A Boy and His Dog (1975)

Director: L.Q. Jones

Starring: Don Johnson, Jason Robards

Awards: Won Hugo for Best Dramatic Presentation, nominated Nebula for Best Dramatic Writing

Summary: What does Star Trek, Miami Vice, nuclear war, and man’s best friend all have in common? Well, not much really except for a nifty little movie called A Boy and His Dog. Set in the year 2024, the world has become a desolate wasteland after World War IV. Based on the novella written by Harlan Ellison (who also wrote the Star Trek episode: City on the Edge of Forever), this movie stars a very young Don Johnson (Miami Vice) who plays a young man named Vic. In this future, people are forced to fight and scavenge for the few remaining resources such as food, weapons and yes, women! Vic has an advantage over most others through his trusty sidekick named Blood who just happens to be a dog. Even better, Vic has a telepathic bond with Blood giving the pair the ability to talk and understand each other psychically. With a keen sense of smell, Blood helps Vic avoid roving madmen and mutants and yes, even track down women!

For you see, Vic is a lonely man and lonely men have needs. As the story progresses, we learn how these needs eventually lands Vic into hot water as he crosses paths with a secret underground community who are more than they seem. Predating Mad Max and other similar films set in a post-apocalyptic future, this film is a cult classic that is fun and thought provoking. Watch for a controversial ending that had not only the often litigious Harlin Ellison upset but feminst groups as well.

Other Notable Films by this Director: The Devil’s Bedroom (1964)


Cache (2005)

Director: Michael Haneke

Starring: Juliette Binoche, Daniel Auteuil

Awards: European Film Awards: Best European Film, Director, Actor, Editor (2005)

As a lover of film scores, Cache, represented an interesting selection for me, as it has no score. Geniously shot in high-definition, the medium provides a mechanism of storytelling, as the audience is unwittingly and repeatedly placed in the POV of a stalker who leaves videotapes of his victims on their doorstep, causing thrilling and deadly results. The pace of the film never allows the viewer to feel comfortable with what they’re viewing, always second guessing whose perspective they’re viewing the world through.

The tension rises throughout the film as ghastly images and flashbacks plague the protagonist, but a strange amnesia keeps him from remembering what is linking all the things happening to him. A horrific and shocking scene at the end of the second act provides an inciteful metaphor for his hidden guilt, but never do we clearly see who the stalker is, rather like many good thrillers of the like, we are left with questions that fuel after cinema discussions. An interesting commentary on the big brother culture in which we all live. Someone can always be watching, hidden from view…

Other Notable Flms by this Director: Funny Games (1997), Funny Games (2008) – remake