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  • Aloha, Bobby and Rose

    Aloha, Bobby and Rose

    If few of the decade’s filmmakers dealt so explicitly in glossy-lensed nostalgia as did Floyd Mutrux, then even fewer could understand the history of place as Mutrux could conceive of Los Angeles (his earlier Dusty and Sweets McGee, 1971) similarly roams the city’s endless streets). Time-hopping from memories of 1940s Hollywood to the pool halls of 1970s L.A., affecting music cues from Elton John, Stevie Wonder, and Emerson, Lake and Palmer pulse through the stereo of Bobby’s ‘68 Camaro in…

  • Cisco Pike

    Cisco Pike

    As the free-love Sixties rolled into the post-hippie Seventies, singer-songwriter Kris Kristofferson’s rising star combined the twang of country with the glam of Hollywood for one of the most successful music-to-movie transitions of any cowboy crooner to date. Here in his first leading role, alongside Gene Hackman’s manic, corrupt cop and Karen Black’s half-naked hippie burnout, Kristofferson’s down-on-his-luck Cisco navigates a “street-level view of Los Angeles” from the sidewalks of Venice Beach for a pessimistic, realistic chronicle of American culture in full collapse—think Inherent Vice without the hindsight of nostalgia, set to tunes by our star, the helmer of “Me and Bobby McGee.”

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  • The Gold Diggers

    The Gold Diggers

    ★★★★★

    Drawing from the same well of avant-garde anti-structure as enfant terrible Jean-Luc Godard and playwright Bertolt Brecht, Sally Potter’s whip-smart THE GOLD DIGGERS is positively pregnant with cultural and political signifiers that combine to form a singular work in the feminist countercinema space. Employing an all-female crew to shoot, compose, and design this proto-Lynchian world of romantic surrealism, the British filmmaker establishes herself as a trailblazer in this “search for the secret of [her] own transformation.” Babette Mangolte’s career-best cinematography elucidates a visual and thematic sendup of silent comedies, Depression-era musicals, and European arthouse cinema in an elegant, non-narrative ode to--and critique of--traditional Hollywood moviemaking.

  • Amarcord

    Amarcord

    ★★★★★

    Fellini’s last major commercial success, this early-’70s, sublime fantasy/drama might also be the Italian master’s most triumphantly auto-biographical and unapologetically nostalgic effort. Amarcord, a Northern Italian term that translates to “I remember,” employs the teenaged Titta as guide through the uncannily familiar, absurd comedy of everyday life in a small, seaside village. Immersing us in the seasons, births, marriages, and deaths of the caricatural residents of Italy’s Borgo San Giuliano—a community still very much beholden the Fascist zeitgeist of the…