The Perpetual Three-Dot Column
The Perpetual Three-Dot Column
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by Jesse Walker

Friday, December 28, 2007
DO YOU REMEMBER THE SIXTIES, MAN?: So far we've reviewed the best films of
1997, 1987, and 1977. Time to jump back another 10 years.

When the Motion Picture Academy looked back at 1967, it gave its Best Picture award to In the Heat of the Night, a police procedural with a civil rights message. It's an enjoyable movie, but I can think of 10 that are better:

1. The President's Analyst
Written and directed by Theodore J. Flicker

For fans of Richard Condon and Robert Anton Wilson, and for anyone who has ever cast a suspicious eye at his phone.

2. Bedazzled
Directed by Stanley Donen
Written by Peter Cook, from a story by Cook and Dudley Moore

No, not the awful remake with Brendan Fraser and Elizabeth Hurley. This cult comedy stars the young Cook and Moore, and it feels like a medieval folktale dropped into Swinging London.

3. Le Samouraï
Directed by Jean-Pierre Melville
Written by Melville and Georges Pellegrin, from a novel by Joan McLeod

The most essential film noir of the '60s.

4. Titicut Follies
Directed by Frederick Wiseman with John Marshall

A grotesque glimpse at life inside a total institution.

5. In Cold Blood
Directed by Richard Brooks
Written by Brooks, from a book by Truman Capote

"I thought Mr. Clutter was a very nice gentleman. I thought so right up to the time I cut his throat."

6. Bonnie and Clyde
Directed by Arthur Penn
Written by David Newman and Robert Benton

Four decades later, it's hard to tell what all the fuss was about. But it's still a kinetic, engaging picture filled with clever touches that elevate it above its imitators. It also announced the arrival of the New Hollywood, kicking off the most creative decade of American filmmaking since the '40s.

7. The Shooting
Directed by Monte Hellman
Written by Carole Eastman

The Zapruder film of westerns.

8. Belle de Jour
Directed by Luis Buñuel
Written by Buñuel and Jean-Claude Carrière, from a novel by Joseph Kessel

The world's most famous fetish film.

9. Point Blank
Directed by John Boorman
Written by Alexander Jacobs, David Newhouse, and Rafe Newhouse, from a novel by Richard Stark

The French took our film noir and turned it into New Wave, and then movies like this one took their New Wave and made it something American again. Starring the great Lee Marvin as a thief apparently returned from the dead.

10. Dont Look Back
Directed by D.A. Pennebaker

The artist as asshole.

posted by Jesse 11:45 AM
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