1980: 3 movies

Where the Buffalo Roam
Written by John Kaye
Produced by Art Linson
Music by Neil Young
Cinematography by Tak Fujimoto
Editing by Christopher Greenbury
Production design by Richard Sawyer
Set decor by Barbara Krieger
Costumes by Eddie Marks and Gilda Texter
Starring Bill Murray and Peter Boyle

   Two characters walk through a world over-run by lies, pride, and greed. Always in search of fun times and good vibes, it is their intelligence and humanity that lifts them up as heroes. It's sort of a modern-day Marx Brothers movie, but with more politics. The cinematography, lighting, and supporting actors all seem kind of crummy, like it was made for cheap TV. The director seems to have been going for the lowest common denominator of comedy to get the widest appeal, but in doing so, he drained the project of a lot of feeling. The only heart in this movie is in the writing, acting, and set decor. Nice score by Neil Young.

Gadające głowy

Written and directed by Krzysztof Kieslowski
Cinematography by Jacek Petrycki
Editing by Alina Sieminska
Production managing by Lech Grabinski

   The movie starts with the baby pictured above. An unseen narrator asks the baby: "who are you?" and "what do you most wish for?". Then we see a 2 year old child who is asked the same questions, then a toddler, then schoolchildren. And so on, meeting consecutively older people, until finally, we meet a 100-year old woman, who is also asked the same questions. It seems like a social poll documented by cinema, but it's not really that, because only one person of every year is asked the questions. What it actually is is an intriguing experiment, with a surprising result. The result is the tremendous feeling conveyed to the viewer as the clock starts ticking and we realize that soon we will run out of people to ask. Mortality through cinema.
   The title translates from the Polish to "Talking heads".

Sun Ra: A Joyful Noise
Directed by Robert Mugge
Cinematography by Larry McConkey
Starring Sun Ra and John Gilmore

   This is for people who worship music. Rock or jazz, heavy metal, classical, blues, techno, or funk, this has something for you. While watching you may find yourself asking these questions: Is this guy, Sun Ra, crazy? Is this a documentary of a cult? Is this bad music?
   But by the end I found I had experienced two epic drum solos, two epic saxophone solos, and two epic keyboard solos. As well as a documentation of a brilliant composer, musician, and band-leader who contributed to music defiantly and with regality as well as with a sense of humor.
   It's all told in an engaging style that stimulates the eyes and ears. In other words, this is a movie you can trip out to.

posted 2015 July 14
added Sun Ra: A Joyful Noise on 2020 October 19

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