When the Motion Picture Academy looked at 1977, it gave its Best Picture award to Woody Allen's Annie Hall. I don't usually agree with the Academy's picks, but this is the second time in this year's series of lists where I think they got it right:
1. Annie Hall
Directed by Woody Allen
Written by Allen and Marshall Brickman
"Why don't you get William F. Buckley to kill the spider?"
Directed by Sidney Lumet
Written by Peter Shaffer, from his play
Sex, faith, madness, and horses.
Written and directed by George Romero
"Things only seem to be magic. There is no real magic. There's no real magic ever."
4. The Last Wave
Directed by Peter Weir
Written by Weir, Tony Morphett, and Petru Popescu
Weir's early apocalyptic tale is as dreamlike as Picnic at Hanging Rock or Fearless but is contained—just barely—by a pulpy science-fiction plot.
5. 3 Women
Written and directed by Robert Altman
An American Persona.
6. That Obscure Object of Desire
Directed by Luis Buñuel
Written by Buñuel and Jean-Claude Carrière, from a novel by Pierre Louys
Buñuel's final film hits some of his favorite themes: obsession, humiliation, and the strange power one person can hold over another.
7. Slap Shot
Directed by George Roy Hill
Written by Nancy Dowd
The standard by which all sports comedies should be judged.
8. God Told Me To
Written and directed by Larry Cohen
There are some low-budget glitches in this Phildickian detective story, but they ultimately add to its eerie charm.
9. The Sand Castle
Written and directed by Co Hoedeman
A brief parable about everything that anyone ever builds.
10. Citizens Band
Directed by Jonathan Demme
Written by Paul Brickman
It's my favorite movie about social media, and it came out years before Mark Zuckerberg was born.
11. Eraserhead (David Lynch)
12. Suspiria (Dario Argento)
13. The Finishing Line (John Krish)
14. Dog's Dialogue (Raúl Ruiz)
15. House (Nobuhiko Obayashi)
16. Take the 5:10 to Dreamland (Bruce Conner)
17. Perfumed Nightmare (Kidlat Tahimik)
18. La Soufrière (Werner Herzog)
19. Bead Game (Ishu Patel)
20. The Mallet (Aca Ilić)
And a shoutout to Stroszek, just for having the year's best ending.
Of the films of 1977 that I haven't seen, I'm most interested in Opening Night and Last Chants for a Slow Dance.