Boldness, solidity, demystification. In 1973, cinema lived one of the best moments in its history, especially in America, at the height of New Hollywood. A place where the brightest young people from the first film schools met, experienced veterans who found a vein in a new phase of freedom and daring, set between 1967 and 1980, and television directors who, after the leap to the big screen , endowed cinema with their experience, their firmness in narration and their committed vision of a liberal society. Outside the United States, Italy and France lived off the great sociopolitical films and the echoes of new wave and its derivatives, while in the rest of the world green dogs like Alejandro Jodorowsky appeared, with the holy mountain.
In this piece, films that can currently be seen on the platforms prevail, which has led to fundamental titles such as Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid, wilderness or the clairvoyant When fate catches up with us. And perhaps one of the most extraordinary things about this memory is that, 50 years later, three of these filmmakers are still making cinema: Martin Scorsese, George Lucas and Víctor Erice.
a long goodbyeby Robert Altmann
Together with chinatown, produced the following year, the great representative of the demystification of the classic film noir, although Altman’s came before. This gritty, gritty neonoir heralded a new breed of private eye, so despite adapting Raymond Chandler’s famous novel, the shrewd and brash Philippe Marlowe played by Elliot Gould lacks glamour. Even cigarette smoke, perpetually glued to his mouth, which makes him babble his dialogues more than reciting them, is no longer a symbol of elegance, both for the smoker and for his own image. Altman begins his story with Marlowe trying to trick his cat and the animal refusing his disgusting food, he sets him in his contemporary seventies and Vilmos Zsigmond, his famous cinematographer, composes a cold image with almost no saturation in which the colors are almost they get confused Dispassionate fatalism and violence more graphic than ever. Available at Filmin.
The Exorcistby William Friedkin
Few films in the history of cinema are more influential, more copied, and even more parodied. The myth of Father Karras, that of the green vomit, and that of not a few phrases that have become established in popular culture, headed by the immortal “Did you see what your filthy daughter did?” In the face of terror, essential of course, but which only appeared right in the middle of the story (for the better), a chilling aspect of the story was made with the pain of a woman for the physical deterioration of a daughter and the remorse of the priest for abandoning his mother elderly. Friedkin presented in 2000 a director’s cut that, however, made the original worse in some respects: easy demonic holograms; a supposedly spectacular descent down the stairs by the girl Regan, narratively deplorable; and introduction of music in moments when the silent cold and nocturnal breathing dominated in the original. Available on Amazon Prime Video.
the coupby George Roy Hill
One of those rare examples of a movie that everyone likes, generation after generation. The average viewer and cinephile, the fun junkie and the intellectual. The reason: It’s bright while being lightweight; she is artistic without being convinced of it all the time, and she has the gift of beauty and charisma, which is also essential in certain cinema. Robert Redford and Paul Newman, no less, who have also been doing two men and one destiny four years earlier, also directed by Roy Hill. You have to be very straight, or very pale, to get past this ode to the intelligence of scams and the nobility of well-crafted extortion. A seventies gem that recalled the cinematic techniques of the thirties, including the bumpers between sequences, winner of seven Oscars, including best picture. And, oddly enough, Robert Redford’s only best actor nomination in his entire career. Available at Filmin.
the american nightby Francois Truffaut
Truffaut’s art to achieve intellectual films with a popular cinema flavor. Cinema as a way of life. Films as a changing entity. And the people who dedicate themselves to putting together cinematic stories as capricious human beings, concerned above all with themselves. The French director this time does not use his alter-ego Jean-Pierre Léaud because he uses himself for the role of director, and the always formidable Georges Delerue leaves some musical compositions for history. the american night, a love letter to cinema from those on the rise, could well be a film by Lubitsch shot after the rise of the new wave. The greatness of lightness. Godard, perched on his vantage point, was angered by Truffaut’s description of the artistic process and accused him of selling out to the general public. The controversy ended their friendship. Available on Amazon and Filmin.
shadow threatby Nicolas Roeg
“In cinema there is no right or wrong way to do things; there is only one right way, and another way. So let’s give the other side a chance”, wrote the magnificent British director in his film memoir and didactics The world is always changing. Roeg applied it with a memorable literature montage technique in which some sequences, or even entire films, were broken into a thousand pieces, acquiring a new meaning or a different reading that they would not have if they were ordered in a chronological and conventional sense. The paradigm is the historical sequence of love and sex between Julie Christie and Donald Sutherland in this masterpiece of terror, mystery and destruction, based on a fabulous tale by Daphne du Marier. A couple sees their daughter die and wakes up in shock in the most ghostly Venice, between the worst omens and a masterful lesson in how to use the color red as a destabilizing and symbolic element. Available at Filmin.
american graffitiby Jorge Lucas
Young popular culture was born at the crossroads between the 1950s and 1960s, and Lucas returns to this point to recall his teenage doubts, deliver the best prom film of all time, and transcend, from his home United States, its idealism and its suburban periphery. culture, to any city in any western country that he dreamed of leaving behind in search of a better or, at least, more fun future. The longing for adults, in a period of decline, becomes bitter and somber despite the colorful packaging, the effervescence of the party and an extraordinary soundtrack in which there are no more hits. Lucas, who had already performed in THX 1138 that could make excellent adult science fiction has been lost forever in any sense other than that of Star Wars for the rest of his career. We gained a myth, but maybe we lost a director with eclectic possibilities to last in more ways. Available at Filmin.
serpicoby Sidney Lumet
Lumet, the great filmmaker of corruption —political, corporate, judicial, religious, even mafia— deals here with corruption in the New York police department and the integrity of “the weirdest guy that ever went through a police station”. , a bearded Italian-American hippie who imprints the methodology of the Actors Studio Al Pacino. In Lumet’s own words, the story of a “true rebel with a cause”. The director, methodical and perfectly organized during filming, only allowed himself one freedom: allowing his interpreters to improvise some dialogues. Based on real facts and characters, the real Frank Serpico asked Lumet to go to the set to see how Pacino put himself in his shoes, but the producers forbade him because it could destabilize the actor’s concentration. In front of the policeman on the corner to the right of Dirty Harry, released two years earlier, Lumet’s looked like a specimen of the counterculture. Available at Filmin.
Amarcordby Federico Fellini
Dedicated to the Rimini of Fellini’s adolescence, Amarcord It is symbolic from the title: reinvention of the phrase “a m’arcord”, which in the Roman dialect means “I remember”. The director’s (and co-screenwriter Tonino Guerra’s) memories, in the form of successive sketches of emotional and, above all, sexual growth. In Rimini there is a whole school of fanatics, commentators and interpreters who try to identify characters and settings, and find a historical basis for the various sequences. Something that creator Fellini abhorred, as Tullio Kezich tells in his biography of the filmmaker, as he somehow underestimates his ability to create universes and dreams. Certainly, many speculated about the real existence in those thirty years of a robust tobacconist that placed the kids between their teats so that they sucked and they, so inexperienced, insisted on blowing. Available on Movistar Plus+.
bad streetsby Martin Scorsese
Now it’s a practice that’s the order of the day, almost ad nauseam, but the fact that Scorsese illustrated his Mafia adventures with songs from American popular music was fantastic news. Set in the New York neighborhood of Little Italy, where the director grew up, those bad streets of the title are also the clouding of the soul, mainly those of the Catholic with a dark tone of guilt played by Harvey Keitel. The fight in billiards, with please mister postman, from The Marvelettes, thundering in the background and Robert De Niro displaying his dangerousness at the tables and even his madness entered history through the energy of the camera on Scorsese’s shoulder, who goes and comes between the corridors and punches like more than one character. Did any of the privileged people who saw him debut at the Directors’ Fortnight in Cannes think that 50 years later their director would be considered a living legend? Available on Amazon Prime Video, Movistar Plus+ and Flixolé.
the spirit of the hiveby Victor Erice
The only Spanish film placed among the top 100 in history in the famous and prestigious poll carried out every decade by the British magazine Vision&Sound (ranked 84th). Erice’s symbology, her visual writing together with Ángel Fernández-Santos, Luis Cuadrado’s honey-colored photography with Rembrandt tones, Ana Torrent’s huge eyes, Isabel Tellería’s whispers and, of course, Frankenstein. The myth of James Whale and the metaphorical one of the wounded maqui that helps the girl Ana. The marginalized monster of post-war Spain. Produced by a totemic figure like Elías Querejeta, Erice bequeaths to the mortal remains a handful of imperishable images and his lyrical breath crosses the canvas to become an experience close to the mystical. That in a few months we will have a new film by Erice, unfortunately not as prolific, falls into the happy chapter of the unexpected. Available on Flixole and HBO.
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