Ludwig (1973)

Within the opulent palaces of 19th century Bavaria, Luchino Visconti’s operatic staging exquisitely details King Ludwig II’s decadent dreams and gradual deterioration, seeking to understand the legacy of this historical empire through the strange mix of sexual insecurities, mental illnesses, and artistic obsessions which roil around in his lonely, troubled mind.

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1900 (1976)

Bernardo Bertolucci’s bold artistic statement on the eternal struggle between fascism and socialism comes full circle in his period epic 1900, echoing formal patterns across the lives of two friends from opposing sides of the class divide, and landing the full weight of their intrinsic connection as operatically as the decades of Italian interwar history they represent.

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The Man Who Fell to Earth (1976)

The title The Man Who Fell to Earth may suggest a science-fiction tale of great wonder, but in skilfully piecing together an eccentric array of montages, flashbacks, and cutaways, Nicolas Roeg seeks to understand David Bowie’s androgynous extra-terrestrial from a more sociological perspective, literalising the alienation felt by citizens of a material, modern world.

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Husbands (1970)

As the title Husbands might suggest, wives are largely absent from the efforts of these emotionally inept men to deal with the repressed grief of losing a friend, thereby letting John Cassavetes’ plotless realism and intrusive camera uncomfortably linger on its exhausting portrait of middle-aged, toxic masculinity.

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Cabaret (1972)

For the bohemian misfits of Cabaret, it is easy enough to believe that the Kit Kat Club is a safe refuge to escape the angry politics of 1930s Germany, but as Bob Fosse skilfully intercuts its musical numbers with scenes of hope, love, and violence, we discover the chilling tension that exists between the dwindling escapism of one subculture and the burgeoning totalitarianism of another.

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The Parallax View (1974)

In conceiving of a shady corporation that turns lonely men into political assassins in The Parallax View, Alan J. Pakula takes full control of the prying investigations and double crosses driving his tightly-wound narrative, letting his camera linger on those sinister, dark spaces that conceal the puppet strings manipulated by faceless elites.

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