My Movie Year Blogathon
Andy at Fandango Groovers has done it once again: he's put forth a true challenge to all of us film bloggers for what will likely be the coolest and most revealing blogathon of the year. He asked us to pick one year in film that we consider the best and give five films backing it up. Our choices are below, but be sure to see what everyone else has to say by going here.
Jess' Movie Year: 1967
I find myself obsessed with the historical context of events lately. I teach a class on the history of environmentalism, and it constantly blows my mind all the things that seemed to have happened way before their time (or put another way, why aren't we further along if these things happened so much earlier than I thought). 1967 in film is full of examples of this. The five movies that represent that year for me are:
Not all of them have particular historical context, but the fact that Sidney Poitier's 3 movies that year (Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, In the Heat of the Night, To Sir, With Love) grossed over $115 million seems wonderfully impressive, but begs the question, how haven't we come farther with race in movies if that could be accomplished in 1967. Perhaps it was an anomaly, Poitier never had another year quite like it, and wasn't even nominated for an Oscar for any of those performances. Then you get movies that became classics like Bonnie and Clyde and Cool Hand Luke. Movies that hold up after 45 years. There are movies half their age that don't hold up at all, and they had several in 1967. And finally, The Graduate. One of the greatest movies of all time - a love story, a seduction, and of course "Plastics". All of it seems prophetic in many ways - the idea of picking an industry and having all the young college graduates bumrush the field in an effort to get ahead was probably pretty new in '67, and seems old hat today. Also, the original "cougar" in the brilliant, seductive Anne Bancroft's Mrs. Robinson. Probably the best year in film. If you haven't seen any of the above, start at the top of the list and work your way down, you won't be sorry.
Rachel's Movie Year: 2006
I admit, I felt like a college freshman trying to do her first research paper when I started sifting through decades of film lists, trying to find THE year in film that I wanted to call mine. First, I tried to look at the years in which my top three films of all time were released, and sadly came up short. I was certain I hadn't seen enough of the 60's or prior to make a definitive list, so I started skimming through the 70s, finding plenty of excellent classics I respect, but not ones that were very "me." Jumping around the '80s, I encountered plenty of nostalgia, but little more than fun childhood fluff. I found myself picking one or two amazing films from the 90s and early 00's, but the rest were just good fillers. And then I found it, a year list containing film titles, one right after another that I adored, for many reasons. I then found myself with a new challenge: narrowing it down to only five movies.
As a film lover, there are many things that draw me to the cinema, but at the top of the pile is the ability to leave my world behind for just a little while. From the seedy underbelly of Boston to a 19th century London filled with dark, vengeful magic. A fairytale wrapped in a warring Spanish countryside to a bleak future without children. And finally joining a roadtrip to perform in a child beauty pageant...all five of these movies have whisked me away to places I never would have imagined on my own. They have given me characters that I fall in love with every time I watch them and stories that still manage to break my heart or lift my spirits, even multiple repeat viewings later. I anticipated every single one and left the theater blown away. And while looking down the list of films for 2006, I knew my year was found.