Author Topic: From Psycho to Persona (1960 to 1966), The Age of Psychological Film  (Read 15128 times)

verbALs

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The sixties were that period of social and cultural change. Whilst in music, the sexual revolution and the political explosions of 1968 these changes are obvious, in film these changes; outside of the New Wave seem a little underrated.

A series of seemingly disparate films by many great directors and various countries, which share some interesting qualities. They take risks in their depiction of psychology, relationships, sociological changes, even their approach to religion. All of which appeared in the early to mid-60s.

Here’s some small examples and how they seemed to handle some extreme aspects of human behaviour in ways that push the boundaries of film;

Yojimbo - An image of a dog carrying a man’s hand in it’s mouth, a representation of a town’s evil.
The Miracle Worker - A child’s pain and frustration expressed at a level not seen outside of extremes of the supernatural The Exorcist.
Leon Morin pretre - An intense literary discussion of faith versus a forbidden attraction.
The Innocents - How a woman tasked with protecting children comes to do exactly the opposite.
Repulsion - A woman who cannot stand even to be touched, we see this idea taken to its extremes.

I could add examples from Psycho, Persona, Peeping Tom, Last Year At Marienbad, Viridiana, Jules et Jim, La Dolce Vita.... each are stretching the boundaries of cinema in intellectual but also reckless ways.

I want to concentrate on this period in film to fill in the gaps in my film knowledge. It has become such a rewarding period. Every time, it seems, I watch a film of this era it gives lots back to me. These films have more to say and more interesting ways of saying it. I have chosen three films from each year 1960 to 1966;


When A Woman Ascends The Stairs (1960)
Butterfield 8 (1960), 109 minutes, D: Daniel Mann
Saturday Night and Sunday Morning (1960, UK), 90 minutes D: Karel Reisz

Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961), 115 minutes, D: Blake Edwards
The Hustler (1961), 134 minutes, D: Robert Rossen
Through a Glass Darkly (1961, Swe.) (aka Sasom I En Spegel), 89 minutes, D: Ingmar Bergman.

The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner (1962, UK), 104 minutes, D: Tony Richardson
The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962), 118 minutes, D: John Ford
What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962), 132 minutes, D: Robert Aldrich

Mahanagar (1963, India) D: Satyajit Ray
The Leopard (1963, It/Fr.) (aka Il Gattopardo), 187 minutes, D: Luchino Visconti
This Sporting Life (1963, UK), 134 minutes, D: Lindsay Anderson

Woman In The Dunes (1964, Japan) D: Hiroshi Teshigahara
Topkapi (1964), 120 minutes, D: Jules Dassin
The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (1964, Fr./W. Germ.) (aka Les Parapluies de Cherbourg), 87 minutes, D: Jacques Demy

Le bonheur (1965, Fr),  D: Agnes Varda
The Pawnbroker (1965), 114 minutes, D: Sidney Lumet
Pierrot le fou D: Jean-Luc Godard

Au Hasard Balthazar (1966, Fr./Swe.), 95 minutes, D: Robert Bresson
Blow-Up (1966, UK), 110 minutes, D: Michelangelo Antonioni
Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966), 129 minutes, D: Mike Nichols


Additiional films;

Léon Morin prêtre
Tirez sur le pianiste
The Pumpkin Eater
Knife In The Water
Cape Fear

As you can see there isn’t a theme to these choices outside of the period in question. I have been looking for reasons to watch some of these films and a film like Liberty Valance sits at the crossroads of old Westerns and the revisionist future with the grand old man Ford at the helm.

As always if you can see a better choice (given the criteria) to replace what you see as a weak one, I am happy to take suggestions
« Last Edit: September 29, 2011, 07:02:14 AM by verbALs »
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sdedalus

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Re: From Psycho to Persona (1960 to 1966), The Age of Psychological Film
« Reply #1 on: July 27, 2011, 11:28:14 AM »
Have you seen Pierrot le fou?  That's the Godard from '65 to see if you haven't.

Also, Zulu, I Am Cuba or The Naked Kiss from 64 (you really don't need two Lumets in this marathon).
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worm@work

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Re: From Psycho to Persona (1960 to 1966), The Age of Psychological Film
« Reply #2 on: July 27, 2011, 11:33:53 AM »
Awww, there you go making me mourn the premature death of the 60s World Cinema thread :'(.

How about adding some Asian cinema to the mix? Both Oshima and Yoshida seem to have films from this period that would fit in with what you're looking for.
And since I am constantly trying to get people to watch Satyajit Ray, I think Mahanagar touches on some really great sociological changes.

MartinTeller

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Re: From Psycho to Persona (1960 to 1966), The Age of Psychological Film
« Reply #3 on: July 27, 2011, 11:45:11 AM »
Just a few suggestions... I could do a lot more, but it looks like you've got enough on your plate already...

1960: Devi, Naked Island
1961: Blast of Silence
1962: The Trial, Winter Light
1963: I Fidanzati, The Servant, The Silence
1964: Charulata, Woman in the Dunes, Red Desert
1965: La bonheur, Juliet of the Spirits
1966: The Face of Another
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smirnoff

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Re: From Psycho to Persona (1960 to 1966), The Age of Psychological Film
« Reply #4 on: July 27, 2011, 11:58:29 AM »
What do you know about Advise & Consent? Looks like another Fonda vs. social injustice type movie (a la 12 Angry Men, Ox Bow and Gideon). It always looked to me like a good film but I never did watch it. I don't really know what fits this marathon but I thought I'd mention it.

sdedalus

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Re: From Psycho to Persona (1960 to 1966), The Age of Psychological Film
« Reply #5 on: July 27, 2011, 12:09:37 PM »
Yup, I was going to suggest Advise and Consent, but I thought you had '62 covered pretty well.  It is a great movie though.

I Am Cuba is a Soviet-Cuban co-production episodically telling the story of the revolution from the revolutionaries' point of view.  The director Mikhail Kalatozov and his cinematographer Sergei Urusevsky were wildly inventive in their use of long, hand-held traveling shots.  It's seems to fit your idea for the marathon perfectly.
« Last Edit: July 27, 2011, 12:13:39 PM by sdedalus »
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smirnoff

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Re: From Psycho to Persona (1960 to 1966), The Age of Psychological Film
« Reply #6 on: July 27, 2011, 12:27:04 PM »
{btw noff SERIOUS COOL rules, Love it too much. I'm not spreading myself too thin doing another marathon, call it a side project to the main event  ;D)

You do what you gotta do, Garfunkel. :)

smirnoff

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Re: From Psycho to Persona (1960 to 1966), The Age of Psychological Film
« Reply #7 on: July 28, 2011, 11:29:40 AM »
You must be doing something right because you've got me interested in a French film from the 60's. Like, this sounds really good to me. Counterpoint to Viridiana? Yes please.

Great review. :)

MartinTeller

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Re: From Psycho to Persona (1960 to 1966), The Age of Psychological Film
« Reply #8 on: August 01, 2011, 12:08:04 PM »
Wow, it's really only 1:20.  I've seen it a couple of times and I would have thought more like 1:45.  Shows how much is packed into it, I suppose.

This reminds me I need to seek out more Marie Dubois.  I love her in this and Jules et Jim.
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verbALs

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Re: From Psycho to Persona (1960 to 1966), The Age of Psychological Film
« Reply #9 on: August 01, 2011, 12:34:46 PM »
The line from the first two Truffaut films to Jules et Jim in terms of lyricism means I should give the third film another go soon. It seemed to be more intensively literary than what came before, and made me feel I should learn French (properly, not just so I can buy des légumes et des poissons at a market) to appreciate it properly. I can at least hear that the subtitles aren't saying what the characters are saying, and JetJ was a barrage of subtitles to me.
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