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Thread: Stu Presents 1967-1980: A History Of New Hollywood!

  1. #1

    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 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 So get ready, everybody, for a history of New Hollywood!!!
    Last edited by StuSmallz; 11-14-2018 at 09:05 AM.

  2. #2
    Replacing Luck Since 1984 Dukefrukem's Avatar
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  3. #3

    1967: Bonnie And Clyde (Authur Penn, rewatch)




    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 over a decade and half, 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 the on-screen debuts of 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, 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.

  4. #4
    collecting tapes Skitch's Avatar
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  5. #5

    1968: Night Of The Living Dead (Romero, rewatch)




    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.

  6. #6
    Producer Yxklyx's Avatar
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    Awesome read! Keep it going!
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  7. #7
    Replacing Luck Since 1984 Dukefrukem's Avatar
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    I need a rewatch, I dont recall the naked zombie. But I expect my rewatch to hold up to being the best zombie movie ever.

    Also, didn't know that factoid about Jones's casting.

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  8. #8

    1969: Easy Rider (Hopper, rewatch)




    Personal Thoughts:


    It had been a long time since I last watched Easy Rider, but rewatching it now for this thread, my feelings on it are more or less the same as they were the first couple times I saw it; it's definitely too scattered and aimless in its overall narrative, and often too pointlessly "experimental" in its style to be a great film, but taken as just a snapshot of America at the tail end of the 60's (albeit, a somewhat exaggerated one), it is great in that regard, with its tale of two drug-dealing, pot-smoking hippie bikers just tooling around the U.S., picking up random, zonked-out hitchhikers along the way, and running into various hasslings courtesy of The Man and the physically & spiritually ugly rednecks of the "silent majority" of Nixon's America along the way (which makes sense, since Spiro Agnew himself criticized the film as an example of the "permissiveness" of late '60s popular culture), and the violent deaths of the film's protagonists at the end might as well represent the end of the old-school "peace and love" movement that gripped the youth of America at the time. Admittedly, the film tends to work better when it's just trying to be a rockin' travelogue of the appeal of the open road rather than a traditional "film" (though even the famous music-video style riding montages become somewhat tiresome and formuliac at a certain point), but that is part of Rider's overall appeal, and it shouldn't be hard to understand exactly why it became the most iconic American film of the year by a long shot.


    Significance To The Movement/Cinema

    As A Whole:



    Despite '69 being a pretty jam-packed time for the films of New Hollywood (more on that below), it's no surprise that I went with Easy Rider for the year, as, beyond its basic subject matter and pro-counterculture point of view, and its featuring of early, breakthrough roles for such figures of the movement like Karen Black AND Jack fuckin' Nicholson (who earned his first Oscar nom for his admittedly stoned performance), its avant-garde, grabbag style definitely embodies the free-wheeling tinkering of New Hollywood at the time, with its extremely experimental editing techniques, a couple of particularly stylish sequences including a very disturbing scene dealing with a bad acid trip in a New Orleans cemetary, and its mostly improvised narrative, as, supposedly, the film never had a full script (ironic, since it was nominated for an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay), as Peter Fonda and director Dennis Hopper improvised most of the dialogue up on the spot (while smoking tons of actual weed on camera), and didn't initially hire a professional crew, but instead, picked up hippies at communes across the country, used friends and passers-by to hold their cameras, and mostly shot outside on-location, with completely all-natural lighting.


    This stream-of-consciousness production is evident in the loose "structure" of the final product, which holds it back as a film, but it probably would have been worse if Hopper hadn't been reigned in, as his rough cut of the film was possibly as long as 5 hours according to certain reports, until Henry Jaglom managed to step into the editing room and mercifully cut the film into its current state. Anyway, as it is in its final form, it definitely struck a chord with the audiences of the time, as, despite being an independent, non-studio produced project, Columbia Pictures latched onto the zeitgiest when it agreed to distribute the film, leading it to become the 3rd highest-grossing movie of the year on a shooting budget of less than half a million dollars, although that figure tripled after factoring in the licensing fees for the film's groundbreaking soundtrack of contemporary rock, including such musical icons as The Band, The Jimi Hendrix Experience, and of course, Steppenwolf themselves. At any rate, the extra expense paid off in spades, as it's one of the first classic examples of its kind of "pop mixtape" soundtracks in American film, setting the stage for the retro, Tarantino-style soundtracks of the future, and no one can hear "Born To Be Wild" anymore without instantly conjuring up visions of Billy & Wyatt, heading out on the highways of America, following the open road wherever it will take them


    Other significant New Hollywood films

    from '69:



    Besides the sort of modern Western stylings of Easy Rider, this year also saw a significant resurgence of actual Westerns (or at least, Western-themed releases), including George Roy Hill's charming, massively crowd-pleasing Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid, Sam Peckinpah's grimy, impossibly violent shoot-em-up The Wild Bunch, and John Schlesinger's Midnight Cowboy, a harrowing portrayal of urban isolation, poverty, and extreme desperation in the filthy streets of late 60's New York City, and the winner of the Best Picture Oscar for the year despite being rated "X" for its depiction of male prostitution and Stonewall-era repressed homosexuality, showing the strength of the demand for such challenging films in the mainstream, despite its undeniably taboo subject matter.
    Last edited by StuSmallz; 12-09-2018 at 11:11 PM.

  9. #9
    Replacing Luck Since 1984 Dukefrukem's Avatar
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    I can't believe I haven't watched Easy Rider yet...

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  10. #10

    1970: M*A*S*H (Altman, first viewing)




    This isn't a hospital, it's an insane asylum.


    Personal Thoughts:



    Yes, Robert Altman's M*A*S*H is the first film I've discussed in this thread without having already seen it before, and not only that, but it's also the first Robert Altman film I've ever seen, period. And, while I'm a bit embarrassed to admit all of that, and a bit nervous to talk about a movie I've just now viewed for the first time, part of the point of this thread all along was to give me an excuse to dive at least a little bit deeper into the movement, so this sort of situation was inevitable anyway. At any rate, as for M*A*S*H, based off of my first impressions of the film, while I felt its plot was somewhat too episodic on the whole, with each new wacky incident at the unit feeling more or less like a completely stand-alone vignette, and the playing of constant sexual harassment of "Hot Lips" for cruel laughs (only for her to end up literally cheerleading her tormentors towards the end) is an aspect of the film that's aged very poorly, but, despite those issues, it was still a fairly enjoyable, entertaining film anyway, with a very subversive, almost pitch-black sense of humor at times, and an unapologetically satirical take on the rigid nature of military culture at a particularly sensitive time in American history (but, more on that below). So, while M*A*S*H isn't quite the Dr. Strangelove of the Korean War (if such a movie even exists), I still liked it on the whole, and hopefully it can serve as my launching point for checking out more of its director's legendary output, from both inside the 70's and elsewhere.


    Significance To The Movement/Cinema

    As A Whole:



    I initially hesitated from making this my first choice for my 1970 entry, due to my awareness of Altman's legendary status within the movement and the cinephile community in general, which, combined with my ignorance of the rest of his body of work, created a lack of familiarity and context that would me it tougher for me to discuss its overall impact, but, my first choice for the year fell through (but more on that below), so I'll do my best here. First off, I already knew that this is considered Altman's breakthrough movie after decades of directing a number of industrial films and documentaries, a bunch of episodes for various 60's TV series, and a few early, failed film projects. And, besides that, I was already aware that his films were generally well-known for taking satirical points of view, having busy, overlapping, heavily improvised, naturalistic dialogue from his large ensemble casts, and de-emphasizing plot in favor of exploring, as one biographer put it, "exploration of pure human behavior", all aspects that M*A*S*H has in spades, apparently making it the style-setter for Altman's later films.


    Besides that, M*A*S*H is notable as a satire for the various sacred cows it slaughters, in particular both religion and the military, as the figureheads of the former are portrayed as being either joyless, emotionally abusive assholes (as in the case of Robert Duvall's Major Burns), or feckless, mostly useless bystanders (like Army chaplain Father Mulcahy), and the superiors of the latter institituion all seem to be either lazy, pompously incompotent, or shrill, obnoxious sticks in the mud (such as Nurse "Hot Lips", which, in context, is admittedly not an entirely fair characterization by a long shot), and the constant, stammering, mistake-laden announcements that are piped through the camp's public address system throughout the film punctuate the percieved absurdity of military structure here. In contrast, the film definitely always stays on the side of the motley crew of lower-ranked "doctors" lead by the constantly rule-flouting Hawkeye, a man who just so happened to be drafted into the Army against his will (a potent commentary on a certain contemporary conflict, considering that the draft was still active in 1970, cleverly sneaking in some anti-Vietnam sentiment through the vehicle of a Korean War film). Through all of this and more, it's clear to me that M*A*S*H easily captured the rebellious, anti-authority spirit of the time, which was one of the major recurring elements from the movies of the movement, and the best argument for why it is one of THE defining films of 1970.


    Other significant New Hollywood films

    from '70:



    Like I said earlier, there where no real standout New Hollywood films from this year that I'd already seen, which made this entry a little tough to write; my actual favorite movie from 1970 would be Franklin J. Schaffner's classic, epic Patton, a biopic of the American general of the same name and that year's Best Picture Winner at the Oscars (alongside a Best Screenplay win for a pre-breakthrough Francis Ford!), but my memory of the film doesn't recall it being comparably experimental or boundary-pushing in terms of style and content when placed next to its contemporaries, and its vibe is probably a bit too "Classical Hollywood" on the whole to qualify as being part of the movement, despite its unvarnished, warts-and-all depiction of its titular subject. Besides that, Altman also made the mostly-forgotten Brewster McCloud this year (which, of course, I haven't seen), while Mike Nichols was simultaneously trying his hand at a competing black comedy/war film with his adaptation of Joseph Heller's Catch-22, with much less financial success than M*A*S*H, but his film has still managed to attain somewhat of a cult following to this day.


    Anyway, like I said beforehand in this thread, I initially tried to watch and discuss another film from 1970, Bob Rafelson's Five Easy Pieces, which was probably most notable for featuring an early starring role from the one and only Jack Nicholson, but also because, despite the considerable success of M*A*S*H at the time, I was afraid that "M*A*S*H" the show had eclipsed it in the public consciousness (to the point where my sister was recently suprised to learn that there was a M*A*S*H movie in the first place). Unfortunately, my digital rental of Pieces expired before I could finish it, but more importantly, while it had a couple of memorable moments throughout, I found it to be a mostly an unfocused, unengaging experience, which is why I decided not to finish it and discuss it for this entry. Maybe it's like Night Of The Living Dead, though, in that its final half hour picks up somewhat, and I still want to finish it some other day, so hopefully that reality will come to pass eventually.

  11. #11

    1971: A Clockwork Orange (Kubrick, rewatch)




    I was cured all right.


    Personal Thoughts:



    It had been over a decade since I last watched A Clockwork Orange, but rewatching it for this thread, I found that my feelings on it are more or less the same as they were the first few times I watched it; it's certainly a very unique movie, and one that I have a lot respect for, but not really one I love, unfortunately. To get my negatives out of the way first, I suppose I could mention how it occasionally tries just a bit too hard to be shocking and "edgy" (such as the end credits using the actual original recording of "Singin' In The Rain" after the film radically, let's say, "recontextualized" that particular song earlier), or how on-the-nose some of the film's delivery of its themes are (you could even say it's a bit (gulp) Nolan-y at times in that regard) but those are minor issues when put next to my main complaint about ACO, which is how unnecessarily over the top its general sensibilities are. Part of that may be due to the style of the film feeling occasionally self-indulgent, but Kubrick's direction here, for the most part, is rather effective in its trippy, nightmarish tone, so that aspect of the film definitely helps more than it hurts on the whole; rather, the main problem is with how ridiculous and exaggerated so many of the supporting performances in the film are, especially in the second half.


    You see, when comparing Clockwork to the rest of Kubrick's body of work, I feel that the various over the top bits of acting in something like Dr. Strangelove actually contributed something positive to that particular film, as they served the movie as a whole, and worked to illustrate the inherent absurdity of "mutual assured destruction" as a policy of national defense. Heck, even the extremely under the top performances in 2001 served to demonstrate the theme that mankind in that film had become jaded and lifeless, even in the wonderous future they inhabit. On the other hand, the needlessly exaggerated histrionics of Clockwork, whether it be the obnoxious simpering of Alex's probation officer, the random, abrupt screaming of the chief prison guard, or the incessant quivering of the writer's barefaced rage (whose actor actually asked Malcolm McDowell if his performance was too over the top) don't serve to do anything but make the film more tedious to watch, makes the characters feel phony and inauthentic, and only removes the film even further from the reality that its attempting to comment on, which, when you consider the already heightened, futuristic dystopia it takes place in, was an entirely unnecessary decision on the part of Kub.


    Besides that main quibble, however, I have to say that A Clockwork Orange is still fundamentally a pretty good movie on the whole, and one well worth watching for any film fan, as the production design maintains a nice balance between urban decay and sleek, alien futurism, a contrast that we really don't see enough of in sci-fi, the themes, while, again, are occasionally too obvious and self-conscious in their delivery, still pack some potent messages on the nature of free will, whether nature or nuture is the more important factor in determing the kind of people we become, and whether true inner rehabilitation and change is possible for human beings, and the style of the film works wonderfully for the most part, with Wendy Carlos's sinister, disorienting synthesized score striking an appropriately dystopian tone, the sequences of Alex's intense, kaleidoscopic hallucinations get us more intimate than we ever wanted to with the droog's sick, twisted brain, and John Alcott's cinematography is constantly, unusually kinetic in its movement without ever drawing too much attention to itself. My complaints about the overacting aside, A Clockwork Orange is still a unique as hell, one of a kind experience otherwise, and one you won't have to have your eyes pried open to stay awake for, that's for sure.


    Significance To The Movement/Cinema

    As A Whole:



    Despite his directorial career beginning well before the start of the New Hollywood era, Kubrick still showed 2001 was no fluke, and that he was more than keeping pace with the rest of the movement with Clockwork, as, besides the film's aforementioned experimental, surreal overall style, which makes it feel the most "New Hollywood" of any of Kubrick's films from the period, and the fact that it was one of the highest-grossing releases of the year, it was also nominated for four Oscars including Best Director and Best Picture, showing that the Academy of old was actually much less conservative at the time that it has become in recent decades. That fact is even more impressive when you consider just how much nudity, rape, and the ol' "ultra-violence" the film contains, which actually netted it the dreaded "X" rating at the time, and which, in addition to to the film's anti-government, anti-authority bent (which kept it in perfect spirit with much of the rest of the movement) results in yet another transgressive, boundary-pushing New Hollywood film, and arguably the most iconic one of its year, which is saying something, as you'll soon see below...


    Other significant New Hollywood films

    from '71:



    '71 saw a ton of other notable NH releases, including Robert Altman's McCabe And Mrs. Miller, a gorgeous, haunting Revisionist Western (and before you ask, I did bother to watch it before I wrote this, thank you very much), Peter Bogdanovich's coming-of-age tale The Last Picture Show, one of saddest, most emotionally devastating films I've ever seen, and my new personal favorite from the year (and also just one of my favorite films, period), Sam Peckinpah's grisly home invasion thriller Straw Dogs, Hal Ashby's Harold And Maude, a macabre, morbidly funny tale of a particularly odd May-December "romance", and a pair of notable police thrillers in the form of Don Siegel's iconic, influential Dirty Harry, and William Friedkin's Best Picture-winning The French Connection. And all of that's without even mentioning Alan Pakula's proto-erotic thriller Klute, Clint Eastwood's directorial debut Play Misty For Me, George Lucas's cold, dystopian sci-fi THX 1138 (which also his cinematic debut as well), Mike Nichol's Carnal Knowledge, or Jerry Schatzberg's heroin addict drama Panic In Needle Park, which featured the first starring role from some guy named Al Pacino; you may have heard of him.
    Last edited by StuSmallz; 10-28-2018 at 03:51 AM.

  12. #12
    Replacing Luck Since 1984 Dukefrukem's Avatar
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    Yeh I've only seen that once, enjoyed it, but it definitely deserves a rewatch.

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  13. #13

    1972: The Godfather (Francis Ford Coppola, rewatch)




    I believe in America.


    Personal Thoughts:



    Let's get this out of the way right here and now; I do not care for The Godfather... at least, that is, not as much as I'm "supposed" to. And it's obviously not the first time in this thread that some sort of disappointment has happened with me and a New Hollywood classic, and it probably won't be the last, so brace yourselves. At any rate, I do feel that The Godfather is a good movie for certain technical aspects of it that are pretty much objectively, undeniably impressive (aspects that I'll be getting into soon here), but on the whole, I've just never felt it was a great movie, much less One Of The Greatest Motion Pictures Of All Time. If you feel like it, you can chalk that up to my internal expectations being too high before I ever watched it, due to all the critical and cultural baggage it's build up over the decades as one of the Greatest Films Ever, but the undeniably iconic status of The Godfather is just something that can't be avoided, and besides, there are plenty of quote/unquote Great Films that I've personally felt were great, so I doubt high expectations had anything to do with my opinion in this case.


    Anyway, I could start my complaints here by nitpicking certain elements of the film that seem to get a free pass from criticism by everyone just because of the legendary status of the movie that they're in, like how some of the dialogue is just clunky, obvious exposition, or how ridiculous and blatantly shoehorned-in Connie's plate-smashing fight with Carlo is, as, apparently, Coppola only filmed it because Paramount wanted the film to have more violent scenes to make it more "exciting" for audiences, an absolutely absurd studio demand if I've ever heard one (but Paramount also tried to fire Coppola from the production a number of times, so just keep that little tidbit in mind there). But, I won't dwell on such minutiae here; instead, I'll just talk about the main thing holding back The Godfather from greatness for me, which is, well, its seeming insistence on forcing greatness upon itself, rather than allowing it to occur more naturally. I don't know if that's because of the film's somewhat broad characterizations (i.e. Sonny, the quick-tempered hothead, Michael, the fallen angel, or Vito, the scheming, shadowy patriarch), the occasionally unnatural, melodramatic bit of dialogue, or the somewhat ponderous, self-conscious, inauthentic, emotionally detached, and overly "operatic" tone of the general affair, but on the whole, it seems to be trying a bit too hard in general to be "Great", so it's always ended up falling short of that mark for me, as much as I wish I could love it as much as so many others have, and I find myself torn between admiring the film's ambitions and finding it reaching too hard, so to speak. I wish I could go into more detail on this point here, but that would involve writing a full review, which I don't have time for at the moment, so maybe someday I'll explain more.


    But like I said, I do feel it's at least a good movie, and I think I actually appreciate more now than I ever did before, finally watching it in its full, uncensored and uninterrupted by commercials glory. And, while again, I don't feel that The Godfather quite reaches greatness as a whole, there are many individual elements of it that are great, whether it be Gordon Willis's shadowy, high-contrast cinematography that literalizes the spiritual darkness of the film's characters into its physical world, Nino Rota's lush, sweeping original score (with additional contributions from Carmine Coppola, who was you-know-who's own papa), the various costumes, props, and on-location shots that constitute the rich period details of the film's vision of post-World War II America, the stellar performances that breathed life into some of the most iconic characters in film history, or the film's often fairly involving, compellingly dramatic moments in its epic tale of the dark side of The American Dream, despite my complaints about it otherwise.


    Significance To The Movement/Cinema

    As A Whole:



    I mean, are you kidding me? Out of all the films I had to choose to cover for this project, this was the easiest by far; I mean, where do I even begin? It won the Oscars for Best Actor, Adapted Screenplay, and of course, Picture (although believe it or not, it actually wasn't the biggest winner at the awards that year, as you'll see below). It currently holds an overall average score of an outstanding 9.3 on Rotten Tomatoes. It's been endlessly parodied throughout popular culture for the better part of half a century now. It placed at #2 on the 2002 Sight & Sound directors' list of greatest films, just behind Citizen Kane, which is appropriate, since, in terms of critical praise, this is basically the Kane of the New Hollywood era, only possibly even greater in overall stature, since, intead of initially failing at the box office and then being steadily reevaluated as a Great Film over the decades like Welles's film, The Godfather was immediately a massive hit, becoming not only the highest-grossing film of the year, but also the highest grossing film of all time. And before you mention Gone With The Wind as a competitor for a film with the greatest overall status, this has a higher average on RT by a measure of 6 points, so don't even bother.


    Anyway, The Godfather is also significant as finally serving as the big break for Francis Ford Coppola, after a decade of alternately directing softcore porn comedies, working as one of Roger Corman's many young proteges (who he actually paid back with a small role in Godfather II), and struggling to find his first real success within the larger Hollywood system. So in retrospect, The Godfather is significant as the breakthrough film for the man who would become one of the most iconic directors of the era (arguably even the most), as well as serving as an early example of the movement rediscovering some of the ambition that defined the larger productions of the Classical era, particularly the historical Epics, in terms of the sheer scope and breadth of its sprawling, character & sub-plot filled, decade/continent-spanning three-hour story, but doing so in its own more pessimistic, down to earth sort of way that's oh-so New Hollywood.


    And besides that, The Godfather is notable as serving as the big breakthroughs for a number of major stars of the movement, including Diane Keaton, John Cazale, and of course, Al Pacino (again, you may have heard of him), as well as serving as the comeback vehicle for an icon of 50's Hollywood, the Oscar-winning Marlon Brando, who hadn't had a real hit in over a decade by this point, but who would undergo a significant career renaissance throughout the rest of the decade because of this film. And besides that, The Godfather is also significant in its impact on gangster fiction in general, as it sheds the often heavy-handed moralizing of certain Hays Code-bound gangster flicks of Classical Hollywood, presenting its complex, non-stereotypical characters as a somewhat justified reaction by immigrants to the already inherently corrupt larger society they're trying to integrate into, giving us a sympathetic, machismo-heavy, ethnically-insular "inside" perspective from an actual Italian-American director, which helped set the stage for the mobster classics of Scorsese, as well as a certain David Chase-created series in the late 90's that more or less single-handedly jumpstarted the current golden age of TV we're still currently in. So, The Godfather is at least a good film, besides just being one of the most essential, influential, and generally acclaimed ones of all time as well; if you haven't seen it by this point in your life, then what the hell are you waiting for?


    Other significant New Hollywood films

    from '72:



    While The Godfather was obviously far and away the New Hollywood winner of the year, '72 also saw Brando continuing his comeback with Bernardo Bertolucci's controversial, X-rated erotic drama Last Tango In Paris, as well as the release of George Roy Hill's adaptation of Kurt Vonnegut's iconic, experimental, sci-fi(-ish) novel Slaughterhouse-Five, Bob Fosse netting himself a Best Director Oscar (and 7 others!) with his Weimar Republic-era musical Cabaret, which radically updated the out-of-date genre with its off-kilter editing style, humble, completely diegetic soundtrack, and discussion of certain mature subjects (including abortion, bi-sexuality/infidelity, and the rise of Nazism in Germany), while John Boorman gave us Deliverance, a harrowing survival thriller that gave 70's icon Burt Reynolds his breakthrough role, and ensured an entire generation of people would never, ever be able to listen to banjos quite the same way again.

  14. #14

    2001: A Space Odyssey (Kubrick, rewatch)

    Since I recently rewatched 2001, I had the sudden urge to write something about it for this thread in regards to its influence on the Movement/cinema in general, since in retrospect, I probably should've written about this for '68 instead of Night, since not only has it always been an actual all-time favorite of mine (something that this thread has unfortunately been in short supply of so far), but it's also probably just as influential as Romero's film (if not moreso), so consider this entry a bit of a do-over. I'm still going to share my complete, personal thoughts on the film soon when I finish working on my review of it, but until then, enjoy this appetizer:






    The ultimate trip.


    Significance To The

    Movement/Cinema As A Whole



    While Stanley Kubrick's status as an established director was, well, established as early as the 50's, and though New Hollywood didn't truly become a dominant force in American cinema until the late 60's, the beginning of the movement can still be traced back to the middle part of that decade, and thus, it can be argued that something like Dr. Strangelove was the spark that lit the movement's fuse in '64, with its razor-sharp subversive tone, overall vivid style, and use of an increasingly out of style black-&-white film for aesthetic purposes, so squabbling over whether it was released too early to qualify aside, it certainly fits in much better with the films of New Hollywood than the Classical era. And so, keeping that in mind, it makes perfect sense that, as the confidence of movement continued to grow throughout the 60's, that Kubrick's efforts would also become more and more experimental, and as far as his "canon" classics go, nothing would prove to be more daring than 2001: A Space Odyssey, which is not only what I consider to be one of the most iconic, influential works of New Hollywood, but also just one of the most influential films ever made, period.


    You see, while the Science Fiction films of the 50's certainly helped to popularize an iconic overall aesthetic for the period/genre, I'd say that a lot of them still had at least one foot set firmly in the pulpy mode of old-school Flash Gordon serials, and the ludicrous "science" and campy, cumbersomely-costumed aliens of something like This Island Earth ensured that, even when it produced genuinely successful films, Sci-Fi still tended to be viewed as a "B genre" nonetheless. However, similar to what The Godfather & Jaws would soon do for gangster and monster flicks, Kubrick helped to make Sci-Fi "respectable", and rather than taking after the relatively cartoonish predecessors that had come before him, Kubrick instead took inspiration from such contemporary, educational space films as Universe & To the Moon And Beyond, going so far as to poach several personal directly from those projects (including Douglas Rain, the voice of HAL himself) in order to capture the most realistic portrayal of space travel and futuristic technology possible, with some of the most convincing, painstakingly-created special effects ever created in film up to that point (which netted Kubrick the only competitive Oscar win of his entire career), while also collaborating on the film's story with one of the biggest titans of literary Sci-Fi at that time, none other than Authur C. Clarke, in order to create a more transcendent, ambitious take on the genre, one that dared to both ask and answer the question of what is "Man's relationship to the universe" itself.


    And perfectly befitting a work of New Hollywood, the film answered this question in the most ambiguous and experimental a manner possible, with its impressionistic editing tricks (including what might just be the most iconic match cut in cinema history), an overall mood that's both incredibly detached and extremely unnerving at the same time, its emphasis on dialogue-free, purely visual storytelling, including a climax that involves 10 minutes of nothing but whooshing laser lights and color-altered landscapes (which I'm sure played much better with the acid-tripping hippies of the time, haha), and an overall delivery of its plot, characters, themes so open-ended, just the interpretations of those aspects alone have their own separate article on Wikipedia. And, while 2001 initially polarized critics at the time of its release, it's come to be (rightfully) reevaluated as one of the greatest films of all time, one that, with its iconic Classical music soundtrack, and emphasis on the hard "science" part of Sci-fi, helped to revitalize the mostly dormant genre, as well as give it a newfound sense of legitimacy that it had never had before, earning Kub one of the most well-earned Best Director nominations ever given at that year's Oscars (although the film itself didn't get one for Best Picture, unfortunately; Academy!!!), and proving to be a massive Influence on Sci-Fi both for the remainder of the movement and beyond, whether it be in the overwhelming sense of awe of Close Encounters, the glacial pace and distressing atmosphere of Alien, or the envelope-pushing effects work of Star Wars. Like Spielberg himself said, it was his film generation's Big Bang, and like the Big Bang itself, it basically created a cinematic universe of its own, one that we're still feeling the effects of even to this day; the ultimate trip, indeed.
    Last edited by StuSmallz; 09-07-2020 at 08:02 AM.

  15. #15
    Replacing Luck Since 1984 Dukefrukem's Avatar
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    Definitely the most famous MC ever. I can't really think of many others off the top of my head.

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  16. #16
    Quote Quoting Dukefrukem (view post)
    Definitely the most famous MC ever. I can't really think of many others off the top of my head.
    Yeah; the only other one that comes close that I can think of would be the literal match cut (heh) from LoA:


  17. #17
    Replacing Luck Since 1984 Dukefrukem's Avatar
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    I still haven't seen that because it's like 37 hours long.

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  18. #18
    collecting tapes Skitch's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting Dukefrukem (view post)
    I still haven't seen that because it's like 37 hours long.
    Its so good.

  19. #19
    The Pan megladon8's Avatar
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    Yeah, Lawrence of Arabia is top notch.
    I'm not being dramatic, I just feel like I'm going to throw up my heart and my head is going to fly away like a bird.

  20. #20
    Since 1929 Morris Schæffer's Avatar
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    Longest movie I own and have yet to see is Carlos by Olivier Assayas. I suspect I'd like it a lot.

    Edit: some say it's actually a mini series. That explains.
    [+] closer to next rating / [-] closer to previous rating

    • Planet Earth II (BBC) ✦✦✦½ [+]
    • The Mandalorian (S2) ✦✦ [+]
    • Soul (Docter, 2020) ✦✦½ [+]
    • Spartacus (Kubrick, 1960) ✦✦✦✦ -- rewatch
    • The Crown (S4) ✦✦✦ [+]
    • Star Trek: Discovery (S3) ✦✦✦ [+]
    • War of the Worlds (Spielberg, 2005) ✦✦✦ [+] -- rewatch
    • The Crown (S3) ✦✦✦✦
    • Die Hard (McTiernan, 1988) ✦✦✦✦ -- rewatch
    • Carlos (Assayas, 2010/France) ✦✦✦½ [+]
    • Da 5 Bloods (Lee, 2020) ✦✦✦ [+]
    • Ma Rainey's Black Bottom (Wolfe, 2020) ✦✦✦½ [-]
    • Hard Boiled (Woo, 1992) ✦✦✦½ [-] -- rewatch
    • Dumbo (Various, 1941) ✦✦✦ [-] -- rewatch
    • The Queen's Gambit (Netflix, 2020) ✦✦✦ [+]


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  21. #21
    Quote Quoting Morris Schæffer (view post)
    Longest movie I own and have yet to see is Carlos by Olivier Assayas. I suspect I'd like it a lot.

    Edit: some say it's actually a mini series. That explains.
    In it's three parts, so you can spread it out. There's also a 160-minute theatrical version.
    Just because...
    The Nutty Professor (Jerry Lewis, 1963) mild
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    Invasión (Hugo Santiago, 1969) cold

    The last book I read was...
    The Varieties of Religious Experience: A Study in Human Nature by William James


    The (New) World

  22. #22
    Quote Quoting Dukefrukem (view post)
    I still haven't seen that because it's like 37 hours long.
    It's 12 minutes longer than "The Godfather" and 20 minutes shorter than "Seven Samurai" and you've seen those, right?

    Any decent transfer will have an intermission included, so it's easy to break up over the course of an evening (or two).

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