Movie Monday challenge #128: 10 best films of the 80s.

In my opinion, the Eighties wasn’t the best decade in film. But there are some gems! One might argue if these are actually The Best films of the 80s but they are my favourites for various reasons.

The Outsiders. You loved the book, now love the film!

Private Benjamin. A woman takes charge of her own life. Goldie Hawn is excellent in this film.

Housekeeping. Aunt Sylvie does not conform to bourgeois lifestyle. Good for her.

Hannah and Her Sisters. Woody Allen knows, relationships are hard…

Varjoja paratiisissa (Shadows in Paradise). Working class life in it’s best and worst.

The Four Seasons. Midlife crisis according to Alan Alda.

Gloria. Gena Rowlands is so cool.

On Golden Pond. Lovely, bittersweet film.

Just One of the Guys. So funny! Why is it that men pretending to be women is such a common topic for comedy? When clearly women pretending to be men is just as hilarious!

The Hunter. Steve McQueen as a bounty hunter. It’s not a masterpiece but a sympathetic film. And did I mention Steve McQueen?






Just my luck, I finally got the inspiration to enter in Movie Monday again and now the administrators are calling it quits. I didn’t even get to finish the last challenge in time. Well, I’ll finish it anyways. The challenge was to watch three films you’ve never seen before, three films you have seen before and one optional. Here is my already seen category.

First one, the best film ever!! The Great Escape (1963). I have seen it many, many times but it still is as fresh as ever. This is not a film about war. It’s about friendship and loyalty between men. It’s a story how team spirit can make impossible goals a reality. And there’s Steve!!! And David!! And James! ❤

And next, good clean Disney fun! The Ugly Dachsund (1966). It’s about dogs and one funny, clumsy dog called Brutus in particular. And there’s Dean!! And Suzanne!

Last one, a film adaptation Cactus Flower (1969). Supersweet Goldie Hawn in her first major film. Walter Matthau and Ingrid Bergman who quite frankly steals the show. Funny and clever.

My optional film is one that I haven’t seen but hope to see some day, The Chalk Garden (1964). Lovely Hayley Mills and Deborah Kerr together in a drama, that’s got to be good!

Summer challenge continues with a new one. Theodore J. Flicker’s President’s Analyst (1967) is hip, cool, groovy and just downright psychedelic. Dr. Sidney Schaefer (James Coburn) from New York is given the opportunity to work as the President’s personal psychoanalyst. At first, Sidney can’t believe his luck, what an honour it is to be the President’s most trusted person! However, life and work in Washington DC isn’t as much fun as he thought it would be, it’s actually dangerous when every foreign agent in the country wants to get their hands on Sidney and the information he has on the President’s secrets. Even the US secret service sees Sidney as a threat to national security and wants him gone. So soon, Sidney is on the run, hiding with hippies(among others) and not knowing who to trust. There’s a whole lot of commotion and the story gets weirder and weirder as the film goes on with kidnappings and Canadian spies and conspiracies etc. I usually love films from 1960s but this one was a bit too bizarre for my taste. I suppose the film manages to mock traditional spy films and maybe makes some social commentary about the times and the idiocy of cold war. And I do enjoy the feel of the film, it’s so 1960s (which is always good!). But there’s too much of everything, twists and turns and silliness for it to be actually good or entertaining. BTW, James Coburn did a couple of mock spy films in the sixties, Our Man Flint & In Like Flint, where James Coburn plays a master spy (much like James Bond). These films resemble President’s Analyst, a fun idea but not the best execution.

Poster from Wikipedia

Poster from Wikipedia

Another new one for Movie Monday Challenge #94: Maunu Kurkvaara was a true auteur in the spirit of the French New Wave. He pretty much wrote, directed and edited (among other things) all of his own films. Between 1955 and 1986 he directed about twenty feature films. These films have never been released on dvd, only a couple of them were released on vhs way back when, and they are hardly ever seen on Finnish television not to mention cinemas. Fortunately, I was able to get a vhs copy of Kurkvaara’s 1969 film Punatukka (Redhead) and to get some kind of idea what Kurkvaara’s films are all about. Punatukka tells the story of a young working class girl called Tutu (Tarja Markus) who lives in Helsinki and works in a factory. Work is dreary but luckily Tutu has a friend at the work place and all the women in the factory seem to form a close-knit community. Tutu wants to live, have fun and be free but she also dreams of a boyfriend. Tutu’s life is turned upside down when her roommate commits suicide without any explanation. This makes Tutu question and ponder her own life and what it’s all about.

The film is understated and realistic. There is not a hint of melodrama. However, the point of the film is quite underlined in the end. Tutu learns something crucial about herself and possibly finds meaning in her life. The most interesting part of the film, at least for me, is the period when it was filmed. The streets of Helsinki and especially Kallio neighbourhood looked so different and yet so familiar over forty years ago. Women’s sexual liberation had by then reached even Northern Europe which is also evident from the film. On the whole, it’s the feel of the sixties that makes this a pleasant and beautiful film.

Challenge #94: Three new ones, three old ones and one whatever. First, a new one, as in a film I’ve never seen before. Risto Jarva and Jaakko Pakkasvirta directed their first feature film Yö vai päivä – Rakkauden ja leikin ylistys (Day or Night – Praise of Love and Play) in 1962. It’s an ironic portrayal of the traditional way of life in Finland. The film begins when famous anthropologist Mr. Sedano (Eino Krohn) arrives to Finland with his two assistants, Numidia Vaillant and Mr. Lang (Ismo Kallio). They soon head to a little village called Puumala in Eastern Finland. There they meet local people and study their traditions such as midsummer celebrations and taking a sauna. They also have romantic liaisons with local inhabitants, for example Mr. Sedano is quite attracted to a young schoolmistress Neiti Mattila (Elina Salo).

Yö vai päivä was one of the first experiments in New Wave in Finnish cinema. It has the feel of a documentary and ambiguity as any typical New Wave film. What I find interesting about this film is the portrayal of the times. What was life like in a rural community in Finland in 1962, what were the people like. And summer, glorious Finnish summer! Altogether, not that impressive but pleasant and quaint.


Challenge #39: Best horror film theme ever?

Some bloggers mentioned Goblin’s theme for Suspiria (1977). Which is excellent, no question. But I prefer Goblin’s music for Profondo Rosso (1975). Profondo Rosso is The Most Thrilling horror film ever. And Goblin’s music is the key element in making it so. I can hardly listen/watch this clip, it’s so powerful…

Challenge #37: Top 3 Directors


1. Peter Bogdanovich

Peter Bogdanovich, photo from Wikipedia

The Last Picture Show (1971) and Paper Moon (1973) were such masterpieces. It really doesn’t matter that his later films have been… disappointing. He’s still my number one.

2. Alfred Hitchcock

Hitch is Hitch. Genius.

3. Blake Edwards

If I remember correctly, Edwards wasn’t the first choice to direct Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961). Thank goodness, he did direct it! And so many other fantastic films such as Experiment in Terror (1962) and The Pink Panther (1963)