For some reason — not nostalgia, but something else — Hubby and I have been watching Seventies action-thrillers this past week. He has quite a collection. It began on the weekend with Dog Day Afternoon. We followed that up with The Parallax View, and then moved on to 3 Days of the Condor. Two nights ago it was The Odessa File, which (of course) got me hankering to see Boys From Brazil and Marathon Man as well.
It’s probably no surprise that the themes of those movies (except maybe Dog Day Afternoon)revolve around faceless conspiracies, around the sense of evil-among-us and evil-next-door, given what America was going through between 1965 and 1975. All feature actors who are too damn goodlooking for their own good. All are about feckless young(ish) men who get caught up in Something Far Bigger Than They Are. And all (except for Dog Day Afternoon) are smart — way smarter, often, than many of the current offerings. They leave big gaps in the narrative that the audience has to bridge, to figure out. The Parallax View was slow in a way that I’ve learned to associate with European Film, not American Movies, and powerful because of it.
Then the aborted terror or yesterday happened, and things clicked into line. They left me thinking about Nazis and terror and how the only way to react to terror is to live and be brave.
And then I read this story about Guenter Grass.