Weather not very nice outside? Got some free time, and fancy a movie? Well, I’m on a movie binge, at the moment, and if 70s movies are your thing, you’ll love this exciting thriller. I haven’t seen it in years, but good 70s movies get even better with time, and this one will keep you on the edge of your seat, wondering whether the plot to assassinate a French president will succeed, or fail. We’re taken back earlier, to 1963, when the events unfold, and the plot is hatched. Lots of villains and shady dealings in this one, before the killer even shows up, to get the target in his sights. Settle down comfortably, because it promises to be an exciting afternoon. Click the link below the image to see the movie (no sign up needed)
Fancy an exciting movie matinee? Let’s go back to the 70s again, for a flashback to strange conversation, and some unwanted company, that makes an amazing thriller from Coppola, a 1974 Palme d’Or winner, that has deservedly been remembered as a 70s classic, with covert surveillance expert, Harry Caul, played by the always amazing Gene Hackman, prying into other people’s conversations, with shocking results. This is a tense psychological thriller you will be on the edge of your seat throughout, as the creepy, intrigue builds to a horrible crescendo. I won’t spoil it for you, but leave the popcorn down, so you don’t have to get the Hoover out!
I know, I know. It’s nearly Xmas, and scary movies are more of a Halloween thing. But, you know, horror movies are fascinating any time of year. This one, Stanley Kubrick’s “The Shining”, based on a Stephen King novel, has fascinated a lot of people, since its release, in 1980. It wasn’t all shiny, and pastel, with those plastic bangles and oversized sweatshirts we all loved to hate either, no, it was roll up your sleeves, like a Miami Vice hero, if you wanted to survive this one without psychological trauma. Don’t get me wrong – it wasn’t a super-gory festival of blood, like some of the zombie movies around; it was subtler than that, and the blood was withheld, for suspense, until…………….well, you probably know yourself.
There were all sorts of ambiguities, too. It was a very layered movie. I never read the book, to fill in gaps between my mental elevator doors, because I loved those. I mean, what had Jack told his missis about the book he said he was going to write, before they go to the job as winter Overseer at the hotel? And what the hell is that piece of paper in his hand in the hotel lobby photo, never mind how he even got into it?
Kubrick leaves so much of this stuff in, that our own minds struggle to put it together, and it haunts us, like the best movies should do. We then may become obsessed, as Jack did, with what’s going on (not to mention slightly hypnotised by the groovy carpets and decor, which are an utter delight, and far from wishy-washy pastel boring. This is a psychological horror, which pulls you into a complicated maze of meaning. Let’s hope you make it out again. Enjoy, it’s horrible, but terrific.
You know I love the classics, particularly cult movies. I’m very keen on the 70’s too, you’ll know, and some old favourites never really die. Unlike pulp fiction, you don’t have to do much, to take an exciting trip. Let’s get away from YouTube’s Fake Fight Club, cheap budget casts and recycled scripts for a while, and watch something better, then. ‘Cos I know my readers have class and style, unlike the trolls I have to put up with, whose cheap dramas, and sordid smear campaigns I occasionally respond to, in passing, with retorts like these, when they beg to have their scripts considered, giving it the full treatment. I try not to laugh, or yawn, but turn it into fun. This guy does it so much better than I could, keeping it short, and sweet, like a Haiku, rather than making a whole production of it. I liked him so much, I hired him to do the dirty work.
Once in a while, ‘tho, I’ll dash a quick response myself, on the back of a StickyNote, if they beg (I know; I’m all heart).
Look, I tell them. I just don’t have the budget for that kind of thing (although shooting in black n’ white isn’t cheap these days), and I don’t wish to be associated with your cheap productions! But still, they insist, after squeezing themselves in the office window, you simply must be in this movie, so I send the doorman to escort them out again, so I won’t be bothered. It would make a terrific series, they tell him, and all we need from you is your cooperation, in being amenable to whatever we want to put in the script. They keep sending little plot hints, slipping them under the door at night, to try get me hooked on their cheap scripts, and lame plotlines, and insist that everyone’s just dying to be in it, all the biggest trolls on the seedy end of YouTube. Look, they insist, here’s the showreel preview, fresh off the producer’s studio. But that’s borrowed, and stale, and smells of socks; not even your own work, I think, then figure, don’t respond. Just keep the doorman out there. He’s good with the stare, and withering comments. I’ll stay comfy, and work my way through better content, I can go out for air later, while they spin their wheels in tiny circles in the parking lot.
Mind you, the ideas they pass off as their own stories might have some merit, insofar as having a basic grasp of the elements of drama that we get hooked on, no matter how poorly they execute them, and not having much in the way of real action. That’s the problem with low budgets, and poor scripts. We like our hearts racing, when the cars come chasin’, and a car chase plot device is far more entertaining than a gang of trolls chasing you down with pathetic plotlines, like their “Fake Fight Club Part 2”, where they try to smear you in mud, and pull you into a wresting pit, to wrestle with, well, pigs.
Part 1 never made it out of the gates, but they keep trying, and are, very. These classic 70’s movies aren’t a trial to watch at all, though. I don’t even drive, but they are fantastic front seat passenger seat gripping fun. Not that many bothered wearing seat belts in the 70s. Wrecked the ol’ image, didn’t it, when you were a beat up banger pretending to be a Jag? Oh, I did like that green Jag. Not Emerald, like meself; more a racing green. And those clean lines. Nearly as good as the script, and cleaner content than YouTube’s cess pits. You get what the budget allows, sometimes, and these are glossy, fully waxed vintage classics. Plus, you have a choice of models to choose from, for your adventure (rolls up the garage gates, with the click of a button).
Now, fancy heading for a Vanishing Point, like a troll’s karma at the end of a spent LARP? Only in a far more sophisticated fantasy production? OK then (waves while glancing in rear view mirror, and zooms ahead, with cheeky grin, adjusting sunglasses, before leaning an elbow out the window for that one-arm tan, plus leather gloved brown circle, that is the envy of pedestrians, with plain ol’ two arm tans.
(adjusts car radio, for incoming news) What? You’re not a simple script action seeking troll, like the ones that never made it big time? More cerebral type. Ah. I see. We have a second choice for you, that’s still action packed, but great script, and plot heavy, too, with Gene Hackman in the lead, and more heavy guns than the trolls could ever dream of, with their limited mental resources, to entertain you with. Enjoy.
Frank Capra’s “The Lost Horizon” is a great adventure movie, but the idea that captured Western imaginations in many surprising and mysterious ways, was a book first. Before that, it was a quest for a secret place, lost in the mists of time. The significance of the book and movie was as far reaching as the idea of the mystic region of Shangi-la (Shambala) that made for some legendary myths around it, for centuries to come. I usually show trailers for my movie favourites I share, but I liked this documentary so much, I thought this would provide a context for telling you about the impact that this idea of the place on the hill, somewhere, would have, in all sorts of other times and places. So, let’s travel back in time, before we see where the quest leads us, before we settle back in the moment, to enjoy the movie.
Ready to rest after your mental exertions? Grand, so. Snuggle in cosily for an armchair adventure, and a flight of fantasy Holywood style, which sees the myth and spiritual legend turned into a romantic adventure, by the wonderful Frank Capra, in glorious black n’ white (perfect for all that snow, which is often blue and purple, but we add the colour in our own imaginations anyhow, so who needs the technicolour treatment?). It’s great fun, beautifully shot, and really magical. We are so lucky to be able to glimpse this lost horizon, because there was also quite a quest to be able to recover the footage, which disappeared in the mists for a while.
Man, the 70s were wild. Friday’s were the night to really let your hair down, at the disco, if the bouncer thought you were trendy enough to get in. If the disco wasn’t your scene, or you just didn’t have a date for the movie, or didn’t fancy standing in line in the rain, you could stay in, and watch some of the best movies ever made, on the magic box in the corner, which brought some of the most exciting adventures straight to your living room, as you relaxed with the Mrs. Her heart was sure to be beating rapidly over Burt, too, as you enjoyed your armchair adventures; he was one of the cutest men on the screen at the time, all ripped up and muscled, ready for action, but with that impish charm all women adore (next clip isn’t a trailer, it’s just Burt being adorable – guys can skip this bit).
Sorry, where was I? Oh, yeah. The movie. Directed by John Boorman, it’s a wild work of art, and the actors featuring in it helped create the magic, with large input into the scripts by them. It’s a movie about the relationships between men that are friends, in a fight for survival. Will they be delivered, as the title suggests, or will things get hairier than Burt’s chest, along the way? What wonderful suspense, thrills and spills, and amazing magical moments we are treated to in this survival adventure, as we shoot down the rapids, in the fight for life!
Now, I don’t want to give you a trailer for this movie, as I usually would, because I don’t want to spoil the surprises, but I can tell you that it involves some guys, played by Burt Reynolds, Jon Voight, Ned Beatty, and Ronny Cox, bonding over a manly wilderness trip. The interplay of the characters, and the subtleties of interpersonal relationships explored, within the context of an amazing fast-paced adventure of a lifetime, is superbly delivered by these actors, who brought so much to the story themselves. OK, I love Burt, but I loved all the actors in this movie. And the music, which blew everyone’s minds, is one of the most famous scenes in cinema.
Are you ready for action? Got your supplies and tackle in order? Off we go then. You know the drill. Click the link below the movie title, to go on the adventure with the guys, and just aim your crossbow (or your finger) at the annoying ad window that pops up, to get back to the movie page, and we’re ready to embark. This movie isn’t for children, or the faint hearted. Off we go.
Bonus Material: Interview with Burt Reynolds, years later.
Next one’s for the ladies. If you’re married, don’t let the hubby catch you drooling. Poor Burt had so many ladies drooling over him, trying to reduce him to just a beautiful thing, that he ended up having to deal with it, and got humorous with it as well. Cosmopolitan magazine readers, like meself, took a while to stop our hearts racing, when we flipped to this page, which was very funny , as well as sweet, just the way we like our fellas. Clever man, Burt managed to stay married to his also very funny, clever and cute Mrs. for six years, and like lots of couples the divorce was a bit of an adventure in hell, like Deliverance, but I don’t think they’d mind if we took just a teeny peek inside that magazine cover. Ooo la la. Burt, ya divil! (laughs).
I love Andrei Tarkovsky movies, but they are not everyone’s cup of tea, particularly if you prefer an action packed pace. They tend to be slow moving, but are thought provoking meditations on the meaning of what it is to be human. Before you get put off, though, let me tell you that they are so beautifully shot, so full of interesting ideas, with very original plot lines, that if you give them the slow attention they deserve, you’ll be richly rewarded, and I find his movies have me thinking about them for many years after I first see them. His movies are hard to get your hands on for free, and I sprung for a DVD copy of “Solaris” myself, I liked it so much. I’m so pleased to have found it free online. There’s a newer version of it made, which I didn’t bother with looking at. Why would I, when this is so perfect?
Here’s a trailer, that does a little analysis of the themes in the movie, which I also thought explained it’s complicated metaphors very well, but you may prefer to watch Tarkovsky’s sci-fi masterpiece first, before you view this, as it’s got plotline spoilers. Since I found the movie so mysterious, when I watched it the first time, I would have liked to see an explainer like this myself, but after viewing the movie, to soak in the beautiful atmosphere, and let my unconscious understand it, before seeing it through the filter of an explainer first. It’s your call, though.
Here’s the link to the movie, below. As I usually say, when posting movie links for you, just get rid of any ad window that pops up, and your free Sunday sci-fi movie will play. Enjoy.
Bonus: Will Self talks about themes in Solaris:
Kubrick‘s movies are always pretty amazing, and today being the sad anniversary of the dropping of an atomic bomb that devastated Nagasaki, I was reminded of this movie I’m posting, Dr. Strangelove. It’s full of metaphors and messages, which are fairly relevant to those who wonder what the purpose of war is? War’s not pretty, and some of the images from this video of a song named after the plane that dropped the huge bomb, show footage of the Enola Gay.
Here’s a little clip of the movie, featuring the comic dark doctor scientist, played by Peter Sellers, hilariously. Goodness knows, it’s such a grim topic, that we need a laugh, to cheer us up, sometimes, when we think of war. Humour is a wonderful medium for tackling difficult topics, and it’s a masterful movie.
Right. Seated comfortably? Buckle up, then, buttercup, because we are ready to hit the ground, or at least the link to the full movie, below. It’s the usual drill. When the ads window pops up, kill it, and press play in the movie window, and it’s bombs away.
Hope you enjoyed the movie. It beats war any day. Wishing you a peaceful Sunday, with many more peaceful days to follow.
I thought I’d treat you to the movies again, since it’s turned into a rainy old afternoon, and perfect for lazing about, and watching a flick. I haven’t seen this kid friendly fantasy movie myself yet, but after seeing some spectacular flying sequences, in this music video, and finding out about it, I definitely think it’s going to be something that transforms a grey afternoon into a magical journey of the imagination, with plenty of excitement and adventure for us all to enjoy, without even having to find a griffon strong enough to transport all of us into the magical adventures zone, and be prepared to fly in heavy rain.
You know the routine by now, if you want to be lifted out of the routine: you click the movie link in the title, shown below, and then close all the annoying pop-up windows that magically appear, and, whooosh! You find yourself transported immediately, on pressing Play. Get comfy, enjoy, but no jigging about on the couch, please.
Nothing’s perfect, they say, and our Friday night movie has ads. It’s free though, and free is good. I hope the ads aren’t too invasive. Oh, an’ watch out for those pesky bodysnatchers. They’re everywhere!