‘Animal House’ 1978

Faber College has one frat house so disreputable it will take anyone. It has a second one full of white, anglo-saxon, rich young men who are so sanctimonious no one can stand them except Dean Wormer. The dean enlists the help of the second frat to get the boys of Delta House off campus. The dean’s plan comes into play just before the homecoming parade to end all parades for all time.

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‘Same Time, Next Year’ 1978

A man and woman meet by chance at a romantic inn over dinner. Although both are married to others, they find themselves in the same bed the next morning questioning how this could have happened. They agree to meet on the same weekend each year. Originally a stage play, the two are seen changing, years apart, always in the same room in different scenes. Each of them always appears on schedule, but as time goes on each has some personal crisis that the other helps them through, often without both of them understanding what is going on.

 

‘Quoi?’ ‘Che?’ ‘What?’ 1972

A young American woman (Sydne Rome) traveling through Italy finds herself in a strange Mediterranean villa where nothing seems right. Her visit becomes an absurd, decadent, oversexed version of “Alice in Wonderland”, with Marcello Mastroianni as the maddest of mad hatters and Roman Polanski a kinky March hare.

What? (Che?, also variously titled Quoi?, Was?, and Diary of Forbidden Dreams) is a 1972 comedy film written and directed by Roman Polanski, starring Marcello Mastroianni, Sydne Rome and Hugh Griffith. Set in an unnamed coastal city in Italy, the film tells a story of an American girl, Nancy (Sydne Rome) who,takes shelter in a villa filled with strange guests. There, she gets into a relationship with a retired pimp, Alex (Marcello Mastroianni). The film was shot on location in Amalfi, Italy, in a villa owned by the producer, Carlo Ponti. Some of the action was improvised.

Critical Reception

According to Roger Ebert’s adroit half-star review, What?’s title came from Ponti’s enraged response to being shown the film for the first time. It’s easy to see where Ponti was coming from. “What?” is the only sane reaction to Polanski’s film. It’s the rare title that doubles as a review. Ebert goes on to note that in spite of Mastroianni, Polanski’s presence as director and actor, and gratuitous nudity of considerable quantity and quality, it took years for the film to find a distributor in the United States. A big drawback: distributors’ maddening insistence on actually seeing the film before agreeing to release it.

 

‘A Woman Under the Influence’ 1974

Mabel Longhetti (Gena Rowlands), desperate and lonely, is married to a Los Angeles municipal construction worker, Nick (Peter Falk). Increasingly unstable, especially in the company of others, she craves happiness, but her extremely volatile behavior convinces Nick that she poses a danger to their family and decides to commit her to an institution for six months. Alone with a trio of kids to raise on his own, he awaits her return, which holds more than a few surprises.

 

‘Taxi Driver’ 1976

A sensationalized paranoia movie that is one long preparation for a massacre. It creates a tight, obsessive, suffocating world that excludes `normal’ outlets for relief, rest, connection, gratification. Robert DeNiro is superb as a lonely, impotent, insomniac ex-marine provoked to orgasmic carnage. it is definitely not suitable for the squeamish, the impressionable or the very young.

Loneliness seems to capture the soul that is Travis Bickle. He is an alienated man, unable to establish a normal relationship. Almost every action taken by him to make a meeningful connection with others might seem like good intentions at first but end up in failure.

‘A Clockwork Orange’ 1971

A Clockwork Orange is a 1971 dystopian crime film adapted, produced, and directed by Stanley Kubrick, based on Anthony Burgess’s 1962 novel A Clockwork Orange. It employs disturbing, violent images to comment on psychiatry, juvenile delinquency, youth gangs, and other social, political, and economic subjects in a dystopian near-future Britain.

Alex (Malcolm McDowell), the main character, is a charismatic, sociopathic delinquent whose interests include classical music (especially Beethoven), rape, and what is termed “ultra-violence”. He leads a small gang of thugs (Pete, Georgie, and Dim), whom he calls his droogs (from the Russian word друг, “friend,” “buddy”). The film chronicles the horrific crime spree of his gang, his capture, and attempted rehabilitation via controversial psychological conditioning. Alex narrates most of the film in Nadsat, a fractured adolescent slang composed of Slavic (especially Russian), English, and Cockney rhyming slang.

‘Kramer vs Kramer’ 1979

Ted Kramer’s wife leaves her husband, allowing for a lost bond to be rediscovered between Ted and his son, Billy. But a heated custody battle ensues over the divorced couple’s son, deepening the wounds left by the separation.

Cultural Impact

Kramer vs. Kramer reflected a cultural shift which occurred during the 1970s, when ideas about motherhood and fatherhood were changing. The film was widely praised for the way in which it gave equal weight and importance to both Joanna and Ted’s points of view.