May 8, 2011

These Are a Few of My Favorite Films - Part 5

Who doesn't love the 70s? Film was a visual medium that had really matured by that point, and a great deal of groundbreaking classics (in the making) were astonishing audiences everywhere. 
Since I never cease to have a hard time boiling it all down to a selection of five films, I once again included an honorable mention section below. I also conceived the brilliant idea of inserting a "Yeah, I'll get to it" list at the end of the post, which consists of a bunch of widely praised films I haven't seen and would like to see sometime soon. That way, I won't get too many comments where people complain about the exclusion of a certain film I haven't seen.
Lastly, don't forget to rate this post and don't be afraid to leave a comment. I always enjoy reading everyone's opinions! 

Part 5: The 70s

5. Annie Hall (1977)
Romantic comedies don't get much better than this one. Annie Hall is a love story that is told piece by piece, using a very unique narrative structure-- a breakthrough style at the time. While Woody Allen plays his usual self, Diane Keaton delivers what is arguably her greatest performance as the quirky, ditsy title character he falls in love with. Unlike many of yesterday's and today's "rom coms", this one is refreshingly realistic yet hopeful.

4. Network (1976)
There are only a few films that measure up to this one in terms of acting and writing. Network displays an overwhelming amount of talent in the outstanding performances of all of its actors; Faye Dunaway, William Holden, Robert Duvall, Ned Beatty, Beatrice Straight, and Peter Finch (seen above) together make one of the best ensemble casts ever. And on top of that, Paddy Chayefsky's screenplay is an absolutely brilliant, hilarious piece of satire, brought to life by the masterful Sidney Lumet (R.I.P.).  

3. Chinatown (1974)
What can I say about Chinatown? It represents a milestone in my lifelong appreciation of film, because it's the film that marked the beginning of my love for the film noir genre. Of course, it isn't a classic noir but rather a neo-noir, yet in every single aspect it parallels-- or in my opinion even surpasses-- most of the true film noir classics. Jack Nicholson and Faye Dunaway shine in their lead roles (they instantly became my favorite actor and actress after I saw this film for the first time), while Roman Polanski does a great job directing the magnificent original screenplay by Robert Towne.

2. A Clockwork Orange (1971)
This was an obvious choice for me as a worshiper of Kubrick, and something you would also expect from me if you followed me on twitter (@Eggiweggs). I can firmly call this film a true masterpiece. On the surface, it's extremely violent, perverted, and bizarre, but when you get down to its core, you find out that it's really a social satire with even parts of black comedy and humanistic allegory. And I am not the only one who thinks that Malcolm McDowell's performance was totally overlooked at the time.   


And now for number one...


1. The Godfather (1972)
I told myself that I wouldn't be typical and choose this film for the number one spot, but there was no denying that it will forever be the greatest film of the 70s! I believe The Godfather to be a perfect film (though the concept of perfection itself is flawed). And I hate to be lame, but I think I'll leave it at that. People who have seen it don't need an explanation as to why it's so great. 


Honorable Mention
Apocalypse Now
Taxi Driver
Days of Heaven
Kramer vs. Kramer
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
Star Wars
Dog Day Afternoon
Barry Lyndon
Monty Python and the Holy Grail
Life of Brian
The Godfather: Part II
The Sting
The Exorcist
Midnight Express
All the President's Men
Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory

"Yeah, I'll get to it"
Harold and Maude
The Deer Hunter
Mean Streets
The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie
A Woman Under the Influence
The Conversation
Being There
The Conformist
The Last Picture Show
Dawn of the Dead
Young Frankenstein
American Graffiti


Check out Part 6: The 80s!