Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Favorite Films of 1971

No reason for this, really. I'm just waiting for my lentils to finish cooking and have nothing else to do in particular at this moment. I picked a fairly random year.

1. Summer of ‘42 (Robert Mulligan, USA)
2. The Devils (Ken Russell, UK)
3. Blanche (Walerian Borowczwyk, France)
4. Silent Running (Douglas Trumbull, USA)
5. Four Nights of a Dreamer (Robert Bresson, France)
6. He Who Waits for a Deadman’s Shoes Shall Die Barefoot (João César Monteiro, Portugal)
7. A New Leaf (Elaine May, USA)
8. How Tasty Was My Little Frenchman (Nelson Pereira dos Santos, Brazil)
9. WR—Mysteries of the Organism (Dušan Makavejev, Yugoslavia)
10. McCabe and Mrs. Miller (Robert Altman, USA)
11. Two-Lane Blacktop (Monte Hellman, USA)

Numbers 1 and 4 are very sentimental, extraordinarily beautiful commercial films. 2 and 3--unrelenting historical reconstructions. 5 and 6--slightly inscrutable statements from often misunderstood, underappreciated individuals. One was still fresh in his "late" period, the other just beginning his cine-odyssey. 7 through 11--portraits in how we've lived our lives, yesterday and today, and perhaps how satisfying the tiniest freedoms can be in the face of much, much futility.

There are some films I haven't seen yet, obviously, and some that I'm just not crazy about.

Honorable Mentions (unordered): Minnie and Moskowitz (John Cassavetes, USA); A Gunfight (Lamont Johnson, USA); Sweet Sweetback’s Baad Asssss Song (Melvin van Peebles, USA); Play Misty for Me (Clint Eastwood, USA); Wild Rovers (Blake Edwards, USA); El Coraje del pueblo(Jorge Sanjinés, Bolivia)


Anonymous said...


1)Two-Lane Blacktop (Hellman)
2)Claire's Knee
3)Memories of a Blonde Strangler (Julion Bressane)
4)Grissom Gang (Aldrich)5)The Beguiled (Siegel)
6)Born to Win (Ivan Passer)
7)Two English Girls (Truffaut)
8)A Casa Assassinada [The Murdered House] (Paulo Cezar Saraceni)
9)Donkey Skin (Demy)
10)McCabe & Mrs. Miller (Altman)
11)Summer of 42 (Mulligan)

I'm quite sure How Tasty was my Little Frenchman? is from 1970. Anyway, great film. One of Nelson Pereira's very best.

Jaime said...

A few more, not yet mentioned by Zach or Filipe:

DUCK, YOU SUCKER (Sergio Leone)
CRITICAL MASS (Hollis Frampton)
STRAW DOGS (Sam Peckinpah)
TRAFIC (Jacques Tati)
WALKABOUT (Nicolas Roeg)

as well as two Welles "films" in various states of completion, as assignable to 1971 as any other year: LONDON and DON QUIXOTE

ZC said...

I can move How Tasty to my list of 1970 films, then--I mostly go by IMDB, which I understand isn't always correct, but it usually attaches a film's date to its first public screening (which is my own dating practice). Claire's Knee, too, is 1970--if it were '71 it'd be at the top of my list! I like Walkabout a lot too, but that's in my 1970 group also.

I forgot about The Beguiled, that should probably go in the Honorable Mentions. I still haven't seen Two English Girls, Bleak Moments, Trafic, among others. Jaime, you don't happen to have that Marker film on video, do you?

Jaime said...

I'm afraid not, I saw the film at Anthology (or BAM). It doesn't turn up much.

Anonymous said...

Zach, I'm with you on Four Nights of a Dreamer - I'd probably rank it higher. One of Bresson's most sensual films, which is really saying something.

Some more as-yet-unmentioned films I like...

Wanda (Barbara Loden)
The Battle of Kerzhenets (Ivan Ivanov-Vano/Yuri Norstein)
The Last Movie (Dennis Hopper) - gets better with every subsequent viewing
Anubhav (Basu Bhattacharya)
The Act of Seeing With One's Own Eyes (Stan Brakhage)
The Decameron (Pier Paolo Pasolini) - by far, my favourite from his 'Trilogy of Life'
Harold and Maude (Hal Ashby)

And speical mention to Women in Revolt (Paul Morrissey), one of this year's most insanely entertaining films.

ZC said...

Re: Marker -- damn.

Mubarak, great list of titles, and more reminders of things I have yet to see. Wanda is playing NYC soon, but chances are I'll miss it again because of even rarer films. I haven't seen Act of Seeing on film, so I feel as though I haven't seen it. (Normally I'm much more flexible on this point, but with Brakhage...) I've no doubt that The Decameron is terrific, the only Trilogy film I've seen yet is Canterbury though. Pasolini is a giant. And Harold and Maude, let's say I've heard my share of gasps when I tell people I haven't seen it (sometimes even after I announce that I'm an Ashby fan).