Saturday, January 30, 2016

1975--The Year in Review

Oh, boy. I mean…really…this hurt. It's such an outstanding year for movies, I still question if I made the right selection here, leaving the Kubrick, Wertmuller, Lumet, Spielberg, and Forman films out in the cold (I adore them all so much that I couldn't abandon them entirely). Dang. How can I justify this? Okay. Nicholson was nearly trumped this year–in a photo finish–by Pacino’s frenzied bank robber (which still seems like this superlative actor's best performance ever). In the end, even though I've promised myself not to go this route unless absolutely necessary, I had to do it anyway: a tie (Nicholson's charismatic R.P. McMurphy is every bit Pacino's match in vitality; it's impossible to pick between the two, even though the Academy decided in Nicholson's favor, leaving Pacino in a lurch for many years to come). And here’s where the case for One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest as Best Picture--as much as I absolutely love it--starts to crumble for me. Fletcher’s Oscar-winning "lead" performance was certainly a supporting one, so I placed her in that category–where she didn’t have a chance against the phalanx of Nashville women (and the one that I picked performed sublimely in her film debut--and her songwriting led to another prize). Supporting Actor, too, was locked up (Cazele's nearly silent portrayal--one that mightily impressed me, even as a kid first watching it in '75--was the soul of Dog Day Afternoon). As for Barry Lyndon, I have to admit it comes up just a slight bit short for me in the emotion department, but it certainly was the most meticulously crafted film of the year (it gets better and better each time you watch it, like most Kubrick movies do). Seeing as how this was the case, my favorite director of the 1970s had to emerge up top for his omnibus masterwork Nashville, an acidic criticism and embrace of American culture with scads of vibrant characters and tunes thrown about its three epic hours (Altman's film is more relevant today than in 1975--in fact, it's timeless, and that's pretty much why I decided in its favor). I tried to spread the love from here on. But…again… this really was tough. Still, on anther day, I would probably go the same way. A major milestone should be mentioned: 1975 featured two films directed by women justifiably at the top of the list: Lina Wertmuller's Seven Beauties--the first and most powerful Holocaust comedy, predating Roberto Begnini's Life is Beautiful by decades--and Chantal Akerman's challenging portrait of Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles. Finally: the short film categories are filled with absolute brilliance, through and through, so be sure to check out the links, as there are some great riches there! NOTE: These are MY choices for each category, and are only occasionally reflective of the selections made by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (aka The Oscars). When available, the nominee that actually won the Oscar will be highlighted in bold. 

PICTURE: NASHVILLE (US, Robert Altman) (2nd: One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (US, Milos Forman), followed by: Seven Beauties (Italy, Lina Wertmuller); Dog Day Afternoon (US, Sidney Lumet); Barry Lyndon (UK, Stanley Kubrick); Jaws (US, Steven Spielberg); Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles (Belgium/France, Chantal Akerman); The Day of the Locust (US, John Schlesinger); Monty Python and the Holy Grail (UK, Terry Jones and Terry Gilliam); Grey Gardens (US, Albert Maysles, David Maysles, Ellen Hovde and Muffie Meyer); Tommy (UK, Ken Russell); Picnic at Hanging Rock (Australia, Peter Weir); Welfare (US, Frederick Wiseman); Overlord (UK, Stuart Cooper); Night Moves (US, Arthur Penn); Love and Death (US, Woody Allen); The Passenger (Italy/US, Michelangelo Antonioni); The Story of Adele H. (France, Francois Truffaut); The Man Who Would Be King (UK, John Huston); Shampoo (US, Hal Ashby); Smile (US, Michael Ritchie); Deep Red (Italy, Dario Argento); The Magic Flute (Sweden, Ingmar Bergman); The Man Who Skied Down Everest (US, Bruce Myznik and Lawrence Schiller); Hester Street (US, Joan Micklin Silver); The Lost Honour of Katharina Blum (West Germany, Margarethe Von Trotta and Volker Schlöndorff); Rancho Deluxe (US, Frank Perry); Hearts of the West (US, Howard Zieff); The Sunshine Boys (US, Herbert Ross); Cooley High (US, Michael Schultz); Rollerball (US, Norman Jewison); Queen of the Stardust Ballroom (US, Sam O'Steen); Hard Times (US, Walter Hill); Death Race 2000 (US, Paul Bartel); The Drowning Pool (US, Stuart Rosenberg); Three Days of the Condor (US, Sydney Pollack); The Rocky Horror Picture Show (UK, Jim Sharman); Maitresse (France, Barbet Schroeder); Farewell, My Lovely (US, Dick Richards); Rafferty and the Gold Dust Twins (US, Dick Richards); The California Reich (US, Keith Critchlow and Walter F. Parkes); The Incredible Machine (US, Irwin Rosten and Ed Spiegel); Hustle (US, Robert Aldrich); The Reincarnation of Peter Proud (US, J. Lee Thompson); Aloha, Bobby and Rose (US, Floyd Mutux); Give 'em Hell, Harry! (US, Steve Binder and Peter H. Hunt); Bite the Bullet (US, Richard Brooks); White Line Fever (US, Jonathan Kaplan); W.W. and the Dixie Dancekings (US, John G. Avildsen); Brother, Can You Spare a Dime (US, Phillippe Mora); The Stepford Wives (US, Bryan Forbes); Crazy Mama (US, Jonathan Demme); The Story of O (France, Just Jaeckin); Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom (Italy, Pier Paolo Pasolini))





ACTOR: (TIE) Al Pacino, DOG DAY AFTERNOON and Jack Nicholson, ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO'S NEST (2nd: Giancarlo Giannini, Seven Beauties, followed by: Tim Curry, The Rocky Horror Picture Show; Roy Schieder, Jaws; Gene Hackman, Night Moves; Walter Matthau, The Sunshine Boys)


ACTRESS: Ann-Margret, TOMMY (2nd: Isabelle Adjani, The Story of Adele H.., followed by: Delphine Seyrig, Jeanne Dielman 23 quai du Commerce 1080 Bruxelles, followed by: Diane Keaton, Love and Death; Angela Winkler, The Lost Honor of Katherina Blum; Maureen Stapleton, Queen of the Stardust Ballroom)

SUPPORTING ACTOR: John Cazale, DOG DAY AFTERNOON (2nd: Donald Sutherland, The Day of the Locust, followed by: Charles Durning, Dog Day Afternoon; Robert Shaw, Jaws; Sidney Lassick, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest; Burgess Meredith, The Day of the Locust)


 
SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Ronee Blakely, NASHVILLE (2nd: Louise Fletcher, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (won as Best Actress), followed by: Lily Tomlin, Nashville; Gwen Welles, Nashville; Tina Turner, Tommy; Geraldine Chaplin, Nashville) 



DIRECTOR: Robert Altman, NASHVILLE (2nd: Milos Forman, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, followed by: Lina Wertmuller, Seven Beauties; Stanley Kubrick, Barry Lyndon, Sidney Lumet, Dog Day Afternoon; Chantal Akerman, Jeanne Dielman 23 quai du Commerce 1080 Bruxelles)



NON-ENGLISH-LANGUAGE FILM: SEVEN BEAUTIES (Italy, Lina Wertmuller) (2nd: Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles (Belgium/France, Chantal Akerman), followed by: The Story of Adele H. (France, Francois Truffaut); The Magic Flute (Sweden, Ingmar Bergman); The Lost Honour of Katharina Blum (West Germany, Margarethe Von Trotta and Volker Schlöndorff); Maitresse (France, Barbet Schroeder))



LIVE ACTION SHORT FILM: ANGEL AND BIG JOE (US, Bert Salzman) (2nd: The Ash Tree (UK, Lawrence Gordon Clark), followed by: Two Solutions for One Problem (Iran, Abbas Kierostami); Recorded Live (US, S.S. Wilson); Windows (UK, Peter Greenaway); The Girl Chewing Gum (UK, John Smith))



ANIMATED SHORT FILM: HEDGEHOG IN THE FOG (Yugoslavia, Yuri Norstein) (2nd: Quasi at the Quackadero (US, Sally Cruickshank), followed by: Kick Me (US, Robert Swarthe); Rikki Tiki Tavi (US, Chuck Jones); Sisyphus (Hungary, Marcell Jankovics))



DOCUMENTARY FEATURE: GREY GARDENS (US, Albert Maysles, David Maysles, Ellen Hovde and Muffie Meyer) (2nd: Welfare (US, Frederick Wiseman), followed by: The Man Who Skied Down Everest (US, Lawrence Schiller and Bruce Nyznik); The California Reich (US, Keith Critchlow and Walter F. Parkes); The Incredible Machine (US, Irwin Rosten and Ed Spiegel))



ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY: Frank Pierson, DOG DAY AFTERNOON (2nd: Lina Wertmuller, Seven Beauties, followed by: Joan Tewkesbury, Nashville; Alan Sharp, Night Moves; Robert Towne and Warren Beatty, Shampoo)



ADAPTED SCREENPLAY: Lawrence Hauben and Bo Goldman, ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO‘S NEST (2nd: Stanley Kubrick, Barry Lyndon, followed by: Waldo Salt, The Day of the Locust; Terry Jones, Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Michael Palin, Terry Gilliam and Eric Idle, Monty Python and The Holy Grail; John Huston and Gladys Hill, The Man Who Would Be King)



CINEMATOGRAPHY: John Alcott, BARRY LYNDON (2nd: Russell Boyd, Picnic at Hanging Rock, followed by John Alcott, Overlord; Haskell Wexler and Bill Butler, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest; Conrad Hall, The Day of the Locust)

ART DIRECTION: BARRY LYNDON, The Day of the Locust, The Sunshine Boys, Tommy, The Man Who Would Be King

COSTUME DESIGN: BARRY LYNDON, Picnic at Hanging Rock, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, The Magic Flute, Nashville



FILM EDITING: JAWS, Dog Day Afternoon, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Night Moves, Nashville  

SOUND: JAWS, Tommy, Nashville, Dog Day Afternoon, Rollerball



ORIGINAL SCORE: John Williams, JAWS (2nd: Jack Nitzsche, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, followed by: Enzo Jannacci, Seven Beauties; John Barry, The Day of the Locust; Bruce Smeaton, Picnic at Hanging Rock)



ADAPTED OR MUSICAL SCORE: Pete Townshend, TOMMY (2nd: Leonard Rosenmann, Barry Lyndon, followed by: Allen Nicholls, Keith Carradine, Karen Black, Ronee Blakeley, Gary Busey, Juan Grizzle, Dave Peel, Joe Raposo, Arline Barnett and Jonnie Barnett, Nashville; Richard O'Brien, The Rocky Horror Picture Show; Eric Ericson, The Magic Flute)



ORIGINAL SONG: “My Idaho Home” from NASHVILLE (Music and lyrics by Ronee Blakely) (2nd: "Camelot Song (Knights of the Round Table)” from Monty Python and the Holy Grail (Music by Neil Innes, lyrics by Graham Chapman and John Cleese), followed by: "Since You've Gone" from Nashville (Music and lyrics by Gary Busey); “I’m Easy” from Nashville (Music and lyrics by Keith Carradine); "That's the Way of the World" from That's the Way of the World (Music and lyrics by Maurice White); "Dues" from Nashville  (Music and lyrics by Ronee Blakely); “One, I Love You” from Nashville (Music and lyrics by Richard Baskin); “Drifting and Dreaming of You” from White Line Fever (Music and lyrics by David Nichtern); “A Friend” from W.W. and The Dixie Dancekings (Music and lyrics by Don Williams and Jerry Reed); "It Don't Worry Me" from Nashville (Music and lyrics by Keith Carradine); "Champagne" from Tommy (Music and lyrics by Pete Townshend); "200 Years" from Nashville (Music by Richard Baskin, lyrics by Henry Gibson); "Let's Do It Again" from Let's Do It Again (Music and lyrics by Curtis Mayfield))

SPECIAL EFFECTS: THE HINDENBERG, Jaws  


MAKEUP: BARRY LYNDON, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, The Sunshine Boys

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