The latest movie marathon I was doing was for 1968, and although I had initially told myself I’d do 10 movies, I’ve decided to stop after 7, which are all listed below (and can found collected here). There were still a few movies I would have watched, like Bullit (which I admittedly had already re-visited a few years ago), Yellow Submarine, and Barbarella, but I’ve had a hard time getting in the mood to watch them, so I think it’s better that I just move on to something else. Next stop: 1978.
After putting aside my 1968 movie marathon for what feels like months (because I had a hard time getting through Wonderwall), I immediately followed it by this film, which is still so incredibly good. I had even watched it a few years ago, but was again engaged fully. It has such incredible mood and progression — and that ending, oh my, still so shocking. Later in the evening I watched Hitchcock’s Torn Curtain, which came out just two years earlier, and I was struck at how, by comparison, Rosemary’s Baby feels so much more modern, in terms of visual quality, editing, etc.
I was a bit stuck on my 1968 movie marathon because of this film. In a way, I’m glad I watched it, as some of the psychedelic visuals are pretty fun, along with the trippy soundtrack by George Harrison, but man, it was also a chore to watch, and took me a few viewing sessions to get through — I kept pushing it off, but at the same time wanted to get through it before I moved on the next film on my list (which ended up being the excellent Rosemary’s Baby).
The thing that really strikes you here is just how over-the-top Charlton Heston’s acting is throughout, although I guess it’s of the era. It was a fun watch — I’m sure I must have seen it ages ago, but didn’t really remember much, other than of course the famous ending. In fact, I imagine it must have been a much more interesting experience when you didn’t know that part. Also, I hadn’t realized it was co-written by Rod Serling — but when you think about it, it does feel very Twilight Zone-y.
This was not at all what I thought it would be. I was expecting a modern western, and instead it’s a comedy about a marshal from Arizona experiencing the big city of New York. It’s an awful movie, really, although I think I’m glad I watched it for the sequence in the night club — the most sixties thing I’ve ever seen, daddy-o. And it’s not just a bad movie, Eastwood is pretty bad as well — I’ve rarely seen someone have less chemistry with the opposite sex in a romantic context, to a point where it was hard to watch. He’s good at being the stoic loner, but a romantic (or even comedic) lead he is not.
I was expecting to really be into this — it’s definitely a setting I love, with a crack commando unit of WW2 soldiers infiltrating a castle full of Nazis (sorta like a mission from the game Commandos). And I did like a bunch of it, but it just felt too long, and I found myself getting bored a lot — it actually took me a few sessions to get through it. Cut a half hour or more and I think it would have been a much more entertaining film.
The biggest western (I’d say) from 1968 is Leone’s Once Upon Time in the West, but I watched it a few months ago, and so I’m not including it in my current 1968 movie marathon. I did quite enjoy watching Hang ‘Em High though, which I’d never seen. A classic western, with Eastwood doing what he does so well (even if he’s not as as cool as he is in the “Man with No Name” trilogy). Great flick, and I look forward to watching a few more Eastwood movies from that year.
Well, I watched my last 1987 movie on Friday night, and then on Saturday night I was already kicking off a 1968 run with what is THE movie of that year (and one of THE movies of all time). Watching it again now — it had been quite a while since the last time I saw it — it’s still amazing to see just how well the visuals have aged. I’d say it probably looks better than a lot of sci-fi movies from the 80s and even 90s. Yes, it’s still the mindfuck it’s always been (and the first thing I did when I finished it was to go online to read up again on the various interpretations), and you definitely have to be in the mood to watch something that’s slow-moving like this, but it does indeed deserve all of its acclaim. It’s also so innovative in the way that it presents itself as a linked anthology of 4 parts (early man, discovering the first monolith, Hal’s story, and then arriving near Jupiter). It’s also funny to see a film include a proper intermission in the middle — I wonder when they stopped doing that for long films. As I’ve done for 1967 and 1977, I plan on watching 10 films from this year — I also thought about doing a 1958 run, but there are only a couple of films I’d really like to watch from that year (Vertigo and Jacques Tati’s Mon Oncle).