alternative oscars

So we come to the end of a very interesting year (although the Chinese year of the Snake has a few more weeks to go).  Here’s a countdown of 10 great films I’ve had the privilege to see in this past year that make for great end of year viewing (and they’re all free via FilmOn’s on demand service). This New Year’s Eve Gotta Watch column leans a bit toward the campy side, but that’s New Year’s at its best, no?

dark side of the sun, pink floyd, gotta watch
10.  Dark Side Of The Sun (1988):
An ambient bit for contemplative set-up or break-down, great sunny shots of Dalmatian coastline, a very young Brad Pitt has his Travolta/Boy In The Plastic Bubble moment in motorcycle leather a la John Philip Law/Marianne Faithfull…

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The Rebel Set, great train robbery, classic films

9. The Rebel Set (1959): Even the smallest soiree needs a slight air of danger to prompt improvisation, and this subtle gem builds beats the way dinner jazz would if it truly grasped its concept, man…

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gotta watch, swiss conspiracy

8. The Swiss Conspiracy (1976): A definite choice for snow parties, David Janssen in tinted shades, John Saxon, and a Klaus Doldinger moog jazz-fusion soundtrack. The only thing this lacks is a Hot Tub Time Machine, but essentially, it is it’s own…

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the boxer, ripped off, gotta watch

7. The Boxer aka Ripped-Off (1972): Starts any party off with a bang, Robert Blake is arguably in better insouciant form than in his subsequent Electro Glide In Blue, which would then propel him into Baretta TV fame. Plus aggravated Ernest Borgnine, great Italian supporting characters and music with Albuquerque and environs as backdrop…

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Savage guns, westerns, gotta watch

6. Savage Guns aka His Name Was Sam Walbash, But They Call Him Amen (1971): Following on into the ‘true’ Spaghetti, in the Andy Warhol/Ed Wood sense, as the intoxicants kick in. Spectacularly unhinged, yet oddly real. Maybe it’s the beats…

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supervan, 70s, movies

5. Supervan (1977): For when things cross the line, the screen will reflect the scene…steal a glance for Charles Bukowski, and a caravan of carpeted vehicles, eventually led through the slosh by the solar-powered star…

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Spike Jones, gotta watch, music

4. The Spike Jones Story (1988): Although the filmic aims get more serious, the serious craziness visually and musically is worthy of any party, and parties need to re-discover the ‘original’ Spike Jones…

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wild guitar, gotta watch

3. Wild Guitar (1962): Where sublime and ridiculous meet, like Rebel Set starting under the Capitol Records tower, but ending with a twist and feathers in a Southern California Russ Meyer-Malibu sunset. A climax of climaxes…

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Strange Fruit, beatles, apple, gotta watch, music

2. Strange Fruit: The Beatle’s Apple Records (2012): Epic. Tragedy, comedy, heroic performances, sacred scribes, wasted youth, flaming embers, journeys in exile, it’s all there. Stay up all night…

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Ike and Tina, Tina Turner, Ike and Tina Tour, Music documentaries, gotta watch

1. Ike and Tina On The Road 1971-1972 (2012): Forget whether it’s color or not, this documentary captured pure musical genius and energy, a sunrise strong enough to get you through at least the next couple of years, let alone New Years’…

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