Thursday, November 15, 2012

Crime and Jazz and Justice and Guns and 1970s Trench Coats; These are a Few of My Favorite Things

These are a few of my favorite things...in Movies. I honestly don't know how I would react if faced with crime and violence in real life. I'm a sheltered gal who lives off fictional crime. Also I really don't go in for modern day (or modern films set in modern day) crime films/tv shows as often. Drive was an interesting film because I appreciated the noir vibe, but I also really detested the harsh violent scenes. There was no outsmarting a bad guy, there was no humor, there wasn't ever anything silly or lovable amidst the darkness. Modern crime movies I do enjoy include Reservoir Dogs (which does its share of harkening to films past) and The Departed. I'm sure there are others but I can't think of them.

But down to business....let's talk about crime movies I love/recently watched for the first/semi-first time.

SERPICO 1973 I confess I knew about this movie as a pop culture reference from Wes Anderson's Rushmore for over a decade before I finally watched it. I just kind of love 1970s movies sometimes. The clothes, the attitude. I feel like all movies in this era have a sort of hippie revolutionary feeling. No woman is ever in a bra. She's often working at a newspaper or law firm and very strong, and for the first time there are a lot more African American characters with legitimate speaking roles that are more central to the story. In Serpico, Al Pacino plays the only determinedly just cop on the NY police force, while he is also the least well-kept and most left wing. Al Pacino is wonderful. Go watch it.


THE CONVERSATION 1974 My mother and I watched this movie together when I was probably around ten years old. We used to go to the video store and just walk around until we found something. If she said a movie was really good, sometimes she'd need to talk me into it, but I usually trusted her. The music is perfect as is Gene Hackman's portrayal of a sound recording expert who fears his work may lead to murder.


THE TAKING OF PELHAM ONE TWO THREE 1974 The music at the beginning of this classic heist movie said everything I needed to know. CRIME JAZZ. What can be better than crime jazz? Yes, I will watch this. And yes I will enjoy it. Walter Matthau. Men in moustache driven disguises. Did I mention CRIME JAZZ? For people my age, this movie is Speed.....but way better. And CRIME JAZZ. Sorry, I'll stop saying it.
I could also talk about Dog Day Afternoon and Goodfellas and The Godfather and then talk about film noir and the fact that I've only seen one or two James Cagney movies despite my unyielding adoration for that man but I feel I've rambled enough for now. Perhaps I shall post again and perhaps it won't take seven months next time....

2 comments:

Desiree said...

Nice to see you back! Serpico is on my list (maybe this lazy weekend?) My boyfriend is really into movie soundtracks and he loves David Shire.

Margaux said...

Aww thanks dear. David Shire is soooo good! : )