Woodstock: 3 Days of Peace & Music (1970)

It was the end of an era, the literal end of a movement, and the end of what many would know as “Woodstock.” We never did see the Woodstock here in further decades, did we? We instead saw much more corporate interference, much more MTV generation, and in the last festival, ultimate destruction. At least we have what is one of the most riveting and unique concert movies ever filmed. It’s a chronicle of a generation thought of ancient now, and looked back on mostly with fondness, as a decade where there was hope for peace, and hope for a better tomorrow. It was before America gave in to the seventies, where it became all bout decadence and hedonism.

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Five Great Films Set Over The Course of a Night

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One of my current favorite directors Richard Linklater has currently released his spiritual sequel to his hit 1993 film “Dazed and Confused” entitled “Everybody Wants Some!!”, another drama comedy about a group of young people trying to survive the seventies. After his heavy and meaningful “Boyhood,” it’s nice to see Linklater coming back to a breezier departure that promises to be just as raucous and funny as its predecessor “Dazed and Confused.” Since I’m excited for “Everybody Wants Some!!” and consider “Dazed and Confused” a favorite of mine, I thought I’d list five great films that unfold over the course of a single night much like “Dazed and Confused” does. What are some of your favorites?

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The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)

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One of the main aspects about “The Wolf of Wall Street” that I loved is that through and through Jordan Belfort is an unapologetic amoral hedonist. When we see him in the opening, right until the final moments of the film, he’s barely apologetic and really misses the days when he swam in money, women, and recreational drugs. Because deep down he felt be earned what he sewed, and right until his downfall, he loves the man he was. Deep down no matter how much he changes, he’s still the same Jordan Belfort, a man who is addicted to satisfying his base pleasures no matter who he hurts.

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Shutter Island (2010)

shutter“Which would be worse, to live as a monster or to die as a good man?”

When I was finished with “Shutter Island,” I understood what director Martin Scorsese was pushing for in the area of a dark and complex journey of a man in to the bowels of a mysterious island. I understood that deep down Scorsese had an ambitious and admirable hunger to bring to us a modern “The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari,” but ultimately, his efforts fail to bring a work of art that’s grandiose but low key in its effort to make a commentary about the human soul and the psyche. While the character of Teddy Daniels ends up becoming a truly tragic and complex individual, the caveat with “Shutter Island” is that everything surrounding the character of Daniels ends up becoming rather lackluster and limp. Especially when the surprise twist is given away so easily in the original trailers.

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The Departed (2006)

the-departed-poster-2Martin Scorsese’s “The Departed” is in fact a remake of the Hong Kong Crime Thriller “Infernal Affairs” which has basically the same plot line, and sense of dread. Scorsese approaches the crime thriller yet again, with his version of the exceptional crime thriller, now set in the mean streets of Boston, and not the murky landscape of Korea. The narrative is basically the same, and Scorsese doesn’t seem to think he can do better than the original film, so he copies the original film verbatim, save for the ending. One big crime syndicate, one big police department. Both are at war. In both teams, the plot slowly unveils and we learn that in the syndicate there is a mole from the police department feeding information back to HQ, while there happens to be a mole from the syndicate in power at the police department distorting information.

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After Hours (1985)

AHStreet Pickup: Why don’t you just go home?
Paul Hackett: Pal, I’ve been asking myself that all night.

Everybody knows “Taxi Driver”, everybody knows “Goodfellas”, everybody knows “Cape Fear”, but a little known film from legendary director Martin Scorsese that film buffs rarely ever talk about is Scorsese’s vastly under-appreciated 1985 dark comedy “After Hours”. This intriguing, funny, and sometimes mind-blowing film takes place in the grim lonely streets of downtown Manhattan where a workaday word processor named Paul Hackett meets a young girl at a cafe. The two spark up a conversation and he calls her trying to set up a date with her. Seeking a change from the monotony of his everyday routine, Paul travels downtown for a late night rendezvous with Marcy (Rosanna Arquette), a shy beautiful girl who seems innocent enough. What starts off as a gentle tale ends up as a horrifying nightmare.

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