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easy riders, raging bulls

In response to Billy Wilder's sneer (see previous post) at the new generation of filmmakers that took over Hollywood in the late 1960's and 1970's, here's the same contempt from their perspective:

1966, Hollywood, California. The once great Hollywood dream factories that were teeming cities of technicians and artists stood empty. The audiences for the movies these studios had produced had drifted away, busy building families or lured away by television. The old studio moguls who roamed these vast empty domains were confused and uncertain. And, like the movies they were producing, largely irrelevant.

It's the opening narration from 'Easy Riders, Raging Bulls: How the Sex-Drugs-And Rock 'N Roll Generation Saved Hollywood', the documentary based on the same-titled book by Peter Biskind. Both chronicle the rise of the New Hollywood, or American New Wave, which for a brief period operated outside the studio system and, like the French New Wave, treated directors as auteurs.

The story, and the masterpieces that came out of this period, are well-known - from the alienated violence of 'Bonnie and Clyde' (1967) and the pivotal '60's experience of 'Easy Rider', via '70's classics like 'THX 1138', 'The Godfather' and 'Jaws', all the way to the "last primal scream of defiance" of 'Raging Bull' (1980). By that time the auteurs that hadn't gotten permanently lost in sex, drugs and rock 'n roll were either encapsulated in a new studio system or struggling as independents...

The documentary - required viewing for films buffs - is online available somewhere I'm sure.



"The kids with beards have taken over, with their zoom lenses and handheld cameras," Hollywood producer Barry 'Dutch' Detweiler sarcastically remarks in ' Fedora ' (1978), one of Billy Wilder 's last films. He was referring to the new ge… Read the full post »

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