Saturday, September 10, 2011

1965 ... What a Year!

It occured to me while walking in the about-to-be-soaked streets of Richmond that I haven't done one of these in a while. As I slalom my way along the crowd, I was trying to figure out which year it was that I stopped (no, I don't have a 'smart' phone, thank you very much).

So to remedy the huge gap, I will post a couple of these today.

To start off, we're going all the way back to 1965 ... what a year it was!

Before we go deep in the cinematic highlights, let me remind you what was going on on our planet in the year of 1965:
  • Maple leaf is introduced to the Canadian flag. It was aboot time.
  • The Gambia becomes independent. No, that's actually a country, not a hipster band/
  • Something important happens in Malaysia, which leads to other important events.
  • Bob Dylan goes electric, still boring.

Busy year. But, what was going on in the screen. Here are the films that failed to make the cut for this ourstanding year in film:
  • For a Few Dollars More, in which cowboys realize they can carry more than a fistful of dollars on them.
  • Happiness, in which a happy couple is not actually that happy.
  • Red Beard, in which the audience gets confused by the lack of red in a black-and-white film.
  • The Sound of Music, in which the hills come alive and eat all the Nazis.
Quite a good selection by any standard, which makes the Bru's Top 3 Films of 1965 that much more special:

3- Alphaville (wri & dir: Jean-Luc Godard)
Godard is vastly overrated (I think I said that before ... oh, well), but he is responsinble for one of my all-time favourite sci-fi classics. Using everyday items and an everyday city, Godard creates an other-world - eerily similar but decidedly different to our own. As Lemmy Caution (hands down one of the best character names ever) tries to restore love and feelings to a city devoid of them, we are sucked into this weird parallel world ... which feels like home.

2- Darling (dir: John Schlesinger; wri: Frederic Raphael)
Julie Christie's signature film. She is ethereally beautiful, playful and bratty. The film itself is also equally beautiful, playful and bratty. It traces Christie's Diana as she jumps from one man to another, from one London to Rome in the swinging 60s. Christie also bagged a deserved Academy Award for her performance. This is, in my humble opinion, the best film of Schlesinger's career. It is also a prime example of an actress taking over the film and the character and merging them all into one.

1- Doctor Zhivago (dir: David Lean; wri: Robert Bolt)
Where do I start? And how do I end? I can hear you saying how this wasn't faithful to the source novel. Well, you're right. It is a vast improvement on Boris Pasternak's borefest. Yes, you read that correctly. An Egyptian playing a Russian? Yes, deal with it - can you picture anyone but Omar Sharif in this role? Maurice Jarre's music, Julie Christie's Lara, incredible scenery ... I can't describe why I love it as much as I do, because that would defy the whole purpose of my eternal enjoyment of it even after watching it countless times. I would make Doctor Zhivago number one in almost every year, with maybe a handful of exceptions. Desert island disc? Hell yeah.

1965 ...What a year!

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