Monday, June 26, 2006

Note to Self: Stay Positive.

Like many loudmouth cinephile types I have been known to bemoan the state of current cinema, especially in year-end reviews. I know that June 26th is a strange time to bring this up but I screened Nashville for the first time in aeons the other night (hence the new banner) and immediately opened up Inside Oscar upon completion --total habit of mine-- and found this quote regarding 1975 from Los Angeles Times writer Charles Champlin:
"It wasn't a bad year for movies, it was a terrible year"
Er. Well...

1975 Highlights included Kubrick's Barry Lyndon, Lumet's Dog Day Afternoon, Spielberg's Jaws, Altman's Nashville and Forman's One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. And that's just the Best Picture nominees.

A terrible year, Charles? Ya think? Thirty-one years later that year's vintage is looking mighty fine to me.


DL said...

Wow, that really was a great year. And as great as Nashville is, I would've cast my Best Picture vote for Barry Lyndon, which I just saw for the first time recently. Stanley Kubrick never fails to amaze.

adam k. said...

That is too bad.

Who is #5, Nathaniel? Johnny? Tony? Ewan?

Anonymous said...


Glenn Dunks said...

lol. Do we have a Nathaniel impersonator now? dear god...

I haven't seen Nashville or Barry Lyndon, but my faves from that year were:

1. Picnic at Hanging Rock
2. Dog Day Afternoon
3. Rocky Horror Picture Show
4. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
5. Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

I think though most years have at least a great bunch of movies that I really like so it's never all bad.

Poli said...

Though I've never seen Nashville (It's in my Netflix queue), I already have a soft spot for it, since my high school drama teacher is in it (Sheila Bailey, the shorter half of the Smokey Mountain Laurel).

I think the only way to truly tell if a year was good for movies or not is to wait 7 years (at least) and then going back and relooking at what came out. Otherwise, every year is 'not the best for movies'

Anonymous said...

I think it's fashionable to say at the end of every year how bad it's been for cinema.

I once read a review bemoaning the state of cinema in 1954... 1954 - the year of: Rear Window, A Star Is Born, On the Waterfront, Sabrina, Teh Far Country, It Should Happen to You - and then there's the foreign films: La Strada, The Seven Samurai, Sansho the Bailiff, Senso.

And that's another common trait - when it's a weaker-than-usual year for American cinema, people complain it's a bad year for cinema in general.

For me 2002 and 2005 were weaker-than-usual years for world cinema but I'd still feel weird complaining about the years that produced Adaptation, Talk to Her, Minority Report, Far from Heaven, Russian Ark, Brokeback Mountain, The New World, Me and You and Everyone We Know, The Squid and the Whale, The Beat That My Heart Skipped etc. etc.

Anonymous said...

Oh and 1975 also had Farewell My Lovely, maybe the last great 'classical' noir - classical despite being made in (gorgeous) Technicolor and about twenty years after the end of the 'classical' noir period.

Glenn Dunks said...


Although I don't subscribe to the "it has to be so many years old before it can be called great, which is what the AFI do. Nothing from the last 20 years is good enough for their 100 Movies list, apparently. Nothing.

DL said...

Oh, I totally forgot that this was the year of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. That would get my Best Picture vote if would've been nominated.

Alanna said...

Long time reader, first time commenter... a year that produced such high-quality, widely ranging films as Cuckoo's Nest and Holy Grail is a great year in my book. This quote reminds me of the fellow who said The Beatles would never amount to much.

I'm a huge fan of The Film Experience. If you have time, drop by my new blog (focusing on the small screen) here.