Rupert Pupkin Speaks: Justin Bozung's Favorite Older Films Seen 1st in 2011! ""

Friday, January 6, 2012

Justin Bozung's Favorite Older Films Seen 1st in 2011!

Justin Bozung (Shock Cinema Contributor, Editor For, Host of The Mondo Film Podcast; is a fella you should listen to in regards to film recommendations. Great list below! I've seen exactly two films and am quite excited to check out the rest!

01. The Strawberry Statement (1970)
A 'CASABLANCA' for the 1960's. Loosely based off of the novel of the same name, this incredible stream of consciousness love-story is set against a student political protest backdrop that features an up-and-coming cast of Bruce Davison, Kim Darby, Bud Cort and a hairy Bob Balaban. Stuart Hagmann has nothing to lose here, and he pulls out all the stops giving us over-the-top cinematography, rapid-fire MTV style editing, a soundtrack that's so essential that it's stopped the film from getting a DVD release due to clearance rights all these years later, and a jaw-dropping Busby Berkley homage riot scene climax. Winner of the Palme d'or at the Cannes Film Festival in 1970, THE STRAWBERRY STATEMENT pre-dates the modern music video, and is, at it's core an ahead of it's time anti-protest film in comparison to the characters and eventual outcomes in other protest films of 1969 and 1970(such as MEDIUM COOL, THE FALL, R.P.M, THE REVOLUTIONARY, and eventually COMING HOME).

Kim Darby stands out here in the best performance of her career to date. She's purely herself, holding nothing back. She's the girl next door that every guy falls in love with, and it's very clear that director Stuart Hagmann was in love with her as well. Produced by Irwin Winkler, and scripted by Israel Horowitz (father of the Beastie Boy's own Adam Horowitz).

02. Paperback Hero aka The Last Of The Big Guns (1973)
2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY's own Keir Dullea stars as a former hockey player who develops a serious mental illness which makes him think he's a gunslinger in the old-west. A brilliant heart-wrenching & dark performance from Dullea who people often think about only when Kubrick's 2001 is brought up in conversation. Features one of the strangest, longest and most interesting shower sex scenes ever put on film. The shower scene is worth the price alone, and PAPERBACK HERO will make you a Dullea fan. It will have you searching out his other work like THE THIN RED LINE(1964), THE HOODLUM PRIEST, and THE NEXT ONE.

03. FireCreek (1968)
Jimmy Stewart headlines this very HIGH NOON-esque western cast that features Jack Elam, Henry Fonda, Gary Lockwood, James Best, and Inger Stevens. Stewart is an aging part-time sheriff who has to protect his small western town from a band of nasty cowboys who come strolling in to hide-out. Stewart is of course amazing, while being subdued somewhat due to his age. Big performances from all, but the true stand-out performances here come from actors James Best (The Dukes Of Hazzard) and Gary Lockwood (2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY). Inger Stevens would mysteriously die shortly after filmming of Firecreek.

04. Roar (1981)
Mother Tippi Hedren and daughter Melanie Griffith star in an almost plotless vehicle about big cat collecting. Former husband of Hedren, Noel Marshall set out to shoot a film that would take a true look at what it was like to live a daily existence with big wild cats; tigers, lions, panthers etc...The plot? Hedren and family leave their home to travel north for a visit to a wild cat sanctuary where her real husband and co-star of the film Noel Marshall has been living with around 100 wild tigers and lions, uncaged & unrestricted. When the family arrives, Marshall is off helping a friend with a broken down vehicle, and the family is left for a day in the house to survive as the big cats quickly attack the house, breaking down doors, and through windows trying to get inside...or are they just trying to say hello to the humans?
Scripted by the Addam's Family Lurch aka Ted Cassidy, shot by then cinematographer, and eventual director of SPEED Jan De Bont, everyone in the making of this film was injured in some shape or form by the wild cats. Featuring a cast of 7 humans, and 100 "tamed" tigers and lions.

05. Not For Publication (1986)
An obscure, (but available on DVD) entry from writer/director Paul Bartel. A '40s era looking female reporter (Nancy Allen) who moonlights as a smut reporter hires on a aspiring photographer (David Naughton) to follow her around to shoot smutty pictures, all the while trying to re-open her dead father's once lauded city newspaper. Features a remarkably fun cast including a great performance by little person Cork Hubert (Under The Rainbow) and features an incredible must see to believe S&M night-club scene which features Allen and Naughton dressed up as 'Bird & Lamb' in which they promptly perform a song & dance number to a room that looks like it was an outtake from EYES WIDE SHUT. Very Paul Bartel.

06. Norwood (1969)
Following on the heels of the success of TRUE GRIT (1969), producer Hal B. Wallis optioned Charles Portis's first book, Norwood, as well as brought back screenwriter Marguerite Roberts. Norwood (Glen Campbell) is the story of a Vietnam vet returning home to the bible belt, where he discovers things have changed. He sets out on a cross country trip to NYC to track down a buddy of his who owes him money (played silly by football player Joe Namath). Just missing his friend, he starts back, via route to Memphis and mets oddball Rita Lee (Kim Darby). The two hit it off, and head for Norwood's home town. On the way, they pick up a chicken being exploited by a freak-show, as well as a former circus midget played by Billy Curtis (WIZARD OF OZ). The film also features Carol Linley and Dom Deluise, and is directed by Jack Haley Jr, son of the Tin-Man from THE WIZARD OF OZ, Jack Haley Sr; whom has a quick and stand-out cameo in the film. A warm and sweet-hearted comedy, with wonderful music by Glen Campbell and Al De Lory (both former studio musicians in Phil Spector's infamous Wrecking Crew).

07. Heart-Aches (1982)
Low-budget, goofy California comedy starring Robert Carradine, Annie Potts and Margot Kidder in the performance of her career. Carradine is a struggling stock car racer trying to catch a break into the big time. Potts is his wife who gets fed up and leaves him for the big city. She encounters Margot Kidder on the way, who's a damaged pseudo punk-rocker chick. The girls move into together, things get crazy with the men, but everything comes together after ninety minutes. What makes HEART-ACHES so great are the performances of Carradine and Kidder. Carradine puts so much emotion into this character that you can't help but feel for him, as he's too stupid to figure out how he can actually win back the affections his wife.

08. Wilder Napam (1993)
Known for being a mega-flop at the box-office, it left theaters in 1993 faster than it arrived. WILDER NAPALM is a 1993 romantic comedy film about a pair of pyrokinetic brothers and their rivalry for the same woman. The film was directed by Glenn Gordon Caron, and stars Dennis Quaid, Arliss Howard, and Debra Winger. Also features Hey Vern! Jim Varney. Super funny, dark, twisted, and highly original.

09. Watched! (1972)
Very unusual "lost" 70's film with Stacy Keach starring as a washed up California D.A. He watches old surveillance footage of himself, evil cop Harris Yulin, Warhol star Brigid Berlin as well as various hippies, druggies and free-lovers of the Haight-Ashbury scene. Keach is trying to figure out where it all went wrong as he reviews these old films. Keach's paranoia really kicks in due to his drug intake and fear of being filmed / recorded. It doesn't all make sense but the film is pretty unique with lots of drug use, some nudity, psychedelic scenes and views of Haight-Ashbury circa 1974. Rumor has it that some cast and crew members were partaking in some of that illegal fun as well. Some of the soundtrack music is provided by "The Weather Report". Also has this very staged cinema verite feel to it. Keach is the reason that the president is dead. Watch for Keach. Watched! is Keach's best early effort after END OF THE ROAD. Cast also features a few of the Andy Warhol Factory set.

10. Operation Daybreak (1975)
Operation Daybreak is a 1975 World War II film based on the true story of the assassination of Reinhard Heydrich in Prague - starring Anthony Andrews, Timothy Bottoms and Martin Shaw. It was directed by Lewis Gilbert and shot mostly on location in Prague. It was adapted from the book Seven Men at Daybreak by Alan Burgess. In the U.S., the film was known as The Price of Freedom. Timothy Bottoms is the stand-out here, as it's this intense and emotionally charged espionage film. Some have said (at the time of its release) that it wasn't very historically accurate, but who cares. It's great. A must see.


Ned Merrill said...

Had an old VHS of PAPERBACK HERO that I bought used about 15 years ago. Still haven't watched it...hope I still have it! I recall watching this with Rupe years ago--I could be mistaken about us watching at the same time--and came away very much impressed with Potts and Kidder. As a big Keach watcher, I need to see this WATCHED! you mention. Just viewed 3 other Keach vehicles recently: THE TRAVELING EXECUTIONER, THE NEW CENTURIONS, and THE SQUEEZE. He's currently earning praise in the Broadway show OTHER DESERT CITIES.

Rupert Pupkin said...

I feel like yeah maybe we did watch HEARTACHES together. I know I liked it. What'd you think of TRAVELING EXECUTIONER? Had the Warner Archive disc at the top of my to-watch pile for months.

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