Saturday 13 August 2016

Retrieving Nation (3) - End of decade thoughts from 1969

This was the last piece I wrote for George Munster's beloved fortnightly Nation. The date of publication was 7 February 1970 by which time I had relocated myself out of the state capital home of film culture, as it then was in Melbourne, to Canberra, not to return for a decade. I took the opportunity to lament the state of film distribution and exhibition, such a narrow subject. Then I moved on to note Peckinpah's The Wild Bunch ("a mediocre film which has come in for a lot of extravagant praise", whoops!) and Peter Yates John and Mary  which I clearly took far too seriously. Anyway it also includes my Best Films of 1969, as seen from the then limited perspectives of the southern capital and those vagaries of release at the time. They were The Two of Us  (Claude Berri, France), Targets (Peter Bogdanovich, USA), Masculine Feminine (Jean-Luc Godard, France), Chimes at Midnight (Orson Welles, Spain), Secret Ceremony (Joseph Losey, UK), Coogan's Bluff (Don Siegel, USA), Hell in the Pacific (John Boorman, USA), Jeu de Massacre (Alain Jessua, France), Castle Keep, (Sydney Pollack, USA) and Les Biches (Claude Chabrol, France). There was one other film listed and for the life of me I cannot recall what it was or by whom it was directed. IMDB and Wikipedia have been no help.  I hope it was Peter and Pavla  or Black Peter,  Milos Forman's early Czech new wave film, made in 1964, which I may have just been catching up with. If it were not then otherwise,  as they say at ICAC hearings and Royal Commissions, I cant recall. Any assistance welcome.

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