The Scenic Route: The French Connection (1971)

I was never able to get this series going to my satisfaction on previous attempts (The Model Shop and Blow-Up.) I think those posts went afield because I went against the very idea of the series - shutting the hell up and letting the pictures tell their own story. 

All movies are in their own way time capsules of their time and place, even the ones created inside hard drives and against green screens. But at this point in spacetime those films from the twentieth century that showcase the America of a bygone age (and its automobiles) capture my imagination more than any in this regard. In addition to their artistic value these films have time capsule value; they are cinema's ghosts.

Today's entry:  

The French Connection (1971). 
Directed by William Friedkin. 
Cinematography by Owen Roizman.  




  1. I'm no car enthusiast, but even so, it could not be more clear that automobiles from this era seem cooler and cooler with each passing year. At least so far as I'm concerned. And yet, I can remember seeing them when I was a kid and thinking -- unconsciously more than consciously, but still -- that they were lame.

    So it it that my aesthetic sense is more refined now? Is it nostalgia at work? A bit of both, I'd imagine, but I also think that automobiles have been so incredibly plain for the last twenty years or so that I'm kind of seeing what I was blind to back in the day.

    It's not just cars, though. The design aesthetic of the seventies in general seems rather appealing to me now. And "The French Connection" -- a genuinely great movie -- would be a terrific place to see all of it.

    1. Totally agreed on both counts. I think the 70s aesthetic looks so damn cool these days and yet, when we ere growing up, the general vibe was "the 70s were so LAME." And everyone made fun of bell bottoms and what not.

      To be sure, certain aspects of the decade - any decade - haven't aged as well as others.

      The cars, though? And gritty NY cinemascape? Hell to the yes.