Friday, September 29, 2023

1967 Alternate Oscars

Last week, in response to my alternate Oscar polls, my old law school roommate texted me to the effect that they sure don't make movies like that anymore. I'm translating for your benefit — his comment was earthier and far more succinct.

But I got to thinking about it and decided there's a lot of truth in them thar hills. The 1960s saw the demise of the studio system, the end of the production code (whereby filmmakers self-censored their product), the rise of the French then American New Wave directorial styles with their handheld cameras, improvised dialogue and, more to the point, explicit themes, as well as the drift away from classical Hollywood continuity editing. Tastes changed, mores changed.

Not to mention Hollywood's Mount Rushmore of postwar directors — Alfred Hitchcock, John Ford, Howard Hawks and Billy Wilder — all lost their way, artistically and commercially, in the mid-1960s, allowing a new crop of directors less beholden to the old ways (Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, Francis Ford Coppola, etc) to take their place.

But to a degree, the notion that they don't make em like that anymore is also an illusion. Sturgeon's Law states that "90% of everything is crap" and believe me, if Turner Classic Movies with its deep-dives into the past has proved anything, Hollywood made more than their fair share of lousy movies back in the day.

The difference is, we have to wade through the 90%-of-everything-is-crap on our own nickel whereas time has done the hard work for us with old movies. You know what I mean? We pretty much all know Citizen Kane is the best movie of 1941, but who can say with any certainty what the best movie of 2022 is? I think it takes ten years at least, and even better, twenty, to really get a sense of what was built to last, what was overlooked, and what was empty hype.

No point beyond that. Just (1) they don't make em like that anymore, but (2) keep your eyes peeled and your mind open for the good ones they do make.

My choices are noted with a ★. A tie is indicated with a ✪. Historical Oscar winners are noted with a ✔. Best foreign-language picture winners are noted with an ƒ. A historical winner who won in a different category is noted with a ✱.


Anonymous said...

Finally — a year where my picks had no doubt, I was pleased with most of the choices, and

I can’t believe I did not select

Belle de jjZhooooour

Mythical Monkey said...

I was wondering when the Belle de Jour comment would show up! I've been on pin and needles.

Tomorrow is a long post about meeting Keir Dullea. I expect -- nay, demand -- a "Keir Dullea, gone tomorrow" comment.