MARTY AT THE MOVIES: PART TWO
As Promised here is part two of my list.
Enjoy/Argue/Disagree/Praise/Knock me off my Perch.
I dare you.....
KING KONG (1933) With respect to Peter Jackson and his excellent 2005 version it is the original that still amazes and enthralls after all these years. Some people choose to waste much of a movie like this by laughing at obvious special effects or out-dated dialogue. I prefer to let myself be swept away by the telling of a story - whatever its
medium or failings (within reason, of course!). This would be one of the classic examples of that kind of situation.
MAGNOLIA (1999) A beautiful, engaging and genuinely moving collection of intertwined tales. I think I got a bit misty-eyed at moments during this. It is just so rich and bizarre yet believable - even the frogs! (It has been known to happen though, perhaps, not on that scale!)
MIDNIGHT COWBOY (1969) I know some people have chosen not to see it because they assumed that it was a western. Well, it ain't pardner! And it is aging well as a look at New York in its grimiest aspects in the late sixties with superb acting all round and some great music. I did hear, though, that Paul Simon was asked to do the soundtrack but was unable to come up with enough music on schedule although the
beautiful track 'The Only Living Boy In New York' from the Simon and Garfunkel album, 'Bridge Over Troubled Water' was intended for Midnight Cowboy' - which would have been fantastic! Can anyone confirm or deny this particular rumour?
NIGHT OF THE HUNTER (1955) This was directed by the great actor, Charles Laughton, and it bombed! Therefor he never got to direct another film, yet the film is now acknowledged as one of the classics of American cinema. I just love this movie - PLEASE see it! [Make sure that it's not the later re-make!]
1900 (1977) Directed by Bernado Bertolucci this film is very long and VAST! I don't own it and haven't seen it since the early eighties so I'm not sure what I would think now except that there are certain scenes and themes which still haunt me after all these years. I've just noticed that The Gospel According To St. Leonard Maltin gives it
three and a half stars - so it can't be all bad, can it?
ROBOCOP (1987) I've seen this recently and it still looks pretty good, the effects haven't dated too badly, the humour and snappy editing work well. It packed quite a punch at the time with those excellent touches like the news reports and mock-up advertisements but these things soon became commonplace. Just bear in mind that this was where a number of those techniques began, or so I understand with my
admittedly flimsy film-history knowledge.
WHATEVER HAPPENED TO BABY JANE (1962) My two sisters and I were most impressed (read traumatised!) by this extraordinary and disturbing film when we first saw it on New Zealand television in the early seventies and I finally found it on DVD only a couple or years ago and it was even more powerful than I had remembered. Bette Davis and Joan Crawford had a much (over)publicised mutual animosity at this time and it certainly adds to the overall tension in this already very fraught film.
WILD AT HEART (1990) You'd think I was a huge David Lynch fan as I have included three of his movies in this initial list of favourites whereas, in fact, I am one of those people who have never quite forgiven him for leading us down the fascinating and thrilling path which was the television series of 'Twin Peaks' - only to leave us
abandoned with a flimsy non-ending! Grrr!! Anyway - we must all forgive and forget and the gentleman has produced so much other wondrous works it would be childish to not move on. I do not own 'Wild At Heart' and have not seen it for years so I can not truly say what I would feel about it these days - I can only say that it packed a punch
in that typically disturbing and challenging way that David Lynch was well-known for back then. I must see it again (and I don't believe in down-loading, being myself one of those who are suffering from the financial repercussions of that tragically popular process).
WILLY WONKA AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY (1971) I just love this movie. Gene Wilder was warm yet a little dangerous and Jack Albertson was the grandfather everyone would have loved to call their own. The effects were goofy and great for the time and I believe it still captures something special that was somehow missed in the recent version by the team most unlikely to get it wrong, Tim Burton and Johnny Depp! I love those guys - what happened? [sigh...] Never mind!
WINGS OF DESIRE (1988) Once again, I do not own this film and haven't seen it since it was first released but I would trust my judgement way back then if only for the fact that it was a Wim Wenders production. I know he has not had a flawless run of flickering films (how about that!?) but I believe that this one has apparently withstood the test of time and I look forward to seeing it again sometime - and its sequel, 'Far Away, So Close'.