Thursday, April 2, 2015

The 1971 Fisti Awards

[Images May Be Enlarged By Clicking on Them]

1971.  This is one of those Oscar years where the obvious Oscar choices were overlooked in favor of a genre flick that many love (I don't, to be honest).  Despite the fact that I'm not all over the French Connection bandwagon, I'm kind of happy that it won, because it's one of those rare occasions where the Academy didn't merely go for tailor-made bait.  Still, for me this film was about so much more than that particular film, and when you consider the fact that Oscar actually nominated a slate of pretty incredible films (and such range), I'm a little sad that my least favorite of the lineup actually won.  For me, this year was pretty much about two films, which raked in almost all of my personal wins (and are nominated everywhere), and it's one of those instances where I feel like two masterpieces were birthed and it's an absolute shame they can't both be named Best Film of the Year.  It's also the first year so far where an American film has won Best Picture!  So, with all that out of the way, I present to you the Fisti Awards for 1971!

Award's Tally

[5 Wins]

A Clockwork Orange

[4 Wins]

The Last Picture Show

[3 Wins]

Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

[1 Win]

Harold and Maude
Minnie and Moskowitz
Murmur of the Heart
Summer of '42


  1. I have no idea but I don't care for "The Last Picture Show". I found it desolate and maybe that is what it is suppose to convey but it didn't appeal to me. I did like Ben Johnson's performance and Cloris Leachman but I wanted someone to kick Cybill Shepherd's ass. I agree about Clockwork Orange-a disturbing film but an excellent one. I also really liked Death In Venice. This year, for me, just feels a little lack luster-no idea why

    1. :-(

      1971, for me, is so rich. It's one of my favorites. I'm sad you don't like 'The Last Picture Show'. That's a film that broke me in so many ways and continues to seer into my heart. Burstyn breaks my heart every time. For me, it's a film that says so much about our need to feel something, to escape, to free ourselves from the confines of life that are so constricting.


  2. Even though this is the year I was born, I haven't seen much from it. Of what I have, A Clockwork Orange is clearly the best. The French Connection is on my blind spot list this year so I'll see that soon.

    1. I hope you can use this as a reference for digging into the rest of the year :-D

  3. Great post! I'd never heard of Murmur of the Heart.

    1. It's a very taboo film, but a great one (basically boils down to a film about a young boy who loses his virginity to his mother) and it's Malle, who you've taken to, so you should check it out. It's a beautifully fleshed out look at adolescence and the loss (and somewhat maintenance) of innocence.

  4. For me, the best film of that year is.... easily A Clockwork Orange. Then again, it's my favorite Stanley Kubrick film.

    1. The more it rests on me, it settles in as my favorite Kubrick too.

  5. A great year.
    Two-Lane Blacktop, Vanishing Point and Wake in Fright are three films that will change you!

    1. Wake in Fright was one of those films that ended and I was like "that's it" but about five minutes later it all came rushing back and I felt, as you put it, changed.

  6. I love The Last Picture Show love. One of my all-time favorites. Also, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. What a great movie! I've loved that movie pretty much my whole life. '71 was a great year. I have to say. I'm not a huge fan of A Clockwork Orange. It's just so...much. Not sure how to describe it. I certainly admire the craft of it.

    1. Clockwork is a real art piece of a film, but it works, and it says so much about human nature, violence and the ability/lack of ability to change. It's also an incredible adaptation, for it follows the book in all the right places.

      The Last Picture Show is one of those films that has never left me and never will.

  7. Picture:
    Fiddler on the Roof
    The Last Picture Show
    Sunday, Bloody Sunday
    Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory-Winner

    Last Picture Show is a great choice and my runner up. Harold and Maude was okay but it didn't blow me away and while I can say A Clockwork Orange was well made and unique I hated it. I still have to see Murmur of the Heart. Of my others nominees Fiddler is a rare exception in the unfortunate burgeoning that was happening to roadshow musicals at the time into elephantine dinosaurs by keeping its scale on the intimate side. Klute and Sunday are excellent examples of the new grit and subject matter that was working it's way into 70's cinema but Wonka is such a unique work, capturing both the wonders of childhood with an underlying drollness that speaks to adults.

    Peter Bogdanovich-The Last Picture Show-Winner
    William Friedkin-The French Connection
    Alan J. Pakula-Klute
    Mel Stuart-Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
    Robert Wise-The Andromeda Strain

    We only share one nominee but I'm glad that one is my winner. I still have to see The Conformist and as I said Murmur too but to me Bogdanovich captures the trapped, slow lingering feeling of an era ending in Picture Show. The black & white photography helps but it's his skill that makes the film so involving and the winner of the year.

    Dirk Bogarde-A Death in Venice
    Peter Finch-Sunday, Bloody Sunday-Winner
    Gene Hackman-The French Connection
    George C. Scott-The Hospital
    Gene Wilder-Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

    Three matches seem to be the closest we're going to get this year. McDowell is the best thing in Clockwork and it's a fearless performance, perhaps it was my general distaste for the film but except for snippets it didn't stay with me. I was torn between the brilliance with which Wilder makes Willie Wonka come alive and Finch's insightful portrayal of a man grappling with huge issues in Sunday. I'd love to award both but Finch is so moving I'm going with him.

    Jane Fonda-Klute-Winner
    Glenda Jackson-Sunday, Bloody Sunday
    Vanessa Redgrave-Mary, Queen of Scots
    Jessica Walter-Play Misty for Me
    Tuesday Weld-A Safe Place

    I'm ashamed to say that despite my great love for Gena Rowlands that I've never seen Minnie and Moskowitz, yikes! Jane's the clear winner here for me in one of her seminal performances but this is my favorite film work of Glenda's, her work in the mini-series Elizabeth R this same year is some of the best work by any actress ever, so I hated to bypass her.

    1. I love all of your BP nominees! I also love all of your winners. Fonda is my runner-up and was my winner until seeing Rowlands. Finch is so great...such a tender and heartbreaking turn. He's also my runner-up.

      Clockwork, I understand, is not a film for everyone. I know lots of people who absolutely loathed it. It's a lot of process, but I feel like Kubrick understood the book and relayed it so remarkably well.

  8. Supporting Actor:
    Jeff Bridges-The Last Picture Show
    Louis Gossett, Jr.-Skin Game
    Richard Jaeckel-Sometimes a Great Notion-Winner
    Ben Johnson-The Last Picture Show
    Roy Scheider-The French Connection

    There are three on your list I've never seen: Little Murders is in my queue but I've been waiting forever for it. I've avoided Rillington, it strikes me a horrendously disturbing and I've never heard of Wake in Fright until now, I'll have to investigate. Ben Johnson's work is beautifully realized but the script gave him so much to work with whereas Jaeckel delivered an equally great performance in the messy, overlong Notion with much less quality material at his disposal.

    Supporting Actress:
    Ann-Margret-Carnal Knowledge
    Ellen Burstyn-The Last Picture Show
    Cloris Leachman-The Last Picture Show-Winner
    Diana Rigg-The Hospital
    Maureen Stapleton-Plaza Suite

    I see our winners are on both our lists. Ellen and Ann-Margret are neck and neck for my runner up but Cloris's ability to leaven Ruth Popper's pathos with slyly unexpected touches of subtle humor while never losing sight of the hopelessness of her situation just can't be beat.

    1. I've never even heard of Sometimes a Great Notion.

      Rigg was my favorite part of the lackluster Hospital...I didn't care for the film, but I really liked her. I preferred Scheider in Klute. I just didn't think he had much to do in The French Connection, but that's a film I didn't entirely care for.

      I loved Leachman, but Burstyn says so much more with such subtle shifts...her longing to be detached from the life she lives is so richly stated without being's one of my all time favorite Supporting performances.

  9. Nice picks! Reminds me that I really need to see Little Murders and Minnie & Moskowitz.

    Here's mine:
    Best Picture:
    Carnal Knowledge
    A Clockwork Orange*
    The French Connection
    Harold and Maude
    The Last Picture Show

    Best Director:
    Bernardo Bertolucci, The Conformist
    Peter Bogdonavich, The Last Picture Show
    William Friedkin, The French Connection
    Stanley Kubrick, A Clockwork Orange*
    Sam Peckinpah, Straw Dogs

    Best Actor: Malcolm McDowell, A Clockwork Orange
    Best Actress: Jane Fonda, Klute
    Best Supporting Actor: Ben Johnson, Last Picture Show (runner up: Pleasance in Wake In Fright)
    Best Supporting Actress: Ann Margaret, Carnal Knowledge (Ellen Burtsyn from Picture show is a runner up)
    Best Adapted Screenplay: The Conformist
    Best Original Screenplay: Harold and Maude
    Best Editing: Gerald Greenberg, The French Connection (runner up: Clockwork)
    Cinematography: John Alcott, A Clockwork Orange
    Art Direction: Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
    Costume Design: McCabe and Mrs. Miller
    Makeup: Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
    Sound Editing: The French Connection
    Original Score: Shaft
    Original Song: 'Theme From Shaft' from Shaft by Isaac Hayes

    1. I'm not a fan of Alan Alda, especially as a director, because he tends to be so preachy and, like, a while Tyler Perry...but Little Murders is so funny and sharp and really nothing like anything else he's done. Minnie & Moskowitz is really great, and Rowlands is incredible.

      I love how we're pretty in-sync with these. Fonda is my runner-up, as is Ann-Margaret and Pleasance. Love that you recognize A Clockwork Orange so many's such a technically marvelous film.

  10. Love the Picture/Director split and that A Clockwork Orange takes home 5 awards. Plus, it's awesome to be able to call THX 1138 a CinSpec and Fisti-winning film.

    I'm mostly caught up with this year, at least as far as the Fistis go. Of the nominees, I only need to see Death in Venice, Macbeth and Bananas.

    1. Macbeth is good, not great. Death in Venice is great! Bananas is...low-grade Woody Allen that I at one time really took to but don't feel a desire to go back to.

      THX1138 is such a haunting piece of work, and I owe the CinSpecs a lot for bringing it to my attention.

  11. My first reaction is, boy there are so many films I haven't seen. I think I've only seen a handful of films from this decade, and mostly those are conspiracy theory thrillers, ahah. Great work on these award posts, Drew!