Aguirre, the Wrath of God (1972)

Nature has never been so frightening nor humanity so stubbornly delusional as they are in Aguirre, the Wrath of God, as Werner Herzog’s disorientating camerawork and breath-taking cinematography of the Peruvian wilderness loses us in the absurd quest of 17th century Spanish conquistadors to find the fabled country of El Dorado.

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The Godfather (1972)

In transposing classical storytelling traditions onto a 1940s New York crime family in The Godfather, Francis Ford Coppola effectively crafts an epic piece of American mythology for the twentieth century, unravelling one of the greatest pure narratives put to film with monumental ambition in its sheer economy and compellingly tragic characters.

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Nashville (1975)

In its organic progression between its sprawling narrative threads, Nashville carries the sense that Robert Altman could point his camera in any direction and discover a new set of characters as equally as intriguing as the rest of his ensemble, constructing a satirical image of this musical city that is pervaded by a defiantly bright-eyed Southern idealism.

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The French Connection (1971)

Around the hair-raising cat-and-mouse chase between detective Popeye Doyle and French mobster Charnier, William Friedkin constructs a gritty vision of New York City flooded with stagnant puddles and coated in at least a few layers of grime, melding narrative and setting to deliver a biting, authentically cynical crime thriller in The French Connection.

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Love and Death (1975)

Woody Allen takes aim at 19th century Russian literature in his off-beat period piece Love and Death, smashing through those quaint conventions of cultural and cinematic history to fashion an entirely new kind of artistic statement out of the fragments left behind.

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Don’t Look Now (1973)

The layers of subtext and symbolism that flow through Don’t Look Now may take multiple viewings to fully appreciate, but in Nicolas Roeg’s fluid editing which swirls between cryptic images of blood, churches, water, and grotesque representations of death, its feverish atmosphere takes hold, haunting us with the ghosts of events that have already taken place, and some that are still yet to happen.

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