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 Stu Presents: A History Of New Hollywood! 
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Post Stu Presents: A History Of New Hollywood!

Well, I had a nice, big opening post all written up and ready to go for this thread, but I accidentally just deleted it in my haste to post it, so to quickly sum up: I grew up loving (or at least, being fascinated by) the films of the New Hollywood movement from the late 60's to the early 80's, a period that was defined by cinematic artists pushing prior boundaries on both style and content, as opposed to the majority of the studio-dominated the Classical Hollywood era, so my plan for this thread is to post one new entry about every week or so, singling out one particular film year-by-year from what I consider to be the main years of the movement ('67-'80), and delve into their significance, both to the movement itself, and to cinema as a whole. My choices won't necessarily be the most iconic films from that particular year (though they often will be), or even just my favorites, but they will at least be used to examine certain aspects of the rise (and fall) of the New Hollywood movement, in a number of different ways. I may go back after my initial run here and discuss some additional films from the movement, but for right now, I'm going to finish one film per year, from 1967 to 1980. Anyway, I'm going to post my first entry some time tomorrow, and I promise it'll be better than this opening post, I swear :D So get ready, everybody, for a history of New Hollywood!!!

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Wed Aug 01, 2018 4:50 am
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If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

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Wed Aug 01, 2018 8:24 am
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There better be some serious The Wild Bunch in this thread. Or I'm getting all my money back.


Wed Aug 01, 2018 8:53 am
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I'm ready to learn stuff!

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Wed Aug 01, 2018 9:28 am
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groovy!


Wed Aug 01, 2018 12:27 pm
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A hiStury, if you will?

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Wed Aug 01, 2018 12:36 pm
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Gort wrote:
You'll convince me that the 1970s actually produced THE BEST movies...maybe. :D


*fixed*


Wed Aug 01, 2018 6:58 pm
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Post 1967: Bonnie And Clyde (Authur Penn, rewatch)

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Personal Thoughts:

Bonnie And Clyde made a significant early impact on me as a 14 year-old, back during my first full year (2002) as a more "serious" movie fan, and rewatching it for the first time in a long time as a 30-something, it's still a great film, with its vivid stylistic devices (more on that below), sharp, insightful writing that gets deep inside of its characters' hearts and heads, and jarring tonal whiplashes between farcical, slapstick comedy, bloody tragedy, and emotionally raw drama, in its tale of the doomed lovers who sort of became (as the film portrays it) a pair of tragic, media-manipulating, Depression-era "folk heroes", getting revenge on the heartless, foreclosing banks on behalf of the common folk they were oppressing. And, while I wouldn't quite say B&C is quite one of the greatest movies of all time or anything (the film's overall structure and focus are just a bit too scattershot at times for that), it's still definitely a great film, a very significant one to me personally as a young, budding film fan, and of course, an extremely important entry in the nascent movement of the New Hollywood period, which leads me to its...

Significance To The Movement/Cinema As A Whole:

Even though '67 is generally considered to be the first "official" year of the all-too-brief New Hollywood movement, I still had a surprising amount of great movies to choose from for my inaugural entry in this thread (which I'll be going into more detail on below). Still, Bonnie And Clyde was a (somewhat) easy first choice, not just because it seems to be almost universally considered the very first release of the movement (or at least, the first really iconic one), giving a shot in the arm to the industry at a time when the classical Hollywood era had more or less been on life support for almost two decades, but also because its sudden, graphic displays of violence (its bloody, bullet & squib-riddled climax in particular), during a time when Hollywood generally portrayed shootings in a much less explicit, relatively painless manner (you mean people bleed when they get riddled with a trillion bullets? who knew!), shocked audiences and critics alike, and while, by today's standards, it may seem somewhat tame (although not as much as you may expect), Bonnie And Clyde's impact on loosening previous restrictions on cinematic violence may just be its biggest lasting influence to this day, and is probably the first thing that most people remember about it.

However, that being said, the film's significant for more than just the carnage, as, stylistically, Authur Penn leaves a unique authorial mark, one rare amongst Hollywood films of the time, with his sometimes jarring, French New Wave-inspired editing (appropriate, since François Truffaut himself actually contributed to the script), strategic usage of slow motion to emphasize certain pivotal moments (a stylistic choice that would find echoes in the later films of Sam Peckinpah, John Woo, and entire generations of action film directors in turn), semi-contemporary, Depression-era soundtrack that was melded with the energetic chase scenes to basically invent the music video almost a decade and a half before the existence of MTV, whiplases in tone, naturalistic characterizations, and the reliance on on-location shooting, utilizing the barren fields and run-down houses of the Dustbowl-era South & Midwest, as opposed to the often soundstage-bound environments of Classical Hollywood. B&C is also notable for its refreshingly frank sense of sexuality in the constantly unresolved bedroom tensions between the titular couple (including plenty of phallic symbolism, strongly implied full nudity, and an aborted attempt at oral sex), and again, while it may seem tame today, it was undeniably envelope-pushing at the time, and the film's significant success despite Warner Brothers' attempts to sabotage it by initially dumping it in 2nd run theaters is a great example of the diminished influence of the studios during the movement. Oh yeah, and the film also featured early appearances from both Gene Wilder & Hackman, two actors who would go on to make their own unique impacts on the history of the movement, but I really need to end this paragraph now, so I'll just go ahead and do that.

Finally, the film is also notable for its flaunting of Hays Code restrictions on rendering "criminals" as being attractive or deserving of sympathy, as, in addition to the titular couple being portrayed by the fashionable, motion picture-perfect duo of Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway, they're often portrayed in a rather emotionally sensitive, sympathetic light, and the film seemed to accidentally capture the zeitgeist of the turmoil-heavy, anti-establishment, anti-Vietnam late-60's, firmly taking the side of the "criminal couple" over that of the brutal, trigger-happy lawmen chasing them. Bonnie And Clyde also avoids the belabored moralizing of certain "crime doesn't pay" films of previous years, as it ends by simply displaying the couple's bloody demise as suddenly and with as much bloody detail as possible, and then abruptly cutting to black, an absolute gutpunch of an ending which has as much impact as any physical blow would have, an ultimate downer of a conclusion that would create echoes throughout the remainder of the movement, and a sort of accidental cinematic metaphor, representing what this film did to the old Hollywood in the process of helping give birth to the New.

Other notable New Hollywood films from '67:

In addition to '67 being notable as the year Martin Scorsese and Roger Ebert made their debuts as director and film critic respectively, there were plenty of films to potentially choose from in '67 to illustrate the movement, despite this being the first year of it, including John Boorman's neo-noir thriller Point Blank, Stuart Rosenberg's sweltering chain gang drama Cool Hand Luke, Robert Aldrich's The Dirty Dozen, a macho, sort of early prototype for what would become the modern Hollywood Action movie (and a film that was also controversial at the time for its level of violence, which seems laughable when compared to the release of B&C a few months later), or Richard Brooks' superb adaptation of Truman Capote's In Cold Blood, a rather underrated work, and my current #1 film from that legendary year. However, the clear runner-up for '67 has to be Mike Nichols' coming-of-age drama The Graduate, which was a huge hit (it was one of the highest-grossing films of the year, actually), and incredibly, undeniably influential to the movement, with its active, expressive cinematography, experimental editing, ambigious, unsettling ending, and soundtrack consisting of pre-recorded, contemporary popular music (something unheard of at the time) by Simon & Garfunkel. It's a great, great movie, one that I almost choose for my choice for '67, and fate willing, I'll be able to write something about it for this thread somehow... someday.

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Thu Aug 02, 2018 2:11 am
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Post Re: Stu Presents 1967-1980: A History Of New Hollywood!

If you don't do Easy Rider, I swear to God I will walk down to Mississippi and smack your dick right off.

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Thu Aug 02, 2018 8:35 am
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Post Re: 1967: Bonnie And Clyde (Authur Penn, rewatch)

Stu wrote:
the film seemed to accidentally capture the zeitgeist of the turmoil-heavy, anti-establishment, late-60's, firmly taking the side of the "criminal couple" over that of the brutal, trigger-happy lawmen chasing them.

I've only seen the film once, but this didn't strike me as accidental. In fact, the one complaint I had was that I thought the "youth sticking it to the man" angle was laid on a bit too thick, so I took that as a very deliberate choice in 1967. I haven't really done any research though, so I could be mistaken. Otherwise, good film and great write-up too.
I'll also add that Flatt & Scruggs had a Billboard hit in '68 thanks to this film (Foggy Mountain Breakdown, which had been released a good 18 years or so earlier). Where my banjo fans at?

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Thu Aug 02, 2018 9:06 am
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Bonnie and Clyde is one of those films I've had on my "to watch" list for a long, long time, but for some reason, I've never gotten around to.

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Thu Aug 02, 2018 10:03 am
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B&C was Hackman's debut? Man, that guy hit the ground running, didn't he?


Thu Aug 02, 2018 10:07 am
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Post Re: Stu Presents 1967-1980: A History Of New Hollywood!

I also haven't seen this film. However, I'm looking forward to reading your write-ups.

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Thu Aug 02, 2018 10:32 am
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crumbsroom wrote:
B&C was Hackman's debut? Man, that guy hit the ground running, didn't he?


fake news, his first movie was Lilith as Lucille Bluth's husband.


Thu Aug 02, 2018 11:21 am
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anyway I wish that I had been able to see B&C when its iconoclastic spirit was still fresh. not to say it was bad, it's just that I didn't feel like stickin' it to the man afterwards like I had probably hoped. maybe I'm more of a Badlands sort of guy.

still, good choice as the film of 1967.


Thu Aug 02, 2018 11:44 am
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Nice write up Stu, on a very fine film. I agree on all counts. Even though Estelle Parsons character was a groaner at times...


Thu Aug 02, 2018 7:23 pm
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and speaking of Ebert debuting as a critic, he was an early champion of B&C, something he's been sure to mention it several times in other writings. ( :P ) but still! another one of those signs of how the response to this movie was split across the generations, how some had no idea what the hell to do with this new burst of filmmaking.


Fri Aug 03, 2018 1:17 am
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Oxnard Montalvo wrote:
fake news, his first movie was Lilith as Lucille Bluth's husband.

It was actually Mad Dog Coll *pushes up glasses*

Oxnard Montalvo wrote:
still, good choice as the film of 1967.

I've always preferred Cool Hand Luke and The Graduate for encapsulating, in their very distintly separate ways, the same countercultural postures that Bonnie & Clyde is credited for. B&C is a fine film, but I don't think it ultimately has the shelf-life of the other two.


Fri Aug 03, 2018 10:21 am
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Fun fact: Jean-Luc Godard was originally approached to make Bonnie & Clyde his first English-language film. He demanded to start immediately, was told to wait, and instead proceeded to film five other films over the next 18 months.


Fri Aug 03, 2018 10:28 am
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Jinnistan wrote:
It was actually Mad Dog Coll *pushes up glasses*


you're right it was. although Lilith was his first credited appearance so that's probably what I was remembering.


Fri Aug 03, 2018 1:01 pm
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Oxnard Montalvo wrote:

you're right it was. although Lilith was his first credited appearance so that's probably what I was remembering.

I looked up the answer. I thought it was Lilith too.


Fri Aug 03, 2018 1:08 pm
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Post Re: Stu Presents 1967-1980: A History Of New Hollywood!

Kayden Kross wrote:
If you don't do Easy Rider, I swear to God I will walk down to Mississippi and smack your dick right off.
I'll have you know, I live in Tennessee.

Asshole :oops:
Oxnard Montalvo wrote:

fake news, his first movie was Lilith as Lucille Bluth's husband.
Whoops, fixed!
John Dumbear wrote:
Nice write up Stu, on a very fine film. I agree on all counts. Even though Estelle Parsons character was a groaner at times...
Thank you!!! 8-) And yeah, she was a bit over-the-top; according to IMDB, Authur Penn wanted to make Blanche look as hysterical as possible in order to make Bonnie look even cooler than she already was, but he went just a little bit too far with it, methinks... still not a huge deal, though.
Oxnard Montalvo wrote:
and speaking of Ebert debuting as a critic, he was an early champion of B&C, something he's been sure to mention it several times in other writings. ( :P ) but still! another one of those signs of how the response to this movie was split across the generations, how some had no idea what the hell to do with this new burst of filmmaking.
Yeah, and speaking of generational conflicts with Bonnie And Clyde, the familial tensions between CW and his a-hole father in the 3rd act of the film strikes me as an element that found echoes in other films of the movement, and something that likely would've had a strong appeal to the Baby Boomer moviegoers of the time, quite possibly.
Jinnistan wrote:
I've always preferred Cool Hand Luke and The Graduate for encapsulating, in their very distintly separate ways, the same countercultural postures that Bonnie & Clyde is credited for. B&C is a fine film, but I don't think it ultimately has the shelf-life of the other two.
It's been a long time since I've seen Luke, but, though while I remember liking it a lot (if not quite loving it), the last time I rewatched The Graduate, it went up in my esteem pretty significantly, and if it had been released first that year, I quite possibly would've written something about it for my entry for '67 instead. At any rate, I can always double back later and do it later, y'know!

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Sat Aug 04, 2018 2:41 am
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Did you read, Easy Riders, Raging Bulls?


Sat Aug 04, 2018 11:50 am
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Wooley wrote:
Did you read, Easy Riders, Raging Bulls?

That's a great book.

I was thinking of some others earlier. I have a book, called The New Hollywood by Axel Madsen, which was released in late 1975, right in the thick of it! It gives a very interesting perspective on the generation, praising Lucas, Scorsese and De Palma without having seen, or anticipated, films like Star Wars, Taxi Driver or Carrie, and without the burden of knowing the fallout of the 79-80 bombs (Heaven's Gate, Popeye, 1941) which are credited with ending the era.

You'll Never Eat Lunch In This Town Again is an essential dish. Julia Phillips, the first woman to ever win a Best Picture Oscar as a co-producer on The Sting, was right in the midst of New Hollywood, and knows the fucking and the sucking that was rampant. After producing Taxi Driver and Close Encounters, she developed a freebase habit in the 80s and became toxic in town. By 1990, with few prospects, she said "fuck it" and wrote one of the more scandalous tomes of the era, naming names, their drugs of choice and how unattractive she found those "nerds" like Spielberg and Schrader. (She was more attracted to heroin addict male models, apparently.) It's very bitchy and hilarious, and very few come out unscathed. She still never made another movie after that, and still seemed very proud to have consistently turned Warren Beatty's penis down.

The Kid Stays in the Picture is the Robert Evans memoir better known now for its namesake documentary. It's a similarly vivid backstage take largely focused on the New Hollywood era, this time from the male slut angle. It's also very bitchy, but less bloody and not nearly as hilarious, although it has its moments (like Warren Beatty spending 2 million to fix his crotch in the Heaven Can Wait poster because Evans teased him that he couldn't see anything).


Sat Aug 04, 2018 12:13 pm
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I've been hesitant to pick up Easy Riders, Raging Bulls due to the criticism of Biskind as a mean-spirited myth-maker. unless those criticisms are themselves without credibility. (help me out here, I really don't know)

also: I'm fond of J. Hoberman's The Dream Life which analyzes how the movies of the 60's and 70's mirrored the social/political movements of the time. it doesn't sync up exactly with '67-'80, iirc it begins in the early 60's and ends in the mid-70's i.e. Kennedy to Ford. and a lot of the movies he highlights are outside of the established canon.


Sat Aug 04, 2018 3:55 pm
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Jinnistan wrote:

The Kid Stays in the Picture is the Robert Evans memoir better known now for its namesake documentary. It's a similarly vivid backstage take largely focused on the New Hollywood era, this time from the male slut angle. It's also very bitchy, but less bloody and not nearly as hilarious, although it has its moments (like Warren Beatty spending 2 million to fix his crotch in the Heaven Can Wait poster because Evans teased him that he couldn't see anything).

Also read this one. It's funny because he writes like he's so innocent and of course would never say anything negative about anybody, while the overall gist of his story is that he was a good-guy who was always there for people, should have gotten a ton of credit for the entire New Hollywood, and still got screwed.
Great read, though.


Sat Aug 04, 2018 11:29 pm
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Oxnard Montalvo wrote:
I've been hesitant to pick up Easy Riders, Raging Bulls due to the criticism of Biskind as a mean-spirited myth-maker. unless those criticisms are themselves without credibility. (help me out here, I really don't know)

Oh it's really good and he doesn't say anything bad about Spielberg and Lucas we don't all already know.


Sat Aug 04, 2018 11:30 pm
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Wooley wrote:
Oh it's really good and he doesn't say anything bad about Spielberg and Lucas we don't all already know.


that they were/are dorks?

also I had tried reading Julia Phillips's book a while back but gave up on it only because at the time I wasn't in the mood for something that caustic. if that's any endorsement.


Sun Aug 05, 2018 12:50 am
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Oxnard Montalvo wrote:

that they were/are dorks?


Correction. Billionaire dorks.


Sun Aug 05, 2018 7:00 am
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Oxnard Montalvo wrote:
also I had tried reading Julia Phillips's book a while back but gave up on it only because at the time I wasn't in the mood for something that caustic. if that's any endorsement.

She was a mean, mean woman. And extremely catty. Spending a couple of pages describing how dirty and stringy Goldie Hawn allowed her hair to get when not working. And Hawn was one of her closest friends!

Her excuse isn't exactly easy to dismiss, which is that this is exactly the way she needed to be in order to survive the "boy's club" culture of 70s Hollywood.


Mon Aug 06, 2018 9:56 am
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Jinnistan wrote:
Her excuse isn't exactly easy to dismiss, which is that this is exactly the way she needed to be in order to survive the "boy's club" culture of 70s Hollywood.


I don't doubt it.

also: what makes Easy Riders Raging Bulls worth picking up in spite of its criticisms (too much fabrication/exaggeration, too gossipy)? even if I shouldn't expect every book about Hollywood to be 100% bullshit-free.


Mon Aug 06, 2018 12:29 pm
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Post Re: Stu Presents 1967-1980: A History Of New Hollywood!

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I had fun. Thanks for reading!

"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

Rematch Resurrection Catalog for Rounds 1-4 New post 180721 -- YTMN's Remake Rematch Thread.
Thread Resurrected 21 Jul 2018. Thread abandoned 1 Aug 2017. Thread COMPLETE 25 May 14 (2d time!)


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Wed Aug 08, 2018 9:55 am
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Post Re: 1967: Bonnie And Clyde (Authur Penn, rewatch)

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I had fun. Thanks for reading!

"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

Rematch Resurrection Catalog for Rounds 1-4 New post 180721 -- YTMN's Remake Rematch Thread.
Thread Resurrected 21 Jul 2018. Thread abandoned 1 Aug 2017. Thread COMPLETE 25 May 14 (2d time!)


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Wed Aug 08, 2018 10:33 am
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Moar!

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Wed Aug 08, 2018 12:54 pm
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Gort, I'd love to hear what you think of B&C now if you ever get the chance to see it a second time.


Wed Aug 08, 2018 1:32 pm
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Wooley wrote:
Did you read, Easy Riders, Raging Bulls?
Not yet, but I have seen some of the documentary adaptation of it, along with some of A Decade Under The Influence, both of which you can find partial clips from on this Youtube playlist, which I found quite informative, despite their incomplete nature there; check it out!
Rock wrote:
Moar!
Well Rock, I wish I could've finished my entry for 1968 by now and update this thread on a strict weekly basis, but I've been working a lot lately, and I'm almost never in the mood for any sort of in-depth writing once I come home, so some light posting during a brief window in the morning before work (if I don't oversleep) is usually the most I can hope for during my workdays, so that is slowing me down some. But, I did recently make a lot of progress on my next entry, so I am hard at work on it, and hopefully, I'll have it done sometime around Thursday, so don't you worry!

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Thu Aug 09, 2018 2:40 am
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Post Re: Stu Presents 1967-1980: A History Of New Hollywood!

.

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I had fun. Thanks for reading!

"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

Rematch Resurrection Catalog for Rounds 1-4 New post 180721 -- YTMN's Remake Rematch Thread.
Thread Resurrected 21 Jul 2018. Thread abandoned 1 Aug 2017. Thread COMPLETE 25 May 14 (2d time!)


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Thu Aug 09, 2018 10:02 am
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Post Re: Stu Presents 1967-1980: A History Of New Hollywood!

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Gort/YTMN left the forum due to trolling on August 25, 2018.
I had fun. Thanks for reading!

"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

Rematch Resurrection Catalog for Rounds 1-4 New post 180721 -- YTMN's Remake Rematch Thread.
Thread Resurrected 21 Jul 2018. Thread abandoned 1 Aug 2017. Thread COMPLETE 25 May 14 (2d time!)


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Thu Aug 09, 2018 10:04 am
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Post Re: Stu Presents 1967-1980: A History Of New Hollywood!

Stu wrote:
Well Rock, I wish I could've finished my entry for 1968 by now and update this thread on a strict weekly basis, but I've been working a lot lately, and I'm almost never in the mood for any sort of in-depth writing once I come home, so some light posting during a brief window in the morning before work (if I don't oversleep) is usually the most I can hope for during my workdays, so that is slowing me down some. But, I did recently make a lot of progress on my next entry, so I am hard at work on it, and hopefully, I'll have it done sometime around Thursday, so don't you worry!

No! We want blood!

:D

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Thu Aug 09, 2018 11:11 am
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Stu wrote:
Not yet, but I have seen some of the documentary adaptation of it, along with some of A Decade Under The Influence, both of which you can find partial clips from on this Youtube playlist, which I found quite informative, despite their incomplete nature there; check it out!Well Rock, I wish I could've finished my entry for 1968 by now and update this thread on a strict weekly basis, but I've been working a lot lately, and I'm almost never in the mood for any sort of in-depth writing once I come home, so some light posting during a brief window in the morning before work (if I don't oversleep) is usually the most I can hope for during my workdays, so that is slowing me down some. But, I did recently make a lot of progress on my next entry, so I am hard at work on it, and hopefully, I'll have it done sometime around Thursday, so don't you worry!

Yeah, we're not busting your balls, it's just a good thread so we're eager for more.
Now... MOAR!


Thu Aug 09, 2018 11:48 am
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Post 1968: Night Of The Living Dead (Romero, rewatch)

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Personal Thoughts:

It had been a long time since I first watched Night Of The Living Dead, and rewatching it over a decade later, certain aspects of it don't hold up as well as I remembered, such as certain, poorly-paced dry stretches where the characters don't do much besides listen to officials on the radio or TV deliver vague exposition that rambles on for too long, and contributes very little to the overall film, or its unfortunately dated characterization of Barbara as being either an irrationally hysterical "woman", or completely catatonic and useless (which is a shame, considering the assertiveness of other women in the film, or its undeniably progressive racial element), or the occasionally clunky, unconvincing bit of line delivery or dialogue, which isn't surprising, since all of it was either written by a first-time director, or improvised by the mostly inexperienced cast on the spot. So, on the whole, the film is a bit too rough and amateur a production to be a great film, despite its status as a greatly influential one (but more on that below). Still, despite its various undeniable flaws, Night Of The Living Dead is still a claustrophobically tense, entertainingly gory early "modern" zombie movie, vividly capturing the fear of the undead horde slowly, inevitably coming to eat you alive, basically creating its own sub-genre of Horror movie single-handedly in the process, and leaving a cinematic influence that few other films can match to this day.

Significance To The Movement/Cinema As A Whole:

Like Bonnie And Clyde the previous year, Night Of The Living Dead was a significant film in loosening up Hollywood's previous restrictions on cinematic violence (as well as on nudity, since one of the zombies in it is *gasp* NAKED), though the film is less notable for its overall bloodiness, but rather, more for the relatively graphic gore it features, which, again, may seem tame by today's standards, but was quite horrifying at the time, to the point where Roger Ebert's review of the film mentioned a little girl crying uncontrollably at the screening he attended (and there would have been little warning to anyone about the graphic nature of the film, what with Night being released just a month before the advent of the modern MPAA rating system). Even in a black-and-white film (which had become almost non-existent in the spectacle-obsessed Hollywood of the time, to the point where the Oscars had just eliminated their category for Best Black-And-White cinematography that same year), the gore is still kind of disturbing today, although Night is notable for more than just that, such as its strikingly progressive characterization in the form of Ben, the hero of the film who just so also happens to be a black man.

You see, Romero didn't write Ben as being a black man on paper, but rather, cast Duane Jones as him simply because he gave the best audition out of everyone who tried for the role, a refreshingly forward-thinking decision that was furthered when Jones refused to do the role as it was written (that is, as a simple, blue collar truck driver), and Romero allowed him to revise Ben's character to reflect Jones's own educational background, which included attending Sorbonne University in Paris. However, apparently no other aspect of the script was altered for either Ben or anyone else in order to acknowledge his race, resulting in a character who was not only an assertive, self-sufficient black protagonist (which was quite rare at the time, and something that's unfortunately still pretty uncommon today), and the most resourceful character in the entire movie, but who also wasn't explicitly written as being black, which was virtually unheard of at the time, during an era when Sidney Potier was at the height of his stardom with his racially-focused "issues" films (which were necessary, don't get me wrong, but it's still nice to see something from the late 60's with a black protagonist that doesn't also have to pigeonhole itself into mostly being a "black issues" movie... plus, Ben not only got to beat one of his white tormentors, but he also shot him to death as a human and a zombie, so take that, Mr. Tibbs!). Rather, the film simply lets the unspoken racial undertones of the conflict between Ben and the boorish "Mr. Cooper" serve as a more elegant commentary on the state of racial tensions in an America just coming out of the Civil Rights Movement, in the same year of the assasination of Martin Luther King, which finds accidental echoes in the film's tragic ending, where Ben is gunned down by a posse of white, gun-toting, trigger-happy rednecks, creating another defining downer climax of the movement.

Besides that, Night is a notable New Hollywood film for not really being a "Hollywood" film at all, as it was produced by Image Ten, an independent production company Romero himself founded, with absolutely no involvement from any major American studio, but even with that disadvantage, Night still became one of the top 10 films of the year, earning 30 million dollars overall, and grossing over 250 times its paltry budget, which again, shows the diminished importance of the major studios during the era. And of course, Night is significant as being the first "modern" zombie film, establishing the slow, shambling pace, mindless herd mentality, and most importantly, the insatiable hunger for human flesh that we now instinctually identify with the archetypal monsters. Interestingly enough, Night's undeniable influence on the modern zombie genre might have never happened if its distributor, The Walter Reade Organization, hadn't forgotten to include a copyright indication on the film's title card, something was required at the time by U.S. law in order to copyright any motion picture. However, this unfortunate accident turned out to be a blessing in disguise for the film, as it allowed anyone to utilize "Romero-style zombies" for their own films without fear of lawsuit, which, while might have sucked for Romero personally, with anyone able to essentially steal his creations without fear of any sort of legal reprisal, in the long run it really was a boon to his legacy, making his name basically synonymous with the modern concept of the "zombie". And so, like the hordes of future filmmakers who would herd together in order to lift the concept of its titular monsters, upon its release in 1968, Night Of The Living Dead did more than its part to contribute to the demise and consumption of the Hollywood of old.

Other notable New Hollywood films from '68:

While Stanley Kubrick's FX-driven Sci-Fi epic 2001: A Space Odyssey probably isn't one of the first films that people typically associate with the New Hollywood era, its cryptic, fractured storyline, stylish acid trip of a climatic sequence, and overall willingness to (severely) challenge its audience lead me to personally include it as a part of the movement regardless. That being said, while it was the most successful film of its year, is one of my favorite movies of all time, and has had an influence on other disorienting Sci-Fi tales ranging from THX to Arrival, I don't feel that it's quite as influential or accessible as Night Of, with its groundbreaking gore and modern interpretation of zombies. Besides that, although it's also been a long time since I watched Roman Polanski's classic of Supernatural Horror Rosemary's Baby, which served as the director's big breakthrough in Hollywood, I still remember liking it a lot, and it's naturalistic urban settings and influence on later "demonic/Satanic Horror" films such as The Exorcist or The Omen cannot be underestimated.

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Fri Aug 10, 2018 1:09 pm
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Post Re: Stu Presents 1967-1980: A History Of New Hollywood!

Night of the Living Dead is a masterpiece.


Fri Aug 10, 2018 1:15 pm
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Post Re: Stu Presents 1967-1980: A History Of New Hollywood!

even if it's not "Hollywood" it is at least "American New Wave". that way you're not leaving out guys like John Cassavetes either.


Fri Aug 10, 2018 2:02 pm
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It's been a while since I've seen it, but I was pretty mixed on it as well. I remember having a few issues with its pacing. I may revisit it someday.

28 Days Later is still my pick for best zombie film.

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Sat Aug 11, 2018 7:49 am
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Post Re: 1968: Night Of The Living Dead (Romero, rewatch)

Stu wrote:
While Stanley Kubrick's FX-driven Sci-Fi epic 2001: A Space Odyssey probably isn't one of the first films that people typically associate with the New Hollywood era

:?

I'm not sure which sources you're using, but 2001 is almost a textbook example of seminal America New Wave film, frequently listed alongside Bonnie & Clyde, The Graduate, Rosmary's Baby, Midnight Cowboyand The Wild Bunch as the most important late-60s films to influence the 70s.


Sat Aug 11, 2018 3:50 pm
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Popcorn Reviews wrote:
It's been a while since I've seen it, but I was pretty mixed on it as well. I remember having a few issues with its pacing. I may revisit it someday.

28 Days Later is still my pick for best zombie film.

A good movie, but I would probably put it 12th or 14th in the Zombie-film hierarchy.


Sat Aug 11, 2018 5:13 pm
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Jinnistan wrote:
:?

I'm not sure which sources you're using, but 2001 is almost a textbook example of seminal America New Wave film, frequently listed alongside Bonnie & Clyde, The Graduate, Rosmary's Baby, Midnight Cowboyand The Wild Bunch as the most important late-60s films to influence the 70s.


plus its tagline "The Ultimate Trip" sounds very 60's as well.

but I can kinda understand why some might see it as out-of-place since it's not *about* America the way a lot of other American New Wave movies are (nor is it overtly about contemporary sociopolitical issues the way something like Planet of the Apes was). probably true of Kubrick's other movies from the era as well even if they are undeniably New Wave and Kubrick undeniably an American.


Sat Aug 11, 2018 11:16 pm
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Popcorn Reviews wrote:
It's been a while since I've seen it, but I was pretty mixed on it as well. I remember having a few issues with its pacing. I may revisit it someday.

28 Days Later is still my pick for best zombie film.


probably hard to approach it with fresh eyes given that its DNA is in almost every subsequent zombie film. hopefully you find (or found) Dawn of the Dead or Day of the Dead to your liking.


Sat Aug 11, 2018 11:21 pm
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Oxnard Montalvo wrote:

probably hard to approach it with fresh eyes given that its DNA is in almost every subsequent zombie film. hopefully you find (or found) Dawn of the Dead or Day of the Dead to your liking.

True. I was probably more used to the modern fast-paced, over-the-top effects of recent zombie flicks when I first saw it, so its slower pace may have struck me as unorthodox back then. In fact, that's also why I didn't care for Jaws when I first watched it years ago. I haven't seen Dawn or Day yet. The only other Romero zombie film I saw was Diary of the Dead, which I didn't care for.

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Sun Aug 12, 2018 12:55 am
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Oxnard Montalvo wrote:
but I can kinda understand why some might see it as out-of-place since it's not *about* America the way a lot of other American New Wave movies are (nor is it overtly about contemporary sociopolitical issues the way something like Planet of the Apes was). probably true of Kubrick's other movies from the era as well even if they are undeniably New Wave and Kubrick undeniably an American.

I dunno. Think about it in chronology. 2001 came out when the top Oscars were still going to Lion in Winter, Camelot, Oliver!. That film was a hydrogen bomb. Outside of a sofa or two, it could have been released in the 80s and still been seen as ahead of its time. And even though it's technically filmed in Britain, well, Britain didn't exactly have a space program, did they? American, right down to the IBM dig.

And it's impossible to begin calculating the influence, especially on New American elites like Spielberg and Lucas. I guess there's some tweeds who refuse to consider Star Wars as a legitimate New American film as well, out of spite perhaps, the patsy assassin of the era. But facts faced, Star Wars has nothing sociological to say about America either, and it's also just as American as a Corvette.


Sun Aug 12, 2018 1:36 am
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