1970: The Conformist (Bernardo Bertolucci)
I really can't say I fully understand the story of the movie. Nor can I really say that I fully care. If someone forced me to choose the color film that I think is the most beautiful in the history of the medium, this would be my choice.
It seems that this movie, more than any other, influenced the great look of The Godfather. And the way that Bertolucci and Vittorio Storaro film murder - slowly, carefully, and with rapt attention - certainly recalls Coppola's approach a couple years later.
A complete filmmaking marvel, and one of cinema's most staggering, hallucinatory achievements.
Other contenders for 1970: There are a good number of titles I still need to see. These are: Michelangelo Antonioni's Zabriskie Point, Jerzy Skolimowski's Deep End, Michael Wadleigh's Woodstock, Franklin J Schaffner's Patton, Albert Maysles, David Maysles, and Charlotte Zwerin's Gimme Shelter, Gilbert Cates' I Never Sang for My Father, Vittorio De Sica's The Garden of the Finzi-Continis, Claude Chabrol's La rupture, Jean Eustache and Jean-Michel Barjol's Le Cochon, Francois Truffaut's L'enfant sauvage, Werner Herzog's Fata Morgana, Luis Bunuel's Tristana, Bernardo Bertolucci's The Spider's Stratagem, Donald Cammell and Nicolas Roeg's Performance, and Jean Renoir's Le petit theatre de Jean Renoir. From this year, I really like Robert Altman's MASH and Eric Rohmer's Claire's Knee. I love Bob Rafelson's Five Easy Pieces and Jean-Pierre Melville's Le cercle rouge. And my closest runner-up is Sam Peckinpah's The Ballad of Cable Hogue.
10/23/11 I watched Michelangelo Antonioni's Zabriskie Point. Hints at some fairly large ideas but never quite coheres into anything memorable. Seems to be a lazy and hazy A. Far from his great works.
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