Tuesday, May 11, 2004


Out today on DVD:

When Blake said that the road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom...(but) it also leads to the grave - Kris Kristofferson 

In this DVD, essential for anybody with even a casual interest in film history, William H. Macy's narration delicately explains one of the greatest or at least most interesting film making eras in this documentary adaptation of Peter Biskind's bestseller.

Covering the same material and even sharing a number of the same film clips as DECADE UNDER THE INFLUENCE the story should be familliar to film babble blog readers. Simply put to those just tuning in: the French new wave headed by Francois Truffaut and Jean Luc Godard influenced a band of movie brat outsiders who broke into the studio system after years of B-movie exile. 

Maverick cheapie teen-exploitation king Roger Corman mentored Peter Bogdonavich, Francis Ford Coppola, Martin Scorsese, Jack Nicholson, Dennis Hopper and countless others to become the "New Hollywood." 

This gung ho gang made what were called "Now movies" like BONNIE AND CLYDE, EASY RIDER, THE GODFATHER, MEAN STREETS, and HAROLD AND MAUDE to name five. 

By the mid '70s the careers of many of the principle players were in decline while a couple of straight-laced film nerds from Malibu, Steven Spielberg and George Lucas, cleaned up with JAWS and STAR WARS which this thesis proposes was the end of the era.

Whether or not that's true we get many fascinating anecdotes about crazy set antics, infidelities, and of course more stories about that damn mechanical shark. Good stuff indeed. Check out the cool DVD bonus interviews with many of the targeted directors and actors plus a revealing and humorous talk with author Biskind.

More later... 

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