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Yearly Roundup – 1979

Posted by martinteller on May 2, 2014

The Cream of the Crop


Before I get into this, I feel I should mention that this year has an especially large number of films I haven’t seen in ages.  Most of the movies in my “In the Middle” section are ones I haven’t seen for 20+ years, and would probably swing towards “like” or “hate” if I were to revisit them.  With that caveat out of the way, there are three selections from my top 100 this year.  Bookended by two of the most compelling musical sequences I’ve seen, All That Jazz is a perennial favorite.  Roy Scheider is utterly riveting.  Francis Ford Copolla’s 70’s quartet of fantastic films is capped off with Apocalypse Now, in my opinion not only his best work but the best movie about the Vietnam War.  And this is also the year of my favorite Tarkovsky:  Stalker.  Difficult to process but hypnotic and fascinating, with gorgeous imagery.


Slightly Less Creamy, But Still Tasty

While many prefer Cameron’s more action-packed sequel, for me the original Alien stands head and shoulders over any other entry in the franchise.  Slick, entertaining, creepy and loaded with psychosexual subtext.  As a fan of The Who since my early teens, it took me far too long to see the movie named after my favorite album by them, Quadrophenia.  A terrific film all around.  Camera Buff wasn’t Kieslowski’s first feature, but it was arguably his first “major” film, with a reflexivity that bridges his documentary work with the artful features that brought him to the world’s attention.  Lastly, Tale of Tales is one of the most beautiful animated works I’ve ever seen, and one I really need to see again.


Also Love

Being There
Breaking Away
Ghatashraddha (The Ritual)
The Muppet Movie
Nosferatu the Vampyre
Seeking Asylum


Varying Degrees of Like

The Black Stallion
The Castle of Cagliostro
Family Nest
The Hypothesis of the Stolen Painting
The Jerk
The Kids Are Alright
Life of Brian
Love on the Run
The Marriage of Maria Braun
Real Life
Richard Pryor: Live in Concert
Rock ‘n’ Roll High School
Sherlok Kholms i doktor Vatson: Znakomstvo
Vengeance Is Mine
The Wizard of Speed and Time


Varying Degrees of Hate

From the Clouds to the Resistance
The Tin Drum


In The Middle

The Black Hole
The Electric Horseman
Escape from Alcatraz
Ett anständigt liv
Farodokument 1979
The Great Santini
The Jericho Mile
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
Love at First Bite
Mad Max
Rocky II
Salem’s Lot
Star Trek: The Motion Picture
Time After Time
Wise Blood


Uncharted Territory

10, The Amityville Horror, …And Justice for All, Beneath the Valley of the Ultra-Vixens, The Brood, Buffet froid, Bush Mama, Bye Bye Brazil, The Champ, The China Syndrome, The Driller Killer, L’Enfant secret, Graduate First, The Great Train Robbery, Hardcore, The In-Laws, Kramer vs. Kramer, La Luna, Magnificent Butcher, Mama Turns 100, My Brilliant Career, The Nineteen Year-Old’s Map, Norma Rae, The Onion Field, Panelstory, Parashuram, Scum, Tess, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Traffic Jam, The Warriors, Zombie


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