It's a shame this year doesn't have any entries by Robert Altman (God rest his soul). Or maybe not. When it comes to Altman, I think the films that work (Vincent & Theo, The Player) are breath-taking; the ones that don't (pretty much the rest of them -- though I still need to see McCabe & Mrs. Miller and Nashville, and a few other uncontested "greats") are indulgent, odious and usually both. In the end, he was a big man and a rascal, who didn't seem the least concerned with the negative opinions of pissants like myself. I'm sorry he's gone.
1. Apocalypse Now
2. Breaking Away
3. The Deer Hunter
4. The Marriage of Maria Braun
6. Saint Jack
7. Kramer vs. Kramer
8. The China Syndrome
Apocalypse Now -- my experience(s) of this film are on record here.
Breaking Away -- You won't often hear me moaning, "They don't make movies like this anymore." But in this case they really don't, and I wish they did.
The Deer Hunter -- I thought it was brilliant the first three times I saw it. Then I read Goldman's Bambi comparison. Then I saw it again when I was 21. Now I'm not so sure. But it's worth pointing out that this is effectively the first year American movies tried to go back to Vietnam.
Hair -- I had a grade nine classmate who saw this movie more times than I saw Star Wars. She grew her hair out and stopped bathing; the most embarrassing thing I did was jump around my back yard, waving a large stick. But this is indeed an infectious movie.
Kramer vs. Kramer -- Saw this movie only once, back when. I remember thinking Streep was impossibly mean and confused; Hoffman was impossibly quick to adapt; and the kid was impossibly cute. I might think differently if I were inclined to seek it out.
Nosferatu -- this is the Herzog version. A local TV station once ran this movie, then the original, back to back. There are some differences, to be sure. But I expected substantially more. I'm not sure why Ebert is so fond of this particular exercise in homage.
Update: "It seemed as though there would always be another Altman film to look forward to." Michael Blowhard suggests he might be the prototypical Altman loon "profiled" by The Onion, and gives a stirring farewell consideration to the man and his unique ouevre.