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Related: film - 1968 - 1960s - 1960s films
Films: Barbarella (1968) - Histoires extraordinaires (1968) - If.... (1968) - Night of the Living Dead (1968) - The Producers (1968) - Rosemary's Baby (1968) - Teorema (1968)
Jane Fonda is Barbarella in
Barbarella (1968) - Roger Vadim [Amazon.com]
images from here.
Psych-Out (1968) - Richard Rush [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]
- Petulia (1968) - Richard Lester [Amazon.com]
This Richard Lester film will tell you more about how confusing the '60s were than any hackneyed NBC miniseries ever could. In this fragmented love story, told in a nonlinear fashion that bounces back and forth in time, George C. Scott plays a newly divorced surgeon who meets a charming if scattered young woman, Petulia (Julie Christie). He falls into an affair with her, only to discover that she is married to a seemingly normal guy (Richard Chamberlain)--who also happens to be extremely abusive. But his efforts to extricate her from the marriage, set against the flower-power scene in San Francisco, only frustrate him with her indecisiveness. The film features performances by the Grateful Dead and Big Brother and the Holding Company, and captures a sense of the confusion caused by the youthquake that swept the nation. --Marshall Fine for amazon.com
- The Color Of Pomegranates (1968) - Sergei Paradjanov [Amazon US]
Sergei Paradjanov (1924-1990) has been acclaimed as the greatest Russian filmmaker to appear since the golden age of Eisenstein and Dovzhenko. His baroque masterpiece, The Color Of Pomegranates, was banned in the Soviet Union for its religious sentiment and nonconformity to "Socialist realism"; its director, a tirelessly outspoken campaigner for human rights, was convicted on a number of trumped-up charges and sentenced to five years of hard labor in the gulag. A wave of protest from the international film community led to his release in 1978.
Aesthetically the most extreme film ever made in the U.S.S.R., Pomegranates, his hallucinatory epic account of the life of the 18th Century Armenian national poet, Sayat Nova, conveys the glory of what a cinema of high art can be like. Conceived as an extraordinary complex series of painterly tableaux that recall Byzantine mosaics, the film is a dreamlike icon come-to-life of astonishing beauty and rigor. It evokes the poet's childhood and youth, his days as a troubadour at the court of King Heraclius II of Georgia, his retreat to a monastery and his old age and death.
There has never been a film like this magical work. It fully justifies critic Alexei Korotyukov's remark: "Paradjanov made films not about how things are, but how they would have been had he been God." (www.kino.com)--danielh
- The Party (1968) - Blake Edwards [Amazon.com]
Though this film is a relatively minor one in the massive canon of Peter Sellers, it has moments of absolute hilarity. Written and directed by Blake Edwards, one of Sellers's most fertile collaborators, the film stars Sellers as a would-be actor from India (let them try to get away with that today) who is a walking disaster area. After ruining a day's shooting as an extra on a film, he finds himself unintentionally invited to a big Hollywood party. That's pretty much it as far as plot goes, but Edwards and Sellers know how to milk a simple idea for an unending string of slapstick gags. The result is a film that is episodic and sketchy, but also frequently loony in an inspired way. --Marshall Fine for amazon.com
The Party is a 1968 comedy film directed by Blake Edwards and starring Peter Sellers and Claudine Longet. The film has a very loose structure, and basically serves as a series of set pieces for the comic talents of Sellers. The minimal plot has Sellers playing a well-meaning but hapless Indian man (with some similarity to Inspector Clouseau) being accidentally invited to a showbiz party where he causes havoc. In the film, Sellers' character drives a Morgan threewheeler car as a symbol of his absurdity. Sellers would play another Indian man in his hit film The Millionairess.
The film remains popular among fans of Peter Sellers as one of his most inventive comic roles, much of which was improvised at the time of filming.
The score of The Party was by Henry Mancini, including the song "Nothing to Lose." --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Party [Dec 2005]
- Conqueror Worm (1968) - Michael Reeves [Amazon US]
A bewigged Vincent Price goes full-on evil in The Conqueror Worm, based on the life of England's self-proclaimed "Witchfinder General" Matthew Hopkins. Hopkins and his assistant, John Stern, ride through spectacular location shots around England, looking for disciples of the devil to torture and burn. (Indeed, the devil must be at work, for the skies are bright blue even though people keep saying it's nighttime.) Nevertheless, Hopkins and Stern seem to have a knack for picking on the innocent, notably the fiancée of young soldier Richard Marshall. Price turns in another top performance, delicately mixing false piety and sadism with a dash of lecherousness. Can Hopkins be stopped? Will Marshall risk desertion to save his love? Why are those women just sitting around the inn topless? The answers to these questions and more await you in The Conqueror Worm. --Ali Davis for Amazon.com
- Secret Cinema (1968) - Paul Bartel [Amazon US]
Summary: Before TRUMAN and EDTV . . .
I only saw this short subject once and never forgot it. Three whole decades before THE TRUMAN SHOW, there was this early work by Paul Bartel about a woman who slowly comes to realize that her life is being secretly filmed and shown for the entertainment of her close "friends" and "family" as well as the general masses. I thought that this short conveyed the pain and paranoia of invaded privacy much better than TRUMAN and in a much shorter time as well. "Secret Cinema" was remade by Bartel as an episode of Steven Spielberg's AMAZING STORIES, but didn't have anywhere near the impact that the original had. Not only that, but it was given a sickeningly sweet happy ending that ruined the theme of the original story. Now I feel vindicated because whenever I described this film to friends, most of them looked as if I was making it up or dreamed it. Now, here is the proof. Look for this film, it will be well worth the hunt. --Tresix for imdb.com
- La Prisonnière (1968) - Henri-Georges Clouzot
Still haven't seen this one. Features SM subject matter.
- 2001 - A Space Odyssey (1968) - Stanley Kubrick [1 DVD, Amazon US]
When Stanley Kubrick recruited Arthur C. Clarke to collaborate on "the proverbial intelligent science fiction film," it's a safe bet neither the maverick auteur nor the great science fiction writer knew they would virtually redefine the parameters of the cinema experience. A daring experiment in unconventional narrative inspired by Clarke's short story "The Sentinel," 2001 is a visual tone poem (barely 40 minutes of dialogue in a 139-minute film) that charts a phenomenal history of human evolution. From the dawn-of-man discovery of crude but deadly tools in the film's opening sequence to the journey of the spaceship Discovery and metaphysical birth of the "star child" at film's end, Kubrick's vision is meticulous and precise. In keeping with the director's underlying theme of dehumanization by technology, the notorious, seemingly omniscient computer HAL 9000 has more warmth and personality than the human astronauts it supposedly is serving. (The director also leaves the meaning of the black, rectangular alien monoliths open for discussion.) This theme, in part, is what makes 2001 a film like no other, though dated now that its postmillennial space exploration has proven optimistic compared to reality. Still, the film is timelessly provocative in its pioneering exploration of inner- and outer-space consciousness. With spectacular, painstakingly authentic special effects that have stood the test of time, Kubrick's film is nothing less than a cinematic milestone--puzzling, provocative, and perfect. --Jeff Shannon for amazon.com [...]
- Targets (1968) - Peter Bogdanovich [1 VHS, Amazon US]
The story of how this film was made is almost as interesting as the film itself. Bogondavich was assigned a ridiculously short period of time by Roger Corman and a very small budget to come up with a contractual-obligation last film quickie for Karloff, with the only condition being that he had to incorporate scenes from the last two AIP Karloff films, flops that the studio was hoping to reawaken interest in. In just a few days, working on a shoestring, first-timer Bogdonavich comes up with this great, self-reflexive, funny, and disturbing film about an aging horror film star who wants to retire, because he feels his old gentle style of scaring people can't compete with modern horrors such as serial killers. This means that the "showdown" at the end of the film, where the sniper fires FROM BEHIND THE SCREEN, is not only great plotting, but thematically relevant; throughout the film, we're asked to consider our desire to watch horror movies in the first place. Anyone who really likes THINKING about cinema should love this -- it belongs on the shelf with PEEPING TOM and REAR WINDOW. It also has one of the funniest things I've seen in cinema -- a scene where Karloff catches his reflection in the mirror in an off-moment and, associating the image with years of monster movies, jumps in fear, before realizing it is only himself he's looking at... A great little movie. Allan MacInnis for amazon.com [...]
- Yellow Submarine (1968) - George Dunning [Amazon US]
This restored, animated valentine to the Beatles offers viewers the rare chance to see a work that's been substantially improved by its technical facelift, not just supersized with extra footage. Recognizing that its song-studded soundtrack alone makes Yellow Submarine a video annuity, United Artists has lavished a frame-by-frame refurbishment of the original feature, while replacing its original monaural audio tracks with a meticulously reconstructed stereo mix that actually refines legendary original album versions.
What emerges is a vivid time capsule of the late '60s and a minor milestone in animation. The music represents the quartet's zenith--Rubber Soul, Revolver, and Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. The story line, cobbled together by producer Al Brodax and a committee of writers, is a broad, feather-light allegory set in idyllic Pepperland, where the gentle citizens are threatened by the nasty, music-hating Blue Meanies and their surreal arsenal of henchmen, with the Beatles enlisted to thwart the bad guys. Visually, designer Heinz Edelmann mixes the biomorphic squiggles, day-glo palette, and Beardsley-esque portraits of Peter Max with rotoscoped still photographs and film; Edelmann's animated collages also nod to Andy Warhol and Magritte in properly psychedelic fashion, which works wonderfully with such terrific songs.
High orthodox Beatlemaniacs can still grouse that the animated Fab Four are (literally) flat archetypes, but that's missing the sheer bloom of the music or the giddy, campy fun of the visuals. Making sense of the story is second to submerging blissfully in the sights and sounds of this video treat. --Sam Sutherland, amazon.com
- Necronomicon/Geträumte Sünden/Succubus (1968) - Jesus Franco [Amazon.com]
I must immediately make clear that the version of Succubus I watched was the American one with the shorter running time. I have absolutely no idea what has been cut and how different this is from what Jess Franco originally intended. Even so, this is a remarkable movie, and one of the most interesting Franco movies I have seen.
The beautiful Janine Reynaud plays Lorna Green, an enigmatic erotic dancer cum performance artist who stages odd, sadomasochistic events at a nightclub. She is plagued by hallucinations (?) and begins to confuse fantasy and reality, a common Franco scenario. I have to admit by the half way point I didn't have a clue what was going on, or who was who, but I didn't mind. Plot in 'Succubus' is secondary. Atmosphere, aesthetics, babes and surreal dialogue which name-dropped everyone from Stockhausen to Spillane to Mingus to De Sade, make this movie essential viewing. Reynaud is stunning to look at, there's some tasty jazz on the soundtrack, and there's the added kick of seeing the legendary Howard Vernon, a Franco regular who also appeared in everything from Godard's 'Alphaville' to Polanski's 'The Ninth Gate'.
Beginners should check out 'Vampyros Lesbos' first, still the most satisfying Franco I've seen, but make 'Succubus' a close second. You'll see nothing like it anywhere! --infofreak, imdb, 2002
Va-va-voomish Janine Reynaud (Kiss Me Monster) plays Lorna, the star of an underground nightclub's Grand Guignol theater who harbors a dark, haunting secret. She performs elaborate S/M fantasies nightly with a bound naked couple before she pretends to kill them, but she's losing her grip on reality. Dreams, flashbacks, and erotic fantasies blur with her waking world and pretty soon she's murdering her sexual partners for real... or is she? The answer may have something to do with a furtive stranger on the fringes of her consciousness and a plot to drive her insane, but it's hard to tell for sure. Sexploitation master Jess Franco creates an alienated but gorgeous vision of the decadent grotesque-chic world of European high society with oblique camera angles, distorted images, and disorienting editing, turning a kinky erotic thriller into a heady (if abstract) psychological fantasy. If it's ultimately too obscure to make sense, it's nonetheless an ambitious, intoxicatingly dreamy piece of Eurotrash cinema. German leading men Howard Vernon and Adrian Hoven lend their aristocratic bearings in costarring roles. --Sean Axmaker, Amazon.com
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