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TM2YC's 1001 Movies (Chronological up to page 25/post 481)

TM2YC

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Frenzy (1972)
Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Country: United Kingdom
Length: 116 minutes
Type: Horror, Thriller

First time I watched 'Frenzy' I thought it was a bit tasteless in places (when Alfred Hitchcock's films were usually class acts), quite unpleasant in others and tonally all over the place. This time I still thought those things but to a lesser degree and I downright loved some of it. Viewed as a horror-thriller with some misjudged comedy elements it doesn't work but viewed as a full black-comedy with some off-putting diversions into genuinely disturbing horror, it's a more successful proposition. This tipping point can be seen right away with the opening scene where a politician is giving a grand speech on the bank of the Thames promising to clean up the polluted river, only to be interrupted by a corpse washing up. It's a hilariously twisted joke but it's stifled by the lingering shots of a fully naked strangled woman bobbing up and down in the muddy water. When you think that fellow British director John Boorman was making 'Deliverance' in the same year, a film that still feels totally modern, 'Frenzy' feels terribly dated. So the overkill of violence was perhaps Hitchcock's misguided attempt to stay relevant, when he should have stuck to his guns and kept it classy. The real Hitchcock artistic touch can be seen in the places where he choses not to show things, staying out on the street so you count down the seconds for the scream as a body is discovered inside, or panning away so we can only imagine the horrors of a murder, or letting us only hear half of a pivotal court case through the crack in a door.

Once again it's a ripping good "wrong man" thriller plot but Jon Finch's protagonist isn't the usual clean-cut Hollywood Hitchcock hero, he's a dishevelled, disorganised, bad tempered, drunk, so that freshens things up. He makes an interesting contrast with the actual killer, who unlike Finch has learned how to fake being friendly, helpful and respectable, a trait exhibited by real life serial killers. Barry Foster takes his gregarious facade to a creepily high pitch. My favourite comedy scenes involved the police detective on the case and his frightfully middle-class chipper house wife. He's an uncomplicated British bloke who is yearning for simple tucker, a full-english, pie and mash, or fish and chips but his wife keeps serving him gourmet fish heads and pig feet. Her culinary offerings seem to turn his stomach more than the grisly murders. I loved their banter over dinner and she reminded me of my Nana (from a similar time, place and social class... although she could do a cracking steak and kidney pie!). When 'Frenzy' is on that level it really works for me but bits like the rape scene are so nasty and so far from that tone. We get to know the very nice lady who it happens to, then have to endure the whole ordeal in real time, then see the life get strangled out of her terrified face. It would push the boundaries in any film but in this film it's out of place. I think the strict censorship system that Hitchcock was railing against 10 or 20s years before would've actually done him some favours here. Tone it down in a few places and you've got a classic up there with the best of Hitchcock.

This trailer is absolutely extraordinary!

 

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Re: Raiders, we're told that legend says an army carrying the Ark with it is invincible. So, if Indy weren't around, even if a few key Nazi leaders got killed by opening it, the next leaders could always simply not do that, and carry the Ark with them and be invincible. But Indy's around to call in the American cavalry (offscreen), allowing the Third Reich to be defeated. Ergo, his being part of the story shapes the arc (no pun intended) of history itself.

Of course, that's just a hypothetical fan theory. Maybe Brody was wrong generally, or maybe the cosmic force that killed that Nazi crew wouldn't have protected the German army specifically (as suggested by the burnt Nazi emblem on the crate). But, we're very clearly told up front that if the Nazis wind up with the thing, they'll be unstoppable. Take that how one will. ;)
 

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Re: Raiders, we're told that legend says an army carrying the Ark with it is invincible. So, if Indy weren't around, even if a few key Nazi leaders got killed by opening it, the next leaders could always simply not do that, and carry the Ark with them and be invincible. But Indy's around to call in the American cavalry (offscreen), allowing the Third Reich to be defeated. Ergo, his being part of the story shapes the arc (no pun intended) of history itself.

Of course, that's just a hypothetical fan theory. Maybe Brody was wrong generally, or maybe the cosmic force that killed that Nazi crew wouldn't have protected the German army specifically (as suggested by the burnt Nazi emblem on the crate). But, we're very clearly told up front that if the Nazis wind up with the thing, they'll be unstoppable. Take that how one will. ;)
Well, we're clearly told (several times IIRC--it's been a while) that they THINK they'll be unstoppable. 😝
It's been fun lurking in your guys' debate. 🍿Good, interesting points brought up. I kind of fall in with the original YT video's point: whether Indy affected the outcome or not, the story of the characters involved is compelling enough.
 

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Re: Raiders, we're told that legend says an army carrying the Ark with it is invincible. So, if Indy weren't around, even if a few key Nazi leaders got killed by opening it, the next leaders could always simply not do that, and carry the Ark with them and be invincible.

^ That's a very good point. I think were supposed to take away from the film that the Ark (or God or whatever) won't let itself be used by evil and that's why the face-melty Nazi-smiting happens, not just because it was opened. Remember Indy and Marion's bonds get magically released, which I assume we are supposed to think was God helping/rewarding the righteous. But that's just conjecture on my part, I can't argue that the film does not say that an army would be invincible, no strings attached, so yeah maybe Indy won WW2 by taking the Ark off the field of play.
 

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E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982)
Director: Steven Spielberg
Country: United States
Length: 114 minutes
Type: Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Adventure

For some reason 'E.T.' was never a favourite for me as a kid, unlike all the other 80s/Sci-Fi/Spielberg-esque films. I reckon I watched stuff like 'Batteries Not Included', 'Starman', 'Flight of the Navigator', or 'The Last Starfighter' way more than the 1982 mega-hit that arguably prompted all those other alien-visitation movies to be greenlit (Christ, I probably watched 'Masters of the Universe' more than .E.T.). So I wasn't going in to today's 39th Anniversary-ish cinema screening overloaded with nostalgia... but wow I loved it! Despite all the clever FX, innovative puppeteering, astonishingly good child acting, beautiful, smokey, dark cinematography, nuanced script and of course Steven Spielberg's direction, this is really "The John Williams Show". The amount of times the music gave me goosebumps and I was almost crying tears of joy listening to the first flying scene. Credit to Spielberg for giving Williams lots of canvas to work on, there are so many sequences with little, or no dialogue, just relying on the music to tell the story and convey the emotions. I was prepared to swear that Spielberg must have cut some of the film to the music (not the other way round) like Sergio Leone/Ennio Morricone and it seems he did. The second half is a non-stop adventure and emotional roller-coaster but the first hour really takes it's time developing the characters. That slow build up worked for adult me but I wonder if it would still hold the attention of kid audiences now?

 

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The Unbelievable Truth (1989)
Director: Hal Hartley
Country: United States
Length: 90 minutes
Type: Comedy, Drama

How had I never heard of this film, or the Director (Hal Hartley), or most of the brilliant cast? The dry, deadpan humour and the deliberately awkward dialogue and uncomfortable silences between the eccentric but completely believable characters is really tuned to my wavelength. The vague white-on-black title-cards made me laugh too e.g. "A month maybe two months later". The little scene where two characters just repeat the same lines back to each other several times, with different intonations and intensity is genius in how natural it feels (and again funny as hell). The shot compositions are beautiful and the bluesy, electronic, industrial rock soundtrack is so different. 'The Unbelievable Truth' is a melancholy, yet joyous Indie masterpiece.


 

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For some reason 'E.T.' was never a favourite for me as a kid, unlike all the other 80s/Sci-Fi/Spielberg-esque films. I reckon I watched stuff like 'Batteries Not Included', 'Starman', 'Flight of the Navigator', or 'The Last Starfighter' way more than the 1982 mega-hit that arguably prompted all those other alien-visitation movies to be greenlit (Christ, I probably watched 'Masters of the Universe' more than .E.T.). So I wasn't going in to today's 39th Anniversary-ish cinema screening overloaded with nostalgia... but wow I loved it! Despite all the clever FX, innovative puppeteering, astonishingly good child acting, beautiful, smokey, dark cinematography, nuanced script and of course Steven Spielberg's direction, this is really "The John Williams Show". The amount of times the music gave me goosebumps and I was almost crying tears of joy listening to the first flying scene. Credit to Spielberg for giving Williams lots of canvas to work on, there are so many sequences with little, or no dialogue, just relying on the music to tell the story and convey the emotions. I was prepared to swear that Spielberg must have cut some of the film to the music (not the other way round) like Sergio Leone/Ennio Morricone and it seems he did. The second half is a non-stop adventure and emotional roller-coaster but the first hour really takes it's time developing the characters. That slow build up worked for adult me but I wonder if it would still hold the attention of kid audiences now?

I've heard this from a few other people, but I've always loved E.T. and it has only risen in my estimation over time (the original version). It's the best Spielberg film. People get blase' and think it's easy to make something touching and sweet and creative for both kids and adults. Like you have to have unlikeable main characters and shots that dare your audience to lose patience in order to be real art. Maybe next year will be the Spielberg renaissance, at least in appreciation of this film and his work which has that sense of childlike excitement and wonder. Maybe it's because I also plowed through bags of Reeses Pieces. Maybe because that closet looked like my closet. Maybe because Dee Wallace was such a perfect '80s mom that I couldn't not see my own mom in her. Whatever the case, the movie has always resonated with me hard, and never once fails to hit me square in the feels.
 

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Maybe next year will be the Spielberg renaissance, at least in appreciation of this film and his work which has that sense of childlike excitement and wonder. Maybe it's because I also plowed through bags of Reeses Pieces.

I noticed that (and lots of cans of Coke everywhere). Reeses (pieces or otherwise) weren't a thing in the UK, they've only really been a recognisable brand in the last 5-10 years. Due to VHS blur we just thought they were Smarties:

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Oh it was a whole thing:
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I guess they couldn't get the actual props to work, but they took well advantage of the association:

And this wasn't some new marketing push. It didn't have to be...everything in E.T. was Americana.
 

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Deconstructing Harry (1997)
Director: Woody Allen
Country: United States
Length: 96 minutes
Type: Comedy

'Deconstructing Harry' doesn't seem to loom as large as many of Woody Allen's earlier films but it's right up there with his energetic, satirical classics like 'Bananas'. Allen plays Harry Block, a writer who has a bad habit of putting thinly veiled versions of the real people in his life into his novels, resulting in everybody being angry with him. This is conveyed by casting the film twice, with one set of actors playing the fact, one set the fiction. It's surprising that this absurd jumble of reality and dreams is never confusing once, even when Allen uses abrasive New-Wave style jump cuts. The visual joke about Robin Williams feeling "out of focus" (literally) is genius and the trip into a Hieronymus Bosch vision of hell, presided over by Billy Crystal's Hollywood studio boss version of Satan is stunning. I loved 'Deconstructing Harry'!

 

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The Birds (1963)
Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Country: United States
Length: 119 minutes
Type: Horror, Thriller

I've watched 'The Birds' before and thought it was too long and far too slow to get to the bird-based carnage but this time I didn't care about those pacing issues, I was just enjoying the frivolous interplay between the characters, performed by the quality cast. There is more than a hint of the proto-'Jaws' about the island town terrorised by a killer force of nature. This is also practically a full-on Zombie movie, 5-years before George A. Romero had the idea "Hey, wouldn't reanimated corpses be more scary than birds?". It's got the same apocalyptic tone, a society descending into chaos, people fortifying a home against the invading hordes, boarding up the windows, gathering provisions and there's the social commentary theorising about the causes for the unexplained attacks. There is also a focus on shocking gore (now a staple of the Horror genre) at a time when "horror" mostly meant chills (Hammer were testing the bloody water too in the early 60s). The rapid series of edits closer in on the dead guy with his eyes pecked out is unforgettable, soundtracked by nothing but silence. The best scene is one with the town holed up in the diner, talking over each other and stoking their own rising panic and confusion. Then the brilliantly composed shot of everybody staring out at the camera in terror, except the former rational sceptic with her back to the camera. The howling "sound of the void" at the end is a fairly standard technique now. 'The Birds' isn't perfect but it's a milestone in the development of horror cinema and a very entertaining ride.


It's been spoofed quite a bit. "Alfred Hitchcock's 'The Absolutely Nothing'" is particularly good:



 

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^I just finished my Hitchcock marathon and had to re-evaluate The Birds. Even as a kid, I had found it rather cheesy, dated, and boring. It wasn't until I saw a documentary on Hitch's use of sound that I started picking up on the technical artistry used in the film. It's by far Hedren's best performance, as well. My final Top 10 Hitchcock List (accompanied by a pretentious essay.)
 

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^ I'd probably go for the exact same top 4, in the exact same order but the rest would be different choices and different order I think. Lifeboat is one of the best.
 

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^To be clear, those are the films that worked best for me as complete packages, "Best Pictures" if you will. If I was choosing "Best Director" awards, my bottom half would be all different. I'd probably throw in many films that have stand out scenes but that I think have big problems with character/plot/motivation/dialogue. The Man Who Knew Too Much ('56), Notorious, Suspicion, Frenzy, and Foreign Correspondent are some likely candidates. Maybe Sabotage. If you've got a list, do share.
 

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If you've got a list, do share.

I've seen a lot of them and I own them all on dvd/blu-ray but there a few too many gaps to do a ranked list yet. I plan on seeing more of them soon. I'd include these in a top-10 as of now:

Rebecca (1940)
Shadow of a Doubt (1943)
Rope (1948)
Strangers on a Train (1951)

'Shadow of a Doubt' would probably be at no5.



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The Wicker Man (1973)
Director: Robin Hardy
Country: United Kingdom
Length: 91 minutes
Type: Horror

Every time I rewatch 'The Wicker Man' it goes up in my estimation and I already loved it since "The Final Cut" was discovered, restored and released in 2013. Today I watched that 91-minute FC again, the longer "Director's Cut" is nice but it's videotape transfer can't compete with the FC's 35mm HD. It's a film that has to be seen at least twice to get the most out of it because the first time you experience a mystery thriller along with Sgt. Howie, the second and subsequent times you're watching from the perspective of the islanders, like a spider watches the fly in it's web. It's a meticulously constructed plot whichever way you approach it, as the "clues" all play both ways. The erotic atmosphere and the bawdy folk-music soundtrack are like nothing else in the horror genre. The whole cast is terrific, not least a wickedly fun Christopher Lee but Edward Woodward's intensely buttoned up, partly ridiculous but also deeply dignified and even heroic performance is the real masterclass. You really believe he's calling for aid from his God at the end, not just out of desperate terror but out of genuine belief in salvation. The kind of pagan rituals shown in 'The Wicker Man' are still practised in a light-hearted way in UK villages near where I live (sword dances, may poles etc) and harvest festivals are annually observed in schools, so Summerisle doesn't feel that far from reality. I've not seen any blood sacrifices mind you, although I did once go down to do some work in the cellar of a customer's house and noticed it was dressed as a pagan temple, with skulls, an altar, anks, swords, goblets, wizard's staffs and pentagrams :LOL: .


Burnt Offering: The Cult of the Wicker Man (2001)
Always a pleasure to rewatch Mark Kermode's definitive Channel4 documentary on 'The Wicker Man'. I'm so glad he did this film when he did, as many of the main interviewees are sadly no longer with us. It feels like Christopher Lee could've talked for hours about how proud he is of the film and how angry he is that it originally got butchered and relegated to 2nd feature short feature to 'Don't Look Now'. I also rewatched the "Director's Cut" with the commentary moderated by Kermode featuring Edward Woodward, Lee and Director Robin Hardy (and I re-viewed the behind the scenes featurette on the commentary too). It's fantastic to hear the recollections of three old gentlemen of the silver screen.

I can't get enough of the score, which was thankfully included in the 2013 blu-ray set:

 

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Scream (1996)
Director: Wes Craven
Country: United States
Length: 111 minutes
Type: Horror

'Scream' is more meta than satire because it's not subverting the conventions and cliches of the Slasher-Movie genre, it's just pointing them out to you, before doing them all over again. It feels very Quentin Tarantino-esque (the man, not his work) in it's movie-obsessed, pop-culture outlook. The video store clerk Randy could be a young Tarantino. As 'Scream' was developed at Dimension/Miramax, I wonder if QT had input in the tone, or it getting greenlit? It's very noticeable that the film was supposed to be called "Scary Movie" (which would've been a neat gag) because it's said about 200 times in the dialogue but the notorious Weinstein brothers changed the title to the meaningless "Scream" before release because they're simpletons I guess. Several of the kills look obviously and heavily censored to get an R-rating. 'Scream' was hugely popular in the 90s, everybody saw it, including me and I had fun with it at the time but it doesn't stand up. It's a bad mystery plot because it cheats and drops inconsistent red herrings so you can't play detective with it like you could with a genuine Giallo from Dario Argento. The soundtrack, the clothes, the look, everything are so dated to the 90s. The collection of self-obsessed characters are mostly irritating and over acted but Courteney Cox is a cynical joy and David Arquette's awkward deputy is so cute. Syncing the finale with the music from a VHS copy 'Halloween' which is playing in the background is very cleverly done.


^ "Scary movie" is said at least 5 times in the trailer alone :LOL: .
 

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^At the risk of reinforcing a convention where you didn't like a beloved film of mine and I attempt to defend it.... ;)

Firstly, the argument about it being "dated to the '90s" seems silly to me. Come on, we watch films from the '70s, '80s, etc all the time, and just accept that many aspects of it make it a period piece. People speak a certain way, accept that some things were normal that now aren't (like having your car/house doors unlocked in an '80s small town), and so on. This film is now like 30 years old: it's just a period piece from a more recent time.

Second, it's not a mystery, it's a horror movie. And comparing the plot of this to other horror films (especially giallo) and saying it's not good just seems ridiculous to me. Unlike most of those films, the character motivations and actions can be traced through the film and basically make sense the whole time. Nobody is doing something just because the plot requires them to do that. The red herrings are all perfectly defensible, because hey, everything seems suspicious when tensions are running high.

Third, this was the '90s. Video store culture was everywhere, from Clerks to True Romance to Kicking and Screaming to Ghost World to Empire Records. The indie slaving-for-the-corporate-overlords mentality was in the zeitgeist. Tarantino didn't have to influence this Wes Craven film, it had Kevin Williamson. He'd go on to a very productive relationship after Craven introduced him to Dimension.

And about that "subvert" vs. "meta" thought... that's interesting. I get what you're saying, and I partially agree, but can I make an argument that maybe it does "subvert"? The definition is "to undermine the authority of an established system", and I think this film does do that at points. It's one of my favorite scripts ever because I think the structure is ingenious. The goofy teenage characters recap horror film tropes (which is meta, as Craven himself helped to develop and reinforce many of them) and the audience is thinking "yeah, yeah, we know most of this", feeling quite smart. So then as the audience watches these tropes play out, despite some characters starting to become aware and try to avoid them, it builds a sense of suspense because we recognize every situation that we see starting to happen, and we think we know how it will turn out. It's classic Hitchcock, only this isn't a suspense film, so Craven 'lets the bomb go off'.

However, the audience feels so smart because they know everything to expect and so think they can figure out who the killer is. The cast as well is trying to figure it out, and as the audience listens to them, they think "well I already know I'm smarter than them so I can definitely figure out who the killer is first"....which is a genius misdirect. Because everyone now knows (ENDING SPOILER) the classic twist: there isn't one killer. The entire structure and all the dialogue leading up to that had been reinforcing the idea in the audience that this was a typical horror film. Which they should have known wasn't true, because the film immediately killed off the lead actress (Drew Barrymore) in the first scene, instead focusing on an unknown actress (Neve Campbell). So Craven plays fair. He upends your expectations, then convinces you to fall back into typical patterns of thinking, then upends them again. It's a double trick that makes this one of the best horror scripts ever, and I'd say "subverts the authority of the system" quite well.
 

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the argument about it being "dated to the '90s" seems silly to me. Come on, we watch films from the '70s, '80s, etc all the time, and just accept that many aspects of it make it a period piece. People speak a certain way, accept that some things were normal that now aren't (like having your car/house doors unlocked in an '80s small town), and so on. This film is now like 30 years old: it's just a period piece from a more recent time.

Because something is old, doesn't make it dated, and older doesn't necessarily mean more dated. A quick comparison with other 1996 (present day set) films like 'Trainspotting', 'From Dusk Till Dawn', 'Fargo' or even 'Independence Day' look not at all dated, or much less dated to the 90s (in my opinion). Another example would be Sean Connery in the early 60s Bond films, he looks bang up to date (the sexual politics less so) in sharp suits that Daniel Craig could still wear but Roger Moore in the 70s/80s with double-breasted navy suit jackets with gold buttons and flared tan trousers looks soooooo dated.

It's not just the particular pop culture references though. It's the 90s TV-style lighting and the constant use of pop songs on the soundtrack but only a few seconds of them for no particular purpose other than to include a bit of pop music is so naff. It's all subjective though.

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^ ♫ So no one told you life was gonna be this way. Your job's a joke, you're broke. Your love life's DOA... ♫ ;)

Second, it's not a mystery, it's a horror movie.

It's a horror first but it is a mystery, they don't know who the killers are, so they try to work it out, then they find out. If it wasn't, we would be shown who the killers were after the prologue scene, instead of as a big reveal at the end. Having two killers is such a cop out. A well written mystery plot will allow the viewer/reader to try to work it out for themselves, two killers means a writer can (and does) make all clues appear invalid. That's just my preference for plotting.

The red herrings are all perfectly defensible, because hey, everything seems suspicious when tensions are running high.

One example; after Billy gets out of jail he upsets Sidney by being tactless and she storms off. Instead of ending the scene there, the camera stays on Billy and he looks cross with himself and angrily says something like "Sh*t!". Why is he cross with himself for upsetting her, when it's later revealed that he is spending the whole movie trying to upset her? A really well done movie like this should reward repeated viewings by everything still making sense in a different light (obviously I remembered he was the killer because I watched Scream multiple times back in the 90s).

Third, this was the '90s. Video store culture was everywhere, from Clerks to True Romance to Kicking and Screaming to Ghost World to Empire Records. The indie slaving-for-the-corporate-overlords mentality was in the zeitgeist. Tarantino didn't have to influence this Wes Craven film, it had Kevin Williamson. He'd go on to a very productive relationship after Craven introduced him to Dimension.

That's a very good point! QT definitely doesn't have the copyright on that type of character, although the guy in True Romance basically is Tarantino (or his fantasy version of himself :LOL: ). I was more wondering if as the studio's hottest name Director QT was aware of Williamson's script and ever said "Hey I love this, it's talking about stuff I know. You guys should make it" and/or "Wes is the master of this stuff, you should get him, I've seen all his movies" and the Weinsteins thought "We don't know our arses from our elbows creatively but if QT likes it, it must be good".
 

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The Graduate (1967)
Director: Mike Nichols
Country: United States
Length: 106 minutes
Type: Drama, Comedy

The AFI rank this as the "17th greatest American film of all time" but it didn't do much for me, a few chuckles here and there. I love Simon & Garfunkel, so I loved the soundtrack and it was worth seeing a truly iconic movie that has been homaged, imitated and parodied so many times. Also Anne Bancroft is sensational as the (in)famous "Mrs. Robinson" and the cinematography by the master Robert Surtees is great to look at. My main problem was that I didn't like the characters, or feel empathy for them. Dustin Hoffman with his whiny nasal voice playing a young guy who is upset because he's got to hang out in his parent's mansion, chill in their swimming pool and drive around in the red Alfa Romeo Spider sports car that they bought him as a graduation present, is a tough proposition to feel sorry for. It's like if one of the awful kids from that TV show 'My Super Sweet 16' has an Oscar winning movie made about them.

 

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Because something is old, doesn't make it dated, and older doesn't necessarily mean more dated. A quick comparison with other 1996 (present day set) films like 'Trainspotting', 'From Dusk Till Dawn', 'Fargo' or even 'Independence Day' look not at all dated, or much less dated to the 90s (in my opinion). Another example would be Sean Connery in the early 60s Bond films, he looks bang up to date (the sexual politics less so) in sharp suits that Daniel Craig could still wear but Roger Moore in the 70s/80s with double-breasted navy suit jackets with gold buttons and flared tan trousers looks soooooo dated.

It's not just the particular pop culture references though. It's the 90s TV-style lighting and the constant use of pop songs on the soundtrack but only a few seconds of them for no particular purpose other than to include a bit of pop music is so naff. It's all subjective though.

It's a horror first but it is a mystery, they don't know who the killers are, so they try to work it out, then they find out. If it wasn't, we would be shown who the killers were after the prologue scene, instead of as a big reveal at the end. Having two killers is such a cop out. A well written mystery plot will allow the viewer/reader to try to work it out for themselves, two killers means a writer can (and does) make all clues appear invalid. That's just my preference for plotting.

One example; after Billy gets out of jail he upsets Sidney by being tactless and she storms off. Instead of ending the scene there, the camera stays on Billy and he looks cross with himself and angrily says something like "Sh*t!". Why is he cross with himself for upsetting her, when it's later revealed that he is spending the whole movie trying to upset her? A really well done movie like this should reward repeated viewings by everything still making sense in a different light (obviously I remembered he was the killer because I watched Scream multiple times back in the 90s).
Well, I disagree on pretty much every point, surprise surprise. lol Without hammering on too much about each case, I'll just say sometimes films don't look dated because they're too generic, or too unfamiliar to a viewer to date, or are already old-looking when they come out. But I have no problem with films being contemporary, meaning that they are so relevant to the time they were made that they immediately become a snapshot of that time. That's different to me than dated, which I reserve for films which have attitudes or narratives which are no longer believable to a viewer or are hard to identify with because we know more or have grown as a society. Connery's Bond films are an excellent example, not only in his attitudes towards women, but in the ridiculous portrayal of what a spy is and does and how those narratives hold up. Audiences are smarter and more informed now.

There are plenty of Horror films where you don't know what's going on until the end still being made, and you also cannot reasonably figure them out until near the end. Those just aren't slasher movies. If you follow the clues in Scream, you'll realize there's no way that any one of the suspects could have been in all the places, so naturally there must have been more than one. So then you have to figure out who would be likely to work together. It's just such a new take that people who don't see the obvious might get saucy about feeling duped. <ahem> Your Billy example doesn't hold water with me because he does genuinely like Sydney, he's just psychotic. He doesn't want to piss her off in every conversation, and he does still want to get laid. This is a teen film, after all.

Anyway, not every person has to see the genius in every film. There are great movies that I don't like, too. ;)
 
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