News and Commentary – Another Semester of 70s Films: The Conversation

This week’s movie was Francis Ford Coppola’s New Hollywood landmark The Conversation, one of the three films produced under the auspices of The Director’s Company, a partnership formed by hot-off-celebrated-hits Coppola (The Godfather), William Friedkin (The French Connection), and Peter Bogdanovich (The Last Picture Show).

News and Commentary – Another Semester of 70s Films: The Long Goodbye

This week featured our first introduction to Robert Altman, one of the prominent figures in the New Hollywood pantheon.  Over the final three decades of his career, Altman would release more than his share of great films—but there is nothing to compare with his remarkable stretch of nine films from 1969 to 1975, arguably the greatest sustained sprint of the New American Cinema.

News and Commentary – Another Semester of 70s Films: The King of Marvin Gardens

This week’s screening for The Politics of the Seventies Film was The King of Marvin Gardens (1972), an achievement that represents everything the New Hollywood aspired to be: small scale, minor key, intensely personal, expressly cinematic, and ultimately indelible. “The King of Marvin Gardens is Monopoly minus the reassurance of toy money,” wrote David Thomson, an early champion of the film. “The movie conjures with the prospect of Hawaii, but delivers nothing more than an airmail blue shirt that will be stained with blood.”

News and Commentary – The Magic of the Movies

Finally catching up with Alan J. Pakula’s 1981 paranoid thriller Rollover has us thinking, once again, about the magic of the movies.  Another way of phrasing this question would be: “Why is Rollover so bad?”  But here at Mid Century Cinema, we’re extremely wary of the good/bad thing.  As we emphasized in our review of A. O.

News and Commentary – Another Semester of 70s Films: Sunday Bloody Sunday

This week’s movie was actually John Schlesinger’s Midnight Cowboy, but we’ve already written about that one here, and we’re sticking to our stories: (1) if forced to choose, we’ll take the dirty old Times Square over the modern tourist-trap eyesore; (2) except for, you know, the movie ending with Dustin Hoffman dead on a bus, Cowboy has the classic structure of a Hollywood romantic comedy; (3) despite that, however, we do not think that Rasto Rizzo and Joe Buck are meant to be implicitly u

News and Commentary – Something Wild About the Patriarchy?

Last night we eagerly unwrapped the new Criterion Collection special edition of Jack Garfein’s Something Wild, from 1961.  New to us, this was a movie aimed directly at Mid Century Cinema’s sweet-spot: gorgeous time-capsule-perfect street shots of New York City; raw, daring performances by the hip cohort of the Actors Studio that contrasted with and challenged Hollywood conventions; and