It’s Labor Day, and some of you may be planning to relax with a movie today.
Well, here are five cinematic oldies, from the 1970s, that you ought not to bother with. They are all crapola. Aside from the odor, they have a few other things in common.
All were hailed by the critics, said to be really swell films, and some are still praised even today (which makes me wonder about movie critics). All were major films, not made to be the second feature at a drive-in. And all are 100% Godless. Come to think of it, their Godlessness might be the one thing that makes them worth pondering: as in “This is where your mind winds up when you have no consciousness of God.”
Anyhow, here they are. And if someone insists on trying to show one of these to you, call the police.
1. Carnal Knowledge, 1971. One of the most inconsequential movies ever made. There’s so little to it, that the Wikipedia article about the movie needs only four lines to tell you the whole plot. Four lines! But there’s not much more you can say about a crowd of unhappy pseudo-intellectuals having sex and not even enjoying it. I haven’t been able to verify reports that a number of people in the audience were turned to stone while watching this turkey.
2. The Hospital, 1971, and Network, 1976: flat-footed tie. Both feature ham-fisted, club-you-over-the-head screenplays by Paddy Chayevsky. If you like getting bawled out for a couple hours, you might enjoy these movies. Pure overrated drivel.
3. Wizards, 1977. This sometimes-animated feature-length cartoon by Ralph Bakshi (it alternates with stills and voice-overs: I never understood why), is one of the great Tolkien rip-offs of all time. They also stole footage from Sergei Eisenstein’s Alexander Nevsky, thus proving how inadequately the Soviet Union protected its creative artists’ rights. No kidding–they lifted whole sequences from Nevsky. If this bomb doesn’t put you off fantasy, nothing will.
4. Annie Hall, 1977. Here is the point at which Woody Allen gave up making people laugh and devoted the rest of his life to pompous, sophomoric twaddle. This romance between a neurotic and an airhead is sort of a two-hour-long Dr. Phil segment. If you don’t have anything better to do than to watch this, you need to get a life.
5. Five Easy Pieces, 1970. When it comes to pretentious hogwash, this is the granddaddy of them all. It’s supposed to be a tragedy. But they keep piling misery on top of agony on top of shame until, instead of empathizing with the characters, you laugh at them. One critic says this is the movie that proved Jack Nicholson was a great actor. Don’t listen to him, he’s crazy.
Space fails me to discuss such monuments of cinematic rubbish as M.A.S.H., or One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, or Getting Straight, or Tommy–whoa, I feel my breakfast threatening to bolt for the exit.
So, folks… anything else you would’ve liked me to put on this lists? Feel free to speak up! Let us together unearth the treasures of idiocy.