Guide to American Cinema, 1965-1995

Guide to American Cinema, 1965-1995

Guide to American Cinema, 1965-1995

Guide to American Cinema, 1965-1995

Synopsis

This is a critical collection of key films, directors, and performers in American film, 1965-1995, a period that spans the demise of the studio system to the rise of the independents. The guide includes such notable contributions as the early work of Mike Nichols, the litany of 1970s masterpieces from Francis Ford Coppola, the overlooked works of genre directors Monte Hellman and Larry Cohen, and the exciting new independent generation of Lili Taylor, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Sean Penn, Todd Haynes, and Spike Lee. Of interest to scholars, students, and film buffs.

Excerpt

Having spent a couple of years amid a swirl of films from 1965 to 1995, I began to think that this thirty-year stretch of filmmaking—a little less than one-third the total span of the motion picture industry—has the look of a transition period. It features some of the greatest films ever made and nearly all of the biggest moneymakers, yet it feels nestled in between the demise of the Hollywood studio system and the technological advances that the future holds. It is perhaps no accident that the period begins with MGM’s The Sound of Music, one of the last great epics that the studio system produced, and ends with Toy Story, Pixar’s revolutionary computer-animated hit; it’s a long way from Sam Goldwyn and Louis B. Mayer to Steve Jobs. During these thirty years many of the names that helped create American film history have passed on—directors Frank Capra, Charlie Chaplin, Allan Dwan, John Ford, Alfred Hitchcock, Howard Hawks, Buster Keaton, and Orson Welles and actors Fred Astaire, James Cagney, Marlene Dietrich, Henry Fonda, Greta Garbo, Cary Grant, Gene Kelly, Boris Karloff, Groucho Marx, Edward G. Robinson, Ginger Rogers, Barbara Stanwyck, and John Wayne. We have seen Hollywood transform. The past has given way to the television generation of directors, then the film school generation, the independent filmmaker, and the minority directors and actors. This is not our father’s (or mother’s) Hollywood; it is, in fact, a closer representation of our America. It is a Hollywood in which a film can cost under $100,000 or over $100 million and still reach a wide audience. There is a nostalgia for the motion picture history of movie palaces and double features, but a great percentage of today’s movie audience has no such recollection. Since 1965, we have seen the advent of color television, UHF, the camcorder, the video rental business, cable television, laser discs, pay-per-view, interactive storytelling, virtual reality games, IMAX, the Internet, and quick-time movie clips on our home computers.

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