In my list of “15 Movies that Changed Things”, 2001: A Space Odyssey is going to be the most difficult to discuss. In many ways, it’s a time capsule.
There are three main elements in this story. Human evolution, artificial intelligence, and alien civilization. All these elements are still controversial today. From the viewpoint of 1968, it seemed perfectly reasonable that space flight would be commonplace by 2001, and that machine intelligence would be a fact of life. This was a time of flower children and going to the moon. All things seemed possible. (more…)
In the Heat of the Night is one amazing film. A standout for breaking new ground in many areas. In theory, it’s a police procedural about a murder in a small southern town. In fact, the movie poster log line was “They got a murder on their hands. They don’t know what to do with it.” The log line, sometimes called “one line,” is supposed to tell you what the movie is about. Not true in this case. (more…)
If there was ever a movie that reflected the alienation of a generation, The Graduate is it. Like a million other baby boomers, Dustin Hoffman as Benjamin Braddock is trapped between two worlds. The easy choice is the shallow and materialistic world of his parents. Marry a “nice girl”, get an acceptable job, preferably something involving plastics, and buy a house in a good neighborhood. (more…)
I was too young to see Psycho. No doubt about it at all. I can’t remember now what kind of lies I told to get in, but I remember being asked if I was with my parents. With my dysfunctional family, that wasn’t happening. It was my good fortune to be given a few bucks along with instructions to stay out of the house for a few hours. That meant you were free to do anything that didn’t involve a police visit. (more…)