75 Years of Film: Introduction

Here’s a completely random thing: my wife and I were sitting at a sub-par pizza joint talking about movies and how much they and the world have changed since the old days.

Then I got an idea: what if we watched one movie from every year back to a certain point to see how film and the world have changed?

We’re artsy folks like that and since this is an artistic blog, among other things, I thought I’d share my findings with you nice people. This will be an adventure in film and history (probably more film than history) and what made those movies work, if they’d work now, what changes have come about the world, and other things I probably can’t foresee yet.

RULES: One film per year. My wife and I are trying to choose big names that we haven’t seen before (or haven’t in 10+ years). Besides popularity, the choosing is somewhat arbitrary. They’re films that either sounded good or have some significance to cinema or time, and they must have been released in theaters in that year, according to IMDB.com.

We’ve started in the 1940s. Why? Because. …No, seriously, there’s no special reason. Maybe someday I’ll try going back 100 years. For now, 75 is daunting. We’re starting in 1941 and going all the way to 2016.

If you love film, then I hope you enjoy these posts. A full list with links is below (non-highlighted ones haven’t come out yet). I’ll try to release them once per week, but that may be a little fuzzy.

Enjoy! Click the links to go to the post and join in the conversation.

1941 — The Wolfman
1942–Mrs. Miniver
1943–The More The Merrier
1944–Meet Me In St. Louis
1945–Anchors Aweigh
1946–Gilda
1947–A Miracle on 34th Street
1948–Oliver Twist
1949–The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad
1950–All About Eve
1951–African Queen
1952–Don’t Bother to Knock
1953–War of the Worlds
1954–White Christmas
1955–Rebel Without a Cause
1956–Baby Doll
1957–An Affair to Remember
1958–Vertigo
1959–Ben-Hur
1960
1961
1962
1963
1964
1965
1966
1967
1968
1969
1970
1971
1972
1973
1974
1975
1976
1977
1978
1978
1979
1980
1981
1982
1983
1984
1985
1986
1987
1988
1989
1990
1991
1992
1993
1994
1995
1996
1997
1998
1999
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016

 

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13 thoughts on “75 Years of Film: Introduction

  1. You’ve made such interesting choices so far, and written about them so well I hope you’ll be including some non-English speaking films at some point. You’re already in the years for Italian neorealism, right at the emergence of Japanese cinema into the west, and soon to be arriving at the “new wave” movements in France, Britain, Germany and Eastern Europe.

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    1. As much as I would like to, I had to narrow my list down because I know American cinema better than other countries’ cinema, so I knew I could write about them. I’d have to do some research to properly write about other countries, which is why I excluded movies like Amelie though I really want to see that one. I’m primarily writing about movies significant to the time from an American experience. Mrs. Minever was an exception because it was about the history of the time. Oliver Twist…well, I’d probably redo that one. After that, the only foreign film I can think of on my list is Ghost in the Shell for 1995 because that was about the time anime was becoming popular in the US.
      HOWEVER, you got me thinking. I could do another list in the future about foreign cinema. Any suggestions? Also, thanks for the compliment!

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      1. Oh, your own choices would always be valid. Follow whatever interests you. I began by knowing American film too, then gradually I learned about directors like Kurosawa, Ingmar Bergman and the new wave movements, that all changed the direction of how movies are made here. In a way, Hitler gave us film noir. Most of the directors and technicians had been making expressionist movies for UFA in Germany between 1919-1933. They fled to England and America as the nazis came to power. Guys like Billy Wilder, Michael Curtiz, Fritz Lang, Robert Siodmak and most of the top cinematographers were “non-Aryans”.

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