The Film Comment Podcast: The Summer of ’77
“What holds the movies of 1977 together beyond a coincidence of the calendar?” asks J.D. Connor, writing on the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s ’77 series, which runs through August 24. “Is there something in the zeitgeist animating both Suspiria and Smokey and the Bandit? Slap Shot and Ceddo? Killer of Sheep and The Car? Probably not. But they might be held together in more abstract ways…range widely enough and you will also gain a sense of what the aesthetic limits of cinema were, what enforced them, and where the energy to bust them apart was coming from.”
In the spirit of the episode from last summer that returned to the summer of ’66, here we look back on Connor’s “coincidence of the calendar,” which produced the cinema of 1977. Maitland McDonagh, author of Broken Mirrors/Broken Minds: The Dark Dreams of Dario Argento and publisher of 120 Days Books, shares her memories of moviegoing in seventies Times Square and shares her insights on horror classics that premiered in ’77, including The Hills Have Eyes, Suspiria, and Exorcist II: The Heretic. She’s joined by longtime Film Comment contributor Margaret Barton-Fumo, editor of Paul Verhoeven: Interviews, and FC Digital Producer Violet Lucca for a conversation that also touches on The American Friend, Sorcerer, and 3 Women . . . and speculates on the appeal of the year’s top-grossing film, Star Wars.