie the Pooh), Vite, Walden, War and Peace, 
Yawar Mallku (Blood of the Condor)


@Marshy00 (James Marsh of ScreenAnarchy/RTHK Radio 3/South China Morning Post):
On Her Majesty’s Secret Service

@jamesblakeewing (James Blake Ewing of Cinema Sights):
1. Army of Shadows 2. My Night at Maud’s 3. The Wild Bunch 4. The Cow 5. On Her Majesty’s Secret Service 6. Z 7. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid 8. The Milky Way 9. Midnight Cowboy 10. Easy Rider

@lolamachine (Lola Landekic of Art of the Title):
Funeral Parade of Roses, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

@ctnash91 (Charlie Nash, BOFCA member):
Funeral Parade of Roses, The Wild Bunch

@AltamiraBlog (Ryan H):

@womensrites (Dana Reiboos of Screen Slate, Femina Ridens):
Camille 2000, Destroy She Said, Funeral Parade of Roses, Go, Go Second Time Virgin, Honeybomb, Horror of Malformed Men, The Laughing Woman, Medea, Venus in Furs, Women in Love

@labuzamovies (Peter Labuza, Author of Approaching the End, host of The Cinephiliacs. Critic for Variety, Village Voice, etc):
Diaries Notes and Sketches, For the First Time, Downhill Racer, Boy, Le Grand Amour, The Color of Pomegranates, My Night at Maud’s, American Revolution 2, The Cow, The Mummy

@Cinedaze (Paul Anthony Johnson of Film-Philosophy, Popmatters):
1.My Night at Maud’s 2. The Wild Bunch 3.The Milky Way 4.Sorrow & the Pity 5.Color of Pomegranates 6.Medium Cool 7. Play Dirty 8.Saleman (does not count) 9.Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed 10. Law and Order

@railoftomorrow (Scott Nye, writer and podcast co-host at CriterionCast, etc.):
1. Model Shop 2. My Night at Maud’s 3. Take the Money and Run 4. Le grand amour 5. Tell Them Willie Boy is Here 6. Lions Love (…and Lies) 7. Goto, the Isle of Love 8. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid 9. Eros + Massacre 10. Easy Rider

Tom, Tom, The Piper’s Son, L’amour fou, Le Gai Savoir, Army of Shadows, My Night at Maud’s, T,O,U,C,H,I,N,G, Une femme douce, Color of Pomegranates, Funeral Parade of Roses, Destroy, She Said

@DanSchindel (of, Los Angeles Magazine, Movie Mezzanine, etc.):
Army of Shadows, The Color of Pomegranates, My Night at Maud’s, Putney Swope, The Sorrow and the Pity, They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?, The Wild Bunch, Z

Midnight Cowboy, The Wild Bunch, Alice’s Resturant, Last Summer, Easy Rider, Kes, Medium Cool, Bambi Meets Godzilla, Take the Money and Run

@Geniusbastard (Brandon David Wilson):
The Wild Bunch, Medium Cool, Sweet Charity, Boy, Z, Passion of Anna, Midnight Cowboy, Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice, Women In Love, Easy Rider

Midnight Cowboy, The Cremator, The Wild Bunch, The Unfaithful Wife, The Rain People, That Cold Day in the Park, Kes

@GoresEatsFilm (Jared Gores of Reel Fanatics):
Army of Shadows, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, My Night at Maud’s, Le grand amour, Midnight Cowboy, The Sorrow and the Pity, The Wild Bunch, They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?, Easy Rider, Kes

Castle Keep, Play Dirty, The Damned, Dillinger is Dead, Salesman (does nto count), Putney Swope, Army of Shadows, Medium Cool, Wild Bunch, Honeymoon Killers

1.Medium Cool 2.Goyokin 3.Tepepa 4. The Price of Power 5.Bronco Bullfrog 6.On Her Majesty’s Secret Service 7.Burn! 8.Kes 9.Wild Bunch 10. Samurai Banners

@geminicollision (Ian W. Hill):
Diary of a Shinjuku Thief, Z, Medium Cool, Lions, Love (& Lies…), Funeral Parade of Roses, Death of a Gunslinger, The Bed Sitting Room, Stereo, Venus in Furs, Women in Love

Army of Shadows, Salesman (does not count), The Wild Bunch, Easy Rider, My Night at Maud’s, Fellini Satyricon, Godzilla’s Revenge, The Passion of Anna, Midnight Cowboy, They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?

@jchristley (Jamie N. Christley):
1. Play Dirty 2. Army of Shadows 3. Une femme douce 4. Age of Consent 5. My Night at Maud’s 6. Boy 7. Model Shop 8. The Italian Job 9. Invasion 10. Invocation of my Demon Brother

@paolocase (Paolo Kagaoan):
Funeral Parade of Roses, The Wild Bunch, True Grit, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Easy Rider, Love Is Colder Than Death

@rgodfrey (Ryan Godfrey):
Bob/Carol/Ted/Alice, Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid, The Italian Job, Midnight Cowboy, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, Putney Swope, Satyricon, Take Money & Run, Wild Bunch, Z

The Arrangement, Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, High School (does not count), If…(does not count), More Dead Than Alive, Play Dirty, Secret of Santa Vittoria, Take the Money and Run, Where Eagles Dare

@hendersonjohnm (John Henderson):
Once Upon a Time in the West (does not count), Take the Money and Run, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, Where Eagles Dare, Midnight Cowboy, The Illustrated Man

@juviecinephile (Juvie):
The 1969 World Series: Mets vs Orioles, Moon landing, Army of Shadows, Boy, Kes, Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice, My Night at Maud’s, Une femme fouce, Model Shop, The Wild Bunch

@BTDmarketer (Ben Downing):
Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice, Midnight Cowboy, They Shoot Don’t They?, Hello Dolly!, Sweet Charity

Medium Cool, The Rain People, The Bed Sitting Room, Last Summer, The Damned, Castle Keep, Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, Nuit Chez Maud, Colour of Pomegranates

Sweet Charity, Midnight Cowboy, The Wild Bunch, Easy Rider, Take the Money & Run, The Rain People, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, They Shoot Horses Don’t They, Anne of the Thousand Days, Women in Love

@agreenbuttskunk (Kenneth Kriheli):
Lemon, Gena the Crocodile, Kes, Army of Shadows, Fellini Satirycon, Putney Swope, T,O,U,C,H,I,N,G, Invocation of my Demon Brother, Z, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie

@mattheweg (Matthew Gasteier):
1. Army of Shadows 2. My Night at Maud’s 3. Z 4. Funeral Parade of Roses 5. Take the Money and Run 6. The Wild Bunch 7. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid 8. Le Grand Amour 9. Dillinger is Dead 10. Lions Love

Back and Forth, Army of Shadows, Boy, Une femme douce, Tell Them Willie Boy is Here, The Mummy, Conversations in Vermont, Tom, Tom, the Piper’s Son, The Wild Bunch, Play Dirty

@VindicaSean (Sean Beattie):
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

1. Z 2. Army of Shadows 3. Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid 4. The Wild Bunch 5. They Shoot Horses Don’t They? 6. Gokyokin 7. Downhill Racer

@rachel_is_here (Rachel West of ET Canada):
Kes, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie

@SamShotFirst (Sam Van Haren):
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, The Wild Bunch, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service

@Jee_vuh (Jeva Lange of The Week and Screen Slate):
The Color of Pomegranates, The Mummy

The Wild Bunch, Model Shop, Putney Swope, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Pippi Longstocking

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Cactus Flower, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, Z, Sweet Charity, Once Upon a Time in the West (does not count), Marlowe, Army of Shadows, The Damned, Putney Swope

@thefilmtemple (Max B. O’Connell of The Film Temple, Indiewire):
The Wild Bunch, Army of Shadows, My Night at Maud’s, Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice, Easy Rider, Midnight Cowboy, Butch/Sundance, Women in Love, Z, Mississippi Mermaid

@trillmoregirls (Nathan E. Emith of Fandor, Little White Lies, etc):
Medium Cool, Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice, Putney Swope, Mr. Freedom, My Night at Maud’s, Por primera vez, The Wild Bunch, Midnight Cowboy

@AwardsConnect (Andrew Carden):
1. The Sterile Cuckoo 2. Medium Cool 3. Last Summer 4. They Shoot Horses Don’t They? 5. Easy Rider 6. Midnight Cowboy 7. Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice 8. Sweet Charity 9. The Oblong Box 10. What Ever Happened to Aunt Alice?

@adam_the_k (Adam Kuntavanish, director of Special Features and Sr. Staff Critic at Next Projection):
1. Kes 2. Army of Shadows 3. The Wild Bunch 4. Butch Cassidy 5. La femme infidele 6. On Her Majesty’s Secret Service 7. Medium Cool 8. Midnight Cowboy 9. Putney Swope 10. Z

Take The Money & Run, Last Summer, Women In Love, The Comic, Z, Midnight Cowboy, The Wild Bunch, The Passion Of Anna, They Shoot Horses Don’t They?, Popi

@E_Film_Blog (Michael Ewins):
Law and Order, Double Suicide, Funeral Parade of Roses, Several Friends, The Confrontation, Putney Swope, Blind Beast, My Night at Maud’s

Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid, Easy Rider, Midnight Cowboy, They Shoot Horses Don’t They? The Learning Tree, Sweet Charity

@glazomaniac (Sally Jane Black):
funeral parade of roses, t,o,u,c,h,i,n,g, the gladiators, go go second time virgin, porcile, cat food [wieland], cabascabo, fish out of water [calderon], visual training [zwartjes], the cremator

@HouseOfSparrows (David Robson of House of Sparrows):
L’amour Fou, Army of Shadows, Black Rose Mansion, Camille 2000, Double Suicide, Eye of the Cat, Fellini Satyricon, Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed, The Laughing Woman, Love is Colder than Death

On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, The Cremator, Birds, Orphans, and Fools, Army of Shadows, Femina ridens, The Wild Bunch, Easy Rider, Stereo, Invocation of my Demon Brother, Funeral Parade of Roses

1. Z 2. Funeral Parade of Roses 3. Alice’s Restaurant 4. Midnight Cowboy 5. The Wild Bunch

@MikeThornWrites (Mike Thorn, author of Darkest Hours, writer for Vague Visages, etc):
Queimada, The Rain People, Law and Order, Eggshells, Mr. Freedom, Blind Beast, Salesman (does not count), Easy Rider, The Arrangement, The Wild Bunch

@blankemon (Matt Blankman):
The Wild Bunch, Mississippi Mermaid, Army of Shadows, Downhill Racer, Easy Rider, Medium Cool, Z, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, The Rain People, Alice’s Restaurant

@rytherb (Ryan Moncrief):
Butch Cassidy + Sundance Kid, Take the Money and Run, Easy Rider, Midnight Cowboy

@Cinematic_Life (of This Cinematic Life):
On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, Z, Le Grand Amour

@Honors_Zombie (Scout Tafoya, filmmaker and critic, & The Unloved video essay series):
The Wild Bunch, Medea, Play Dirty, Army of Shadows, The Gypsy Moths, Frankenstein Must Not Be Destroyed, Mr. Freedom, La Residencia, Horrors of Malformed Men, The Appointment

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Kes, The Wild Bunch, Midnight Cowboy, The Italian Job, Where Eagles Dare, Women in Love, True Grit, Easy Rider, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie

@DeusExCinema (David Neary, Editor of Cineaste magazine):
The Wild Bunch, Boy, Hello, Dolly!, Easy Rider, Funeral Parade of Roses, Hamlet (Tony Richardson), Z, Colour of Pomegranates, Que la Bête Meure, Kes

@NateHood257 (Nathanael Hood):
Army of Shadows, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Easy Rider, Funeral Parade of Roses, The Italian Job, The Love God, Midnight Cowboy, The Wild Bunch

@alanzilberman (Alan Zilberman of Thw Washington Post, Ebert Voices, etc):
Army of Shadows, The Wild Bunch, My Night at Maud’s, Z, Midnight Cowboy, Bambi Meets Godzilla, Putney Swope, Topaz, Satyricon, Easy Rider

@ChrisRLee0 (Chris R. Lee):
Z, Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice, Where Eagles Dare, Butch Cassidy, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, The Wild Bunch, Downhill Racer, Once Upon a Time in West (does not count)

@toro913 (Miran Terzic):
Army of Shadows, Z, Butch Cassidy, My Night at Maud’s, The Joke, The Cremator, Midnight Cowboy, Kes, Que La Bete Meure, Hello, Dolly!

1. Putney Swope 2. Le Grand Amour 3. My Night at Maud’s 4. Army of Shadows 5. Boy 6. Easy Rider 7. Z 8. Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice 9. Medium Cool 10. Several Friends

@MarkGisleso (Mark Gisleson):
Putney Swope, Easy Rider, True Grit, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, Midnight Cowboy, Wild Bunch, They Shoot Horses Don’t They, Paint Your Wagon, Downhill Racer, Butch Cassidy

@TheEndofCinema (Sean Gilman of The End of Cinema; The George Sanders Show, and They Shot Pictures podcasts):
1. My Night at Maud’s 2. Army of Shadows 3. Age of Consent 4. Dead End 5. The Sorrow and the Pity 6. The Wild Bunch 7. Butch Cassidy 8. Muhammed Ali: The Greatest 9. Z 10. On Her Majesty’s Secret Service

@erikgregersen (Erik M. Gregersen):
Color of Pomegranates, Merchant of Venice, Army of Shadows, AKA Serial Killer, Venus in Furs, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, Passion of Anna, My Night at Maud’s, Wild Bunch, Stairs (Schabenbeck)

@GoldsmithLeo (Leo Goldsmith, Editor of the Film Section of the Brooklyn Rail):
Moon, Lemon, My Name is Oona, Cosmic Ray, Fluxes, Institutional Quality, Tom Tom, Invocation of my Demon Brother, Electronic Opera #1

@nwkitchens (Nathan Kitchens):
Z, Easy Rider, Medium Cool, Last Summer, The Wild Bunch, War and Peace, Alice’s Restaurant, Hello Dolly!, Downhill Racer, Pretty Poison (does not count)

Putney Swope, Midnight Cowboy, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, The Colour of Pomegranates, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

Reason Over Passion, Z, Medium Cool, Funeral Parade of Roses, Katzelmacher, Salesman (does not count), The Inextinguishable Fire, The Sun’s Gonna Shine, Dripping Water, Cat Food

Butch Cassidy, Easy Rider, Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed, Midnight Cowboy, Once Upon a Time in the West (does not count), They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?, Topaz, True Grit, The Wild Bunch, Women in Love

@flmfrkcentral (Bill Chambers of Film Freak Central):
Once Upon a Time in the West (does not count), The Wild Bunch, The Sterile Cuckoo, Easy Rider, Medium Cool, They Shoot Horses…, Putney Swope, Downhill Racer, My Night at Maud’s, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service

The Wild Bunch, Army of Shadows, Putney Swope, Law and Order, On Her Majesty’s Secret Srvice, Salesman (does not count), Midnight Cowboy, The Color of Pomegranates, Pit Stop

@MoviefreakSara (Sara M Fretters, critic for Seattle Gay News):
Army of Shadows, Butch Cassidy, Downhill Racer, The Italian Job, The Learning Tree, Midnight Cowboy, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, The Wild Bunch, Women in Love, Z

@alcohollywood (Clint Worthington of Alcohollywood & On Tap podcasts):
Easy Rider, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Medium Cool, True Grit, Kes, Army of Shadows, Midnight Cowboy, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, The Wild Bunch, The Honeymoon Killers

@PhilipFalino (Philip Falino):
Night/Maud’s, Satyricon, Women In Love, Passion of Anna, City of Contrasts, Take the Money & Run, Kes, Love is Colder than Death, They Shoot Horses Don’t They?

@FerdyOnFilms (Marilyn Ferdinand):
1. Alice’s Resturant 2. Z 3. They Shoot Horses, Don’t They, 4. Women in Love 5. The Damned 6. Medium Cool 7. This Man Must Die 8. The Milky Way 9. Macunaima 10. Le Grand Amour

@FCardamenis (Forrest Cardamenis Film & Events Programmer for Videology, critic for Little White Lies, BK Mag, etc):
The Color of Pomegranates, Invocation of my Demon Brother, The Cremator, Lemon, Boy, Night of Counting The Years, Funeral Parade of Roses, Oblivion, City of Contrasts

The Sorrow and the Pity, Army of Shadows, Kes, The Wild Bunch, Medium Cool, My Night at Maud’s, Take the Money and Run, Midnight Cowboy, Women in Love, Finian’s Rainbow (does not count)

True Grit, Butch Cassidy, The Wild Bunch, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, Where Eagles Dare, Carry on Camping, Midnight Cowboy, Italian Job, Hello Dolly!

@HellOnFriscoBay (Brian Darr of Hell on Frisco Bay):
Electronic Moon #2, For My Crushed Right Eye, Kirsa Nicholina, Lemon, The Lottery, Permian Strata, Soundtrack, Tops, TOUCHING, Transparency

@UnEnfantPerdu (Richie Hayes):
Army Of Shadows, The Damned, Katzelmacher, Z, Kes, The Wild Bunch, L’ Amour Fou, Midnight Cowboy, Une Femme Douce, Porcile

@CaftanWoman (Patricia Nolan-Hall):
Support Your Local Sheriff! True Grit, The Reivers, Madwoman of Chaillot, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie

@cinebeats (Kimberly Lindbergs of TCM and Cinebeats):
Femina Ridens, Camille 2000, Venus in Furs, Fellini Satyricon, Medium Cool, Italian Job, Porcile, Blind Beast, Rain People, Easy Rider

@JustYoungEnough (Patrick Young):
Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid, The Wild Bunch, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, Alice’s Resturant, Frosty the Snowman

Double Suicide, Une femme douce

1 Z 2 Kes 3 Medium Cool 4 Army of Shadows 5 Easy Rider 6 Butch Cassidy 7 Putney Swope 8 Midnight Cowboy 9 Downhill Racer 10 The Wild Bunch

Midnight Cowboy, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service

1. Funeral Parade of Roses 2. Running in Madness, Dying in Love 3. Invocation of my Demon Brother 4. Eros + Massacre 5. Boy 6. The Color of Pomegranates 7. My Name is Oona 8. For My Crushed Right Eye 9. One Thousand and One Nights 10. Mr. Freedom

@pvlrogey (Paul Rogan):
Midnight Cowboy, Easy Rider, The Wild Bunch, They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?, Butch Cassidy, Where Eagles Dare, Kes, Women in Love, Alice’s Resturant, Anne of a Thousand Days

Destroy, She Said, The Colour of Pomegranates, This Man Must Die, Vite, Stereo, Women in Love, Back and Forth, Camille 2000, The Virgin’s Bed, Funeral Parade of Roses

@AnneBillson (Anne Billson, film critic and novelist):
Wild Bunch, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, L’Arméede Ombres, La piscine, Last Summer, La Femme Infidèle, Goto l’île d’amour, The Cremator, I Start Counting (does not count), Prime of Miss Jean Brodie

@Frangipane13 (Fran Simeoni, director of Arrow Films labels):
Eros + Massacre, Funeral Parade of Roses, Boy, The Cremator, Italian Job, My Night at Maud’s, Butch+Sundance, Z, Goto Isle of Love, Army of Shadows

Army of Shadows, The Sorrow and the Pity, The Wild Bunch, Butch Cassidy, They Shoot Horses, Women in Love, Take the Money and Run, Sweet Charity, Kes

@butcherjpn (Matthew Butcher):
Army of Shadows, The Beast Must Die, The Colour of Pomegranates, Double Suicide, Kes, Medium Cool, My Night at Maud’s, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, Satyricon, Z

Cemetery Without Crosses * The Bed Sitting Room * Wild Bunch * Pit Stop * True Grit

1. Colour of Pomegranates 2. Diary of a Shinjuku Thief 3. Destroy, She Said 4. Women in Love 5. Diaries, Notes & Sketches 6. Birds, Orphans and Fools 7. Funeral Parade of Roses 8. Femina Ridens 9. Eros + Massacre 10. Venus in Furs

Eros Plus Massacre, Shonen, Funeral Parade of Roses, The Color of Pomegranates, Antonio das Mortes, The Cremator, Invocation of my Demon Brother, Diary of a Shinjuku Thief, Kes, Katzelmacher

@jamie_graham9 (Jamie Graham, editor-at-large at Total Film):
Army of Shadows, The Wild Bunch, Downhill Racer, The Cremator, Butch Cassidy, Kes, The Sorrow and the Pity, Bronco Bullfrog, The House That Screamed, The Passion of Anna

On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, Camille 2000, Blind Beast, One on Top of the Other (Una sullaltra), The Wild Bunch, Femina Ridens, Satyricon, Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed, Twisted Nerve

@TVMCCA (Terry McCarty):
Easy Rider/Army of Shadows/Where It’s At/Butch Cassidy & Sundance Kid/The Wild Bunch/The Reivers/The Rain People/Model Shop

On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, Butch & Sundance, The Damned, Hannibal Brooks, Midnight Cowboy, The Wild Bunch, Easy Rider, Downhill Racer, They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?

The Wild Bunch, Love is Colder Than Death, The Passion of Anna, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

Carry on Camping, Wild Bunch, Illustrated Man, Take the Money and run, Prime of J. Brodie, Butch and SD, Pigsty, KES, Easy Rider and Z

@zeewillew (Z.W Lewis):
Moon, Invasion, Beatles electroniqes, The Night of Counting the Years (Mummy)

L’Amour Fou, Army of Shadows, Bambi Meets Godzilla, Butch Cassidy, The Colour of Pomegranates, Fellini Satyricon, Putney Swope, Salesman (does not count), T,O,U,C,H,I,N,G

@Wokelstein (Alex Jackson):
Andrei Rublev (does not count), Once Upon a Time in the West (does not count), Medium Cool, Midnight Cowboy, The Milky Way, Fellini Satyricon, The Wild Bunch, Alice’s Resturant, The Honeymoon Killers, Bambi Meets Godzilla

Fellini Satyricon, The Wild Bunch, Easy Rider, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Medium Cool, Midnight Cowboy, Salesman (does not count), On Her Majesty’s Secret Service

@Pergamond (Leslie Evers):
The Party (does not count), The Rain People, Cactus Flower, My Night at Maud’s, Bambi Meets Godzilla, Putney Swope, Midnight Cowboy, Take the Money and Run, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Hello Dolly!

@harryeskin (Harry Eskin):
Age of Consent, Blaumilch Canal (aka The Big Dig), Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice, The Magic Christian, Model Shop, Paint Your Wagon, Take the Money and Run, That Cold Day in the Park, They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?, Z

Z, Army of Shadows, The Wild Bunch, Once Upon a Time in the West (does not count), The Color of Pomegranates, My Night at Maud’s, Boy, The Damned, Medea

Boy, The Color of Pomegranates

@SchmanthonyP (Brian Schmid!):
1. Z 2. My Night at Maud’s 3. Army of Shadows 4. The Color of Pomegranates 5. The Passion of Anna 6. The Wild Bunch 7. The Land 8. Take the Money and Run 9. They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? 10. Tom, Tom,the Piper’s Son

@selfstyledsiren (Farran Nehme, the Self-Styled Siren of Film Comment, NY Post, author of Missing Reels):
Army of Shadows, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, Z, Take the Money and Run, La femme infidele, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, The Assassination Bureau, Alice’s Restaurant, They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?, The Reivers

Z, Army of Shadows, The Damned, Fellini Satyricon, Funeral Parade of Roses, Midnight Cowboy, My Night at Maud’s, Putney Swope, They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?, The Wild Bunch

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, The Wild Bunch, Z, Army of Shadows, Midnight Cowboy, Easy Rider, Mississippi Mermaid, Women in Love, Support your Local Sheriff!

@elasticpop (Rebecca Wright):
Midnight Cowboy, Wild Bunch, Butch Cassidy, They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?, Easy Rider, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, Downhill Racer, Z

@jrhovind (Jacon Hovind):
Color of Pomegranates., My Night at Maud’s, Wild Bunch, Salesman (does not count), Z, Boy, Take Money and Run, They Shoot Horses, Passion of Anna, Army of Shadows

@katherinekarlin (Katherine Karlin):
Midnight Cowboy, The Learning Tree, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, They Shoot Horses Don’t They, Z, The Sterile Cuckoo, Hello Dolly

A Married Couple

@zoeinthecities (Zoe Kazan, actress and writer):
Army of Shadows, Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice, Butch Cassidy, Kes, Medium Cool, Midnight Cowboy, They Shoot Horses Don’t They?, True Grit

@DavidBlakslee (David Blakslee of Criterion Reflections, Criterion Cast):
Dillinger is Dead/Z/The Milky Way/Easy Rider/Putney Swope/Medium Cool/Army of Shadows/Lions Love(& Lies)/My Night at Maud’s/A Married Couple

@rexparker (Rex Parker):
Once Upon Time in the West (does not count), Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice, Medium Cool, Wild Bunch, Midnight Cowboy, Easy Rider

@pollyprissypant (Emma Badame):
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Midnight Cowboy, Anne of the 1000 Days, They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?, Italian Job, Women in Love, Prime/Jean Brodie, Kes, True Grit, if… (does not count)

@LCosgrove (Steve Carlson):
1. The Wild Bunch 2. My Night at Maud’s 3. The Bed Sitting Room 4. Une femme douce 5. Z 6. Play Dirty 7. Hamlet 8. Stormtroopers USA 9. Take the Money and Run 10. Eye of the Cat

April Fools, G’bye Mr. Chips, Medium Cool, Wild Bunch, Z, Women in Love, The Prime of Miss J.B., If (does not count), Love is Colder than Death, Sorrow and the Pity

1 Z 2 Butch Cassidy 3 The Wild Bunch 4 Army of Shadows 5 On Her Majesty’s Secret Service 6 Midnight Cowboy 7 Easy Rider 8 True Grit

@filipefurtado (Filipe Furtado):
Act of Apostles, AKA Serial Killer, Capricci, The Color of Pomegranates, Diaries Notes and Sketches, Dillinger is Dead, Femme Infidele, Goyokin Model Shop, My Night at Mauds

Midnight Cowboy, Fellini Satyricon, Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid, Easy Rider, The Italian Job, Z, Kes, The Wild Bunch, Women in Love Salesman (does not count)

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Hello, Dolly!, They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?, Anne of the Thousand Days, Pippi Longstocking

@6Lockwood (Jeff Lockwood):
1. Midnight Cowboy 2. The Wild Bunch 3. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid 4. Easy Rider 5. They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? 6. Women in Love 7. The Reivers 8. Alice’s Restaurant 9. Medium Cool 10. True Grit

@Filmspotting (Adam Kempenaar of the Filmspotting podcast):
Salesman (does not count), Midnight Cowboy, Easy Rider, The Wild Bunch, Medium Cool, Army of Shadows, Butch Cassidy, My Night at Maud’s

@benjaminkramer (Benjamin Kramer):
Army of Shadows, Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice, A Boy Named Charlie Brown, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Cactus Flower, Midnight Cowboy, Salesman (does not count), Take the Money and Run, They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?, Z

@BRALatham (Brandon Latham):
Easy Rider, Wild Bunch, Last Summer, Butch Cassidy, Gentle Woman, Midnight Cowboy, Love Colder/Death, Passion of Anna, Hello Dolly, They Shoot Horses

A Gentle Woman; Whatever Happened to Aunt Alice; The Love God; A Boy Named Charlie Brown; Easy Rider; Midnight Cowboy; True Grit; The Wild Bunch; Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice; Goodbye, Mr. Chips

@floatingartist (Dustin Chang):
1. Running in Madness, Dying in Love 2. Go Go, Second Time Virgin 3. Midnight Cowboy 4. The Cremator 5. Two or Three Things I know About Her (does not count) 6. The Damned 7. Calcutta 8. The Passion of Anna 9.  La Piscine 10. The Magic Christian

@dougrdickinson (Doug Dickinson):
 Z, My Night at Maud’s, Midnight Cowboy, Easy Rider, Passion of Anna, They Shoot Horses Don’t They, Italian Job, Butch Cassidy, Wild Bunch

1. They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? 2. On Her Majesty’s Secret Service 3. Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice 4. True Grit 5 Paint Your Wagon 6. Sweet Charity 7. Take the Money and Run 8. Where Eagles Dare 9. The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie 10. The Assassination Bureau

@rogeayyyy (Michael Rogerson):
Easy Rider, Army of Shadows

Army of Shadows, Easy Rider, Z, Mackenna’s Gold, Salesman (does not count)

@coyotegoth (Fred B. Smith):
1 Oh! What a Lovely War 2 Alice’s Restaurant 3 A Boy Named Charlie Brown 4 Downhill Racer 5 Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice 6 The Learning Tree 7 Medium Cool 8 The Rain People 9 The Reivers 10 Support Your Local Sheriff

@chriscwphillips (Chris Phillips):
Kes, Army of Shadows, Medium Cool, Funeral Parade of Roses, The Cremator, Z, Wild Bunch, My Night At Maud’s, Birds, Orphans And Fools, Easy Rider

@jhpcine (Juan Hernández):
My Night at Maud’s, Army of Shadows

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, True Grit, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, Midnight Cowboy, The Italian Job, Goodbye Mr. Chips, Battle of Britain, Support Your Local Sheriff, The House that Screamed, The Undefeated

True Grit, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

L’amour Fou, Andrei Rublev (does not count), Putney Swope, Le femme infidele, The Wild Bunch, Law and Order, Une femme douce, That Cold Day in the Park, The Arrangement, Destroy She Said

@celluloidtweets (Tim Jocys):
Midnight Cowboy, Take the Money & Run, Kes, Salesman (does not count), Butch Cassidy, Easy Rider, The Wild Bunch, True Grit

@McQueenTim (Tim McQueen):
Sayat Nova (The Color of Pomegranates), A Walk With Love and Death, Bed Sitting Room

Funeral Parade of Roses, Frankenstein must be destroyed, une femme douce, En passion, Sorrows, Diary of a Shinjuku Thief, Blind Beast, Ma nuit chez Maud, Circle and Kirsa Nicholina

Andrei Rublev (does not count), Army of Shadows, The Wild Bunch, Kes, Take the Money and Run, High School (does not count), Easy Rider, Putney Swope, My Night at Maud’s, The House that Screamed

@JulesArk (Julien Allen of Reverse Shot):
Mississippi Mermaid, My Night at Maud’s, Une femme douce, Army of Shadows, L’amour fou, Merchant of Venice, Fellini Satyricon, The Sorrow and the Pity, This Beast Must Die, Z 

@LedZeppJack (Jack McFadden):
The Wild Bunch, Sweet Charity, Z, Butch Cassidy, Army of Shadows, The Unfaithful Wife, Easy Rider, My Night at Maud’s, Take the Money and Run, Women in Love

Midnight Cowboy, Z, Alice’s Restaurant, My Night at Maud’s, The Color of Pomegranates, Army of Shadows, Boy, Double Suicide, Le Grand amour, The Love God

@Kza (Kent M. Besson):
Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice, Hatchet for the Honeymoon (does not count), The motherfucking Rain People, Medium Cool, Midnight Cowboy, Take the Money and Run, Larks on a String, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Z, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service 

@ReelBrew (<3 Greg Mucci of Brattle Theatre Film Notes):
They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?, Midnight Cowboy, Whatever Happened to Aunt Alice?, A Married Couple, That Cold Day in the Park, The Illustrated Man, Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed, Satyricon, The Italian Job, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

1. Eros Plus Massacre 2. A Gentle Woman 3. Katzelmacher 4. Porcile 5. Model Shop 6. Funeral Parade of Roses 7. Diary of a Shinjuku Thief 8. Love is Colder than Death 9. Invasion 10. Joy of Learning

@bmrow (Bront Morrow):
L’amour fou, Le grand amour, Birds/Orphans, Love/Colder, El dependiente, Sterile Cuckoo, Cremator, Dillinger/Dead, Night w Maud, Play Dirty

@JediMoonShyne (Nicholas Page):
Destroy She Said, The Cremator, Bronco Bullfrog, Invasion, Funeral Parade of Roses, Celebration in the Botanical Garden, A Gentle Woman, My Night at Maud’s, The Virgin’s Bed, The Swimming Pool

@faithx5 (Jandy Hardesty of The Frame):
On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, Z, My Night at Maud’s, Easy Rider, Butch Cassidy, Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice


@Aburnstine (Adam Burnstine):
A Gentle Woman My Night At Maude’s Color of pomegranates Love is Colder Than Death Medea Medium Cool Passion Of Anna Boy Z Fellini Satyricon

@christinalafou (Christina Newland of Esquire, Little White Lies, Sight/Sound Magazine, etc):
Medium Cool, Once Upon a Time in the West (does not count), Army of Shadows, Kes, Midnight Cowboy, Putney Swope, Love is Colder than Death, Bronco Bullfrog, They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?, A Gentle Woman

The Wild Bunch, Funeral Parade of Roses, Z, Army of Shadows, Putney Swope, Fellini Satyricon, They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?, Kes

@flipyourface (Jim Gabriel):
Wild Bunch, Women in Love, Sorrow & the Pity, Z, Medium Cool, Alice’s Restaurant, Putney Swope, Learning Tree, Plot Against Harry, Bed-Sitting Room

@BigTallDrew (Drew Choiniere):
They Shoot Horses, The Wild Bunch, Butch & Sundance, Midnight Cowboy, Z, Bob & Carol…

Kes, The Wild Bunch, Satyricon, Midnight Cowboy, Butch Cassidy, Putney Swope, Medium Cool, Army of Shadows, The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes

Support Your Local Sheriff!, Hello, Dolly!, True Grit, The Italian Job, Anne of the Thousand Days, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service

@Strangeramp (Floyd Rock):
Army of Shadows, Le grand amour, Z, Easy Rider, Take the Money and Run, The Wild Bunch, Midnight Cowboy, Love is Colder than Death, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie

@TAGrimshaw (Thomas Grimshaw):
1. Army of Shadows 2. Putney Swope 3. Funeral Parade of Roses 4. Z 5. Medium Cool 6. My Night at Maud’s 7. The Colour of Pomegranates 8. The Honeymoon Killers 9. The Damned 10. Double Suicide

On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, Easy Rider, The Wild Bunch, Kes, Take the Money and Run, Downhill Racer, The Italian Job, True Grit, Battle of Britain, Midnight Cowboy

@SilverEmulsion (Will Kouf of Silver Emulsion):
The Wild Bunch, True Grit, Take the Money and Run, Return of the One-Armed man, Have Sword Will Travel, The Invincible First, Killers Five, The Golden Sword, Easy Rider, Django the Bastard

Z, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Medium Cool, Kes, Midnight Cowboy

@henderstu (Stuart Henderson, writer and producer):
Wild Bunch; Z; Medium Cool; Passion of Anna; Butch Cassidy etc; Once Upon A Time In The West (does not count); Easy Rider; Prologue; Midnight Cowboy; On Her Majesty’s Secret Service

@astoehr (Alice S. of Pussy Goes Grrr, etc.):
The Color of Pomegranates, Funeral Parade of Roses, High School (does not count), Invocation of My Demon Brother, Kes, Medium Cool, Model Shop, My Night at Maud’s, The Passion of Anna, T,O,U,C,H,I,N,G

@Rivettian (Adam Batty, writer and programmer):
Night At Maud’s. L’amour fou. Army Of Shadows. Z. Castle Keep. Medium Cool. Kes. MidnightCow. Shoot Horses.

1. My Night at Maud’s 2. The Wild Bunch 3. The Color of Pomegranates 4. The Passion of Anna 5. Pierrot le Fou (does no count) 6. A Gentle Woman 7. The Joke

@PeterAPeel (Peter Avellino):
Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice, Model Shop, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, Last Summer, Midnight Cowboy, Medium Cool, Take the Money and Run, The Wild Bunch, They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?, Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed

Cemetery without Crosses, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, Army of Shadows, The Wild Bunch, Cactus Flower, The Italian Job, Forgotten Pistolero

@leosadako (Leo Martinelli):
Easy Rider, The Italian Job, Antonio das Mortes, Take the Money and Run, Z, Army Of Shadows, Mississipi Mermaid, On her Majesty’s Secret Service, The Wild Bunch, Midnight Cowboy

Butch & Sundance, The Damned, Midnight Cowboy, Mississippi Mermaid, Putney Swope, Sorrow & Pity, Support Yr Local Sheriff, Wild Bunch, Z

Army of Shadows, My Night at Maud’s, Wild Bunch, L’Amour Fou, Model Shop, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, Medium Cool, Downhill Racer, Milky Way, Femme Infidèle

@wh0n0z (Robert Thompson):
Midnight Cowboy, Easy Rider, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Goodbye Mr. Chips, They Shoot Horses?, Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice, Paint Yer Wagon, Downhill Racer, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie

@MidCenturyCinema: Medium Cool, Army of Shadows, Midnight Cowboy, The Rain People, Wild Bunch, Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice, Passion of Anna, Z, My Night at Maud’s, & 2 Chabrols tie (Unfaithful, This Man)

@lancinehouse23 (Ian Schultz, of Psychotronic Cinema and The Skinny Mag):
1. Army of Shadows 2. The Cremator 3. The Wild Bunch 4. Midnight Cowboy 5. Medium Cool 6. The Italian Job 7. Kes 8. More 9. Putney Swope 10. They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?

@LondonMovieLoon (Seth Imis):
Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid, Once Upon Time In West (does not count), Kes, Take the Money and Run, Italian Job, Easy Rider, Cactus Flower, Valley of Gwangi, Passion of Anna, Age of Consent

On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, Putney Swope, Medium Cool

@Angie6NC (Angie Dahl):
On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, Hello Dolly!

The Cow, Funeral Parade of Roses, Watersmith, Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice, Putney Swope, The Joke, Yawar mallku, Walden, Fuego, Dillinger Is Dead

@peteramblington (Peter Firth):
Butch Cassidy, Italian Job, Midnight Cowboy, Kes, They Shoot Horses Don’t They?, Women in Love, Goodbye Mr Chips, The Learning Tree, My Night at Maud’s

OK: Absolute top is La Piscine. Then: Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid; Carry On Camping, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, Army of Shadows, Italian Job

@ohrachelleigh (Rachel Leigh):
Z, Midnight Cowboy, They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, What Ever Happened to Aunt Alice?, The Damned, Kes, My Night at Maud’s, The Passion of Anna, Women in Love

@dvanhouw (Dave Van Houwelingen):
Wild Bunch, Army of Shadows, Honeymoon Killers, Z, Midnight Cowboy, They Shoot Horses, Butch Cassidy, Easy Rider, Medium Cool, Passion of Anna

Funeral Parade of Roses, My Night at Maud’s, Boy, Medea, Le gai savoir, The Cremator, Passion of Anna, Bhuvan Shome, Portrait of Hell, Gaav (The Cow)

@hattorihanzo37 (James Fairbanks):
Z, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Topaz, 100 Rifles, Take the Money and Run, Boy Named Charlie Brown, The Sterile Cuckoo, Putney Swope, Wild Bunch, Midnight Cowboy

@IamNotTrevor (Trevor Dobbin):
1. Eros + Massacre 2. Funeral Parade of Roses 3. Diary of a Shinjuku Thief 4. L’Amour Fou 5. My Night at Maud’s 6. Take the Money and Run 7. Frankenstein Must Be Detroyed 8. Night Gallery (made for TV movie) 9. Hitokiri aka Tenchu! 10. Godzilla’s Revenge

@david_cornelius (David Cornelius):
Butch Cassidy, Midnight Cowboy, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, Once Upon a Time/West (does no count), True Grit

Army of Shadows, My Night at Maud’s

@Dustin4444 (Dustin Riccio):
My Night at Maud’s, The Passion of Anna, Z, Midnight Cowboy, The Gladiators, The Red Tent, Cemetery without Crosses, Army of Shadows, In the Year of the Pig (does not count), The Cremator

Butch Cassidy, The Italian Job, My Night at Maud’s, A Boy Named Charlie Brown, Lions Love (…and Lies)

Z, The Wild Bunch, Midnight Cowboy, They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?, Fellini Satyricon, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, Medium Cool, Easy Rider, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Alice’s Restaurant

Z, Sorrow and the Pity, My Night at Maud’s, Army of Shadows, Wild Bunch, Medium Cool, Butch Cassidy & Sundance Kid, Kes, Easy Rider, Downhill Racer

@matthew_lucas (writer for The Dispatch, editor of From the Front Row):
Army of Shadows, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, Once Upon a Time in the West (does not count), Midnight Cowboy

Mr. Freedom, Medium Cool, Milky Way, Computer Wore Tennis Shoes, Aradhana, Butch Cassidy, Army of Shadows, The Joke, Z, Madwoman of Chaillot

1. Army of Shadows 2. They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?, 3. Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice 4. The Damned 5. Z

Army of Shadows, The Color of Pomegranates, La femme infidelie, The Honeymoon Killers, Medium Cool, Midnight Cowboy, The Sorrow and the Pity, The Sterile Cuckoo, They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?, Z

Vinni-Pukh, Love is Colder than Death, The Assassination Bureau, Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice, My Night at Maud’s, Brilliantovaya Ruka, Spalovac mrtvol (The Cremator), This Man Must Die, Bambi Meets Godzilla, vtackovia, siroty a blazni (Birds, Orphans, and Fools)

@_JakeMulligan (Critic, Associate Film Editor at Dig Boston):
1. T,O,U,C,H,I,N,G 2. The Wild Bunch 3. Watersmith 4. Law and Order 5. Model Shop 6. Le grand amour 7. Easy Rider 8. Putney Swope 9. Z 10. A Walk with Love and Death

Femina Ridens, Funeral Parade of Roses, Go, Go Second Time Virgin, Venus in Furs, Salesman (does not count), Visual Training, Invocation of My Demon Brother, T,O,U,C,H,I,N,G

@videofrome71 (Scott Siegel):
Once Upon a Time in the West (does not count), The Wild Bunch, Army of Shadows, Z, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, Who’s that Knocking at my Door (does no count), Burn!, In the Year of the Pig (does not count)

@TaxiVampire (Lennart Anderson):
Midnight Cowboy, AKA Serial Killer, Kes, La Piscine, My Night at Maud’s, Army Of Shadows, Go Go Second Time Virgin, Borom sarret (does not count), Wild Bunch

Coming Apart, Intimate Lighting, La Femme Infidele, Z, Age of Consent, Play Dirty, Funeral Parade of Roses, Salesman (does not count), Army of Shadows, Wild Bunch

Army of Shadows, The Color of Pomegranates, Femina ridens, My Night at maud’s, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, Salesman (does not count), The Sicilian Clan, Temptress of a Thousand Faces, The Wild Bunch, Z

@henridecorinth (Henri de Corinth):
Pigsty, The Color of Pomegranates, Las crueles (The Exquisite Cadaver), Sorrows, Lawale, Destroy She Said, La muñeca perversa, Pirosmani, Eros + Massacre, Le labyrinthe

@akashkumarfilm (Akash Kumar):
Army of Shadows, Joy of Learning, Putney Swope, The Rain People, Mississippi Mermaid, The Wedding Party, Love Is Colder Than Death, Model Shop, Kes

Army of Shadows, The Damned, The Cremator, Satyricon, A doppia faccia, Prime of Miss Brodie, Cactus Flower, Whatever Happened to Aunt Alice

True Grit, Ring of Bright Water, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, Hello Dolly, Battle of Britain

Wild Bunch, Castle Keep, Honeymoon Killers, Kes, La Piscine, Midnight Cowboy, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, Women in Love, Z and Medium Cool

Kes, The Valley of Gwangi, Midnight Cowboy, Butch Cassidy, The Wild Bunch, Take the Money & Run, Z, Doppelgänger, Downhill Racer, Easy Rider

They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?, Women in Love, Easy Rider

Cactus flower, Hello Dolly, Kes, Midnight cowboy, The prime of Miss jean Brodie, They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?

Bambi Meets Godzilla, Salesman (does not count), True Grit, Easy Rider, Mondo Trasho, Midnight Cowboy, The Gay Deceivers, The Rain People, The Wild Bunch

@BarnesonFilm (Daniel Barnes):
Midnight Cowboy, They Shoot Horses, Salesman (does not count), Wild Bunch, Double Suicide, Bob & Carol, Z, Easy Rider, Medium Cool, Take the Money and Run

Army of Shadows, The Wild Bunch, Z, The Milky Way, Easy Rider, Kes
Love is Colder Than Death, Salesman (does not count), Italian Job, Women in Love

Salesman (does not count), Wild Bunch, Kes, The Sorrow & the Pity, Army of Shadows, My Night at Maud’s, Z, Medium Cool, High School (does not count), Support Your Local Sheriff

@willow_catelyn (Willow Maclay of Village Voice, Ebert Voices, Cleo Journal, Film Stage, etc):
Funeral Parade of Roses, L’amour Fou, Diary of a Shinjuku Thief, My Night at Maud’s, Tenchu!, Une Femme Douce, Eyes (Spielberg Night Gallery), Porcile,
The Wild Bunch

L’amour fou, My Night at Maud’s, Une femme douce, Army of Shadows, Passion of Anna, Boy, The Wild Bunch, Sayat Nova (Color of Pomegranates), Z, They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?

Putney Swope, Burn!, The Wild Bunch, On her Majesty’s Secret Service, Venus in Furs, Funeral Parade of Roses, Femina ridens, The Love God? 

Gamera vs Guiron, Femina Ridens, The Ultimate Degenerate, Eros + Massacre, Salesman (does not count), Dracula, the Dirty Old Man, Venus in Furs, Pit Stop, Funeral Parade of Roses, Cemetery without Crosses 

@meowsaystheemo (Jenny Fletcher):
Midnight Cowboy, Women in Love, Kes, The Italian Job, True Grit

@ProphetKotto (Alex Megaro):
Army of Shadows, Z, Color of Pomegranates, The Cremator, The Joke, Mr. Freedom, Medium Cool, Putney Swope, Salesman (does not count), Return of the One Armed Swordsman

Wild Bunch, Z, Fellini: A Director’s Notebook, Army of Shadows
Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed

Army of Shadows, Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice, Easy Rider, Kes, Medium Cool, Midnight Cowboy, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, Take the Money and Run, True Grit, The Wild Bunch

@sjwigley (Samuel Wigley):
Army of Shadows, L’Amour fou, La Femme infidèle, My Night at Maud’s, Model Shop, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, Passion of Anna, La Piscine, Que la bête meure,
Wild Bunch

Boy, Ditirambo, Antonio das Mortes, The Color of Pomegranates, Sara Akash, el depediente, aka serial killer, medea, al-mummia, invasion

Phantom India, Uski Roti, Nubes, Antonio das Mortes, For My Crushed Right Eye, The Confrontation, Acephale, Acts of the Apostles, Spare Bedroom, Double Suicide

Army of Shadows, Kes, Easy Rider, Butch Cassidy, The Italian Job, Midnight Cowboy, The Wild Bunch, Where Eagles Dare 

The Italian Job, Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice, True Grit, Easy Rider, Medium Cool, Downhill Racer, Take the Money & Run, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, My Side of the Mountain

@alexkittle (Alex Kittle of and 366 Weird Movies):
True Grit, The Wild Bunch, Hello Dolly, The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes, Lions, Love…, Butch Cassidy, Midnight Cowboy, Sweet Charity


@DianaDDrumm (Diana Drumm of @FemaleFilmCritics):
Anne of the Thousand Days, Midnight Cowboy, Easy Rider, The Italian Job, True Grit, The Madwoman of Chaillot, The Wild Bunch, Hello Dolly, A Boy Named Charlie Brown, Frosty the Snowman 

@notjustmovies (Jake Cole of Not Just Movies, Slant, etc.):
1. Eros + Massacre 2. Army of Shadows 3. Medium Cool 4. My Night at Maud’s 5. A Time for Dying 6. The Wild Bunch 7. Le gai savoir 8. Andrei Rublev (does not count) 9. Medea 10. On Her Majesty’s Secret Service

@redroomrantings (Justine A. Smith of Vague Visages, Vice Canada, and Globe Arts):
1. Easy Rider 2. The Wild Bunch 3. Last Summer 4. My Night at Maud’s 5. Law and Order 6. The Night of Counting the Stars 7. The House that Screamed 8. Butch Cassidy 9. Age of Consent 10. Fellini Satyricon 

What I’ll Remember About the Films of 1982: A Love Letter

Posts in the What I’ll Remember tag:
 1925, 1930, 1943, 1958, 1965, 1978, 1992, 2012, 2013, 2014

The following may seem exhaustive, but trust me, it’s not! At the beginning of any year I take on I tend to be more detailed at noting things. Then, as time passes, momentum inevitably downshifts. So that partly explains why some films are documented more than others here (why so much Diner? I didn’t even really like Diner!), regardless of quality. But I tried my best to represent the last 10 months of working through my 1982 Watchlist. This is the last post I will be doing for 1982. I will be tweeting out my honorable mentions and my Top Ten By Year: 1982 next week and then getting started on my next year: 1969!

Enjoy! At the bottom of the page I’ve put a sampling of some of my favorite shots of 1982. I have many many more highlighted on twitter (@cinephile24)

Share your favorite bits from 1982 films in the comments!


1982: Geeky. Sleazy. Bleak.

Main takeaway from 1982: it really does feel like the last half of Boogie Nights

Have I mentioned that 1982 is bleak? Because it’s pretty damn bleak (The Snowman, White Dog, The Thing, The Plague Dogs, The Last American Virgin, Shoot the Moon, Missing, The World According to Garp, Halloween III: Season of the Witch, Class of 1984, The Thing, hey good lookin’, Smithereens, Liquid Sky, Veronika Voss, Woman of Fire 82, The Border, Der Fan, Xtro, E.T. The Extra-terrestrial (resolved ending aside)

Have I mentioned that 1982 is sleazy? Because it’s pretty damn sleazy (Eating Raoul, Class of 1984, The Last American Virgin, Vice Squad, Visiting Hours, The Last Horror Film, Night Warning, Smithereens, Class of 1984, Liquid Sky, Tenebre, Xtro, Woman of Fire 82, Night Shift, hey good lookin’, Querelle, Q: The Winged Serpent)

Catching NYC in its waning punk days. Desperation, destruction, and lots of squatting  (Liquid Sky & Smithereens)

The first year featuring computer graphics in film (Tron, Star Trek II: Wrath of Khan)

1982: The Year that Scarred Children Forever  (E.T The Extra-Terrestrial, The Secret of NIMH, The Plague Dogs, The Dark Crystal, Poltergeist, Annie)

RIP: John Belushi, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Grace Kelly, Henry Fonda, Ingrid Bergman, Jacques Tati, Romy Schneider

summer-lovers-10I love subversive happy endings, especially the one in Summer Lovers, an exuberant statement on the fearless feasibility of unconventional relationships. The film gleefully, and admirably, commits to dodging expected threats of conflict at every turn. It does this at the sacrifice of effective storytelling, which, weirdly enough, I’d argue is worth the trade-off.

Speaking of romantic subversiveness, the indelible small-town warmth and charms of Who Am I This Time? Love discovered in fiction through fiction.

Pleasant surprises (movies I wasn’t expecting to get as much out of as I did): The World According to Garp, Summer Lovers, Rocky III

Disappointments: Fitzcarraldo, Une Chambre en ville, Tempest, The Plague Dogs, Night Warning, Still of the Night, Diner, Victor/Victoria, Cat People, rewatch of My Favorite Year, Identification of a Woman, Woman of Fire 82, Le Beau Mariage

Huge year for the basic presence and acknowledgement and/or tackling of LGBTQ content (wide spectrum of quality represented aside) (Personal Best, By Design, Come Back to the Five and Dime Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean, Victor/Victoria, Liquid Sky, Labyrinth of Passion, Making Love, La Truite, Tenebre, Deathtrap, Tootsie, Eating Raoul, The World According to Garp, Querelle, La Truite, Another Way, Starstruck, Vice Squad, Summer Lovers, Toute une nuit)

Watching E.T for the first time since its 2002 theatrical re-release. The most emotionally draining movie-watching experience I’ve had in years (that says a lot; I’m a big crier). It left me shaken for days afterwards. It also confirmed the long-established fact that I have a very difficult time with stories where a creature and/or animal is befriended but the threat of man/government and their laboratories jeopardize everything! (I’m looking at you, The Plague Dogs) (see also: The Iron Giant, Splash)

FEATURE FILM DEBUTS: Eddie Murphy (48 Hrs.) Glenn Close (The World According to Garp), Kevin Kline (Sophie’s Choice), Phoebe Cates (Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Paradise) Antonio Banderas (Labyrinth of Passion), Geena Davis (Tootsie), Molly Ringwald (Tempest), Kirstie Alley (Wrath of Khan), Angelina Jolie (Lookin’ to Get Out), Ellen Barkin (Diner), Linda Hamilton (Tag: The Assassination Game), Eric Stoltz (Fast Times at Ridgemont High), Nicolas Cage (Fast Times at Ridgemont High), Forest Whitaker (Fast Times at Ridgemont High)

STAR-MAKING ROLES:  Eddie Murphy (48 Hrs) , Drew Barrymore (E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial), Michael Keaton (Night Shift), Michelle Pfeiffer (Grease 2), Glenn Close (The World According to Garp), Phoebe Cates (Fast Times at Ridgemont High)

The immediacy of the destructive tactile touch in Dimensions of Dialogue. While the inanimate crumbles to dust via constant iterations, order & logic fall out of sync through repetition.

Dario Argento’s ability in Tenebre (and Deep Red) to pinpoint the scariest possible thing as that little detail lingering in your memory all along

The overwhelming transference of a nervous breakdown, the present existing on top of the present in Five-Year Diary, reel 23

shades-of-lavender-in-the-movie-tootsietootsie-2tootsieThe use of creamy purples and pink interiors that promote the unfamiliar (for Michael) comfort of feminine spaces (Tootsie)

(In part) Meta-films about writers that exist in the kinds of stories they write
(Tenebre, Deathtrap, The World According to Garp)

Every time you think you’ve seen the standout sequence in Tenebre, just wait because there’s another one coming up

Teen sex = teen pregnancy = abortion (The Last American Virgin & Fast Times at Ridgemont High)

You can quote me on this: Fast Times at Ridgemont High features the greatest young ensemble film has to offer. Eat my shorts, Dazed and Confused.

personal-best-7The radical vision of female athletic bodies in motion (Personal Best)

Winner of the Weirdest Movie of 1982 is…..Human Highway!

My well-documented (via Instagram) state of shock over the insanity of the last 30 minutes of The World According to Garp

Movies driven by New Wave and/or punk music in soundtrack and content (Der Fan, Starstruck, Ladies and Gentlemen, the Fabulous Stains, Smithereens, Urgh! A Music War)

As a rule I see films through to the end, but I could not for the life of me get through Tempest. by the time Raul Julia says “I want to balanga you with my ‘bonijoni'” to a 14-year old Molly Ringwald, that was the sign to peace out.

The dancing encounters in Toute une nuit

The beautiful wallpapers and interiors of Une chambre en ville

Post Jodie Foster/John Brinkley lingerings (The Last Horror Film, Der Fan)

Actors featured in 1982 films I consider ‘my people’ (we all have them: performers we, for lack of more specific articulation, feel special connections with, seek out and/or look forward to seeing more than most): (Queen) Isabelle Huppert, (Queen) Michelle Pfeiffer, Patty Duke, Kristy McNichol, Sandy Dennis, Nastassja Kinski, Laura Dern, Mariel Hemingway, Jack Nicholson, Raul Julia, Brad Davis, Michael Ironside, Jessica Harper

The spectre of father in Fanny and Alexander

Fashion shows! (By Design and Liquid Sky)

Being in awe of everything Julie Dash is able to say in 35 minutes with Illusions, in which two black women navigate and question 1940s Hollywood and its purpose

Lookin’ to Get Out = Hal Ashby’s Dumb and Dumber 

The bizarre and often incomprehensible shorthand friendship between Jon Voight and Burt Young in Lookin’ to Get Out. See also: above line.

The perfect synthesis of storytelling through formal hyper-stylized artificiality in One from the Heart

Tend to loathe jam sessions but I’ll never forget when Human Highway halts for a ten minute jam session dream sequence of Devo & Neil Young performing “My My Hey Hey (Into the Black)”

Speaking of Raul Julia….we didn’t deserve Raul Julia, and apparently neither did Teri Garr! (One from the Heart)

The unmatched grotesquery of the practical and/or creature effects work in The Thing. You’d think I was watching Singin’ in the Rain if you saw my face during these scenes

In regards to both character and performance, I cannot figure out if I love Mariel Hemingway or hate Mariel Hemingway in Personal Best

Everyone go watch Visiting Hours for Michael Ironside’s rivetingly internalized & brutal portrait of a killer. His best work?

“Coo-oo-oo-ool riiiider” and the song ending with Queen Pfieffer singing & dancing off into oblivion as the music follows her, hilariously fading out as she gets father away (Grease 2)

Ray (Raul Julia) getting fired in One from the Heart. One-take comic gold

Tom Atkins, my imaginary mortal enemy, playing a doctor of all things, and one that, of course, gropes and sleeps with all the ladies (Halloween III: Season of the Witch)

972769f26f0b3de27a4e4c40d2b76891The look of heartbreak on Jeff’s face as Mr. Hand eats his pizza (Fast Times at Ridgemont High)

It’s a Kinski kind of year (Nastassja in One from the Heart & Cat People; Klaus in Fitzcarraldo, Burden of Dreams, Android, The Soldier)

Speaking of: Nastassja Kinski, where have you been all my life???? (One from the Heart, Cat People)

Dennis Hopper at his most authentically unhinged in Human Highway

Deeply unsatisfying and discomfiting virginity loss scenes in The Last American Virgin and Fast Times at Ridgemont High

Those red pumps in Tenebre 

When I had to write a screenplay for a class, I covered it in songs off of “Crazy Rhythms” by The Feelies, one of my very favorite albums. So it was a dream come true discovering  that a film, a great film no less, already exists that employs “Crazy Rhythms” as a major component of its DNA (Smithereens)

The literal dick-measuring contest set to “Whip It” in The Last American Virgin. I am still trying to convince my eyes that yes, they did in fact see this.

The bottomless sleaze of NY & LA, where nobody takes notice when people go missing (Q, Eating Raoul)

Animal testing in animated movies! Avert your eyes! (The Secret of NIMH, The Plague Dogs)

Slashers move from masked killers to killers with faces, faces of white male rage (Slumber Party Massacre, Visiting Hours, The Last Horror Film, Vice Squad)

Every single second Kimmy Robertson is onscreen in The Last American Virgin

Come Back to the Five and Dime Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean being the moment I realized that I will eventually see every single thing Sandy Dennis ever appeared in. Is she my next Patty Duke? Stay tuned….

The warped slow-motion soundscape hell of Linda’s bathroom escape in Next of Kin 

Color palettes fit for the gods in Querelle and One from the Heart

The Rambo crying scene in First Blood cuts deep, man. Cuts real deep.

The tongue-in-cheek cut that transforms ‘mother’ into ‘whore’ (Vice Squad)

diner-2Mickey Rourke’s hair and general physical beauty in Diner

The scene between Paul and a prostitute in his van in Smithereens. For some reason it’s the scene that resonates most

Crystal Gayle’s voice is what I hear every time a garbage Christmas cover comes on the radio (One from the Heart)

The terrible ‘cutting edge’ synth scores of Android and Xtro

Collective murder in the boutique (A Question of Silence)

Pair Shoot the Moon with The Squid and the Whale for a no-holds-barred double feature about the ugliness of divorce and the ways children get nudged into the crosshairs

May I henceforth be known as the girl who never stops yammering on about The Last American Virgin

The performance of 1982 for me: Karen Black in Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean. The perfect confluence of a. Black’s nuance and expression of the minutiae of Joanne’s interiority and b. Altman’s camera watching her like a hawk in hiding, prioritizing her perspective with a sensitivity and nuance rarely seen. A significant and layered trans woman character in *1982*.

I didn’t think I ever needed to see another movie about horny boys again but somehow The Last American Virgin‘s unique combination of unapologetic crassness with streaks of fear and ambivalence proved me wrong. An essential case study on the “nice guy”

“Me and my rhythm box! Me and my rhythm box!” (Liquid Sky)

Wishing cult actress Paula E. Sheppard had appeared in more than two films (Liquid Sky and Alice, Sweet Alice from 1976) because her Adrian in Liquid Sky is the most distressing element of a distressing film. Somehow, I see shades of Elizabeth Berkley’s performance in Showgirls?

Hot Guys of 1982: Maxwell Caulfield in Grease 2, Steve Antin in The Last American Virgin, Mickey Rourke in Diner, Brad Davis in Querelle, Kurt Russell in The Thing, Christopher Reeve in Deathtrap, Harrison Ford in Blade Runner, Raul Julia in One from the Heart, Peter Weller in Shoot the Moon, Peter Gallagher in Summer Lovers, Sean Penn in Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Christopher Walken in Who Am I This Time?

Embracing the fantasy and theatricality of the movie set (One from the Heart, Come Back from the Five and Dime Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean, Querelle)

The year Cher begins her career as a serious actress (Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean)

Can we bring back the Savage Cuts-Like-A-Knife Freeze Frame Ending? (Shoot the Moon & Smithereens)

Steve Martin pouring the “java” in Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid

The end of The Snowman, and what it must have communicated to 3 year old me.

The best dumb thing I saw in the films of 1982: the underwater animated musical sequence in The Pirate Movie (clip available on my instagram)

        Coups in transparently unnamed countries (Missing & The Year of Living Dangerously)

Being so unprepared for the raunchy and joyous Tab Hunter-led “Reproduction” number in Grease 2

Every single thing Isabelle Huppert wears in La Truite, but particularly her sweater with “Peut-etre” on the front and “Jamais” on the back. Iconic.

The sexy lived-in marriage between Craig T. Nelson & Jobeth Williams in Poltergeist

One from the Heart: Worth going bankrupt for

All the cutting-edge montage editing in Rocky III, especially anything involving Rocky & Apollo training together (obviously)

Rewatching Blade Runner and remembering that oh yeahhhh, the replicants are the ones we care about

Sorry not sorry but I don’t care for: Sophie’s Choice, The Wall, Fitzcarraldo, My Favorite Year, The Plague Dogs, The Dark Crystal, Identification of a Woman, Une chambre en ville, Passion, Le beau mariage

Sara’s outburst at her husband late in Losing Ground (“Don’t fuck around then!!!!! Don’t take your dick out like it was art-ist-ic, like it’s some goddamn paintbrush. Maybe that’s what’s uneven, that I got nothin’ to take out.”)

The smart, direct, and sometimes surprising scene transitions in Tootsie

Jessica Harper trying to tell a joke in My Favorite Year

Given my lifelong ambivalence towards Diane Keaton, her shattering work in Shoot the Moon is doubly something to behold

White Dog. I don’t even have a specific thing to say about it except my God, White Dog.

The Cannes montage in The Last Horror Film: billboards, beaches and boobs (clip available on my instagram)

I like The Thing, quite a bit, but I’ve seen it five times and just have to accept that there will always be this weird barrier between me and it

The breakthrough mainstream feminist film of the year is….about a man (Tootsie) (PS; love you Tootsie) (yes, I know this is reductive but just go with it)

Constant roving lights, suffocated by crowds & the city, never alone but always alone in Blade Runner

The fantasy of Vice Squad, a world where bringing justice to the murder of sex workers is a top priority of law enforcement

dana_freelingDominque Dunne’s elaborately rad bird-flipping moment in Poltergeist 

Alright. I’ll say it: Zelda Rubenstein’s scenes are the weakest part of Poltergeist

Most Thankless Roles and/or Performances: William Shatner – Visiting Hours, Richard Roundtree – Q, Harvey Keitel – The Border, Dyan Cannon – Deathtrap, Claudia CardinaleFitzcarraldo, Mr. T – Rocky III, Jeanne Moreau – La Truite, Didi Conn – Grease 2

The genius bit part of the construction worker in Q: The Winged Serpent: “You sons of bitches, if anyone ate that sandwich, I’m going to shove the thermos up your asses one at a time” (clip available on my instagram)

Jack Nicholson’s delivery of “I married a banana. I married a fuckin’ banana” (The Border) (clip available on my instagram)

The wonders Christine Lahti does with her TV interview scene in Ladies & Gentlemen, the Fabulous Stains

Ellen Barkin’s heartbreaking delivery of “I did something. I did something wrong” in Diner

nicholdnJack Nicholson giving what is possibly his best performance in The Border. Such keenly interior work, the antithesis of what we think of when we think of A Jack Nicholson Performance

Sean Penn’s delivery of “Hey, you’re ripping my card!” in Fast Times at Ridgemont High

“You never mean tehhhhhhhhhh” (Friday the 13th: Part 3) (clip available on my instagram)

Kevin Bacon’s delivery and elation over “I’ve been waiting to use that ketchup bottle for WEEKS! For WEEKS!” in Diner

Lesley Ann Warren’s delivery and elation (“YAAAAAAAAY!!!”) over the “reveal” that Victoria is Victor in Victor Victoria

Assault; it’s everywhere, even if a few of the films themselves won’t acknowledge it (Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid, Diner, Victor/Victoria, Visiting Hours, Eating Raoul, Blade Runner (?), The World According to Garp, Vice Squad, Class of 1984, Liquid Sky, Xtro)

Anne Carlisle. Anne Carlisle. Anne Carlisle. (Liquid Sky)

Favorite Characters:
Joanne (Karen Black; Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean), Rose (Kimmy Robertson; The Last American Virgin), Corinne Burns (Diane Lane; Ladies & Gentlemen the Fabulous Stains), Billy Kwan (Linda Hunt; The Year of Living Dangerously), Margaret (Anne Carlisle; Liquid Sky), Dorothy Michaels (Dustin Hoffman; Tootsie), Brad Hamilton & Jeff Spicoli (Judge Reinhold & Sean Penn in Fast Times at Ridgemont High), Peter Stegman (Timothy Van Patten, Class of 1984), Doris the Dominatrix (Susan Saiger; Eating Raoul), Pooh Percy (The World According to Garp), the Skeksis (The Dark Crystal), Pris (Daryl Hannah; Blade Runner)

Least Favorite Characters:
Terry (Saul Rubinek, By Design), Benjy Stone (Mark Linn-Baker; My Favorite Year), Karen (Diane Franklin; The Last American Virgin), Adrienne Barbeau, Creepshow), Jen (Jim Henson; The Dark Crystal), Michael Dorsey (Dustin Hoffman; Tootsie) Eddie (Steve Guttenberg; Diner), Angus (Ross O’Donovan; Starstruck), Jeremy (voiced by Dom DeLuise; The Secret of NIMH), Peter Stegman (Timothy Van Patten, Class of 1984), Vinnie Durand (Joe Spinell; The Last Horror Film) everybody in Hey good lookin, Paulie (Burt Young; Rocky III), Sabine (Béatrice Romand; Le Beau Marriage), Victor (Bill Gunn; Losing Ground)

Favorite Performances:
Karen Black (Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean Jimmy Dean), Henry Thomas (E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial), Anne Carlisle (Liquid Sky), Jack Nicholson (The Border), Diane Lane (Ladies and Gentlemen the Fabulous Stains), Linda Hunt (The Year of Living Dangerously), Diane Keaton (Shoot the Moon), Jon Voight (Lookin to Get Out), Sandy Dennis (Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean), Dana Hill (Shoot the Moon), Michael Ironside (Visiting Hours), Michael Moriarty (Q), Kimmy Robertson (The Last American Virgin), Winifred Freedman (The Last American Virgin), Robin Williams (The World According to Garp), Lawrence Monoson (The Last American Virgin), Ellen Barkin (Diner), Christopher Reeve (Deathtrap), Jack Lemmon (Missing), Lesley Ann Warren (Victor Victoria), Michael Keaton (Night Shift), Sylvester Stallone (First Blood), Raul Julia (One from the Heart), Christopher Walken (Who Am I This Time?)


liquid-sky-11(Liquid Sky)

“You know how to dial, don’t you? You just put your finger in the hole, and make tiny little circles” (Rachel Ward in Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid)

“The promise of Hollywood is not action, but illusion” (Illusions)

Peter Stegman: Face the music… teacher teacher.
Mr. Norris: Wait a minute, you’re in this class. Sit down.
Peter Stegman: [gives him the finger] Sit on this, motherfucker.
Andrew Norris: What’s the matter with you?
Peter Stegman: What’s the matter with you? What’s the matter with me? What’s the matter with matter?
(Class of 1984)

(Ladies and Gentlemen, the Fabulous Stains)

George: You played a tomato for 30 seconds – they went half a day over schedule because you wouldn’t sit down.
Michael: Of course. It was illogical.
George: YOU WERE A TOMATO! A tomato doesn’t have logic. A tomato can’t move.
Michael: That’s what I said. So if he can’t move, how’s he going to sit down, George?
(Sydney Pollack and Dustin Hoffman in Tootsie)

“You know you have an amazing knack for holding onto the thread of a conversation”
(Victor to his wife Sara in Losing Ground)

“You must be dead, because I don’t know how to feel. I can’t feel anything anymore.”(Henry Thomas, E.T)

“You always remember the wrong things”
(Shoot the Moon)

“I realize it’s best to live through stories before creating them”
(Godard’s Passion)

“Making love to your daddy is a rare and beautiful thing”
(Shoot the Moon)

Jeff Spicoli: No shirt, no shoes…
Jeff and Stoner Buds: No dice! Ohhhh.
Brad Hamilton: Right. Learn it. Know it. Live it.
(Fast Times at Ridgemont High)

“I think Dorothy is smarter than I am”
(Michael (Dustin Hoffman) in Tootsie)

“Why are you pushing me?”
(Rambo (Sylvester Stallone) in First Blood)

“You know, if you’re in a jam he’s probably the best guy to have around. Even though he probably put you in the jam to begin with”
Burt Young talking about Jon Voight in Lookin to Get Out

(A Question of Silence)

Boogie: What’s your name?
Jane: Jane Chisolm, as in the Chisolm Trail? (rides off on horse)
Boogie: What fucking Chisolm Trail?
Fenwick: You ever get the feeling there’s something going on we don’t know about?

“He made fun of me in front of everybody, including myself”

“We have to articulate ourselves, otherwise we would be cows in the field”
(Werner Herzog, Burden of Dreams)

“I just killed Mr. Leech, you know, Mr. Leech from the bank!”
“Yeah well I just stepped on Mr. Snail from the garden”
(Paul Bartel and Mary Woronov in Eating Raoul)

25 Favorite Images of 1982 Films:
(no order; most function as still images I love, but unsurprisingly many are served better within the context of the film and/or movement)

Blade Runner
Losing Ground
The Last American Virgin
The World According to Garp
Der Fan (Trance)
White Dog
Identification of a Woman
One from the Heart
Toute une nuit
Tenebre (the motion of this shot is critical to its greatness)
One from the Heart
Godard’s Passion
Godard’s Passion
Time Masters
The Last Horror Film
Shoot the Moon
Rocky III
Personal Best
Next of Kin
Liquid Sky
La Truite
Friday the 13th Part 3
Five Element Ninjas
Ladies and Gentlemen, the Fabulous Stains

Top Ten By Year: 1982 Poll Results


Previous Top Ten By Year Polls: 1925, 1958, 1978, 1992, 1930

Poll Rule Reminders: 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.)

Note: If you voted for The King of Comedy, Koyaanisqatsi, Le pont du nord, Road Warrior, Pennies from Heaven, The Entity, Stalker, or Das Boot, those votes did not count towards the final tally. To keep consistency with awkward titles that have two years associated with it, I disqualified them here (though they still appear in your individual ballots) because I consider them to be from other years.

I am slowly wading my way through 1982, which is rewarding but also exhausting in how relentlessly downbeat the year is as a whole. Saving the films I’m most excited to see for last is, in hindsight, a terrible plan. I should spread those out, right? Right.

With about 60% of the 1982 watchlist left to go, I decided to enact the (film twitter) famous poll. Seeing everyone’s votes is both an opportunity for me to make any final additions or deletions to my watchlist, and to use the enthusiasm with which people represent their favorites as fuel moving forward.

First off, thank you so much to everyone who voted! 1982 has the late 20th century reputation of 1939, considered this high water mark in cinema (a reputation I’m personally at odds with). Unsurprisingly, the number of participants in this poll far exceeded the others. 210 people voted for 194 different films! The invigorating thing about 1982 is the spectrum found within the individual ballots. More than any other year I’ve done, or may ever do, 1982 exemplifies a precise moment in history where several key genres (mainly sci-fi, fantasy, teen movie, slashers) are operating at peak exposure. And they are surrounded by all manner of other films, most prominently late-career oddities and/or extravagant projects from auteurs. I really thought it would be a much tighter race between E.T, Blade Runner, and The Thing. But The Thing proved to be the film that transcends all taste and preferences.

Taking into account the Internet oversaturation of lists/listicles, I hope it’s clear that this project is anything but tossed off. The Top Ten By Year Project is an effort to reclaim what I love about lists in the first place. 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? My hope with these polls is that, in addition to planting seeds of anticipation for the related posts to come (What I’ll Remember About the Films of 1982: A Love Letter, Favorite Shots, and the Top Ten. Poster Highlights for 1982 can be found here), they mainly serve as a resource for anyone looking for new films to watch whether it’s from seeing:

a. what ‘Film Twitter’ collectively loves
b. more importantly, the films towards the bottom of the list, the ones you’ve never heard of that are begging for (re)discovery.
c. the individual ballots from people whose taste and knowledge you value

Surprises? Disappointments? General thoughts? Leave your thoughts on the poll in the comments section! (“oh hey, people voted for Shoot the Moon. What’s that?”)


POLL RESULTS – Top Ten By Year: 1982

1. The Thing (Carpenter / US) – 138 votes
2. Blade Runner (Scott / US)- 122 votes
3. E.T. The Extra-terrestrial (Spielberg / US) – 88 votes
4. Tootsie 
(Pollack / US) – 65 votes
5. Fanny and Alexander (Bergman / Sweden) – 64 votes
6. Fitzcarraldo (West Germany / Herzog)- 61 votes
7. Poltergeist (Hooper / US) – 56 votes
8. The Verdict (Lumet / US) – 53 votes
9. Fast Times at Ridgemont High (Heckerling / US) – 47 votes
10. Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (Meyer / US) – 39 votes


35 votes:  White Dog
32 votes: Diner 
30 votes: Tenebrae
26 votes: Veronika Voss
24 votes: First Blood, Tron 
23 votes: Victor/Victoria, 48 Hrs., Burden of Dreams, The Dark Crystal
22 votes: Missing 
21 votes: My Favorite Year, The Secret of NIMH
20 votes: Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean
18 votes: Querelle, One from the Heart
17 votes: Halloween III: Season of the Witch, Ladies and Gentlemen, The Fabulous Stains, Conan the Barbarian
16 votes: Sophie’s Choice, Gandhi, Creepshow, Pink Floyd: The Wall
15 votes: Rocky III
12 votes: Eating Raoul, Toute une nuit, The Draughtsman’s Contract, Passion
11 votes: Cat People, The Atomic Cafe, Moonlighting
10 votes: Shoot the Moon, The World According to Garp, An Officer and a Gentlemen
9 votes: Frances, Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid, Night Shift, Le beau mariage, Identification of a Woman, Q: The Winged Serpent, Deathtrap
8 votes: The Last Unicorn, Made in Britain, The Snowman, Liquid Sky
7 votes: Basket Case, Chan is Missing, Une chambre en ville, Annie, Losing Ground
6 votes: Grease 2, Boat People, Night of the Shooting Stars, The State of Things, Smithereens, The Year of Living Dangerously
5 votes: Too Early / Too Late (Trop tôt/Trop tard), Starstruck, On Top of the Whale, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, Ashes & Embers, Airplane II: The Sequel, Honkytonk Man, The Plague Dogs, Pieces, Yol
4 votes:  A Midsummer Night’s Sex Comedy, New York Ripper, Class of 1984, Britannia Hospital, Time Masters, L’ange, Richard Pryor Live on the Sunset Strip
3 votesIllusions, Vice Squad, Five Element Ninjas, Personal Best, Legandary Weapons of China, Hammett, Labyrinth of Passion, Slumber Party Massacre, Living Dead Girl
2 votes: The Last American Virgin, Megaforce, Evil Under the Sun, Friday the 13th Part 3, Beastmaster, Zapped, Angel, Ana, A Question of Silence, Time Stands Still, Tex, Human Highway,  Trance (Der Fan), Thunder, Gauche the Cellist, Nomad, The Border, The Sword and the Sorcerer, Porky’s, The Green, Green Grass of Home, Barbarosa, The Return of Martin Guerre, Swamp Thing
1 vote: Madman, Brimstone & Treacle, Death Wish II, Bonjour, Mr. Lewis, La nuit de Varennes, Fall Guy, Firefox, One Man’s War, Carry On Pickpocket, Gold, Silver Death, Bad Blood, The Worthlessm Arcadia of My Youth , The Issa Valley, Humongous, Wend Kuuni, Dimensions of Dialogue, The Man from Snowy River, Macbeth, The Miracle Fighters, Austeria, Ninja in the Dragon’s Den, Tempest, Urgh! A Music War, The Toy, Peel:, An Exercise in Discipline, The Adventures of Monica’s Gang, Il diaglo di Roma (Roman Dialogue), An Egyptian Story, Parsifal, Le Père Noël est une ordure (Santa Claus is a Stinker), 66 Scenes from America, Who Am I This Time?, Unconscious London Strata, The Outsider, Reassemblage, I, the Jury , The Who at Shea Stadium doc, Shift, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Room 666, De beeldenstorm, Visiting Hours, Scénario du film Passion, Jinxed!, P’tang, Yang, Kipperbang, Vincent, Le bête lumineuse, Fighting Back, Five Year Diary / Going Crazy, Amityville II: The Possession, Vernon, Florida, Sorceress, Inchon, Monkey Grip, Block H (Caged Women), Radio Adios, We of the, Never Never, Once There was a Dog, 1900: The Bronx Warriors, Banana Joe, Night Warning, The Simple-Minded Murderer, A Man When he is a Man, En rachâchant, Family Business, Invocation, Interrogation, Making Love, Space Adventure Cobra, The Beehive, The Dreamers (fragments), Visita ou Memórias e Confissões, The Chorus, Silent Rage, Himala, The Grey Fox, Android, The Escape Artist


@notjustmovies (Jake Cole of Not Just Movies, Movie Mezzanine, Slant, etc.):
1. Blade Runner 2. The Thing 3. Fanny and Alexander 4. Tenebre 5. Scénario du film Passion 6. Fitzcarraldo 7. Passion 8. Ladies and Gentlemen, the Fabulous Stains 9. The Wrath of Khan 10. Halloween III

Fall Guy, White Dog, Veronika Voss, Querelle, Toute une nuit, The Thing, The King of Comedy (does not count), Cat People, Nomad, Thunder, Boat People

The Thing, Blade Runner, Fabulous Stains, Eating Raoul, Come Back 5/Dime, Fitzcarraldo, Android, Basket Case, Veronika Voss, Koyannisqatsi (does not count)

Une Chambre en Ville and Fast Times at Ridgemont High

1. ET 2. Fast Times 3. Verdict 4. Poltergeist 5. Dark Crystal

The Thing, Missing, Blade Runner, King of Comedy (does not count), Fitzcarraldo, Burden of Dreams, Poltergeist, Fanny & Alexander, Gandhi, Verdict

@timothyeraw (Tim Evans of Verite, CineOutsider and Grolsch Film Works):
1. The Thing 2. The King of Comedy (does not count) 3. Come Back to the Five & Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean 4. Das Boot (does not count) 5. A Midsummer Night’s Sex Comedy 6. Cat People 7. Conan the Barbarian 8. The Border 9. Sophie’s Choice 10. Diner

Diner, Fast Times, Tootsie, Pennies f Heaven (does not count), My Favorite Year, Missing, Fanny & Alexander, Personal Best, Verdict, Year of Living Dangerously


@crolinss (Caroline Madden)
The Thing, E.T., Tootsie, An Officer and a Gentleman, Diner, King of Comedy (does not count), Poltergeist, The Secret of Nimh, 48 Hrs., Sophie’s Choice

The Last Unicorn, E.T, Tootsie, An Officer and a Gentleman, The Secret of NIMH, Pennies from Heaven (does not count), Poltergeist, Conan the Barbarian, My Favorite Year, Deathtrap

Fanny & Alexander, Victor/Victoria, The Verdict, ET, Tootsie, Blade Runner, Missing, Death Trap, Sophie’s Choice, Fast Times

1. Fanny and Alexander 2. Das Boot (does not count) 3. Tootsie 4. An Officer and a Gentleman 5. Victor/Victoria 6. Frances 7. Sophie’s Choice 8. Annie 9. Gandhi 10. Tron

Tenebre, The Thing, Blade Runner, The Living Dead Girl, Halloween III, Cat People, Smithereens, Veronika Voss, Losing Ground, The New York Ripper

Blade Runner, Too Early/Too Late, Le pont du nord (does not count), The Thing, The King of Comedy (does not count), Koyaanisqatsi (does not count)

@HouseofSparrows (David Robson)
Creepshow, The Dreamers (fragments), Identification of a Woman, My Favorite Year, Querelle, The State of Things, Tempest, Tenebre, Urgh! A Music War, White Dog

Blade Runner/Come Back to the 5& Dime/The Thing/Fitzcarraldo/Eating Raoul/Le Beau Mariage/Tenebre/Veronika Voss/Starstruck/Moonlighting

Blade Runner, Conan the Barbarian, E.T., Gandhi, Missing, My Favorite Year, Pink Floyd The Wall, The Thing, Tootsie, The Verdict

Deathtrap, Silent Rage, Mad Max 2 (does not count), Poltergeist, Blade Runner, The Thing, World According to Garp, My Favorite Year, Halloween 3, Tenebre

@DavidBlakslee (David Blakslee of Criterion Reflections, Criterion Cast):
Atomic Cafe, Blade Runner, Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid, Fanny & Alexander, Fitzcarraldo, Ghandi, Koyaanisqatsi (does not count), Pink Floyd: The Wall, Tron and World According to Garp

Blade Runner, Frances, Labyrinth of Passion, Missing, Poltergeist, Querelle, Sophie’s Choice, Tootsie, Tron, Victor/Victoria

ET, Poltergeist, Verdict, Live on the Sunset Strip, Blade Runner, The Thing, Night Shift, My Favorite Year, Creepshow, 48hrs

TOOTSIE, Sophie’s Choice, E.T. the Extraterrestrial, An Officer and a Gentleman, Gandhi


ET, Tootsie, The Thing, Shoot the Moon, Victor/Victoria, Poltergeist, Creepshow, Night Shift, Deathtrap, Last American Virgin

@jslaterwilliams (Josh Slater-Williams, writer for Little White Lies, Vague Visages, etc)
Blade Runner, Cat People, Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid, The Draughtsman’s Contract, Halloween III: Season of the Witch, Ladies and Gentlemen, The Fabulous Stains, One from the Heart, Secret of NIMH, Shoot the Moon, The Thing

Vice Squad, The Last Unicorn, The Verdict, Space Adventure Cobra, Rocky 3, Arcadia of My Youth, Class of 1984
, 48 Hrs, Halloween III, I, The Jury

Eric Backer (Facebook user)
, Blade Runner, Pink Floyd The Wall, Tootsie, The Thing , The King of Comedy (does not count), Missing, The Verdict, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, The World According to Garp

Salim Garami (facebook)
Blade Runner, Koyaanisqatsi (does not count), The Thing, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, Fanny and Alexander, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, Fitzcarraldo, Burden of Dreams, Conan the Barbarian, Fast Times at Ridgmont High


@theangrymick (Donald G. Carder)
The Atomic Cafe, Barbarosa, The Beehive, The Grey Fox, Night of the Shooting Stars, The Return of Martin Guerre, Shoot the Moon, The Sword and the Sorcerer, White Dog, We of the Never Never

recollective (tumblr user)
E.T., On Golden Pond (does not count), Tootsie

Cinematicgestures (tumblr user)
Pennies From Heaven (does not count); The Verdict; Tootsie; Koyaanisqatsi (does not count), E.T.; The Thing; Tron; The Secret of NIMH; Fast Times at Ridgemont High; Blade Runner

First Blood, E.T, The King of Comedy (does not count), A Man When he is a Man, The Thing, The Green, Green Grass of Home

Victor/Victoria, Deathtrap, Tootsie, Evil Under The Sun, Friday the 13th 3

Querelle, blade runner, the thing, victor/victoria, veronika voss, tenebre, labyrinth of passion, un chambre en ville, tootsie, e.t

Rocky III, Poltergeist, ET, Blade Runner, The Thing, The Verdict

Creepshow, Poltergeist, Pink Floyd – The Wall, The Thing, First Blood, Conan the Barbarian, Rocky III, Blade Runner, Tron, E.T.

Fanny and Alexander, The Thing, E.T., Blade Runner, Diner, Poltergeist, Missing, 48 Hours, Conan the Barbarian, Eating Raoul

1) E.T., 2) STALKER (u.s. release) (does not count) 3) BLADE RUNNER, 4)ROAD WARRIOR (does not count) 5)THE THING, 6)BURDEN OF DREAMS, 7)FITZCARRALDO, 8)MISSING

The Draughtsman’s Contract, Fitzcarraldo, Toute une nuit, La Notte di San Lorenzo (Night of the Shooting Stars), Les Maitres du temps (Time Masters), Plague Dogs, Tenebre, The Thing, Tootsie, White Dog

Blade Runner, Wrath of Khan, The Thing, Secret of NIMH, Rocky 3, Gandhi, Tron, Dark Crystal, King of Comedy (does not count), Plague Dogs

Poltergeist, E.T., Blade Runner, The Thing, The Secret of NIMH, Tootsie, Ladies and Gentleman, the Fabulous Stains
, Burden of Dreams, Victor/Victoria, White Dog

Tootsie, The Thing, The Verdict, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Blade Runner


Poltergeist; 48 Hours; Tootsie; State of Things; Wrath of Khan; Hammett; Verdict; ET; Fanny & Alexander; Road Warrior (does not count)

Jinxed!, White Dog, Bonjour Mr Lewis, En rachâchant, Querelle, Made in Britain, Visita ou Memorias…, King of Comedy (does not count), Tenebre

Swamp Thing, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, Chan is Missing, The Thing, Fitzcarraldo, Tenebre, Poltergeist, Fanny & Alexander

Swamp Thing, Porky’s, Megaforce, Zapped, The Beastmaster, Q, Amityville 2, Grease 2, Sorceress, Inchon


The Verdict, 48 Hours, Fitzcarraldo, The Entity (does not count), Das Boot (does not count), Road Warrior (does not count), The Thing, Officer & A Gentleman, Fast Times, Tootsie

Blade Runner, The Thing, Boat People, Yol, King of comedy (does not count), The Simple-Minded Murderer, Made in Britain, Himala, Pink Floyd: the Wall

Koyaanisqatsi (does not count), The Draughtsman’s Contract, Liquid Sky, Blade Runner, Beastmaster, Halloween III, Fitzcarraldo

Too Early, Too Late, Passion, Identification of a Woman, Le beau mariage (A Good Marriage), The Thing The King of Comedy (does not count) Querelle, Fanny & Alexander

The Thing, Blade Runner, Tootsie, Koyaanisqatsi (does not count), Identification of a Woman, Veronika Voss, The Verdict, My Favorite Year, Diner

Blade Runner, The Thing, 48 Hrs, The Verdict, Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid, Draughtsman’s Contract, Angel, Tootsie, Q, Diner

Blade Runner, Tootsie

Victor Victoria, Honkytonk Man, Fast Times at Ridgemont, Night of Shooting Stars, Passion, Blade Runner, Green Grass of Home

@armenioja (Joe Armenio)
The King of Comedy (does not count); The Verdict; Family Business (Tom Cohen); The Thing; Une chambre en ville; Koyaanisqatsi (does not count), Too Early, Too Late; The Draughtsman’s Contract; Fitzcarraldo; Veronika Voss

King of Comedy (does not count), The Thing, Radio Adios, ID of a Woman, Querelle, Der Fan, Block H (Caged Women), One from the Heart, White Dog, Tenebre

@selfstyledsiren (Farran Nehme, the Self-Styled Siren of Film Comment, NY Post, author of Missing Reels):
Fanny & Alexander, Shoot the Moon, Tootsie, Diner, ET, Victor/Victoria, My Favorite Year, Evil Under the Sun, Moonlighting & Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean

@paolocase (Paolo Kagaoan)

Basket Case, Blade Runner, Creepshow, The Dark Crystal, Eating Raoul, First Blood, Fitzcarraldo, Poltergeist, Tenebrae, The Thing

@toro913 (Milan Terzic)
blade runner, fanny and alexander, koyaanisqatsi (does not count), fitzcarraldo, missing, moonlighting, thing, e.t. Diner, tootsie

Blade Runner, Eating Raoul, Fanny & Alexander, The New York Ripper, Night Warning, Pieces, Q, Tenebre, The Thing, Veronika Voss

E.T., Blade Runner, The Thing, Creepshow, Tootsie, Fanny & Alexander, The Dark Crystal, Fitzcarraldo, Star Trek II, Fast Times

@bwestcineaste (Alex Heeney, writer for Seventh Row)
Gandhi, Missing

@tmibugbee (Teo Bugbee, writer for MTV News)
Koyaanisqatsi (does not count), Burden of Dreams, Fitzcarraldo, One from the Heart, The Atomic Café, Grease 2, Poltergeist, Frances, Querelle, Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid

@sarahnwondrland (Aunt!)
my favorite year, ladies and gentlemen, the fabulous stains, fast times at ridgemont high, blade runner, making love, veronika Voss, dark crystal, diner, poltergeist, night shift

@suspirialex (Alex Heller-Nicholas, writer, editor at Senses of Cinema, author of Rape-Revenge Films: A Critical Study and more)
Tenebre, The Draughtsman’s Contract, The Living Dead Girl, White Dog, Pieces, Querelle, Veronika Voss, Monkey Grip, Identification of a Woman, Le beau mariage, First Blood

@SabinaStent (Sabina Stent, of, author of The Hollywood Surreal)
Come Back to the Five & Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean, Tootsie, Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid, A Midsummer Night’s Sex Comedy, The Snowman, Diner, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, The Dark Crystal, Tenebre, Frances

Markusmaria (WordPress user)
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, Blade Runner, Fanny & Alexander, Conan the Barbarian, The Verdict, The Thing, The Last Unicorn, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, 48 Hrs., The Secret of NIMH

Theo (WordPress user)
Fanny and Alexander, My Favorite Year, Yol, Diner, Tootsie, Blade Runner, Shoot the Moon, Liquid Sky, Toute Une Nuit, The Night of the Shooting Stars

randomyriad (WordPress user)
Blade Runner, Pennies from Heaven (does not count), The Dark Crystal, Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid, The Verdict, Hammett, Fanny and Alexander, Fitzcarraldo, Annie

The Thing/Blade Runner/Fast Times At Ridgemont High/Fitzcarraldo/Veronica Voss/Secret of Nimh/

Sue Cyr (Mom):
My Favorite Year, The Snowman

@cinementalist (Kyle Stevens, Film professor, editor of New Review of Film and Television Studies)
Victor/Victoria, Querelle, Labryinth of Passion, Deathtrap, King of Comedy (does not count), Sophie’s Choice, Fanny and Alexander, Koyaanisqatsi (does not count), Veronika Voss, Tootsie

@ohrachelleigh (Rachel Leigh of
Blade Runner, Gandhi, Sophie’s Choice, Fanny and Alexander, Victor/Victoria, Cat People, E.T., Pink Floyd: The Wall, An Officer & a Gentlemen, Britannia Hospital

@Jee_vuh (Jeva Lange)
Smithereens, The Last Unicorn

ghostof82 (wordpress)
1. Blade Runner 2. The Thing 3. Conan the Barbarian 4. First Blood

@adam_the_k (Adam Kuntavanish, director of Special Features and Sr. Staff Critic at Next Projection):
Blade Runner, Burden of Dreams, Chan is Missing, Diner, Eating Raoul, Ladies & Gentlemen, the Fabulous Stains, Moonlighting, Poltergeist, The Thing, White Dog

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

Blade Runner, Fanny and Alexander, E.T., The Thing, The King of Comedy (does not count), The Snowman, Star Trek II, The Dark Crystal, Fitzcarraldo & Tenebre

@alexyoungen (Alex Youngen):
The Who at Shea Stadium doc, Blade Runner, The Thing, Wrath Of Khan, Veronika Voss, 66 Scenes of America, Burden Of Dreams, Koyaanisqatsi (does not count), Death Wish II, The Verdict

Blade Runner, Conan the Barbarian, Das Boot (does not count), Diner, Poltergeist, The Road Warrior (does not count), Star Trek II, The Thing, Tootsie, Victor / Victoria

Matt (BFF):
E.T, The Thing, Blade Runner, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Poltergeist, Halloween III, Creepshow, Airplane 2, Ladies and Gentlemen, the Fabulous Stains, The Snowman

theapplauseofbones (tumblr user)

@olivia8K (Alice Reilly-Gold)
Fanny and Alexander, Blade Runner, The Verdict, My Favorite Year, The Last Unicorn, The Secret of NIMH, The Thing, Deathtrap, Passion, Victor/Victoria

Dark Crystal, The Last Unicorn, E.T., Wrath of Khan, Poltergeist, The Thing, Blade Runner, Tron, Fast Times at Ridgemont High

_K_Kriheli (Kenneth Kriheli)
1) Fanny&Alexander 2) The Thing 3) ET 4) White Dog 5) Fast Times at Ridgemont High 6) Sweeney Todd 7) A Midsummer Nights Sex Comedy 8) Poltergeist 9) Room 666 10) Frances

Blade Runner, Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean, Fanny and Alexander, Fitzcarraldo, Identification of a Woman, Querelle, Tenebre, The Thing, White Dog, Yol

The Verdict, Diner, Tootsie, Gandhi, Shoot the Moon, Missing, Blade Runner, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, My Favorite Year, Frances

Fitzcarraldo, The Thing, Poltergeist, E.T., Blade Runner, White Dog, Halloween III, Tenebre, Ladies & Gentlemen, The Fabulous Stains, Q: The Winged Serpent

Boat People

Blade Runner, The Thing, Missing, Sophie’s Choice, Moonlighting, The Year of Living Dangerously, Dark Crystal, Interrogation, King Of Comedy (does not count), Victor Victoria

@soft_dread (Madeline)
Illusions (Dash), Invocation (Halpern), Tenebre, Living Dead Girl, The Chorus (Kiarostami), The Thing, Ashes and Embers, Draughtsman’s Contract, The Entity (does not count), Blade Runner (good year for shorts)

@rachel_is_here (Rachel West)
The Thing, Poltergeist, E.T, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, The Secret of NIMH, Blade Runner, Fitzcarraldo, Sophie’s Choice, The Last Unicorn, Gandhi

E.T., The Thing, Gandhi, Pink Floyd: The Wall, Creepshow & lesser choices Fast Times, Rocky III, Blade Runner & Tootsie

@BimboMovieBash (Charlotte)
The Dark Crystal, ET, The Thing, The world according to garp, Brimstone and Treacle, Tron, Basket Case

Poltergeist, Tootsie, The Thing, Sophie’s Choice, Victor/Victoria, Fast Times At Ridgemont High, Frances, Bladerunner, Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid & ET

Le Beau Mariage, Come Back to the Five & Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean, Deathtrap, ET, Fast Times, Fitzcarraldo, Burden of Dreams, Officer and a Gentleman, Tootsie, The Verdict

Night of the Shooting Stars, Burden of Dreams, Pieces, The Thing, Five Elements Ninja, Losing Ground, Fitzcarraldo, L’Ange, Koyaanisqatsi (does not count)

@mhcovill (Max Covill)
Blade Runner, E.T, Fanny and Alexander, Koyaanisqatsi (does not count), The Thing, Poltergeist, Wrath of Khan, Gandhi, Tron, Road Warrior (does not count)

@Cinematic_Life (of This Cinematic Life):
E.T., Tootsie, Secret of NIMH, Fanny & Alexander, Missing

1 Blade Runner 2. The Thing 3. Wrath of Khan 4. E.T 5. Fanny and Alexander 6. The Verdict 7. Gandhi 8. 48 Hrs 9. Poltergeist 10. First Blood

The Thing, The Verdict, 48 Hours, Rocky III, Missing, Eating Raoul, Airplane II, Tootsie, Bladerunner, Atomic Café

48 Hrs, Zapped, The World According to Garp, Night Shift, Angel, First Blood, Das Boot (does not count), Diva (does not count), Diner, The Verdict

@ScribeHard (Michael Nazarewycz)
E.T., Fast Times at Ridgemont High, First Blood, Ladies and Gentlemen, the Fabulous Stains, The Last American Virgin, Night Shift, An Officer and a Gentleman, 48 Hrs.

The Thing, ET, Poltergeist, First Blood, Tootsie, Koyaanisqatsi (does not count), White Dog, Eating Raoul, Star Trek II and (fuck it) Airplane 2

Fitzcarraldo, Fanny and Alexander, The King of Comedy, White Dog, Burden of Dreams, The Thing, Passion, Veronika Voss, The Outsider

Hivesofbees (tumblr username)
poltergeist, la nuit de varennes, diner, fitzcarraldo, une chambre en ville, veronika voss, come back to the five and dime jimmy dean jimmy dean, fanny & Alexander

Blade Runner, Das Boot (does not count), E.T., The Escape Artist, A Midsummer Night’s Sex Comedy, Poltergeist, Star Trek 2, The Thing, Tron, The Verdict


@UnpluggedCrazy (Arlo J. Wiley of the Gobbledygeek podcast):
Fanny & Alexander, ET, Diner, The Thing, Sophie’s Choice, The Verdict, Chan Is Missing, Tootsie, Fast Times, King of Comedy (does not count)

MM: Road Warrior (does not count), Atomic Cafe, ET, Koyaanisqatsi (does not count), Blade Runner, The Verdict, Gandhi, Dark Crystal, Fanny & Alexander, Tootsie

Blade Runner, Diner, Fast Times at Ridgemont, King of Comedy (does not count), Veronika Voss, Ragtime (does not count), Koyannisqatsi (does not count), Night Shift, ST2-Khan, The Thing

1) Veronika Voss 2) ET 3) The King of Comedy (does not count) 4) The Thing 5) Fitzcarraldo 6) One from the Heart 7) Diner 8) Blade Runner 9) An Officer and a Gentleman 10) White Dog

The Thing, ET, Blade Runner, Fast Times at Ridgemont, First Blood, Rocky III, Fitzcarraldo, The Verdict, Diner, King of Comedy (does not count)

1. P’tang, Yang, Kipperbang 2. Fanny and Alexander 3. Koyaanisqatsi (does not count) 4. Blade Runner 5. The Thing 6. E.T 7. Fitzcarraldo 8. Made in Britain 9. The Verdict 10. Liquid Sky

@BuddyBoyBaxter (Mason Daniel)
1. Blade Runner 2. The Snowman 3. Koyaanisqatsi (does not count) 4. The Thing 5. The King of Comedy (does not count) 6. Fitzcarraldo 7. The Dark Crystal 8. Tootsie 9. E.T 10. Vincent

@jaimegrijalba (Jaime Grijalba):
Atomic Café, Creepshow, Eating Raoul, E.T., Fitzcarraldo, King of Comedy (does not count), Passion, The Thing, Tootsie, On Top of the Whale

@E_Film_Blog (Michael Ewins):
1. Toute une nuit 2. Fitzcarraldo 3. Blade Runner 4. Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean 5. White Dog 6. The King of Comedy (does not count) 7. The Thing 8. Basket Case 9. Fast Times at Ridgemont High 10. The New York Ripper

the thing / the king of comedy (does not count) / blade runner / halloween III / the slumber party massacre

@Kza (Kent. M. Beeson):

BLADE RUNNER, KOYAANSIQATSI (does not count), and ET

The Thing, Koyaanisqatsi (does not count), Une Chambre en ville, Blade Runner, Fanny &Alexander, White Dog, Peel: An Exercise in Discipline

1. E.T 2. Blade Runner 3. The Thing 4. The Secret of NIMH 5. Star Trek II 6. Fitzcarraldo 7. The Verdict 8. Road Warrior (does not count) 9. Rocky III 10. Burden of Dreams

@flipyourface (Jim Gabriel)
Diner, Fanny and Alexander, 5 and Dime, Made in Britain, Moonlighting, Shoot the Moon, Time Stands Still, Tootsie, Personal Best, Querelle

Starstruck, Halloween III, Liquid Sky, Tenebrae, Poltergeist, The Thing, Pieces, Cat People, The Entity (does not count), Class of 1984

@SchmanthonyP (Brian Schmid!):
1. Fanny and Alexander 2. The Draughtsman’s Contract 3. The Snowman 4. Gandhi 5. Toute une nuit 6. Tootsie 7. Poltergeist 8. An Egyptian Story 9. My Favorite Year 10. The Wall

the thing, tenebre, veronika voss, on top of the whale, fitzcarraldo, fanny & alexander, smithereens, q, cat people, une chambre en ville

@ME_Says (Murtada of ME Says):
Tootsie, Victor/Victoria, Officer/Gentleman, Diner, Blade Runner, Porky’s, Year of Living Dangerously, Querelle

@BarnesOnFilm (Daniel Barnes of Sacramento News and Review):
1. One from the Heart 2. Fitzcarraldo 3. E.T 4. The Thing 5. Rocky III 6. The Verdict 7. Tootsie 8. Poltergeist 9. Burden of Dreams 10. Fast Times

@FernandoFCroce (Fernando F. Croce of CinePassion):
Passion, Toute une Nuit, The Thing, One from the Heart, Honkytonk Man, White Dog, Q, On Top of the Whale, Parsifal, Yol


1. Koyaanisqatsi (does not count) 2. The Thing 3. Blade Runner 4. The Entity (does not count) 5. E.T 6. Mad Max 2: Road Warrior (does not count) 7. Tootsie 8. Fast Times at Ridgemont High 9. Poltergeist 10. Tenebre

Amanda (BFF!)
Blade Runner, E.T, The Dark Crystal, The Snowman, Losing Ground

Adam (irl friend!)
Fanny and Alexander, Tootsie, Poltergeist, Fitzcarraldo

E.T., Poltergiest, Grease 2, Blade Runner, Star Trek II, Annie

@labuzamovies (Peter Labuza, Author of Approaching the End, host of The Cinephiliacs. Critic for Variety, Village Voice, etc):
1. Five Year Diary/Going Crazy 2. E.T 3. Shift 4. The Thing 5. Illusions 6. Yol 7. Come Back to the Five & Dime Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean 8. On Top of the Whale 9. One from the Heart 10. The World According to Garp

@alexkittle (Alex Kittle of and 366 Weird Movies):
Eating Raoul, Grease 2, Halloween III, King of Comedy (does not count), Ladies and Gentlemen, the Fabulous Stains, Liquid Sky, Poltergeist, Smithereens, Starstruck, The Thing

@48ONIRAM (Brian!)
Blade Runner, Fitzcarraldo, The Thing, Tron, The Dark Crystal, Creepshow, Basket Case, My Favorite Year, The State of Things, The Verdict

@dallasshaldune (TJ Duane):
1. Fanny & Alexander 2. Fitzcarraldo / Burden of Dreams 3. Blade Runner 4. Missing 5. E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial 6. The Thing 7. Identification of a Woman 8. Veronika Voss 9. Sophie’s Choice 10. Tootsie

@derek_g (Derek Godin):
The Thing, Blade Runner, King of Comedy (does not count), Fitzcarraldo, Koyaanisqatsi (does not count), White Dog, Legendary Weapons of China, First Blood, Time Masters, My Favorite Year

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

1. Who Am I This Time? 2. Fanny & Alexander 3. Losing Ground 4. The World According to Garp 5. Poltergeist 6. The Thing 7. Star Trek Wrath of Kahn 8. White Dog 9. Blade Runner 10. One from the Heart

@BernardoVillela (co-founder of Miller-Villela, writer/director/editor/blogger)
E.T, The Evil Dead (does not count), Honkytonk Man, Fanny and Alexander, Annie, The Adventures of Monica’s Gang, Halloween III, Stalker (does not count), Creepshow, The Toy

@juvie_cinephile (Juvie!!!)
The Thing, Veronika Voss, One from the Heart, Querelle, White Dog, Five & Dime, Fanny & Alexander TV, Ridgemont High, Made In Britain, and Ladies and Gentlemen, the Fabulous Stains

Blade Runner, Fanny & Alexander, Shoot the Moon ,48Hrs, The Thing, One From the Heart, Tootsie, The Verdict, Diner, Sophie’s Choice

10. Fitzcarraldo 9. First Blood 8. Ladies and Gentlemen the Fabulous Stains 7. Boat People 6. Chan is Missing 5. Fanny and Alexander 4. White Dog 3. Ashes and Ember 2. Human Highway 1. The Thing

@PeterAPeel (Peter Avellino)

Blade Runner, The Draughtsman’s Contract, Fanny and Alexander, Human Highway, The Wall, Richard Pryor, Passion, Wrath of Khan, The Thing, Toute une nuit

48 Hrs, Bad Blood (Newell), Eating Raoul, E.T, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Fitzcarraldo, Made in Britain, The Thing, The World According to Garp, The Worthless

@CocoHitsNewYork (Conrado Falco of Coco Hits New York):
Fitzcarraldo, E.T.

@adamhopelies (Adam Batty, Lecturer and founder of Hope Lies At 24 Frames Per Second):
Le Pont du Nord (does not count), Le beau mariage, Passion, One from the Heart, State of Things, Hammett, Halloween III, Time Masters, King of Comedy (does not count), Cat People

@rosstmiller (Ross Miller of Thoughts on Film):
Blade Runner, The Thing, Creepshow, The Verdict, Poltergeist, E.T., Airplane II, Tron, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Missing

@HighStakes92 (Richard Harris)

Blade Runner, The Thing, Poltergeist, ET, Tron, First Blood, Friday the 13th pt 3, Night Shift, Star Trek 2, Megaforce

@DanSchindel (of, Los Angeles Magazine, Movie Mezzanine, etc.):
Fanny and Alexander, Ashes & Embers, First Blood, The Plague Dogs, The Snowman, The Thing, Wrath of Khan, Conan the Barbarian, The Atomic Café, Illusions

@redroomrantings (Justine A. Smith of Vague Visages, Vice Canada, and Globe Arts):
1. Blade Runner 2. Fanny & Alexander 3. Burden of Dreams 4. Le bête lumineuse 5. White Dog 6. Veronika Voss 7. Come Back to the Five & Dime Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean 8. Fitzcarraldo 9. The Secret of NIMH 10. The Thing

@bybowes (Danny Bowes of Film School Rejects):
48 Hrs, Blade Runner, Liquid Sky, Querelle, Smithereens, Wrath of Khan, The Thing, Tootsie, The Verdict, The Year of Living Dangerously

@r_emmet (R. Emmet Sweeney of Movie Morlocks):
Moonlighting, Victor/Victoria, Le beau mariage (A Good Marriage), On Top of the Whale, Firefox

Losing Ground/Blade Runner/Made in Britain/Question of Silence/Querelle/Too Early Too Late/Burden of Dreams

@IAmNotTrevor (Trevor Dobbin of Trevor Writes)
1. The Thing 2. Wrath of Khan 3. Blade Runner 4. Toute une nuit 5. Fanny & Alexander 6. The Wall 7. Godard’s Passion 8. Five Element Ninjas 9. Tenebre 10. Halloween III

@PaulBoyne (Paul Boyne of Infinite Crescendo)
1. Wrath of Khan 2. Poltergeist 3. Blade Runner 4. Tootsie 5. The Thing 6. The Draughtsman’s Contract 7. Koyaanisqatsi (does not count) 8. Secret of NIMH 9. Pink Floyd: The Wall 10. The Dark Crystal

@oldfilmsflicker: (Marya Gates of @tcm and @FilmStruck, Cinema Fanatic, creator of #AYearWithWomen & #Noirvember)

1. Blade Runner 2. Fanny and Alexander 3. Fitzcarraldo 4. The Thing 5. Burden of Dreams 6. Koyaanisqatsi (does not count) 7. The Atomic Café 8. First Blood 9. The Verdict 10. E.T

@SilverEmulsion (Will Kouf of Silver Emulsion)
The Thing, E.T, First Blood, Fast Times, Conan the Barbarian, Dark Crystal, White Dog, Madman, Five Element Ninjas, Richard Pryor Sunset Strip

Tootsie, The Thing, Blade Runner, The Secret of NIMH, TRON, First Blood

@sailor_P00N (Ashley! of Pussy goes Grrr)
One from the Heart, The Thing, Visiting Hours, Annie, Halloween III, The Slumber Party Massacre

@Blumez (Alec Blumenthal)
1. Fanny and Alexander 2. Fast Times at Ridgemont High 3. Burden of Dreams 4 .Richard Pryor Live on the Sunset Strip 5. The Plague Dogs 6. Once there was a Dog 7. The King of Comedy (does not count) 8. Blade Runner 9. Vernon, Florida 10. First Blood

@eyeshakingking_ (Keefe Murphy):
1. Trop tôt, trop tard (Too Early / Too Late) 2. Ana 3. Toute une nuit 4. Passion 5. L’ange 6. Reassemblage 7. Unconscious London Strata 8. Il diaglo di Roma 9. De beeldenstorm 10. Identification of a Woman

Tron, The Sword & the Sorcerer, Moonlighting, Britannia Hospital, Last Unicorn, State of Things, Barbarosa, Tex, Fanny & Alexander, The Border

ET, The Thing, Wrath of Khan, Blade Runner, Pink Floyd: The Wall, King of Comedy (does not count), Halloween III, Tron, Poltergeist, First Blood

@SeanMBurns (Sean Burns of Spliced Personality, etc)
1. E.T 2. 48 Hours 3. Blade Runner 4. Star Trek II 5. Fast Times at Ridgemont High 6. Come Back to the Five and Dime 7. Rocky III 8. The Thing 9. Honkytonk Man 10. Poltergeist

Blade Runner, The Thing, First Blood, White Dog, The Verdict, My Favorite Year, Diner, Tenebrae, ET, Fast Times at Ridgemont High 

@milanpaurich (Milan Paurich)
1. E.T. 2. One From the Heart 3. Come Back to the 5 + Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean 4. Diner 5. Sophie’s Choice 6. Time Stands Still 7. Cat People 8. The Thing 9. Poltergeist 10. The Road Warrior (does not count)

@railoftomorrow (Scott Nye, writer and podcast co-host at CriterionCast, etc.):
1. Fanny and Alexander 2. The Thing 3. Blade Runner 4. Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean Jimmy Dean 5. Fitzcarraldo 6. White Dog 7. The Verdict 8. Star Trek II: Wrath of Khan 9. Tootsie 10. Une chambre en ville

Poltergeist, Pink Floyd: The Wall, Shoot the Moon, Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, ET, Grease 2, Halloween 3, Fanny & Alexander, Britannia Hospital, Ladies and Gentlemen, the Fabulous Stains

@FCardamenis (Forrest Cardamenis of Forrest in Focus, Spectrum Culture, The Film Stage, and Movie Mezzanine):
Veronika Voss, Losing Ground, The Issa Valley, Macbeth (Tarr), Toute Une Nuit, Austeria (Kawalerowicz), Moonlighting, Fanny & Alexander, Blade Runner, and King of Comedy (does not count)

@jamesblakeewing (James Blake Ewing of Cinema Sights):
Blade Runner, Koyaanisqatsi (does not count), The Thing, Creepshow, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, E.T., Tootsie

@glazomaniac (Sally Jane Black):
a question of silence, dark crystal, personal best, god’s gift (wend kuuni), ashes & embers, starstruck. new york ripper, fanny & alexander, querelle, slumber party massacre

@Honors_Zombie (Scout Tafoya, filmmaker and critic):
The Thing, Fanny and Alexander, Blade Runner, Poltergeist, The Verdict, Identification of a Woman, Diner, Missing, Humongous, Britannia Hospital

@JakeMulligan (Jake Mulligan of Dig Boston and The Boston Globe):
1. The Thing 2. Fitzcarraldo 3. The Entity (does not count) 4. The King of Comedy (does not count) 5. White Dog 6. Mad Max 2 (does not count) 7. E.T 8. Ladies and Gentlemen the Fabulous Stains 9. Come Back to the Five and Dime Jimmy Dean Jimmy Dean 10. Tenebrae 11. Missing (including #11 bc #3, 4, 6 do not count)

@Cinedaze (Paul Anthony Johnson of Film-Philosophy, Popmatters):
Fanny & Alexander, The Thing, Blade Runner, E.T., Creepshow, Moonlighting, Night of the Shooting Stars, Chan is Missing, Star Trek 2, Tenebre

Tron, Blade Runner, The Thing, Victor/Victoria, Missing, The Fan (Der Fan)

@DianaDDrumm (Diana Drumm of Female Film Critics) 
Poltergeist, Tootsie, Annie, My Favorite Year, Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid, Grease 2, Best Little Whorehouse, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Victor Victoria, King of Comedy (does not count)

@KHAN2705 (Asif Khan)
Fanny and Alexander, Koyaanisqatsi (does not count), Blade Runner, E.T, Fitzcarraldo, Veronika Voss, Sophie’s Choice

@rgodfrey (Ryan Godfrey):
Blade Runner, Fitzcarraldo, E.T, Tootsie, Missing, Verdict, Secret of NIMH, Chan Is Missing, Fanny & Alexander, Year of Living Dangerously

1. Conan the Barbarian 2. Poltergeist 3. Star Trek II: Wrath of Khan 4. Blade Runner 5. The Thing 6. The Secret of NIMH 7. Tron 8. Pink Floyd: The Wall 9. Airplane II: The Sequel 10. The Dark Crystal

1. ET 2. Blade Runner 3. Fanny & Alexander 4. Fitzcarraldo 5. The Thing 6.The Verdict 7. Tootsie 8. White Dog 9. Poltergeist 10. Burden of Dreams

@astoehr (Alice S. of Pussy Goes Grrr, Movie Mezzanine, etc.):
Blade Runner, Fitzcarraldo, Koyaanisqatsi (does not count), One from the Heart, The Plague Dogs, The Secret of NIMH, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, The Thing, Time Masters, White Dog

@erikgregersen (Erik M. Gregersen):
Blade Runner/White Dog/The Thing/Star Trek 2/Tron/Conan Barbarian/Fanny & Alexander/Q/Legendary Weapons of China/The Verdict

@faithx5 (Jandy Hardesty of The Frame):
The Man from Snowy River, Koyaanisqatsi (does not count), Annie, Blade Runner, The Thing, Atomic Cafe, Secret of NIMH

@TheEndofCinema (Sean Gilman of The End of Cinema; The George Sanders Show, and They Shot Pictures podcasts):
1. One from the Heart 2. Nomad 3. Fitzcarraldo 4. White Dog 5. The Miracle Fighters 6. Boat People 7. The Atomic Café 8. A Good Marriage 9. E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial 10. Ninja in the Dragon’s Den

@SebastianNebel (contributor to The Film Experience)
Burden of Dreams -Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid -Fitzcarraldo -Poltergeist -ST2 Wrath of Khan -The King of Comedy (does not count) -The Thing –TRON

@nathanielr (Nathaniel Rogers of The Film Experience)

1. Duel to the Death (does not count) 2. Ana 3. L’Ange 4. Fehérlófia (does not count) 5. Gold, Silver, Death 6. Boat People 7. Thunder 8. Gauche the Cellist 9. Dimensions of Dialogue 10. One Man’s War

@BohemiaStable (Neil Young of Neil Young’s Film Lounge):
1. Veronika Voss 2. The Thing 3. L’ange 4. Tenebrae 5. Moonlighting 6. Basket Case 7. Fitzcarraldo 8. Ladies and Gentlemen the Fabulous Stains

@Serious_Film (Michael Cusumano of Serious Film):
1. Fitzcarraldo 2. The Verdict 3. Tootsie 4. E.T 5. Blade Runner 6. The Thing 7. Fanny and Alexander 8. Diner 9. Veronika Voss 10. 48 Hours

@Doug_Tilley (Boner Vivant of No Budget Nightmares podcast)
The Thing, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, 48 Hours, Q, Tootsie, Blade Runner, Conan, First Blood, Fitzcarraldo, Legendary Weapons of China

@dominicpink (Dominic Pink of A Fistful of Culture)
1. Blade Runner 2. The Thing 3. The King of Comedy (does not count) 4. Fitzcarraldo 5. Koyaanisqatsi (does not count) 6. Burden of Dreams 7. E.T 8. The Verdict 9. Wrath of Khan 10. Poltergeist

The Thing / Burden of Dreams / Cat People / Class of 1984 / The State of Things / White Dog / Veronika Voss / The Verdict / Year of Living Dangerously / Come Back to the Five & Dime Jimmy Dean Jimmy Dean

@bmrow (Bront Morrow):
Come Back to the 5 & Dime Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean, The King of Comedy (does not count), Le Beau Mariage, White Dog, The Thing

@ForgottenFilmz (of Forgotten Films and podcasts Forgotten Filmcast and Walt Sent Me)
The Thing, Star Trek II, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Dark Crystal, ET, Poltergeist, Road Warrior (does not count), First Blood, Rocky III, Tootsie

@MovieNut14 (Anna of Defiant Success)
Shoot the Moon, Victor Victoria, Missing, Diner, The Verdict, My Favorite Year, Frances, The Thing, Blade Runner, Tootsie

@danheaton (Dan Heaton of Public Transportation Snob)
The Thing, Blade Runner, Star Trek II: The Wrath of KHANNNN!!!, Fitzcarraldo, E.T., TRON, The Dark Crystal, Rocky III

@willow_catelyn (of Curtsies and Hand Grenades):
1. The Thing 2. Come Back to the Five & Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean 3. Blade Runner 4. Toute une nuit 5. Fast Times at Ridgemont High 6. White Dog 7. Tenebre 8. Fanny and Alexander 9. Conan the Barbarian 10. Star Trek II: Wrath of Khan

@whynotanna (of Start Focus End):
The Thing, Poltergeist, Tron, Rocky III, Creepshow, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, Eating Raoul, Night Shift, Pieces, Tenebre

@KinetoscopeFilm (Kinetoscope) 
The Thing, The King of Comedy (doesn’t count), Blade Runner, Creepshow, E.T, Fitzcarraldo, Burden of Dreams, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Class of 1984, Veronika Voss


Vote in the Top Ten By Year: 1982 Poll!


It’s that time again! I’m still less than halfway done with my Top Ten By Year: 1982 research, but I thought it would be a good time to do this. I’ve conducted polls with all you fellow film lovers for some previous years of the Top Ten By Year Project; 1925, 1992, 1958, 1978 and 1930. They have been such a success, and are now an integral part of this project and its traditions.

So tell me (leave your ballots in the comments); what are your favorite films of 1982?

Order doesn’t factor in for results, but you are more than welcome submit them that way. I only want ballots with films you consider favorites. If that means it’s only 1 or 2, that’s perfectly fine!

Films that do not count: The King of Comedy, Koyaanisqatsi, Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior, The Entity, Diva, Le pont du nord. You are more than welcome to include them on your individual ballots and they’ll appear there, but they won’t be included in the final tally. I consider these films either 1981 or 1983.

I repeat: I don’t want 10 for the sake of 10 or even 5 for the sake of 5. Only the ones you love.

You have a week to vote. Results will go up Monday or Tuesday night. The post will contain, as always, a breakdown of all votes by numbers and individuals. The top ten is always the least interesting part of the poll. Seeing what’s below, discovering films that have there of four votes, seeing what everyone voted for as an individual, that is where the worth of the poll comes in. The poll breakdowns are excellent resources for learning about new-to-you films.

Movie Poster Highlights: 1982

Previous Movie Poster Highlights: 1925, 19301978

Main sources: Film on Paper, Terry-posters, Chisholm-Larsson Gallery, Emovieposter, Wrong Side of the Art

It’s that time again! The content of my year-specific posts deem that they must come after I’ve watched everything planned for any given year. But two of the traditional Top Ten By Year posts can go up any time: Poster Highlights, and the Poll. I’ve taken to putting up the Poster Highlights when I’m a fourth of the way done with my watchlist, while the Poll goes into effect at the halfway mark. And guess what? I’m 25% done with 1982!

It is so very hard to track down the full range of posters from any given year. There are so many different sites, none of them all-encompassing. Then there’s tracking down the artists. Some of these sites have done a great job doing what they can and crediting artists when possible. Every credit given to an artist in this post comes from having seen the name attributed from one of the above sites. About half of these don’t have credited artists (at least that I was able to find).

So these are my favorite posters for 1982 films. I kept it limited to posters made from the time of release. In the case of the Eastern European posters, many of these were made in the mid -to-late 80’s, and I obviously kept them. But in general I stay away from recently made posters for older films, at least for these posts, because I like to concentrate on poster art from the era itself, seeing how films were being advertised in their day, etc.

So many stand-out posters that aren’t represented, because this is simply a collection of my favorites.

(Disclaimer: the accents are missing from credited names, as it wasn’t possible to copy and paste names into the captions)

I’ll go through these based on the groupings I came up with. The first is posters with the COLORS OF THE RAINBOW, a trend that largely crops up when it comes to sci-fi/fantasy fare.

US poster for The Sword and the Sorcerer. Artist: Brian Bysouth
E. Carugati
US poster for Sorceress. Artist: E. Carugati
German poster for The Dark Crystal. Artist unknown. This is the US poster illustration but I was particularly taken with the way the border fits with the content in this one over other versions.
Thai poster for Q: The Winged Serpent. Artist unknown.
tongdee panumas
Thai poster for Tron. Artist: Tongdee Panumas
unknown el cepo
Poster for El Cepo. Artist unknown
US poster for The Last American Virgin. Artist unknown
italian jimmy_bazilli
Italian poster for Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean. Artist: Bazilli.
Japanese poster for Poltergeist 

Speaking of Poltergeist, the now-iconic image of Heather O’Rourke in front of the TV set was very smartly the at its marketing center.


I absolutely love the purple/pink color schemes I found on so many posters for 1982 films. This seems to be a trend in movie posters of the 1980’s. The purple/pink color scheme is applied across many genres, particularly horror.

murder_by_phone unknown
US poster for Murder by Phone. Artist unknown. 
US poster for Night Warning. Artist unknown. Love that this looks like a dollar paperback cover. 
US VHS art for Runaway Nightmare. Designer unknown. 

Here are a trio of posters from the film Android. Two of them incorporate the purple/pink scheme. The other one is just rad.

android_ver2 ernster
US poster for Android. Saw credited to Ernster but found no other info
US poster for Android. Credited to Joann but found no other info
Android_Hungarian_Andras Felvideki
Hungarian poster for Android. Artist: Andras Felvideki

This poster for The Empire Strikes Back was made specifically for the 1982 re-release so I’m counting it:

tom jung_US rerelease
US poster for the re-release of The Empire Strikes Back. Artist: Tom Jung

Last but not least, this 48 Hrs. poster segues nicely into my next grouping:

Brian Bysouth
US poster for 48 Hrs. Artist: Brian Bysouth.


This would phase out later in the 1980’s, replaced by the photogenic faces populating the movie star resurgence, but I suspect that the combination of high-fantasy, sci-fi, chaotic comedies, and teen flicks (not to mention the muscle-bound hero with a scantily clad woman at his side trope) from the era kept this going a bit longer.

richard hescox
US poster for Swamp Thing. Artist: Richard Hescox
creepshow_jack kamen
US poster for Creepshow. Artist: Jack Kamen
US poster for Class of 1984. Artist unknown. 
US poster for Class of 1984. Artist unknown
fast times_UK unknwon
UK poster for Fast Times at Ridgemont High. Artist unknown. 
fast_rod dyer_tie-in poster
Tie-in US poster for Fast Times at Ridgemont High. Artist: Rod Dyer
US poster for Megaforce. Artist unknown.
NightShift_Mike Hobson_US
US poster for Night Shift. Artist: Mike Hobson
US poster for Pink Motel. Artist unknown
eye_of_the_evil_dead_luiz dominguez
US poster for Manhattan Baby (aka Eye of the Evil Dead). Artist: Luiz Dominguez


Next up are posters that incorporate photography or stills in some way, either on their own or with other illustrative poster design techniques.

benjamin baltimore
Poster for Identification of a Woman. Design by Benjamin Baltimore
US poster for By Design. Artist/designer unknown
Dora-Doralina-cartaz José Luiz Benicio Brazil
Brazilian poster for Dora Doralina. Artist: Jose Luiz Benicio. This is my favorite poster of the entire post. 

US poster for I’m dancing as fast as I can. Artist/designer unknown
italian_miss right
Italian poster for Miss Right. Designer unknown
UK poster for The Draughtsman’s Contract. Artist/Designer: Kruddart
German poster for Querelle. Artist: Andy Warhol


Turns out that posters for nudies are some of the greatest things in existence.

COnsenting Adults_unknown
US poster for Consenting Adults. Artist unknown
US poster for Scoundrels. Artist/designer unknown
US poster for The Playgirl. Artist unknown. 

These next two posters were done by Tom Tierney. He’s the man credited with making the paper doll famous! Later in life it seems that he made a good amount of posters for X-rated fare. His work makes up some of my favorite posters ever. The Wanda Whips Wall Street poster is my other favorite in this post, and it’s something I’m determined to own and have on my wall as a proper adult.

US poster for The Playgirl. Artist: Tom Tierney
Wanda_Tom Tierney
US poster for Wanda Whips Wall Street. Artist: Tom Tierney


As is well known, the Czech and the Polish have a near monopoly on incredible, bizarre, head-turning poster art. Here are some of my favorites.

Jan Jiskra_Czech
Czech poster for Frances. Artist: Jan Jiskra
Jan Tomanek_Czech
Czech poster for Fanny and Alexander. Artist: Jan Tomanek
Stanislav Duda_Czech
Czech poster for Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid. Artist: Stanislav Duda
Czech poster for Still of the Night. Artist: Zdenek Vlach


alicja_polish_Andrzej Pagowski
Polish poster for Alicja. Artist: Andrzej Pagowski
Andrzej Pagowski_Polish
Polish poster for Missing. Artist: Andrzej Pagowski 
Jakub Erol_Polish
Polish poster for E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial  Artist: Jakub Erol. I love that E.T. looks like a pervert in this one. 
Lech Majewski_ Marathon Family_Polish
Polish poster for Marathon Family. Artist: Lech Majewski
Ševčík, Vratislav The Racket Polish
Polish poster for The Racket. Artist: Vratislav Sevcik. 
Wieslaw Walkuski_Polish
Polish poster for Spiewy po rosie. Artist: Wieslaw Walkuski 
Wieslaw Walkuski_Polish
Polish poster for Tootsie. Artist: Wieslaw Walkuski
Wlodzimierz Terechowicz_Polish
Polish poster for The Border. Artist: Wlodzimierz Terechowicz


dolinski_bucharest identity card_polish
Polish poster for Bucharest Identity Card. Artist: Dolinski
Hungarian poster for Veronika Voss. Artist: Farang
Ševčík, Vratislav
Polish poster for Veronika Voss. Artist: Vratislav Sevcik
US poster for Veronika Voss. Artist: Vincent Topazio


US poster for Parasite. Artist unknown
US poster for Satan’s Mistress. Artist unknown
tenebre_cesaro don't quote me
Poster for Tenebre. Saw credited to Antonio Cesaro on one site but cannot confirm from more established sources
The Sender_unknown
US poster for The Sender. Artist unknown
Poster for The Draughtsman’s Contract. Artist: Sparacio 
russian for kaamchor_unknown
Russian poster for Kaamchor. Artist unknown. 
smithereens_german_brumm bar
German poster for Smithereens. Artist: Brumm Bar

1982 Watchlist


RW = Rewatch
Added but now shown:
Xtro, Pieces, Friday the 13th Part 3

Top Ten By Year: 1982. I know, I know. 1982? The year everyone, fanboys and cinephiles alike, drool over time and time again. 1982? The year of supposed near-countless riches? Isn’t the whole point of this project to pick what could very broadly and artificially be classified as under-the-radar years? Years I haven’t seen much from, that haven’t been as poked and prodded by the words of others? Well, yes. But there’s another important half to why I choose the years I do, and that is; what films do I want to see, and where do they reside? As it turns out, 1982 lays claim to a significant chunk of films I want to see more than anything else out there, films I’ve been meaning to see for years but haven’t gotten around to. Films like Cat People, One from the Heart, Der Fan, Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean, Losing Ground, Smithereens, Personal Best, Starstruck, and Deathtrap. So why not kill nine flies with one slap and then some? So that’s how I arrived in 1982; because it has more films I’ve been itching to see than any other eighties year.

This watchlist is fluid. There’s obviously overlap in the fun-for-me categories, films that could be combined differently or put in other categories. I love categorizing things (while being conscious of the critical difference between categorizing and defining), and these groups help me organize my viewing plans. I don’t watch everything in a category with each other, but I do watch them together. Confused? For example, on Thursday I watched Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid. When I get home from work tonight I plan on watching Diner.

You’ll see some biggies not on here. I have my reasons. Some I’ve seen, some I haven’t and don’t feel obligated to, at least for this project. I’ll drop some of these films along the way. At the beginning, everything seems essential. Right now you’d have to pry The Pirate Movie from my cold dead hands. Three months into this I might feel the opposite. Top Ten By Year: 1982 will undoubtedly take up the rest of 2016. Let the journey begin.

Top Ten By Year: 1930

From In the Picture: Production Stills from the TCM Archives

Previous Top Ten By Year Entries: 
1935, 1983, 1965, 1943, 1992, 1978, 1925, 2005

1930 Coverage:
What I’ll Remember About the Films of 1930: A Love Letter
Top Ten By Year: 1930 – Poll Results 
Movie Poster Highlights: 1930 
100 Images from the Films of 1930 
Favorite Fashion in 1930 Film

A Song in the Dark: The Birth of the Musical Film – Richard Barrios
The Speed of Sound: Hollywood and the Talkie Revolution: 1926-1930 – Scott Eyman
From Reverence to Rape: The Treatment of Women in the Movies – Molly Haskell

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’.

Reel talk: 1930, seminal touchstones notwithstanding, is seen as one of the weaker years in cinema. At the very least nobody really talks about it. I like to get feedback on what my followers are interested in seeing, so while debating my next year for this project I presented Twitter with a choice between 1930 and 1934. Only a handful chose 1930. The further 1934 pulled away with the win, the less interested I was in choosing it. And there are no regrets; I’ve learned more about film from 1930 than any other year within the Top Ten By Year Project.

Before settling into what turned out to be six months of 1930 film hibernation, I’d never truly grasped why the resistance to talkies at the time was so staunchly uniform, seen and experienced by the industry as a cultural apocalypse. I’d never fully grasped why so many couldn’t see the possibilities of a revolutionary technology in its infancy. Well, of course the transition would be rough, with many new adjustments, restrictions, and considerations in the mix. But didn’t they see it’d be worth it? Didn’t they see it was the obvious next step in the evolution of cinema?

Richard Barrios writes in his book A Song in the Dark: The Birth of the Musical Film that “the face of hindsight can, quite often, wear an unpleasant sneer”(59). As I sank deeper into hibernation, the patronizing remnants afforded by that cocky over-the-shoulder perspective from the future slipped away. Now I’m quite amazed anyone had the foresight (I’m looking at you Sam Warner) to see sound’s potential and the positive ways it could and would transform product and industry.

This foresight/hindsight angle relates to books that I read about the dawn of sound period (1926-1930), legitimately rocky years that qualify as “one of the most chaotic times in American culture…a time of immense upheaval, enormous change, and a quite singular mix of uncertainty and confidence”(Eyman, 4). Uncertainty because the studios didn’t really consider what sound meant for artistic parameters regarding the technology’s initial suffocating limitations. After Warner Brothers opened the gates to a new frontier, everything was turned upside down as studios rat raced through a “brutal crude transplantation”(Eyman). The process of filmmaking was now made up of “physical claustrophobia, narrative obfuscation, and an unimaginably confusing technical nightmare of crossed cables and purposes”(Eyman). The name of the game became Dialogue, Dialogue, Dialogue. It doesn’t matter what they say, just make the stars say it!

While sound men enjoyed their short reign as set Kings, actors braced themselves for make-it-or-break-it performance reviews in the form of sound tests. It didn’t matter who you were, veteran star or bit player; your entire career was uncertain until pass/fail tested for sound by your studio. Suffice it to say, fear ran rampant. William Haines described this period as “the night of the Titanic all over again” (Barrios, 75). And this from an MGM star! MGM was the most apprehensive studio when it came to sound, and that extra time presumably provided them with a slightly less chaotic stretch than most. Star personas had to be reconfigured and reestablished. Many couldn’t successfully make the leap, most famously John Gilbert, whose catastrophic fall from grace came from being unceremoniously hung out to dry by hackneyed dialogue and poor direction (I’m looking at you Lionel Barrymore). The ever-savvy MGM may have botched Gilbert, but they also made genius publicity out of the ‘what do the stars sound like’ craze, making “Garbo Talks!” the movie event of 1930. While the star machine had a great fall, and tried to put itself back together again, countless young Broadway performers were flown out and audience tested via shorts and features, largely primed for failed movie stardom.

The Movie Musical, the only genre made entirely possible by sound technology, is the industry’s key microcosm from this time. Skipping ahead to 1929, the success of The Broadway Melody spawned a riot (we’re talking endless, folks) of imitators, with little to no creative expansion, quality control, or narrative variety. Stage musicals were adapted left and right with most of the hit songs inexplicably dumped and replaced with forgettable warblings. Song and/or dance scenes remained stuffy and square. There was no frame of reference for putting song and dance on film. Within twelve months, save for a few smash successes like The Love Parade and Rio Rita, musicals went from being the genre du jour to enough already! Now, this sort of thing happens all the time. The rush for product and for more of the successful same. But with a new technology, with musicals that were “obviously conceived in panic and manufactured in ignorance”, this cash sprint re: musicals can be more broadly applied to this brief unsure era (Barrios).

All of this context is to say that 1930 is the year Hollywood shook itself off and regained its footing. By this time, film rhythm and consistency was illustrating that, for all their troubles, Hollywood was on the other side of the sound barrier. The year saw a record film attendance of 110 million (compare that to 65 million in 1928 and 60 million in 1932) (Barrios). Blimps had been developed that allowed cameras to be more mobile, free of their initial soundproof booths. The studios were well on their way towards working with sound-on-film technology as opposed to the cumbersome sync-sound. New film stocks made the monochrome spectrum wider. Formal freedom was still coming around but there was a wild sense of trial-and-error experimentation. In 1930, nearly every musical incorporated Two-color Technicolor to some degree. Some studios were trying out inventions that would live and die within 1930, such as 65-70 mm formats like Magnafilm and Grandeur. Sound films began to step out on the streets and into the wilderness. Genre was like a stacked buffet plate, a little bit of this, a little bit of that. Sci-fi, horror, mystery, and gangster films (The Doorway to Hell really established this one, though the films of 1931 get the credit) were just around the corner, but they crop up in the unlikeliest of places in 1930. Pre-Code hit the salacious stride it continued until the Code’s enforcement four years later. Directors in the US and overseas, such as Hitchcock, Hawks, Grémillon were already experimenting with sound in ways covert and overt. International film industries were catching up, beginning to make their transitions from silent to sound.

Sure, some films from 1930 come across as quaint and static in their awkwardness, but far less than you’d think. Editing rhythms and camera set-ups had loosened up considerably by this time, and it’s easy to see sound film finding its own groove thanks to filmmakers committed to making improvements and trying things out. I’ve learned that stilted is the misguided adjective of choice when it comes to present-day reviews of 1930 films. When films like The Bat Whispers and The Divorcee are described as such, it’s unfortunate and downright perplexing, not just for its falsehood, but because there’s a world of difference between what ‘stilted’ means to modern day cinephiles and what it actually means within the scope of 1930 releases. Watch Let Us Be Gay and then get back to me (whether you’re a fan of this one or not, it’s an excellent encapsulation of what 1930 ‘stilted’ actually looks and feels like).

Time and time again I was beside myself by visual flourishes and caution-to-the-wind spiritedness. Cinematographers were finding ways to navigate and convey exterior worlds. Directors were finding ways to communicate interior worlds. Screenwriters were figuring out how to inject nuance and quality over quantity. Actors were adjusting to the modern and getting at core truths. On their own, many of these films stand tall and proud, but collectively, they lift each other up.

With the advent of sound, many thought something had been irretrievably lost. Perhaps rightly so. Sensuality, fantasy, and the translucent magic of silent cinema needed to be redefined from the ground up. And the films of 1930 begin to show what that would look and sound like for the decades to come.

Nitrate Diva wrote a great piece on 1930, which, I’m honored to say, was inspired by this project! She also includes her 10 picks! It’s a beautifully written portrait of the undiscovered riches of the year. Her prose capabilities are far beyond mine, so please do yourself a favor and check it out!

Biggest Disappointments:
Anybody’s Woman
Her Man
Just Imagine
A Notorious Affair
Not So Dumb

The Five Worst 1930 Films I Watched:
1. Golden Dawn
2. Feet First
3. Romance
4. Free and Easy
5. A Notorious Affair

(bold = first-time viewing, italic =  re-watch)
10 Minuten Mozart (short) Aimless Walk (short),
All Quiet on the Western Front, Animal Crackers, A Notorious Affair, Anybody’s Woman, Au bonheur des dames, The Bat Whispers, The Big House, The Big Trail, Blood of a Poet, The Blue Angel, Borderline, City Girl, Dance of Her Hands (short), The Dawn Patrol, The Divorcee, Die drei von der Tankstelle, The Doorway to Hell, Fast and Loose, Feet First, Follow Thru, For the Defense, Free and Easy, Golden Dawn, Hell’s Angels, Her Man, Just Imagine, King of Jazz, L’age d’Or, Ladies of Leisure, Laughter, Let Us Be Gay, Light Rhythms (short), Liliom, Madam Satan, Mechanical Principles (short), Min and Bill, Monte Carlo, Morocco, Murder!, Mysterious Mose (short), Not So Dumb, Our Blushing Brides, Outward Bound, Paid, La petite Lise, People on Sunday, Prix de beaute, Romance, Street of Chance, Swing You Sinners! (short), The Tale of the Fox, Tomatoes Another Day (short), Under the Roofs of Paris, Way for a Sailor

Honorable Mentions: The Big House, Blood of a Poet, Animal Crackers, Monte Carlo, The Divorcee, Follow Thru, The Dawn Patrol, Morocco, Our Blushing Brides (I have such a fondness for each of these films, it must be said)

RW = Rewatch
FTV = First-time Viewing

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10. Au bonheur des dames (France/Le Film d’Art/Duvivier) (FTV)
With its go-for-broke commitment to evoking the rhythms of modern Paris, watching Au bonheur des dames feels a little like skydiving without a parachute. Silent film is nearly extinct, the bottom has dropped out, and Julien Duvivier is using everything in his arsenal to send it off in style. I watched this after consuming nearly three dozen 1930 talkies. Though sound films of the year are far less collectively creaky than history gives them credit for, it was still a considerable jolt to be unclipped from the technological constraints of fuzzy sounds and rational worlds.

A minute into ‘Au bonheur’, Denise (Dita Parlo), an orphan arriving in Paris to work for her uncle, is immediately swallowed up by Capital-C Capitalism. A train rushes into the station while feet scurry in all directions, a symphony of urban life’s hurried routine. Denise’s eyes dart everywhere, trying to take it all in as she’s shuffled to and fro, smothered by the crowd of people and superimposed images. The second she exits the station, she notices a plane flying overhead. Flyers are dropped like confetti. She grabs one out of the sky, reads it, and smiles as if she’s just found one of Wonka’s Golden Tickets. It says “Everything You Want at ‘Au bonheur des dames'”. It’s an advertisement for the behemoth department store across the street from her uncle’s failing dilapidated shop. Capitalism is relentless, and giving in makes you feel good.

Lively Soviet montage and overt expressionism coincide with blinking electric lights and aggressive razzmatazz to show “progress” as pervasive. Duvivier utilizes the accumulation of silent cinema stylings for an inadvertent send-off to the now obsolete era. ‘Au bonheur’ is alive and immediate, building to an impossible-to-shake feverish crescendo that thankfully obscures the cop-out ending to follow.

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9. Liliom (US/Fox/Borzage) (FTV)
Available on youtube

There are two kinds of spaces in Liliom. The first is inside the carnival. That mockup hallucinatory carnival made of miniatures, dazzling lights, and bustling sounds. It’s a magical space where anything can happen, but only if you keep up. The second is anything outside the carnival, most notably domestic spaces. The carnival is always visible from the outside but the outside is never visible from within. The interiors are spacious, barren, minimalist, surrounded by gaps of frustrated silence. There is a clear delineation between the two. All this to say that Frank Borzage and his collaborators at Fox go to great length to make theatricality modern, presenting a weird vision of fantastical artificiality that easily transitions into the equally weird metaphysical final act. (Let me also take this moment to say that I am a huge fan of early cinematic depictions of the afterlife. By far the most alluring period for this kind of story.)

At the end of Liliom, the Chief Magistrate (H.B. Warner) says this of what he has witnessed: “It’s touching. It’s mysterious”. Simply and succinctly, that’s also Liliom. This is a story about two people who should not be together, but can’t not be together. This is a film that ends with a speech about, to put it bluntly and without context, domestic abuse being okay if it comes from the person you love. But the tragedy of that, and it, are so genuinely and oddly moving. Because this decree of sorts is true for Julie. Liliom is told through a romantically fatalistic lens. Fatalism in the apparent wrongness of the couple. Julie’s (Rose Hobart) only other romantic option is a carpenter named Carpenter who speaks in monosyllabic monotone. He is seemingly alive for the sole purpose of asking Julie (for years and years mind you) if she is free and interested (“No, Carpenter”). This is also a film that resolves with this statement; “The memory of you makes them much happier than you ever could”. Talk about brutal. But Liliom is about the messy complexities of individual truths. The unchangable and unswayable.

The technical achievement and formal ambition of Liliom are two of its defining characteristics. This was the first film to use rear projection, and its use of miniatures is woozily magical. Borzage uses space so well, in part by utilizing blocking and emphasizing body language. The camera has the mobility of a sophisticated silent. Take the feverish moment where Julie and Marie (Mildred Van Dorn) first enter the carnival. The camera actually deserts them, so eager it is to explore the place itself.

Full review here

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8. Laughter (US/Paramount/d’Arrast) (FTV)
Very poor quality version available on youtube

Halfway through Laughter, pals Paul (Fredric March) and Peggy (Nancy Carroll) (the newly married ‘one-that-got-away’) are out and about on a daytime drive (in this scene, Paul impulsively kisses the back of Peggy’s neck while driving and it’s one of the sexiest gestures ever committed to film). Their car suddenly breaks down and, of course, an impromptu rainstorm follows. They seek shelter by breaking and entering, where they promptly begin to roleplay marriage as the ‘Smiths’ (Why? Because why not?). They trade traditional gender roles, with ‘Mr. Smith’ dutifully offering ‘Mrs. Smith’ her slippers and pipe, adding that he baked a strawberry pie for dinner. The pair is oh-so-pleased with their flirtation-as-evasion repartee, but somehow it’s not cloying. Instead, it’s goddamn charming. Eventually, the sequence takes a turn for the weird as Peggy puts on a black bearskin rug from the living room floor (Why? Because why not?), crawling and growling around in circles. Paul, highly amused, quickly joins in by putting on the other bearskin rug (this one white) across the room. Our romantic leads have gone from one kind of pretend to another. This is all part of what is perhaps Laughter‘s most memorable sequence, and it’s indicative of how the film operates as a whole.

Laughter is made up of characters vibing off each other, transforming and controlling (or failing to control) the interior spaces around them. The sequence described above illustrates this. Paul and Peggy take over a foreign space and use it for their make-believes, becoming spouses and wild animals. They drape their wet clothes all over the furniture, and drink coffee in the kitchen while they lounge in their bearskins.

Long-shot dependence tends to indicate stagnancy by 1930 film standards, but in Laughter they are critical, used to establish the importance of spaces in relation to character. Towering Art Deco rooms threaten to isolate characters with lonely wonder until Paul comes in and livens up the joint. Sterile business offices echo with the dependable sound of typewriters. A spacious apartment above a club is overrun with clutter, accompanied by the far-off boozy drawl of horn instruments.

There is an uncommonly natural touch to everything in Laughter. Plot shows its face when summoned, but the characters refuse to be tethered to it. They lead the way, sometimes with spunk, sometimes with somber resignation.


7. Prix de Beauté (France/Sofar-Film/Genina) (RW)
I simply cannot deny Louise. Prix de Beauté is the last European hurrah for my all-time favorite screen presence. After this she’d return to Hollywood, land of bit parts and bankruptcy. She led a long life post-Prix de Beauté, but this is the film that siphons off her celluloid legend. If Louise fills the frame, if the film knows how to showcase her effortless and unaffected mythic energy, down-to-earth and beyond us all with that irrepressible glow, does the film itself matter?

I happen to enjoy the by-turns awkward and arresting Prix de Beauté very much. One of the first sound films made in France (it also has a 1929 silent version), it resembles a rough cut in that, though there’s vision in its organic images, nothing, except Brooks, is completely locked into place. It’s a talkie with an entirely silent sensibility, made possible by the fact that the sound, including dialogue, took place during post-production. This frees up the camera for rambunctious mobility at every turn, and it’s supported by the zeal that drives Lucienne toward her dreams. She wants to participate in a beauty contest, but her boyfriend won’t allow it. With a choice of being owned by her beau or worshiped by the public, she deserves more than both but achieves neither. The famous final sequence, dizzying in its flickering destruction, strikes Lucienne down just as her (screen) life begins. As sound ushers in, Louise Brooks is ushered out, her physical body left behind for something incorporeal, an eerily fitting finale to her immortal image.

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6. Ladies of Leisure (US/Columbia/Capra) (FTV)
Available on youtube

Ladies of Leisure features Barbara Stanwyck in her star-making role, the first of several collaborations with Frank Capra. It also happens to be some of her best work and in one of her best films. I’m not used to seeing her this vulnerable, yet this is how the country at large became acquainted with her. Barbara Stanwyck is down-to-earth glamour. Relatable glamour. Even at this very early stage it’s impossible to miss that she is in stark contrast with other actors from her time. This is a woman performing in the ‘now’. Her body language isn’t practiced. She breaks through the conventional with seeming spontaneity. She’s the perfect person for Frank Capra to direct, because in Ladies of Leisure he not only gives her plenty of backlit close-ups defying audiences not to fall in love with her, but devotes an uncommon (for 1930) length of time lingering on confidential and intimate moments that map out Kay’s internal longing.

Despite being based on a play, Frank Capra already shows an adept hand at visual storytelling in addition to fluid pacing. Bypassing sluggishness, even as the film nosedives into the saccharine, there is a clarity and distinct visual perspective supporting Kay’s story.

Take the erotically charged rainy night sleepover that comes mid-film. It’s erotically charged in the silences, in what isn’t happening, in what Kay wants to happen, in what could happen. The pace of this sequence is different than the rest. The situation slowly develops, as Kay gradually allows herself to believe in the possible. It builds to a simple act of kindness that produces the film’s most telling and heartfelt moment. A lone doorknob turns. Footsteps reveal that Jerry the painter (Ralph Graves) has left his room in the middle of the night. He slowly approaches Kay’s bed. In another film the scene would be eerie, bad intentions assumed. Kay is sleeping. Jerry lays a blanket over her and heads back to bed. Close-up on Kay. She wasn’t asleep at all. The camera lingers on her face and closes in further, tears glistening. She pulls the blanket to her mouth. Everything we need to know about Kay occurs in this moment. This simple act of kindness means the world to her, and it has left her shaking and crying with joy.

Critically, Capra foregrounds Kay’s (Stanwyck) love as a character-driven arc rooted in class, lifelong struggle, and hope. You don’t have to buy into Kay and Jerry (and you won’t) to buy into the film. Forget the lame egg basket in whom Kay places said hopes and dreams. Just focus on witnessing a downtrodden woman who, for the first time in her life, experiences what happiness is, what it can mean, and its potential in her own life. The fortuitous union of Barbara Stanwyck’s startling modernism (I still can’t imagine how jarring her vivid physicality must have played for 1930 audiences) and Frank Capra’s intuitive prioritization of the inner life.


5. City Girl (US/Fox/Murnau) (FTV)
Available on youtube 

I’m going to let a couple of paragraphs from Daniel Kasman’s MUBI piece speak for my love of City Girl. Suffice it to say that it is every bit as great as Sunrise, and may just be my personal preference:

“Murnau is realism + poetry, and slimming down his materials to such a leanness as inCity Girl lets his hand water, flower, and blossom every element at his disposal.  You have never seen a city diner in American film, felt its heat, its hubbub, its routine, its turnover, its charm, its tedium and its spunk until you have seen City Girl and you see how Farrel casually meets and unconsciously courts Duncan at the diner counter.  You have never seen the loneliness of life in the city until you see the light of a passing elevated train sputter across Duncan’s face and her tiny potted plant in her cramped apartment. The enchantment of a farm has never been put on film—and perhaps has never been found again—until Ernest Palmer’s camera follows with expressionist joy the gleeful run of the young married couple across the family’s wheatfield upon their arrival.”

king of jazz 84. King of Jazz (US/Universal/Anderson) (FTV)
Since seeing King of Jazz four months ago, it has been restored and has screened at MOMA for their series Universal Pictures: Restorations and Rediscoveries: 1928-1937. There even a book coming out!

King of Jazz was the first of the revue craze of 1929-mid 1930 to enter the planning stage, and the last of the major efforts to be released. It went hugely over-budget (which is abundantly clear while watching), and was released at the wrong time. By the time it finally hit theaters, audiences were thoroughly ‘revued’ out. I hardly have anything to compare it to, but it is said that King of Jazz stands out from others of its kind in every way. Paul Whiteman and his orchestra are the center from which a series of musical numbers and skits revolve. His nickname, the title of the film, seems ridiculous because it is, but also keep in mind that jazz in this time period has a much broader implication. Think of how ‘pop’ is applied today.

Universal threw everything, and I mean everything, into this project. Surely one of the weirdest movies to come out of the Golden Age of Hollywood, it’s also the most elaborate and audacious spectacle film I’ve seen from the early 30’s. It features the first Technicolor cartoon, a shrunken orchestra marching out of a box, a giant larger-than-life scrapbook, ghost brides, the world’s longest bridal veil, extravagant mobile sets, superimposed images and related special effects, and, in what must be the scariest image in 1930’s cinema, Paul Whiteman as a winking moon in the sky. And the whole thing’s in Two-Strip Technicolor to boot.

The conceptual center of the impressive “Melting Pot” finale is what you might guess; promoting diversity while completely whitewashing a convoluted ‘history of jazz’. The pointed absence of African Americans is unsurprisingly everywhere. The one time African culture makes any kind of appearance is the prologue bit to the “Rhapsody in Blue” number, at once breathtaking and troubling. Dressed in Zulu chief garb, dancer Jacques Cartier stands on an oversized drum for a stage. His projected silhouette is made giant on the wall behind him. He begins to dance with direct ferocity. The eroticism of it is hypnotic, but the sexual nature of the thing reeks of the blanket exoticism so often depicted through ‘Otherness’.

King of Jazz works because the Universal team and director John Murray Anderson (Paul Fejos also contributed at some point before leaving) understand that there are different kinds of spectacle. There’s the special effects spectacle, which comes in all forms throughout here. There is also the music-centric spectacle. An early scene features copious close-ups of — not even musicians playing their instruments but something even more up close and personal; instruments being played. Another scene takes a different approach by capturing the interplay between a band and its components. Without cutting, the camera keeps up with the music by quickly panning over to each soloist. Finally, there is the grand scale production spectacle, and boy does it deliver on that front.

Though his rotund self has a welcoming energy, Paul Whiteman seems quite the random figure to construct a film around. But it falls in line with the early sound period trend of bringing in band leaders as well as talent from vaudeville and theater in order to give them film vehicles. Even when it’s boring, it’s not, if that makes sense (I realize it doesn’t. Maybe one day I can describe this sedate sensation). It moves along at such a clip, and its sheer audaciousness coupled with genuine spark makes this a “seen to be believed” kind of film. It’s also beautifully, and I mean beautifully, photographed (Ray Rennahan, one of the film’s three cinematographers, was an innovator in the development of three-strip Technicolor).

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3. Dance of Her Hands (short) (US/Nutshell Pictures/Bel Geddes) (FTV)
Available on youtube

Dance of Her Hands features dancer/choreographer/actress Tilly Losch at the height of her lithe powers. This short stages “The Hand Dance”, a collaborative conception between Losch and Hedy Pfundmayr. At the start, Tilly’s head is behind netting while the titular hands take center frame. Her hands lilt and quiver, they scurry and contort. But most of all there’s a palpable yearning to her movements. We soon meet the rest of her, a witchy puppetmaster that casts spells with her digits. Her performance is further abstracted by the pitch black negative space, a presentation that emphasizes the sensual and dislodges Losch from any kind of concrete reality. The hands lead and her body follows. Self-expression manifests as a delicate ache that can only be resolved through movement.

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2. Menschen am Sonntag (People on Sunday) (Germany/FilmStudio Berlin/Siodmak, Siodmak, Ulmer, Zinneman) (RW)
Available on youtube 

Menschen am Sonntag looks far ahead to the French New Wave and Italian neorealism. It also looks ahead to the substantial careers of Billy Wilder, Edgar G. Ulmer, Robert Siodmak, Curt Siodmak, and Fred Zinneman. It incorporates a humanistic and carefree take on the city symphony film while keeping with the signatures of New Objectivity. Menschen am Sonntag is notable for near-countless reasons. These distinctions matter, enormously so, but while watching it, you’re too busy basking in the impermanence of its direct sunlight to intellectualize its images.

There’s a special twinkle to films that capture an immaculate specificity of time and place. In Menschen am Sonntag, 1930 Berlin radiates loud and clear, from roaming streetcars and chaotic intersections to now-immortalized store window displays and sparse graffiti. Individual Berliners get snapshots taken, a moment from their random Sunday saved for posterity as they self-consciously stare into the camera. Berlin hustles and bustles with an energy that carries over into the scenic Nikolassee, suggesting that weekend reprieves must be seized upon with a joie de vivre that suggests not a recreational moment should be wasted. The forcefulness of the sunlight matches the youthful characters scene for scene.

There’s a shrewd perceptiveness to how Menschen am Sonntag hones in on the unspoken that goes on between young men and women. The participants may or may not be aware, but a game made of almost imperceptible moments is always in motion. Anything seems possible. These connections are both monumental and fleeting, a coexistence only possible in youth. Glances are had, love is made, betrayal is imminent. All in the same day, all under the surface. Both extraordinary and just another Sunday.

Every once in a while we check back in with Berlin. Annie sleeps all day, surrounded by pictures of movie stars. People sit on benches and look out their windows. Life being lived, or not, all at the same time. Films didn’t convey this in 1930. They don’t even convey it now, though a handful sure as hell try. Recent attempts to examine the scope of everyday life can be found in the ham-fistedness of the hyperlink film. When these work it’s through the scope. The ‘everyday’ part is substituted with melodrama or a deliberate larger-than-life feel. That doesn’t take away from those films; they just have a different prerogative. Conversely, plenty of films capture the everyday of transitory youth but aren’t aiming for that scope. This rare combination demands flexibility in the nonexistence of story, and by floating back and forth from our frolicking quartet in order to incorporate the character of Berlin, Menschen am Sonntag creates magic in reality.

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1. Madam Satan (US/MGM/DeMille) (RW)
As often happens, I’m at a loss when the time comes to describe my love for #1. The following write-up will probably operate as groundwork for something I wish to eventually expand on.

Cecil B. DeMille also had a film on Top Ten By Year: 1925, the outrageously fun time-travel romance The Road to Yesterday. When DeMille isn’t overtaken by his preachy paradoxes, when he finds his brand of balance within the at-times absurd imbalance of his films, you get something that doesn’t exist anywhere else. In 1928, DeMille signed a three-picture deal with MGM. Madam Satan was the second of these films, with Dynamite and The Squaw Man coming before and after respectively. Unsurprisingly, Madam Satan was a major flop, with MGM posting a 390,000 loss. Even then, audiences had no idea what to make of this thing. What was it? What is it? It’s everything, but is it anything?

Madam Satan tends to be regarded as a cuckoo collectible. Oddity, trainwreck, loony, bonkers, bizarre; you get the gist of attributed adjectives. And, yeah, it’s all of those things. My love for this film often defies logic. Hell, outside of “Low Down” the songs aren’t even good (!), and they certainly aren’t helped by the poor sound quality of the era which renders sopranos incomprehensibly shrill. At times it seems like the film is about to indulge itself into oblivion, so caught up it is in exhausting every aesthetic or tonal thread.

(Sidenote: even fans of Madam Satan tend to universally disregard the supposedly “lethal first hour”, a bedroom farce involving the central four characters. I will never understand this (Barrios)! It’s a zany concoction of shade throwing, false niceties, and lots of physical scrambling. It’s actually my favorite section of the film. It also stands as a perfect example of DeMille’s whim for hitting the reset button halfway through one of his pictures.)

Madam Satan could only exist in 1930;  “in its very derangement, it embodies a distinctive trait of original musicals: they tended to treat the medium as a collage of found objects, jamming the most ordinary conventions alongside some truly lunatic notions” (Barrios, 252). This first wave of movie musicals would soon be extinct. The second wave, which came a couple of years later, emerged with already clear-cut delineations between the real (backstage romance) and the unreal (the insular world of a Berkeley number).

A boudoir sex comedy, a disaster film, a remarriage romance, a momentary tribute to electricity, an Art Deco orgy, a misshapen musical. Madam Satan is all of these (like I said, it’s everything, but is it anything? I say yes). Some of these designations will suddenly disappear, the aforementioned boudoir sex comedy for example, but DeMille goes all-in on each one for the duration of its stay. Madam Satan is a case against cohesion. If DeMille wants the zeppelin to crash, doggone it, that zeppelin is going to crash. If he wants to spend twenty minutes on the grand entrances of Adrian-draped costume-ball attendees with names like “Fish Girl” and “Spider Girl”, he’ll do it. The story will catch up when, or if, there’s a moment to breathe. .

The Art Deco sets and costumes, by Cedric Gibbons and Adrian respectively, are used to unite fantasy and glamour. The iconic look created for Kay Johnson’s alter-ego is a sequined nude-illusion for the gods. As archaic as a lot of Madam Satan‘s sexual politics are, this is the image people remember, this presentation of defiant transformation and reclamation. That entrance, with its unintelligible trilling and costume-reveal-as-magic-act, drips with a hard-earned heroic self-regard. It’s easy to forget that Angela has turned herself into a sex goddess superhero to seduce her philandering and entirely unworthy husband back into the fold. But DeMille, in a radical act for the time, strove to make marriage sexy by “daring to suggest that the married woman was as desirable and exciting as the pubescent party girl” (Haskell, 76). So Madam Satan can also add “domestic fantasy” to its resume.

Madam Satan also stars Lillian Roth, one of my silver screen obsessions. A gifted comedienne with a crinkly nose, dimples for days, and a practiced yet untouched vivacity, her Trixie is a pure delight. Weaponed with a “fleshy impertinence”, she brings a humanity to the “other girl”, but not by hiding her vindictiveness (Barrios). Her unapologetic immaturity becomes attributable to age. She’s as spunky as Angela is supposedly dowdy; in fact, it’s hard not to root for her. The rest of the cast is legitimately great. Kay Johnson conveys her piety with sophistication. Reginald Denny is, against all odds, lovable as a womanizing cad. And Roland Young is an idealized Charles Ruggles; a stammering spacey drunk that doesn’t over-chew the scenery or outstay his welcome, and lands genuine laughs to boot.

Madam Satan is one of the first ‘sincere trash’ movies. I wrote about this a little, and hope to expand on it, in regards to my undying love of Valley of the Dolls. There’s an awful misconception that everything has to work in a movie you love, and if it doesn’t, your love derives from the compartmentalization of what works from what doesn’t. That, if you profess your love of something, you have to answer for all the reasons it may or may not fall short (whether that comes from others, yourself, or both). Statements like “the plot’s ridiculous and the ending is shite, but I don’t care, I love it!” or people asking “well how do you account for this?” in response to hearing that you love something.

Sure, OK, sometimes this is how it works. But just as often, it doesn’t. “I don’t care, I love it”? But I do care! I care about all of it! Madam Satan‘s very identity is dependent on its messiness, good or bad, strong or weak, entertaining or dull. Its very existence excites me, lights me up inside. Its camp qualities and, to quote the great Latrice Royale, its romper-room fuckery, is singular, and I crave films that are singular. But make no mistake. Singular alone doesn’t make for the more interesting products of greatness. Just Imagine, also from this year, is singular, and it also sucks. But this, this is an excessive extravaganza of the best kind; an unironically pleasurable proto-spectacle rendering of Kate Bush’s “Babooshka”. Madam Satan is one of the key ways in which the oft-spoken-of magic-of-the-movies registers for me.

This only scratches the surface of why Madam Satan has become one of my favorite films. These scattered thoughts are meant to work through the basics, so I left the details of its lunacy out, for now. I’ll leave the last words to Richard Barrios, who says that “in one clean sweep, it seems to embody the end of the Jazz Age, the collapse of American prosperity, the death throes of early musicals, and, most literally, the flop of this last baroque grasp of twenties frivolity.”(252). Mic drop.