Tag: faye dunaway

MOVIE REVIEW | ***AFI WEEKEND*** #21. Chinatown (1974)

“The American Film Institute’s list of the 100 Greatest Movies was selected by AFI’s blue-ribbon panel of more than 1,500 leaders of the American movie community to commemorate 100 Years of Movies”. Every weekend(ish) during 2015, I’ll review two(ish), counting them down from 100 to 1.
Chinatown
“Course I’m respectable. I’m old. Politicians, ugly buildings, and whores all get respectable if they last long enough.”

Film noir of the 40s and 50s is one of the most quintessentially American contributions to cinema.  But 30 years after its peak, it took a little Polish fella directing and one of the leaders of the American new wave starring, to make what might be one of the best examples of film noir, with Chinatown.


A former cop and now PI in 1930s Los Angeles, Jake Gittes (Jack Nicholson) is fresh off finding one cheating spouse when he’s commissioned to find another.  Evelyn Mulwray (Diane Ladd) is sure her husband Hollis is cheating, and she pays Jake to find the truth.  Tailing Hollis first leads to a town meeting where he opposes the construction of a new dam to help supply the drought ridden LA with water.  Eventually, Jake spots Hollis with a young woman, snaps a few photos and they end up on the cover of the paper the next day. (more…)

MOVIE REVIEW | ***AFI WEEKEND*** #42. Bonnie and Clyde (1967)

Bonnie and Clyde

“The American Film Institute’s list of the 100 Greatest Movies was selected by AFI’s blue-ribbon panel of more than 1,500 leaders of the American movie community to commemorate 100 Years of Movies”. Every weekend(ish) during 2015, I’ll review two(ish), counting them down from 100 to 1.

“You made me somebody they’re gonna remember.”

A story about a legend, that became a legend itself.  When Warren Beatty decided to produce a movie about notorious bank robbing couple Bonnie and Clyde, I’m sure he set out to make the best movie he could.  But I’m not sure even he had an inkling that he’d be creating his own legend.  With Bonnie and Clyde, Beatty and director Arthur Penn took a quintessentially American true life story, they took film making influences from the French New Wave, and they added their own visceral touch to change American cinema forever.


One day, Bonnie Parker (Faye Dunaway) looks out of her bedroom to see the handsome young Clyde Barrow (Warren Beatty) trying to steal her mother’s car.  Instead of calling the police, Bonnie is immediately infatuated by this exciting guy passing through her tiny Texas town.  To show off for Bonnie, Clyde robs a bank and she’s more than happy to jump in the getaway car with him.  Soon, they’re on a spree, knocking over banks all across Texas, with the help of an accomplice they pick up along the way, CW Moss (Michael J Pollard). (more…)

MOVIE REVIEW | ***AFI WEEKEND*** #64. Network (1976)

“The American Film Institute’s list of the 100 Greatest Movies was selected by AFI’s blue-ribbon panel of more than 1,500 leaders of the American movie community to commemorate 100 Years of Movies”. Every weekend(ish) during 2015, I’ll review two(ish), counting them down from 100 to 1.
Network

“Hi. I’m Diana Christensen, a racist lackey of the imperialist ruling circles.”

It’s one thing for a movie to perfectly, accurately and unflinchingly capture its time.  It takes a little more balls to perfectly, accurately and unflinchingly satarise its time.  It takes balls and sheer brilliance to perfectly, accurately and unflinchingly satarise its time, while also perfectly predicting the future.  I assume Network was intriguingly subversive in 1976.  I assume Network was darkly hilarious in 1976.  But I would be surprised if anyone knew just how accurately prophetic Network was in 1976.  And with each year, it becomes less darkly hilarious and more depressingly hilarious as we see our media become more and more like the then-insanely hyper world of Network.


The ratings are falling on Howard Beale’s nightly news broadcast.  In retaliation, he declares live on air that he’ll blow his brains out in one week, live on air.  While his complacent crew in the control room are too oblivious to notice, the rest of America’s media does.  So he’s immediately fired by his best friend and news director, Max (William Holden).  All the while, in the back offices of the network, the ratings obsessed Diana (Faye Dunaway) is trying to figure out what sensationalist freak show will be the next ratings winner.  While the money obsessed Frank (Robert Duvall) is obsessed with cutting the news department’s massive, money losing budget. (more…)