Tippi Hedren in Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Birds”. Photo: Cosmopolitan/Disclosure
Many people remember 1939 as Hollywood’s golden year, with the release of such memorable classics as “Gone with the Wind,” “The Wizard of Oz,” and “No Tempo das Delegencias.” But a true cinema lover has a more special period in 1963, when important films came out from different parts of the planet, showing different styles, stories and authors – not limited to cinema made in the United States.
“Eight and a Half” and “The Tiger” by the Italians Federico Fellini and Luchino Visconti, “O Despreso” by the French-Swiss Jean-Luc Godard, “O Silencio” by the Swede Ingmar Bergmann, and “Sio e mio” from that period. Hell by Akira Kurosawa . In Brazil, “Vidas Secas” by Nelson Pereira dos Santos. In the United States, “The Birds” by Alfred Hitchcock, as well as priceless comedies such as “The Pink Panther” by Blake Edwards, “The Nut Professor” by Jerry Lewis.
Most of these films are on the list of the best of all time, and they represent a time of effective transformations in world cinema. “It was carried out in the context of a very large renovation, a very prolific and rich moment from an aesthetic and thematic point of view, where you have a kind of culmination of works and authors that have already come from a previous realization,” notes professor and film critic Humberto Pereira da Silva.
He recalls that cinema came from a crisis in the studio system, which prevailed in the first decade of the last century, when major productions were concentrated in the hands of producers such as Warner, Fox, Paramount, Universal and Columbia. These studios continued to produce their films, but without the strict contracts they tied to artists and technicians. Managers gained more freedom of perception.
Interestingly, in 1963 there was the release of “Cleopatra” with Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, which, being a shovel in that system, almost drove Fox into bankruptcy. You have a renewal movement, called New Hollywood, that will later be led by (Martin) Scorsese, (Francis Ford) Coppola, (Peter) Bogdanovich … Silva.
Paraíba critic Renato Félix points out that the production of the 1963 film followed on the heels of the previous year, which also yielded such masterpieces as “Lawrence of Arabia”, “O Bajador de Promesas”, “Oh hom que mate ou fascinora” and “Jules and Jim”. “1963 continues in the same vein, with many notable works, especially since there were many important movements happening at the same time,” he muses.
She entered Cinema Novo with Vidas Secas, the French Nouvelle Vague with “O Desprezo”, and the English Cinema Free with “O Criado” by Joseph Losey. There is no more Italian neorealism, but we do have two great Italian films that their authors categorize as the main ones, “Eight and a Half” and “The Leopard”. The cinema of the former Czechoslovakia has “One day, a cat” by Vojtek Jasny, a film that I also like, Felix analyzes.
American cinema, though it was going through a transitional moment, was not left out. They released no less than “The Birds”, as well as the wonderful comedy, “Mad Madness” by Stanley Kramer, and the first “Pink Panther”. Jerry Lewis came up with two excellent films, “The Nutty Professor” and “Wrong for the Dog.” Everyone there is at their peak, in a year that was very special for cinema,” says the journalist from Paraíba.
For Renato Félix, this cinematic explosion from other countries, in a single, almost simultaneous movement, which would never be repeated in this way, brought “a very remarkable color, as cinema began to become more international”. The result influenced the way cinema was viewed and made, in Humberto Pereira da Silva’s assessment, “pointing out the paths that cinema took after that”.
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