November 20, 2003

Viewer Discretion Advised

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The 1960s weren’t just about drugs, great music, protests and promiscuity. Actually, that just about is everything. But here are 4 definitive movies of that decade. Rent one of them when you’re back home over Thanksgiving so your parents will think your maturity rises above your appreciation for Miller High Life.

Midnight Cowboy

Long before John Voight was Derek Zoolander’s dad, he was actually involved in an Oscar winning film. In Midnight Cowboy, Voight plays Joe Buck, who moves from Texas to New York City in hopes of making it big. He runs into the lowly thug Ratso, played unforgettably by Dustin Hoffman fresh off The Graduate. Together the two realize that mediocre looks and very little money aren’t the keys to success. Still, the film symbolizes the 1960’s rebellion on a grand stage. Voight’s restraint and Hoffman’s edginess are a perfect combination. Not to mention, this remains the only X-rated film to have ever won Best Picture.

Dr. Strangelove

We all know Stanley Kubrick for his obsessive Eyes Wide Shut. From this, it would be hard to see that one of the most severe directors of his time was responsible for one of the funniest movies ever created. Dr. Strangelove isn’t just a parody of the Cold War, it is a world within itself. Peter Sellers, who in his prime surpassed Will Ferrell in physical comedy, stars as the effeminate American President Muffley, the eponymous creator of the bomb and the memorable Captain Mandrake. General Jack D. Ripper’s (Sterling Hayden) paranoia with communism makes McCarthy look like an ambassador to Russia. “I can no longer sit back and allow Communist infiltration, Communist indoctrination, Communist subversion and the international Communist conspiracy to sap and impurify all of our precious bodily fluids.”

8 1/2

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. But if you didn’t like last year’s Adaptation, you’re a moron. Still, Adaptation’s idea is based on 8 1/2, which is famed Italian director Federico Fellini’s movie about a director making a movie. This film depicts a life surrounding film. It does more than just succeed in an All About Eve fashion. It brings us into the personal life of the director, the most important player in the final production of a movie despite the fact that we never see him or her on camera. Many regard this as an autobiographical work, which at face value is quite fascinating. Sure, some directors incorporate their lives into their movies, but they don’t base them on it.

Bonnie & Clyde

No, it’s not just a Jay-Z song. “This here’s Miss Bonnie Parker. I’m Clyde Barrow. We rob banks.” Warren Beatty is at the top of his game with a very hot Faye Dunaway by his side. This is Natural Born Killers with a purpose, made for a much more sane viewer.

Archived article by Dan Cohen