Wait, you LIKE that movie? But, Kate! It was made after 1970! Let me feel your forehead...

June 22, 2009

I know everyone around here is pretty obsessed with older films. But I'm not just pro-older films, I'm very anti-newer films. I usually get a very twisted, "you MUST be kidding me" look on my face when anyone, but anyone, asks me to go to see a new film in theaters. And no, renting it from Netflix won't mask the fact that it was made in 2004. It is still a new film, be it in a theater or at home. I'm prone to sulk in my bedroom when my family (who usually share my strict pre-1970 rule) cave in and rent something new. (Okay, I don't actually "sulk"... but I do make it pretty well known that I won't be around for two hours or so...)

So, yesterday I had to pick out a movie for our "dinner and a movie" Father's Day event. Looking through my DVDs and old VHS tapes I came across 'A Little Princess', a movie that was released in 1995, when I was 9 years old. It was one of those children's movies where your parents like it as much, if not more than you do (especially my dad, who asks to see it almost every year) Since my dad likes it so much, and the plot is perfect for Father's Day, I decided we would actually watch a "new" movie (albeit, 14 years old)

I loved it just as much as I did when I was a little girl. I actually cried twice! It was such a magical, beautiful movie, I completely forgot that it was post 1970, breaking my cardinal rule of movie watching. So this got me thinking... if I had to make a list of post 1970 films that are actually good, how long could I get it? Are there two? five? Maybe if I include Disney cartoons, I can get the list to 10. Well, I actually managed 12!! Yes, 12!! Quite a feat for someone who has probably only seen about 30!

1. A Little Princess (of course!)
2. The Way We Were (from my Robert Redford kick 2 years ago)
3. Beauty and the Beast (My favorite cartoon as a kid)
4. The Little Mermaid (My second favorite cartoon as a kid)
5. The Brave Little Toaster (I love Lampy!)
6. When Harry Met Sally (Maybe Rob Reiner is my favorite modern director....)
7. Out of Africa (also from the Robert Redford kick...)
8. Schindler's List (Watched it in film class, & it was really moving)
9. The Hot Rock (also from the Robert Redford kick...)
10. Ferngully (My third favorite cartoon as a kid)
11. Waking Ned Devine (love movies about old people)
12. On Golden Pond (who doesn't love Henry Fonda in this movie?)

So there it is, folks... all 12 "newer" films that I would be happy to watch more than once. Other than these, I'll stick with my pre-1970 rule! :)

What "newer" films make it on your list? Either list in comments or send me a link to your post! :D

You can read lists from the other bloggers who have "jumped on the bandwagon":

(If I missed your post just let me know!)


Mykal Banta said...

Kate: I can't agree with you more regarding Out of Africa. I still consider this one of the greatest love stories ever committed to the big screen. Great in every respect – Script, acting, casting. This films is one of my greatest pleasures, and I watch it whenever I need a refresher course in the ability of film to tell a story with simple, beautiful power. Great post! -- Mykal

Cullen Gallagher said...

La France (2007) - a very magical film set in the French countryside during WWI about a wife who dresses as a young boy and joins a wandering band of soldiers in order to look for her husband. Even though its WWI, they all sing pop-psych tunes based off 1960s tunes, and sing/play all the instruments on camera, something I've never seen done in a musical before. A very strange, but wonderful movie. I've seen it probably four or five times since I first saw it last summer.

BethRose said...

Personallly I dont particularly dislike modern movies, I just think classic film is about a million times better!Having two younger and uninterested in classic films sisters, I end up watching quite a few.

For me there are three in particular which I consider to be on a par with the old stuff.

1. Mrs Henderson Presents (2005) which admittedly is set in the 40s and therefore features wonderful costumes and music!

2. Memoirs of a Geisha - Visually stunning, its a film which appeals to every sense! Great plot too!

3. Amelie - French language film, which retains some of the innocence and simplicity found in classic movies whichI love so much!

I do like other movies of various genres, but these three especially!

Beth xx

NoirGirl said...

You make me really want to see The Little Princess! I'm going to check if it's playing on TV anytime soon.

I've seen a surprising amount of modern films, because my brother is a martial arts and action film buff, so whenever a fairly decent one comes out in theaters, I go to see it with him.

I liked Kung-Fu Panda a lot, but it was a cartoon, so I'm not sure it really counts.

Then, of course, I'm an enormous Christian Bale fan and his films are my one exception to my modern film ban. If he's in a film, I'll watch it - no exceptions. Needless to say I'm totally dying for Public Enemies to open in a couple of weeks. :)

The Pursuit of Happyness is brilliant. Will Smith and his son are absolutely amazing. It's funny, touching and relevant. Highly recommend it.

Can't think of any others off the top of my head right now. There could be a few more.

I can't believe your cartoon choices! Beauty & the Beast, Little Mermaid & Ferngully were my top favs, too. Ferngully was #1, though. I watched that probably every week for 5 straight years. I had it on VHS (have no idea why, I didn't have a big VHS collection). That scene where the trees get painted with red and the saw starts cutting them down always scared me to death! :)

DKoren said...

I have a whole bunch of favorites post 1970, too many to list, though very few post 2000. Movies are distinctly going downhill these last few years. I'm lucky if I go to the theater one or two times a year nowadays. But Big Jake, The Wind and the Lion, LA Confidential, Star Wars, Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Untouchables, Mask of Zorro, The 13th Warrior... I can't imagine life without any of those. But as I primarily watch action/adventure films, there's some really good ones post 1970.

Robby Cress said...

What a funny post. I love new films just as I love the old films - the future classics and the old classics. In no particular order I would have to include in my list:

Edward Scissorhands
Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade
The Royal Tenenbaums
Fast Times at Ridgemont High
Wedding Crashers
Beauty and the Beast

Elizabeth said...

Wow. You have a lot of nerve compared to me, as I hardly watch movies made after 1950!

I would have to say my favorite modern movies would be something like "Oh Brother Where Art Thou?" or "Amelie" - in other words, artsy foreign or period movies.

Terence Towles Canote said...

Well, I love films from all eras, so there are actually quite a few newer films I like. Pan's Labyrinth, The Dark Knight, V For Vendetta, Watchmen, No Country for Old Men, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Quadrophenia, A Clockwork Orange... I'll admit, if I made a top 250 movies list (which I did at one time), the movies made before 1970 would far outnumber the ones made afterwards, but I do like quite a few more recent ones!

vivienne strauss said...

I do watch a fair number of current films, I'm just really picky about what I'm willing to sit through. On a somewhat guilty note, I'll admit that I'll watch just about anything that has Keanu Reeves in it :D

Classic Maiden said...

When it comes to newer films, it has a lot to do with knowing where to look. That's how it's been for me anyways - I had a long time where I just avoided newer films :)

Matthew Coniam said...

I'm totally hardline on this.
I think you can see Hollywood movies starting to decline from 1940 on. From 1950 on the duds start to vastly outweigh the gold and the loss of the old professionalism becomes too glaring to ignore.
My general cut-off would be ten years before you, at about 1960. That's the point beyond which I need a REALLY good reason to watch something. I couldn't just sit and watch anything, as I could from the thirties. I don't recall ever seeing a thirties film I didn't get at least something from.

Of course, there are some things that keep going through those years that I am still interested in, certain directorial careers, certain genres etc (British horror remains of interest to me well into the seventies, and I'll always look at what Woody Allen is doing.)
But as far as the mainstream of popular film-making goes, no way.

I have a few nostalgic indulgences from the seventies and eighties that I love but cannot defend, but they certainly don't include Star Wars or ET or Indiana Jones or anything like that.
I used to like Seven and Titanic and Silence of the Lambs and Pulp Fiction! I look at them now and wonder who the hell I was back then...

I'd say about 1990 is the point where I simply cease to get anything at all out of movies - with, at long last I hear you scream, the following exceptions:

Ghost World, Cop Land, The Cat's Meow, Chicago, Amelie, Funny Bones, 8 Women and yes, (despite my every better instinct, and certainly NOT including its soundtrack) Marie Antoinette.
Most of these are nostalgic or explicitly harking back to older styles and attitudes: Funny Bones is a heartrending salute to the golden age of comedy, Cat's Miaow likewise to the silent era, Chicago to twenties style, Cop Land to the morality of the traditional western.
The others are exercises in pure style or, in the case of Ghost World (the only one that would figure in my all-eras top 20), both. I AM SEYMOUR!

Ed Howard said...

I think this is pretty funny. Maybe if we're talking about strictly mainstream American cinema, it's somewhat easy to see why someone would stick to older films. But that's hardly all that's out there -- there's so much world cinema and avant-garde cinema and independent film to see. It's not like your choice is between The Big Sleep and Saw 5 or whatever else is currently playing at the multiplex. It's hard to imagine so completely ignoring, say, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Mike Leigh, Todd Haynes, Jacques Rivette, late Godard, Robert Altman, Maurice Pialat, Peter Greenaway, David Cronenberg, Su Friedrich, Martin Scorsese, Werner Herzog, Derek Jarman, David Lynch, Eric Rohmer, etc.

As much as I love old Hollywood movies, I'll never understand the point of view that they're the only things worth watching.

Christopher Newton said...

You just gotta add some European films to your list. Like everybody else here, I love

1. Amelie (2001)
2. Amarcord (1974)
3. Blame It On Fidel (2006)
4. The Dresser (1984)
5. Shakespeare In Love (1998)
6. Happy-Go-Lucky (2008)
7. La Vie en Rose (2007)
8. Quadrophenia (1979)
9. Small Change (1976)
10. A Very Long Engagement (2004) - an incredible movie that should be better know.

Then, for fluffy fun and joy, I would add
Enchanted, Hairspray (the recent one) and Romy and Michelle - definitely an acquired taste - all charming Hollywood summer delights - in my opinion, anyway.

There have been some great American movies too - The Godfather and Chinatown, obviously, but all in all, I agree with you about Hollywood. Give me those pre-1950 movies anytime.

Classic Maiden said...

I agree with Ed Howard about World Cinema - some of the greatest films are done outside USA today.

Thomas Pluck said...

My girlfriend doesn't like watching movies made before 1985. Imagine how tedious that is; but there are plenty of good ones made in the last 25 years. I love classic film, but we forget how they've filtered down to us; there were plenty of stinkers back then too. They're just not readily available.

One thing I'll admit; the effect of television and commercialism has changed the face of film irrevocably, and not for the better.

Carapace said...

I largely blame "MTV Editing" for the often literal unwatchability of modern movies. Certainly, there are plenty of good stories still being told! Just...quite jerkin' the camera around, and let the story happen!

Maybe that's why so many of my favorite modern films are some sort of animation; animators are trying hard to make things look seamless, not jumpy. My Top Ten post-70 films:

The Dark Crystal- gorgeous, just gorgeous. Also "Of course not, silly! You're a boy!"? Still one of the best inversions in cinema.

The Princess Bride-- Yeah, hard to argue with that one.

Kenneth Branagh's Frankenstein-- forget about comparing it to the book. Just watch it. Really watch it. It took me quite some time to even notice how my gaze was being directed in the crowd scenes, or the very era-appropriate use of the environment to reflect the story. Also, holy freaking freak, the acting.

The Station Agent- Hah! I do watch indie films! Sometimes. An unexpectedly deep slice-of-life story that doesn't have to beat anyone over the head with the moral.

Labyrinth-- Kind of YA? Maybe. But it's got great allegories running through, and how many actual woman's coming of age fantasy tales can you name?

Pan's Labyrinth: I will tell you exactly why this film was so great as soon as I can BREATHE again. The dark reflection of the other Labyrinth. The Pale Man haunts my sleep still.

The Brave Little Toaster-- Oh, utter and complete agreement. It outclassed Disney hard when it was first released (Disney bought the rights later. It wasn't originally a Disney production.)

The Last Unicorn- Even if the rest of the movie was a photo of a tin can, I'd list it for the first ten minutes. But no! It's all beautiful! Even with the kinda weird voice acting.

Nightmare Before Christmas- I did say most of the films here were animated. Maybe it's just this wacky prejudice of mine that films, being a visual medium, should do something important with the visuals? Anyway, fun film, great atmosphere, amazing world design.

The new Star Trek film- Yeah, yeah. I know. But, dang-- gorgeous, again, lots of focus on character interaction, the film works WITH the story instead of trying to upstage it, and I was flying on adrenaline the whole time, even in the slow scenes. Great set design, and I didn't even notice at first, because I was so caught up in the story.

Good grief, don't I talk a lot?!?:P

Millie said...

Oh, wow, Kate! I have memories of watching The Brave Little Toaster when I was like 4. Hahaha...

So, you like the "bandwagon" phrase too? ;-D

Raquel Stecher said...

I will definitely participate with a post on my site.

Kate - I love how your 12 new movies have "classic" qualities about them ha ha.

I seriously watched The Little Mermaid 7 times in a row once. Yes. That happened.

Lolita of the Classics said...

Haha, have you seen Nostalgia Critic and Nostalgia Chicks review on Ferngully? It's hillarious:

Laura said...

Fun post. I've been prejudiced against that version of A LITTLE PRINCESS because it's not faithful to the book (a favorite) in major ways...but I've heard it's a good movie and your post definitely makes me more willing to give it a try. I'll just try to divorce it in my mind from any relationship to the book. :)

Here's a baker's dozen of Post 1970 favorites (we have a few in common!):

1-3) All 3 original STAR WARS films
5) EMMA (Paltrow version)
6) SENSE AND SENSIBILITY (Austen has been done well in the last 30 years!)

Best wishes,

Genevieve said...

I love A Little Princess!! Its such a great film and I love the score as well.

When it comes to newer movies, I'm afraid I'm quite a chick flick addict. I love romantic comedies (Serendipity, 27 Dresses, Runaway Bride, etc) as well as period films (Pride and Prejudice, Emma,Ever After)

P.S. Little Mermaid was my favorite Disney movie when I was little : )

Ginger Ingenue said...

I remember crying during THE LITTLE PRINCESS.

And of course BEAUTY AND THE BEST, and THE LITTLE MERMAID were favorites...course I still watch both of those of a regular basis...the kid watches my old videotapes of 'em!

And Lampy was my favorite too. :)

Matthew Coniam said...

By the way, I've finally got around to doing my own post on this... It went up today (underneath David Niven!)

Best, Matthew

Andrea said...

What about The Great Gatsby, with Robert Redford and Mia Farrow? I think it was made in 1974 but story is older of course.
As you may know, it's from a book of F. Scott Fitzgerald and made in the 1920's.

panavia999 said...

Post 1970 movies I really like

I have not seen the 1995 "Little Princess" but heard nice reviews and plan to watch it. I certainly enjoy Shirley Temple's version and liked the book. I have not seen any other item on the blog post list. Here's my list:

Escapist comedy:
Team America
Top Secret
Police Squad
Men in Black

Others in no particular order
The Shooting Party (James Mason and Edw. Fox were brilliant)
Remains of the Day
The English Patient
Le Ceremonie
Les Blessures Assassines
Babette's Feast
The Little Horse that Could ( kid oriented documentary about a phenomenal connemara stallion and 3 day eventer)
Jean de Florette & Manon of the Spring (anyone who has to pump their own water supply understands this saga)
The Iron Giant
Sadko a filmed performance by the Kirov Opera in St Petersburg. I watch it so often, it must be included.
Prince Igor - Soviet movie version of the opera. Filmed on the steppes! Actually made in 1969 but it's close.
Dersu Uzala
On The Muscle (Horse racing documentary)
Monty Python movies: Holy Grail, Life of Brian, Meaning of Life