Wait, you LIKE that movie? But, Kate! It was made after 1970! - PART II

May 11, 2010

When I wrote this post last year, I was a little bit more uptight about what production years were acceptable for my movie-watching needs. Post 1970? Pashaw! Don't even talk to me about it.

Since then, I've expanded my horizons a teeny tiny bit. For one thing, I noticed that my rationalization was a little off. Both of my favorite tv shows are from the 1970's (Good Neighbors and Mary Tyler Moore) but yet I refused to watch any movies from the same time period?

But I really realized that things had changed when I saw a clip from 500 Days of Summer on tumblr and knew I had to see the whole movie. Um, this movie is new. Not just 1977 new, but 2009 new. "What the heck is wrong with me?!?!?" I thought to myself as I added it to my netflix queue.

I almost had a complete psychological meltdown while I was watching it. I was enjoying a new movie. REALLY enjoying it. The kind of enjoyment I get from old movies.

This does not happen to me.


After the film was finished and I was left with that post-good-movie glow, I realized that since my last post I had watched at least ten newer films, and enjoyed every single one of them. While ten a year might not seem like a big number to most people, keep in mind this is coming from someone who had probably watched a total of five new films in the last ten years.

Before I proceed to my little list, I just want to say two quick things about (500) Days of Summer. First of all, it's definitely my favorite movie from the 1995-2010 time period (You know, of the ones I've actually seen....) The direction and screenplay are incredibly clever, and the main character, Tom Hansen, is just the sweetest thing ever. (Ooh! accidental rhyme!)

Ok, on to the list!

1. (500) Days of Summer (Reasons explained above)
2. Amelie (so magical and lovely. REALLY close to coming in first place in my 1995-2010 category)
3. Klute (Amazing performance from Jane Fonda, and a real nail-biter!)
4. Avanti! (Jack Lemmon. Juliet Mills. Billy Wilder. Italy. Need I say more?)
5. Ordinary People (This movie haunted me for weeks after I saw it)
6. Spice World (Don't hate me.)
7. The Out of Towners (I've actually seen it before but forgot to include it on my last list)
8. The Shootist (Favorite John Wayne film ever now)
9. All The President's Men (um, Robert Redford.)
10. The Ruling Class (Also saw this one before, but was reminded that I love it when TCM did a mini Peter O'Toole marathon last month.)

Anyone else have new movie skeletons hidden in their closet?


Millie said...

Heh, heh, heh, heh...new movie skeletons?! ;-DDD We just don't WANT TO GO THERE!

Craziness! I have not seen ONE of those ten! Of course, this is probably just because I don't watch high quality new movies. I watch stupid new movies!

Great post! :-D

Matthew Coniam said...

As I always say, there are bound to be good individual films still being made, but they are not part of that world of cinema we both love so much - they're just good individual movies.
I like most of the films in your list, though Avanti is self-destructively overlong in a way that Wilder would never have allowed in the forties.
Your point about tv is an interesting one. I alwys think American tv is or was a decade or two behind movies in decline, because it was first conceived as a medium for those that were beginning to stay home and leave the movies to the next generation, and is therefore playing catch-up. So fifties tv tries to match the appeal of thirties movies, and so on. By the seventies, when the cinema tipped into irreversible collapse, tv was going for a kind of fifties, glossy Ross Hunter vibe. Those adorable tv movies, full of big stars of the past, tried to rebuild old Hollywood on the small screen. It was only really in the late eighties that tv was snatched away and given to the young folks too.
I love a number of newer films, but what I can never say, and I'm sure you'd agree, is that I know I can put on anything from the seventies, eighties or nineties (or whatever the next decade is called) and know that it will hold my attention and to some extent give me pleasure simply by virtue of when and where it was made and by what sorts of people. This we can always say about a film made in the thirties.

Anonymous said...

Millie - HA! I know about your new movie skeletons... they're not that bad... ;-D

Matthew- Exactly!!! You need to copy that comment and paste it on your blog as a post, it's perfect and so spot-on. I can turn on TCM any time of day and there is usually something good on... unless they are playing something from the 70's or 80's, in which case the chances are a lot slimmer.

The Good Neighbors is actually a British show from the 70's, but I think classic British tv is a class all it's own.. I love a lot of British shows, even from the 80's or 90's, they seem to be so much better than American programs.. at least the BBC ones they bring to our public broadcasting channels are.

Kendra said...

Have you seen A Single Man? If not, you definitely should once it's out on DVD. It's set in the 1960s, and it's honestly one of the most gorgeous movies I've seen in forever, and I don't just mean the fact that everyone in it is ridiculously good looking (although it's certainly true). It's directed by Tom Ford--yes, fashion designer Tom Ford--and it's beautiful and poignant, very sad but very...relevant to today? Don't miss it. Seriously, it's brilliant.

Loes said...

Oh yes: 'Spice World'! Nostalgia, nostalgia.. ehm, okay. I might have seen this film much later in life as well. And yeah, still liked it too -- it's funny and Spice Girl-songs are so cheery and still making me happy ;D
I've been wanting to see '(500) Days of Summer' and 'Amélie' for a while!
'Lost in Translation', 'Mamma Mia' and 'Down with Love' are examples of modern films I really love (okay, yes, the setting of the last one is in the 60s, but still..:P). If you haven't seen these films, I can really recommend them :D

Matthew Coniam said...

Good Neighbours - I don't know it. Could it be a retitling of The Good Life: couple go self-sufficient to the consternation of their snooty neighbours? If so, we watch an episode of that every Tuesday!

Francy said...

I think I'm the only person left who still hasn't seen 500 Days of Summer, but I keep hearing amazing things about it, so I guess I'll have to check it out eventually.

I like your list. Amelie and Ordinary People are two of my more "contemporary" favorites as well.

Abe Lucas said...

I love the 1970s!!! I was born in 1971, so it's only partly nostalgia as I was quite young in those days...but while the films of the early part of the decade fascinate me, it's mainly the TV shows of the period I prefer.

Speaking of KLUTE, I bought the creepy soundtrack a few months ago and I can't get that psychotic theme out of my head! You know, the one with the woman singing wordlessly? She also did that schtick for the DIRTY HARRY movie, also from 1971...

Hey Conniam! I'll be in London this August--barring any Iceland volcano eruptions...

Jennythenipper said...

We all have our movie skeletons!
I think there have been lots of great films made after 1970, but in general I tend to like the older movies that were a product of the strong studio/star system. This started to break down as early as the fifties, which is why I'm pretty ambivalent toward films from the decade and later.

Here are my post 1970 favorites:

Star Wars
The Empire Strikes Back
Blade Runner (Yeah, I like sci-fi)
Broadcast News
The Godfather
The Mission
Three Amigos
The Goodbye Girl
Pretty much all of Woody Allen from this period, with only a few exceptions

Sarah Mann said...

OMG YOU FINALLY WATCHED IT, I'm so proud :') I LOVE 500 Days of Summer soooooo so much. Were you dying during the Ikea scene?
AAH I can't even believe how excited I'm getting over this. Oh, AND there was a Graduate reference(s)!! :D

Cliff Aliperti said...

I love a lot movies from the 70's, so much gritty stuff coming out then that it feels like the early 1930's all over again at times!

I hate generalizing because there are exceptions but typically I don't like a lot of the gloss that came along in the 50's which seemed to mature into corn throughout the 60's, so it's easy for me to keep my blogging in the 1930's and 40's which are my favorites.

Regarding newer movies though, unlike what I've seen a lot of classic film fans say, I don't really mind the violence, sex, or language, especially if it leaves me feeling that it made the story more real. Actually I don't mind it being totally gratuitous either, but then we're drifting over into cult favorites which for me are quite heavy on all three of those elements.

But far from a guilty pleasure I'm happy to say I love 70's biggies such as Network, The Sting, Jaws, French Connection, Godfather, etc., etc. I'll save my later zombie and Euro-trash favorites for response to another post :)

Simon said...

500 Days of Summer. Good for you.

Andi B. Goode said...

Now why would anyone hate you for Spice World? That movie is amazing. Haha. I also adore Amelie. And really enjoyed Klute. But I'm more of a general would-be movie buff as opposed to a classic movie fan, so it's not that strange for me.
-Andi x

JavaBeanRush said...

The 1970s and early 1980s movies are still on my "maybe later, probably never" list. Though there are some exceptional movies made then.

My problem is with the image itself. I don't know if it's the cameras, the cinematography, the costumes or what, but the movies of that era look grainy, dull and brownish gray.

It's as though everyone was so depressed the mood bled unto the world's color scheme.

They are just not fun to look at.

Terence Towles Canote said...

I'm fairly public about the newer movies I love, so I can't say I have any skeletons in my closet. And some number among my favourites of all time: A Clockwork Orange, Blade Runner, Local Hero, Fight Club, V For Vendetta, and The Dark Night. Oh yes, I also love Detroit Rock City because it reminds me of my youth and Quadrophenia for obvous reasons!

BethRose said...

I adore 500 days of summer, Along with Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind it's my favourite modern movie!

Lolita of the Classics said...

Hidden sceletons? If one is a movie lover, one would miss a hell of a lot of great films if one should limit them down to pre-1970's! (Even though, of course, my heart mostly lies in the Golden Age of Hollywood...)
Maybe one should write a post like this? Good job, Kate!

Sally said...

This post was so fun to read! I actually haven't seen 500 Days of Summer because of my particularity towards happy endings and I'm not convinced that the ending is happy. As for movie skeletons, that's a great question! Although, I must confess that I don't mind contemporary movies really. I don't watch the majority of them, it's true, but I do watch a considerable amount. Though I don't feel guilty for liking them, I will name some 'guilty pleasures' that I happen to have: The Scarlet Pimpernel (1982), Sidney White, and Easy Virtue. There are many more but these are ones that may not be admired by the critics so much.

Tom said...

Hi Kate, I saw 500 Days too and mostly enjoyed it; it was one of the few I saw in the theater in the past year without walking out on. That scene you posted is my favorite part. The ending (the last scene in particular) was enjoyable as well, and left a smile on my face.

Good list too; I've seen all except Spice Girls, and like Avanti! the best. My favorite movie of the last 10 years is Mamma Mia; I thought it was a fun throwback to old musicals, and the scenery of Greece is breathtaking. I also recommend Purple Rose of Cairo (1985).