Monday, April 21, 2014

Best of the 70s: Star Wars

Among the eight Cahiers film critics to contribute to its Les films marquants de la décennie (1970-1980) from its February 1980 issue (N.308), Pascal Bonitzer’s list is one of the more unique and interesting ones. Among Biette, Daney, Kané, Le Péron, Narboni, Skorecki and Toubiana; Bonitzer from the position of championing challenging art-films is still able to appreciate mainstream Hollywood films and with this gesture seems to anticipate the changes going on in American cinema and one of the editorial directions the magazine will move towards in the Eighties.

Here is his list and write-up:

Pascal Bonitzer

(in no order)
Man of Marble, Perceval le Gallois, Le Diable probablement, Ludwig - Requiem for a Virgin King, The Passenger, Moses und Aron, New York New York, India Song, Conversation Piece, Star Wars, The Hypothesis of the Stolen Painting.

            One will notice how there are actually eleven films in this list. It is to underline the restricting quality of this list. A visceral and quasi-inevitable politique des auteurs dominates it, and at the same time a futile worry for a distributive justice: I could have easily included Perceval and La Marquise d'O..., Le Diable and Lancelot du Lac etc., but one had to choose one film per auteur, to not exclude the others, or to transform this list of ten best films into a list of the ten best auteurs. On the other hand, I need to confess to my guilt, of not having seen, for diverse reasons but always bad ones, some films that I believe would be the summit: like American Graffiti (and for this reason I’m including Star Wars), Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore, L’Innocent (same thing here so that is why I included New York, New York – which could  easily have been replaced by Mean Streets – and Conversation Piece). Finally, there are some films that I’m even surprised not to include on this list, like Amacord, Monsieur Klein, The Other, La Maman et la putain, In the Realm of the Senses, Ici et ailleurs, Ill-Fated Love, Tristana, Nathalie Granger, Apocalypse Now or The Deer Hunter, but that’s just the case.

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