Six Favorites from the Sixties

6 from the 1960s Blogathon

If I had to pick one decade as my favorite for movies, I think I would have to go with the 1960s. Picking my six favorite movies from that decade? That’s a little more difficult. (It’s hard enough to limit myself to six favorites from a single year of the decade.) After much debate, I’ve decided on the following films (listed chronologically), though there are probably about two dozen other titles that could just as easily have made the cut.

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Five Classic Movies for a Desert Island

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To any film lover, the thought of being limited to a mere five movies for an indefinite period is nightmarish. Even when given a choice of titles, countless favorites have to be left out, not to mention the seemingly infinite number of films that remain unseen. After much debate, here are the five classic movies (i.e., from the 1970s or earlier) that I would want to compose my desert island library.

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Only a Layer of Skin: The Face of Another (1966)

Bandages

“The face is just a few dozen square inches above the neck, covered with a layer of dough. Isn’t that right? I wanted to think so. I told myself a million times it was only a layer of skin, a surface. But now I’m not so sure. The face is the door to the soul. When the face is closed off, so too is the soul. Nobody is allowed inside. The soul is left to rot, reduced to ruins. It becomes the soul of a monster, rotten to the core. I feel as if I’ve been buried alive.”

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That Unfathomable Way of Life: Woman in the Dunes (1964)

Across an immense sandscape, a man (Eiji Okada) walks alone. His progress is slow, but he’s in no particular hurry. A schoolteacher and amateur entomologist, Jumpei Niki has come to the dunes in search of insects and in order to get away from his life in Tokyo for a few days. After a while, he lies down in a half-buried rowboat, where he envisions a woman (Hiroko Itô) while musing to himself about all of the documents that people use to make certain of one another: “Men and women are slaves to their fear of being cheated. In turn they dream up new certificates to prove their innocence. No one can say where it will end. They seem endless. You criticized me for arguing too much. But the facts speak for themselves.”

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