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Yearly Roundup – 1978

Posted by martinteller on January 3, 2013

The Cream of the Crop

Hi, I’m not dead.  I know it’s been a while since I reviewed anything.  Two or three times a year, I get a videogaming urge and so I’m getting it out of my system.  I expect to have a new review up tomorrow, Saturday at the latest.  In the meantime, I figured I’d drop one of these to fill the void.

Although there’s no 1978 films in my top 100, two are worth highlighting as sublime.  Bergman’s Autumn Sonata is one of his wonderful chamber dramas, with tense and brilliant performances by Ingrid Bergman and Liv Ullmann.  Criterion recently dropped a hint that they’ll be releasing this on Blu-Ray soon, definitely looking forward to that.  And Days of Heaven is Malick doing his Malick-y thing, melding gorgeous imagery with thoughtful narration… a transportative experience.


Slightly Less Creamy, But Still Tasty

Not much to put here, this is a pretty lightweight year for me.  I will say that Peter Greenaway did two of his best shorts in ’78.  A Walk Through H and Vertical Features Remake are both delightfully innovative, and add to the “Tulse Luper” mythology.  These two together can be seen as warmup for his conceptual monolith The Falls.


Also Love

Les Rendez-vous d’Anna


Varying Degrees of Like

36th Chamber of Shaolin
Animal House
The Deer Hunter
The Demon
Drunken Master
Empire of Passion
The Green Room
Invasion of the Body Snatchers
Joi Baba Felunath
Koko, a Talking Gorilla
Midnight Express
Spiritual Kung Fu
Straight Time
Superman: The Movie
The Tree of Wooden Clogs


Varying Degrees of Hate

Attack of the Killer Tomatoes
Faces of Death
I Spit on Your Grave


Some Notable Films In The Middle

Dawn of the Dead
Gates of Heaven
I Wanna Hold Your Hand
In a Year of 13 Moons
Our Hitler
The Rutles: All You Need Is Cash


Uncharted Territory

The 5 Deadly Venoms, Blue Collar, The Boys from Brazil, The Brides Are Coming, The Buddy Holly Story, La Cage aux folles, California Suite, Coming Home, The Driver, Every Which Way But Loose, Force 10 from Navarone, Foul Play, Game of Death, Hi no tori, The Last Waltz, My Way Home, Perceval le Gallois, Pretty Baby, Revenge of the Pink Panther, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, Watership Down


7 Responses to “Yearly Roundup – 1978”

  1. JamDenTel, said

    Rewatching Animal House, I confess I don’t TOTALLY understand its status as a classic. I feel like the Animal House cult is based more on nostalgia–while The Blues Brothers is a more timeless film (and a much better one, too).

    Watership Down is pretty effective. That’s about all I can say about this year.

    • I loved Animal House as a kid, but it doesn’t hold up very well as an adult. A lot of the humor is pretty juvenile, and not in a good Airplane way.

      I like the Watership Down book, maybe I should see the movie.

  2. I’m looking forward to seeing Autumn Sonata – hoping to catch up on Bergman’s work this year after I was blown away by Through A Glass Darkly on a classics marathon in 2012. Nice write up.

  3. Carson said

    Ooh boy, you gotta see The Last Waltz. It has it’s problems (especially if you’re a fan of the Band) and it’s certainly no “Stop Making Sense” but it’s pretty much a necessity as far as concert films go.
    Also, The Driver is a pretty good car flick.

    • So what if you’re NOT a fan of The Band? Because that’s what has been holding me back.

      • Carson said

        Welp, The Last Waltz was my introduction to the Band and I became an obsessive afterward, so I’d say it’s safe harbor if you’re one of the uninitiated (although, if you are decidedly not a fan of the Band, you probably just flat out don’t need to see it, but also – what’s wrong with you???). A friend gave it to me and I was enough of a Neil Young fan to at least go as far as his performance. The performances vary in quality and Scorsese seems to be sneaking in a narrative about how Robbie Robertson is the greatest performer in the world, but I really do think it’s one of the greats. As a musical introduction it’s fabulous, as a film it’s very good.

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