Article regarding 70's movie era - discussion

Discussion in 'Movies' started by Jim DiJoseph, May 9, 2003.

  1. Jim DiJoseph

    Jim DiJoseph Second Unit

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 1999
    Messages:
    271
    Likes Received:
    0
    I just stumbled across this interesting article at MSNBC regarding a couple documentaries that deal with cinema in the 1970s:

    That 70's Movie

     
  2. Rich Malloy

    Rich Malloy Producer

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2000
    Messages:
    3,998
    Likes Received:
    0
    There's more great cinema in the world today that there was in the 70s, but hardly any of it is coming out of Hollywood or the American Indie scene.

    Asia is where it's at, particularly Taiwan, Hong Kong and Korea, but also China and Japan. I think it's interesting that some of the most popular American films in recent years have borrowed heavily from Asian cinema, and we've even seen some Asian films break into the mainstream.

    I guess my point is that cinema ain't broke, but in America it's really struggling. And European films, too, while more varied and interesting than the American ones, are but a pale shadow of what they used to be.

    But, looking at it world-wide, cinema is stronger than ever.
     
  3. Gary->dee

    Gary->dee Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2003
    Messages:
    1,923
    Likes Received:
    1
    The state of American cinema is very much money orientated and has been for a long time, no doubt about that. I think everything moves in cycles and believe the movie industry is producing better movies now than there were, say 10 years ago. Competition is also capable of producing better movies. If everyone is copying off one another and essentially making the same movies over and over again then the medium stagnates. But when filmmakers are influenced or better yet have their own original ideas instead of trying to copy then some interesting things can happen. Then again originality is a scarce commodity.

    I'm a big fan of the 70's in general so I would agree with Coppola. But basically there's always a few good movie being released amongst the crap every year. You have to also consider the odds of good movies coming out against the plethora of all the titles released in one year. Most will be bad movies. However, whenever I think movies suck I can always look towards television or radio to get a true reading of how 2 other mediums, TV shows and music, have sunk to levels beyond recognition.
     
  4. Simon Massey

    Simon Massey Cinematographer
    Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2001
    Messages:
    2,382
    Likes Received:
    202
    Location:
    Kuwait
    Real Name:
    Simon Massey
     
  5. Jim DiJoseph

    Jim DiJoseph Second Unit

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 1999
    Messages:
    271
    Likes Received:
    0
    Excellent points. And yes I probably should have narrowed my question to include only American cinema because I too am aware of some of the great work coming from international sources.

    However, I'm afraid that the summer blockbuster appeal will preclude any such accomplishment (on a grand scale) here in the States. Sure, Sundance and other smaller markets will (hopefully) always encourage and support creative cinema, but many of us won't be able to enjoy it at the local theater.

    Before I get called out on account of other postings, I must confess that I do enjoy the blockbuster movies. I like to be "wow-ed" now and then and I have enjoyed many of the movies that have come out in the recent past. I just wonder if the really creative American cinema, which is seeing less exposure today than in the past (IMHO), will continue down this road of obscurity in the future. Or am I overstating the issue?

    Thanks.
     
  6. Edwin Pereyra

    Edwin Pereyra Producer

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 1998
    Messages:
    3,500
    Likes Received:
    0
     
  7. Jim DiJoseph

    Jim DiJoseph Second Unit

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 1999
    Messages:
    271
    Likes Received:
    0
    Edwin, thanks for your response. Perhaps things are indeed turning around, but that perspective must rely heavily on geographics. In my region, these festivals are non-existent. I've searched high and wide, but it seems that in order for me to have access to these sorts of films, extended travel must be involved. And this is part of the issue I was addressing - what percentage of those of us who enjoy creative American cinema really have easy access to it?

    However, it's good to hear that other cities such as yours (none is indicated in your profile) host festivals like you say. Thanks.
     
  8. Mike Broadman

    Mike Broadman Producer

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2001
    Messages:
    4,951
    Likes Received:
    1
    The point made at the end of the article makes a great point: wereas films of the early 70s were cynical, the simpler hero/villain fare has devolved to the point where it is presented with even more cynicism.

    It's as if Hollywood stopped trying to make films have any artistic merit. In fact, most people are afraid to use the A word for fear of sounding pretentious.

    Yes, of course there are great film makers who work outside the Hollywood system. But that's the point- why should they have to?
     
  9. ArmandV

    ArmandV Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2000
    Messages:
    93
    Likes Received:
    0
    Speaking strictly about Hollywood-generated films, I have to agree with Coppola. The studios aren't taking risks like they used to. Everything they produce "has to make a ton of money" or it won't get made.

    Others on this thread covered the lack of originality in films, but I want to mention that we have lost the will to have cheap-but-well-made films. Everything has to be the "big blockbuster."

    I miss seeing the many "B" movies of the 1970s today. What was considered a "B" movie shown in theaters back then are now the "direct to video" films of today. There are no more double features, even though ticket prices have tripled (or more) since the 1970s. The prices at concession stands are ridiculous (naturally, the theaters make their money through concessions).

    Thankfully, we now have the option of DVDs. But it would be nice to take the family out to a movie (another thing, very few drive-ins are left) without having to get a second mortgage on the house to pay for it.

    What it really boils down to, we don't seem to be getting our money's worth these days.
     
  10. Paul_Scott

    Paul_Scott Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2002
    Messages:
    6,546
    Likes Received:
    1
    the difference between the cinema of the 70's and the cinema of the 80's-on up, lies in the drugs that were being consumed.
    i'm serious.
    in the 60's you saw many creative types experimenting with psychedelics. this definitely influenced the grammer of film and themes of product in the late sixties/early 70's.
    when the block busters started to roll in in the mid 70's, cocaine was becoming the more popular recreational substance.
    all visceral, nervous movement with mostly shallow thought behind it.
     
  11. Steve_Ch

    Steve_Ch Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2001
    Messages:
    978
    Likes Received:
    0
    I must say I was amused to read Coppola's qoute. Godfather III was not exactly taking a lot of financial risk or what I call ground breaking/challenging film making.
    I am in my 50s and I certainly remember clearly when in the early 80s I read very similar things, "Sure there were some great films in the 70s, but the Golden Era is really in the 40s and 50s". Sounded good, who can argue with Bogart, Holden, Mitchum, Steward, Stanwyk, Hepburn,..and Wilder, Hawks, Ford,...?
    Hollywood not taking chances is not news, I remember all the Biblical theme dramas in the later 50s into early 60s, the endless Mafia knockoffs after the success of the Goldfather, and the flood gate really broke loose after Star Wars.
    If one looks outside of the "establishment", I think there are plenty of excitment and innovation, and these films are successful, even though they may not be 100 million box movies. Offhand, film like Far From Heaven would probably not be a 70s film, Asians in 70s film were certainly not like the ones in Better Luck Tomorrow (in other words, for those that are old enough to remember, 70s films were largely low in minority POV and high with stereotyping).
    Now, before we REALLY jump on "commercial" American films, let's look at the movies that had the "buzz" last year:
    Chicago, The Hours, Adaptation, Road to Perdition, 25th Hour, Quiet American, Antwone Fisher, Far From Heaven, Catch Me If You Can, Gangs of New York.. Box office blockbusters, we have Signs, Harry Potter COS, and LOTR. I think one will be hard pressed to find any year in the 70s, commercial or otherwise, that have so many films of comparable quality.
     
  12. Scott Weinberg

    Scott Weinberg Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2000
    Messages:
    7,477
    Likes Received:
    0
    Great thread here.

    I saw Easy Riders Raging Bulls earlier this year and was hypnotized by the whole movie.

    Since then I've been keeping an eye out for 'lesser-known' 70s films and I've 'discovered' a whole lot of 'em.

    Sure, the 70s did spawn the Blockbuster Mentality that we all know so well today, but the Golden Rule is still pretty much the same: a good movie is a good movie. People rarely remember hype and budgets and buzz; they sure as shit remember a movie they love.

    It seems that the popular actors of the 70s were willing to take a lot more 'chances' than their modern peers do.

    And how the heck is Scarecrow (Pacino and Hackman!) not available on DVD yet!?!? [​IMG]
     
  13. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 1999
    Messages:
    16,738
    Likes Received:
    129
    One problem with The Downward Spiral is that now, in the popcorn era, the bar has been lowered for most people as to what constitutes excellence. So a film that would have been widely regarded as trite or manipulative or mediocre in the early '70s is today hailed as a "masterpiece" or "great." Far From Heaven, for example.
     
  14. Scott Calvert

    Scott Calvert Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 1998
    Messages:
    885
    Likes Received:
    2
    "I think one will be hard pressed to find any year in the 70s, commercial or otherwise, that have so many films of comparable quality."

    1971:
    The French Connection
    A Clockwork Orange
    Fiddler on the Roof
    The Last Picture Show
    Nicholas and Alexandra
    The Hospital
    Sunday Bloody Sunday
    McCabe & Mrs. Miller
    Mary, Queen of Scots
    Carnal Knowledge
    The Conformist (not Hollywood, I know, but what the hell)
    Klute
    Summer of '42
    The Andromeda Strain
    Straw Dogs
    Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
     
  15. Brad Porter

    Brad Porter Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 1999
    Messages:
    1,757
    Likes Received:
    0
    Coming to a theater near you this year:

    Sequels (or prequels):
    X2: X-Men United
    The Matrix Reloaded
    Pokemon Heroes
    2 Fast 2 Furious
    Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd
    Rugrats Go Wild!
    Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle
    Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines
    Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde
    Bad Boys II
    Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life
    Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over
    American Wedding
    Freddy vs. Jason
    Jeepers Creepers II
    Desperado II: Once Upon A Time In Mexico
    (why isn't this El Mariachi III?)
    Scary Movie 3
    The Whole Ten Yards
    The Matrix Revolutions
    Barbershop 2
    The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
    Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas
    (not actually part of a previous franchise, but c'mon, it's Sinbad!)

    Remakes (or translations from TV/Comic Books):
    The In-Laws
    The Italian Job
    The Hulk
    Freaky Friday
    S.W.A.T.
    If You Were My Girl
    (is a remake of Can't Buy Me Love)
    The Alamo
    Cheaper By The Dozen
    Peter Pan


    Is there a precedent for this volume of sequels and remakes? Are the Hollywood studios that frightened of original material? I'll grant that some of these will be very good movies (perhaps the height of irony is that I'm typing this message while watching The Godfather Part II), but it's seems easier to get a safe project with a built in audience greenlighted than perhaps it should be. Somewhere in Hollywood, I'm sure they've had pitch meetings for The Seventh Sense, My Big Fat Greek Baby, and xXXx: One More X.

    Brad
     
  16. Scott Weinberg

    Scott Weinberg Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2000
    Messages:
    7,477
    Likes Received:
    0
    Well argued point there, Scott.

    Can I do 1972?? [​IMG]

    Sounder
    Sleuth
    1776
    The Godfather
    Cabaret
    Deliverance
    Butterflies are Free
    Man of La Mancha
    High Plains Drifter
    The Getaway
    Jeremiah Johnson
    Slaughterhouse-Five
    Silent Running
    The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean
    The Poseidon Adventure
    The Hot Rock
    Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex
    Lady Sings the Blues
    The Heartbreak Kid


    [​IMG]
     
  17. Scott Calvert

    Scott Calvert Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 1998
    Messages:
    885
    Likes Received:
    2
    Someone needs to go back and do 1970 [​IMG]

    EDIT: Ah hell, I'll do it:

    Catch-22
    Little Big Man
    Patton
    Airport
    Five Easy Pieces
    MASH
    The Great White Hope
    Satyricon
    Women in Love
    Woodstock
    Let it Be

    I hesitate to add Love Story and Ryan's Daughter, but...well, there it is.
     
  18. ArmandV

    ArmandV Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2000
    Messages:
    93
    Likes Received:
    0
     
  19. ArmandV

    ArmandV Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2000
    Messages:
    93
    Likes Received:
    0
     
  20. Scott Calvert

    Scott Calvert Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 1998
    Messages:
    885
    Likes Received:
    2
    1973:
    The Sting
    American Graffiti
    The Exorcist
    The Last Detail
    Serpico
    The Last Tango in Paris
    The Paper Chase
    Bang the Drum Slowly
    Paper Moon
    The Way We Were
    Papillon
    The Day of the Jackal
    A Touch of Class
    Don't Look Now
    Badlands
    The Harder They Come
    The Iceman Cometh
    Jesus Christ Superstar
    The Last American Hero
    The Legend of Hell House
    The Long Goodbye
    Magnum Force
    Mean Streets
    Pat Garret and Billy the Kid
    Scarecrow
    The Seven-Ups
    Sisters
    Sleeper
    Soylent Green
    The Three Musketeers
    Westworld
    The Wicker Man
     

Share This Page