Best film decade

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Best film decade

Postby Gaz » Sun Nov 24, 2002 8:15 pm

With all these debates raging, I thought another one wouldn't hurt.

Why not classify films by decade? It's as effective a method as some others.

My vote goes to the 70s, as you can no doubt tell from my favourites.

Re: Best film decade

Postby wvq » Mon Nov 25, 2002 1:04 am

As always, I'll preface this by saying that I'm hazarding an opinion on this matter with very insufficient evidence. But I'll be intrepid here and say that I like the 50s quite a good deal.

First and perhaps most importantly, this is sort of the end of the great studio period in Hollywood. You've got established masters in their prime: Hitchcock (Vertigo, Rear Window, North by Northwest, etc.); Hawks (Rio Bravo, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes); Lang (The Big Heat, Beyond a Reasonable Doubt, etc.); Ford (The Searchers). You've got the end of the noir cycle with Kiss Me Deadly and Touch of Evil. You've got the start of the careers of Ray, Fuller, Kubrick, etc. And you've got your occasional brilliant Hollywood one-off like The Night of the Hunter.

Second, you've got major things happening in France. Most importantly, you've got the first New Wave films (e.g. Breathless, The 400 Blows, etc.) at the end of the decade. You also have other masters--like Renoir (The Golden Coach, The River, etc.) and Bresson (A Man Escaped, Pickpocket, Diary of a Country Priest--doing their thing.

In Japan, you've got the late and very rich work of their two greatest directors (at least in my opinion), Mizoguchi and Ozu. Also, you've got what might be Kurosawa's richest period.

In Italy, you have late neorealism. You also have Rossellini's work in this period, as well as the next generation of Italian masters (e.g. Antonioni, Visconti, and Fellini) coming into their own.

Plus, you've got major work by directors elsewhere. Dreyer's Ordet and Bunuel's Los Olvidados come to mind at the moment.

I'm sure I'm forgetting a lot of stuff I should be mentioning, but that seems like a pretty good decade to me as I look at it now. (By the way, I think respectable cases could also be made for the 20s and the 60s.)

Re: Best film decade

Postby Gaz » Sat Nov 30, 2002 8:56 am

The 50s were great - Night of the Hunter is an incredible film - but although some masterpieces were made in the 20s, can we really compare the output of decades as early as that with other, more recent years? Perhaps we can.

I'm not sure in fact, given the choice, whether I'd choose the 1990s over the 1920s or not.

Re: Best film decade

Postby thegreatken1 » Sun Dec 01, 2002 5:37 pm

I prefer the 60's, because of "8 1/2", "After The Fox", the Pink Panther movies, "The Party", "There's a Girl in My Soup", "It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World", "Ocean's Eleven", "Blowout", "The Thomas Crown Affair", the James Bond flicks (including "Casino Royale"), "To Sir With Love", and others.

Re: Best film decade

Postby john-5 » Mon Dec 09, 2002 5:29 am

It has to be the 50's- for reasons outlined by wvq. It was a golden age for Japanese films. From 52-55 Mizoguchi alone directed several masterpieces; Life of Oharu, Ugetsu Monogatari, Sansho the Bailiff, Chikamatsu Monogatari, Tales of the Taira Clan, Yang Kwei Fei. Add Ozu's Tokyo Story, Kurosawa's Seven Samurai, Rashomon, Throne of Blood, Ikiru, Hidden Fortress, and the most admired films by Naruse and Ichikawa.

Not forgetting Sunset Boulevard, All About Eve, Umberto D, Singin in the Rain, The Band Wagon (these 2, in successive years, constitute the peak of musicals), High Noon, The Wages of Fear, Monsieur Hulot's Holiday, Senso, Apu Trilogy, Pyaasa, Paths of Glory, Twelve Angry Men, Bridge on the River Kwai, Some Like it Hot, Hiroshima mon Amour. Bergman (The Seventh Seal, Wild Strawberries) and Fellini (La Strada, Cabiria Nights) hitting their stride, and Ophuls' final period; Le Plaisir, Madame de, Lola Montes.

Re: Best film decade

Postby wpqx » Sat Dec 28, 2002 2:48 am

I agree on the sixties, but for different reasons. I also must add that you probably mean Blow Up rather than the 1981 Blow Out. In my opinion foreign film never got better with 8 1/2, La Dolce Vita, Sergio Leone's Dollars Trilogy, Jules and Jim, The Weekend, and numerous others. On the American side it saw 2001, Lawrence of Arabia, The Manchurian Candidate, the Graduate,and Psycho.

Re: Best film decade

Postby bigpoppa_2059 » Tue Jan 07, 2003 5:42 am

I would say American cinema thrived for sure in the 50's and 60's, and forever changed it. Nothing was the same after "Bonnie and Clyde" and "The Wild Bunch", which essentially defined what screen violence would become for the next 30 or so years. Godard was in France changing cinema forever and becoming the most important filmmaker since Griffith. So I'd have to say, in all of world cinema, the 60's changed everything. The 50's may have had the best of what already existed, but didn't redefine nor question cinema aesthetics like the 60's.

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