Best Films of 1970
Best Films of 1971
Best Films of 1972
Best Films of 1973
Best Films of 1974

Best Films of 1975
Best Films of 1976
Best Films of 1977
Best Films of 1978
Best Films of 1979

Mean Streets
Spirit of the Beehive
Edvard Munch
Desert of the Tartars

Minnie and Moskowitz
Minnie and Moskowitz
That Obscure Object of Desire
Nosferatu the Vampire

BEST FILMS OF 1972 - List in Progress
by Mike Lorefice

Home from the Sea
Yoji Yamada

Though known in America for his period masterpiece Twilight Samurai, much of Yoji Yamada's work focuses on citizens dealing with the changes in contemporary Japanese life. Breaking from his prolific Tora-san series, Yamada made films such as Where Spring Comes Late, The Yellow Handkerchief, A Distant Cry From Spring, & Home from the Sea exploring the plight of workers in less developed regions of the country. A simplistic heartfelt film of man forced to unravel his life to remain in the worlds ever changing game, this nostalgic work of supreme humanism in the neorealist vain focuses on a family who makes their living transporting rocks from their little island to a construction site. Making these long hauls is their lives, and they are truly a family affair with husband Seichi (Hisashi Igawa) acting as skipper, wife Tamiko (Chieko Baisho) the engineer, and only young daughter Chiaki in tow. Unfortunately, operating costs have risen while payment per haul has slightly decreased, their outdated wooden ship too inefficient to be competitive with the faster new steel ones. Their engine is dying to the point it's unsafe to make any more trips, but their non-existent profit margin results in them lacking the means to even replace the engine much less upgrade to the time saving machinery used by the large companies now dominating the industry. Yamada is not so much anti-technology as worried about the despair and displacement of the little man. He understands they'll actually make more money for easier work when they sell out to the mainland, but they'll lose more than the dignity of being their own boss. Their bond with their hometown, and its way of life, is so strong that while their bodies will be displaced, their hearts will remain. Yamada tells his story of infinite sadness visually in long largely wordless passages of man struggling against failing ship, weather, the passage of time, and the ever present but largely unseen forces of modernization. The blank stares, heavy heads, and slumped postures say more than a thousand words. The biggest strength of the film is the depiction of atmosphere and environment, so profound we feel it. The relaxed leisurely style while they're sailing captures the calmness and serenity of the family's slow hauls, when the engine doesn't send it's desperate warnings. In contrast, industrialized Onomichi is an impersonal hurried mass of clones trying to reach their obnoxiously noisy machinery. Yamada shows human anxiety and inner turbulence through a slight camera instability that makes us long for the days when your job may have been difficult, but at least you knew you had one as long as you were healthy. ***1/2


Sun Seekers
Konrad Wolf


Full Movie Review


Tout va bien
Jean-Luc Godard & Jean-Pierre Gorin


Full Movie Review

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