Tuesday, August 29, 2006

The Good Girl's Guide to 70s Cinema

A long, long time ago, way back in the '90s, I decided it was time to grow up. I'd spent my entire life watching Rodgers and Hammerstein musicals and it was time to step into the world of adult cinema (not porn). So I made a concerted effort to watch all those movies that had won all those awards and become a movie sophisticate.

From this experience I learned 2 things:
1. I am a prude. and
2. Movies of the 1970s were not made for prudes.

Movie makers hadn't quite figured out that shocking does not equal high quality. And for some reason, the 1970s were full of the most inappropriate, perverse scenarios you can think of. Thus we have Jodie Foster and Brooke Shields flaunting their pubescent stuff as little girl prostitutes. Ewww. A few movies into this, I gained enough self knowledge to assert there are some movies my virginal little eyes should never see: Deliverance, Clockwork Orange, Pretty Baby, Taxi Driver come to mind.

So for the modest girl with a puritanical world view, I present the following:

The Good Girl's Guide to 1970s Cinema

I begin with the mothership of all things inappropriate, The Rocky Horror Picture Show. This was my first venture into movie dirtiness. I'm at the height of whatever inkling of rebellion I ever possessed in my life. I rented Rocky Horror with a smug recognition of how sexy I was being...look at me, I'm dirty. Yeah...I felt dirty alright. And sick to my stomach. See my Ronald McDonald post below to understand how I feel about men in make-up. I loved the music and bought the soundtrack. But I'll never watch Rocky Horror again. No matter how much I love Tim Curry.

The Wall/Tommy/Anything else meant to be watched while doing drugs - I think The Wall was made in the 80s...but it has the heart of a 70s movie. You know I'm big fat scaredy cat when I spend half the movie with my hands over my eyes. So I don't like to be disturbed by psychadelic cartoons...what's wrong with that? Tommy....there's beans and Ann Margret and pedophiles and prostitutes...it's a wonder I didn't actually self-destruct while beholding such nastiness. Maybe it's my severe prudishness, but I don't even think these movies are clever. The Monkees Head was alright, I guess. Then again, I always had a thing for Mike Nesmith.

The Godfathers - Believe it or not, I like the Godfathers. My attention span couldn't handle it in high school, but as an adult I enjoyed the first two of the trilogy. Unfortunately, Will and I decided to have a Godfather marathon the weekend before I went back to work after my maternity leave with Juliet. I didn't know you weren't supposed to quit nursing cold turkey. Nobody told me. So to this day I associate The Godfathers with extreme pain and engorged boobs. Maybe I shouldn't have told that story.

Annie Hall - I think Diane Keaton is adorable. Woody Allen...ehhh, not so much. And usually I'm all about wit over good looks. But Woody's just creepy after the stepdaughter affair thing. So I watched this and kept thinking, "Run Diane! He's a freak!" Thanks, but no thanks.

Saturday Night Fever - Who else expected this to be a fun little polyester romp through disco? Me too. So after fully immersing my 16 year old noggin into the world of drugs, backseat sex, suicide, abortions and all-round depravity, I actually liked the movie. Once I got over the shock. And this is after I conclude that there isn't a single character in the movie that I actually like. Except maybe the priest brother.

Rocky - Now we're getting somewhere. For a simple minded girl like me, this is perfection. Little did I know that the entire plot and many of the scenes were concieved 20 years before in Brando's On the Waterfront. Including, what is in my mind, one of the sexiest scenes of all time, the one with Rocky and Adrian and the kiss against the wall. You know what I'm talking about. That's hot. So I don't know why I can't turn off this movie. And a new one's coming out. Cue the trumpets...I'm on it.

Star Wars - Never cared for Star Wars as a kid. And then I watched it a few years ago and I was like, What the crap? This dialogue sucks! This whole movie sucks! This whole franchise sucks! Millions and millions of grown men are completely wrong. Then I watched it again this summer with my 7 year old son. Now I get it. I soooo get it. This child is still making fighter thingys with his legos and drawing pictures of Luke and Darth Vader. And asking me all kinds of questions to which I have no answers. Now I get it.

French Connection - Gene Hackman, car chases...BORing

Chinatown - Jack Nicholson gets a knife in his nose. No thanks.

One Flew Over the Cookoo's Nest - I liked this. I liked the crazies.

Dog Day Afternoon - Disturbing.

Network - BORing. And Faye Dunaway gives me the creeps.

Last Picture Show - Yes and no. Cybill Shepherd is gorgeous in this movie...and perfect as the pretty sex-starved high school debutante. So, of course, I didn't relate to her character at all. On the other hand, the preoccupation the West Texas town has with football is downright uncanny. So...yeah, it's a good movie. Even if it's just as a picture of small town life in Texas.

American Graffitti
- My heavens, I love this movie. No really, it's up there with It's a Wonderful Life and The Royal Tenenbaums. George Lucas is forever redeemed in my eyes with American Graffitti. I can't really discuss the movie without getting sentimental about my own courtship with Will...so I'll spare you. Let's just say this is easily my favorite movie of the 70s. Killer soundtrack. Beautiful cars. Roles of a lifetime for Ron Howard and Richard Dreyfuss and Shirley and the not-cute girl from One Day at a Time.

I'm thinking there might be only one reader who actually appreciates a movie review post. And that one reader doesn't usually comment so I'm expecting some cricket chirps and bullfrog ribbits after this post.

It's a'ight. Just wait until I do a review of favorite slapstick comedies of the 1930s and 1940s...my readership is going to go through the roof!



Anonymous Anonymous said...

(cricket chirps)
(froggie noises)
(whisting wind as Michael Corleone reflects on his life at the end of part II)

8/29/2006 03:36:00 PM  
Blogger Kristi said...

So Anonymous, you know you're my resource on all things Star Wars? You know this, right?

8/29/2006 03:40:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

some things I agree with, some things I don't agree with, but only because we have different tastes. All in all, keep up with the reviews. And anything else you write.

As for Star Wars, I loved it when it came out, only because of the Wookie, and that's because I thought it was a dog and wanted one (I was 4 when it came out, ok?) My boyfriend opened my eyes to the SW universe, and now I'm in total awe of this whole universe.

Pocket Dragon

8/30/2006 05:29:00 AM  
Blogger Angel said...

The Godfathers are AWESOME! I think that is the only movie I have seen in your whole review. 1 and 2 are great, 3 SUCKED! It was horrid. I will only watch 1 and 2. Great movies.

It's funny, sometimes I think I'm missing out on SO much because I haven't watched all those classics... I'm taking like the 50's classics and things like that. Or movies like Taxi Driver or whatever. I have felt "unsophisticated" myself!!! I really should make a list and start getting these movies.

But I'll avoid some... some I just don't need to see. Like Deliverance. I made the HUGE error of trying to get into it one day while it was on tv. Um, it just so happens I was watching right before "THE SCENE" came on. So I watched a few minutes before and a few minutes after.... oh lord. I saw the one scene that ecompasses that entire movie. I'll never be the same.

8/30/2006 11:07:00 AM  
Blogger Kristi said...

Ok then. It's official...for Angel's benefit I'll begin my movie classics for the-girls-who-have-always-wanted-to watch-movie-classics list.

I'll get on that during the kids' break time.

8/30/2006 11:57:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, wait a sec. I was the original "anonymous!"

Was your Star Wars snarkiness based on my smassy attitude about a galaxy far far away?

8/30/2006 06:34:00 PM  
Blogger allrileyedup said...

Nice selection here. Let's not forget the youthful Harrison Ford's hot stranger-ness in American Graffiti, oh yeah, that's worth remembering.

Star Wars has bad dialogue?????

Rocky is the bomb. My husband, then boyfriend, staged a Rocky marathon for me when he found out I hadn't seen any of them. I love all of them. And I'm very fond of quoting Mr T saying, "Prediction? PAIN."

9/04/2006 08:28:00 AM  
Blogger Beck said...

I've never sat through an entire Star Wars movie. If there was an emoticon with me sleeping and drool coming out, I would use it right here.
And yes. The 70s were full of drug-crazed perverts. Next decade, please!

5/08/2007 03:24:00 AM  

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