« December 2020 | Main | February 2021 »

January 2021

"Cinema’s Annus Mirabilis"

That would be 1971:

The most shocking film to date by a major Hollywood studio director (A Clockwork Orange), a police drama of unprecedented grit and realism (The French Connection), a daring children’s film that depicted wee tykes as rotten little bastards (Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory), a landmark in counter-counterculture film (Dirty Harry), a hippie Dirty Harry that amounted to a counter-counterculture item (Billy Jack), the first and still the most powerful screen exploration of misogyny (Carnal Knowledge), the blackest black comedy about New York City ever put on screen (Little Murders), a reengineering of the Western (McCabe & Mrs. Miller), a Woody Allen comedy masterpiece (Bananas), one of the most sophisticated satires ever written for the screen (The Hospital), the film that launched Clint Eastwood as a director (Play Misty for Me), the film that launched blaxploitation (Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song), the film that launched George Lucas (THX 1138), the film that launched Al Pacino (The Panic in Needle Park), the film that launched Steven Spielberg (Duel), and the film that launched Wes Anderson (Harold and Maude).