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Easy Riders, Raging Bulls follows the wild ride that was Hollywood in the '70s-an unabashed celebration of sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll (both onscreen and off). This books (Easy Riders, Raging Bulls [FREE]) Made by Peter Raging Bulls [ FREE] PDF files, Read Online Easy Riders, Raging Bulls. Reserve Easy Riders, Raging Bulls: How The Sex-Drugs-and Rock'n'roll Generation Saved Hollywood. By Peter Biskind is one of the precious well worth that.
You had Altman, Coppola, Spielberg, Lucas A scattering of cars, headlights glowing fuzzily in the predawn gloom, had just begun to navigate the freeways as the first commuters sleepily sipped coffee out of Styrofoam cups and listened to the early morning news. A high of 71 degrees was expected. The Manson trial, now in the penalty phase, was still titillating the city of Los Angeles. Suddenly, the ground started to shake violently, not like the rolling, almost soothing motion of previous earthquakes. This was an abrupt heaving and falling that was terrifying in its intensity and duration, threatening to go on forever.
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Book details Author: Peter Biskind Pages: English ISBN If you want to download this book, click link in the last page 5. I thought, I gotta get outta here. By the time I pulled on my cowboy boots, got my money and the key to the motel room, and made it to the door, it was over. I went to the Copper Penny, and while I was having coffee, there was a big aftershock.
For Scorsese, there was nowhere to run. Before the dust settled, sixty-five souls had perished in the quake. None of the people who populate this book was among them. Their injuries would be self-inflicted. Then came, pell-mell, a series of premonitory shocks—the civil rights movement, the Beatles, the pill, Vietnam, and drugs—that combined to shake the studios badly, and send the demographic wave that was the baby boom crashing down about them. Because movies are expensive and time-consuming to make, Hollywood is always the last to know, the slowest to respond, and in those years it was at least half a decade behind the other popular arts.
So it was some time before the acrid odor of cannabis and tear gas wafted over the pools of Beverly Hills and the sounds of shouting reached the studio gates. As America burned, Hells Angels gunned their bikes down Sunset Boulevard, while girls danced topless in the street to the music of the Doors booming from the clubs that lined the Strip.
It was one long party. Everything old was bad, everything new was good. Nothing was sacred; everything was up for grabs. It was, in fact, a cultural revolution, American style. The buzz around movies attracted the best and the brightest of the boomers to the film schools.
Everybody wanted to get in on the act. In , two movies, Bonnie and Clyde and The Graduate, sent tremors through the industry. Others followed in quick succession: Miller in , and The Godfather in Before anyone realized it, there was a movement—instantly dubbed the New Hollywood in the press—led by a new generation of directors.
Directors as a group enjoyed more power, prestige, and wealth than they ever had before. The great directors of the studio era, like John Ford and Howard Hawks, regarded themselves as nothing more than hired help over- paid to manufacture entertainment, storytellers who shunned self-conscious style lest it interfere with the business at hand.
New Hollywood directors, on the other hand, were unembarrassed—in many cases rightly so—to assume the mantle of the artist, nor did they shrink from developing personal styles that distinguished their work from that of other directors. The second wave was made up of the early boomers, born during and mostly after World War II, the film school generation, the so-called movie brats.
The new power of directors was legitimized by its own ideology, auteurism. The auteur theory was an invention of French critics who maintained that directors are to movies what poets are to poems.
The leading American proponent of the auteur theory was Andrew Sarris, who wrote for the Village Voice, and used this pulpit to promote the then novel idea that the director is the sole author of his work, regardless of whatever contribution the writers, producers, or actors may make.
He ranked directors in hierarchies, which had an instant appeal for the passionate young cineastes who now knew that John Ford was better than William Wyler, and why. Most of these new faces were schooled in the Method by Lee Strasberg at the Actors Studio, or trained by the other celebrated New York teachers: As Scorsese puts it, " We were just guys who wanted to make movies, and we knew we could be cut down any second by these people at the studios.
It was the last time Hollywood produced a body of risky, high-quality work—as opposed to the errant masterpiece—work that was character-, rather than plot-driven, that defied traditional narrative conventions, that challenged the tyranny of technical correctness, that broke the taboos of language and behavior, that dared to end unhappily. These were often films without heroes, without romance, without—in the lexicon of sports, which has colonized Hollywood—anyone to root for.
Just think of Regan stabbing her crotch with a crucifix in The Exorcist or Travis Bickle blowing his way through the ending of Taxi Driver, fingertips flying in all directions.
This was a time when film culture permeated American life in a way that it never had before and never has since. In the words of Susan Sontag, " It was at this specific moment in the year history of cinema that going to movies, thinking about movies, talking about movies became a passion among university students and other young people.
You fell in love not just with actors but with cinema itself. Finally, the dream of the New Hollywood transcended individual movies.
At its most ambitious, the New Hollywood was a movement intended to cut film free of its evil twin, commerce, enabling it to fly high through the thin air of art. The avatars of the movement were filmmakers, not directors or editors or cinematographers ; they tried to break down the hierarchies that traditionally dominated the technical crafts.
It would have been a book about the art of the director, how director Y made X shot with Z lens because he was crafting a homage to Citizen Kane or The Searchers. Many excellent studies and innumerable biographies with exactly this approach already exist. It tries to explain why the New Hollywood happened, and why it ended. In , Adolph Zukor at ninety-two, and the only slightly younger Barney Balaban, seventy-eight, were still on the board of Paramount; Jack Warner, seventy-three, ran Warner Bros.
Darryl F. Zanuck, sixty-three, was firmly in command at 20th Century-Fox. To do what, go sit at Hillcrest Country Club and play pinochle? In the palmy days of the old studios, there was something of an apprentice system that allowed the sons of union members to enter the industry.
The day-to-day operations were still in the hands of the prewar generation of producers, directors, department heads, and crews who were in their fifties, sixties, and seventies. Next to the chauffeur was the man Winkler wanted to meet, an elderly gentleman named Norman Taurog, a Hollywood veteran best known for Boys Town with Spencer Tracy in He got out of the car with difficulty, tottered slowly up the steps, and extended a frail hand, covered with liver spots, as Winkler burbled, Mr.
Two years after Taurog completed Double Trouble, he lost his eyesight entirely. In those days, there was apparently nothing anomalous about a blind director. Directors, on salary, were there to make sure the actors hit their marks while the camera was running. They exited the production after the shooting phase was over.
They were low on the totem pole, barely higher than writers. There was only one maverick in this producer-dominated system: United Artists. This was a company that had empowered directors from its inception, back on January 15, , when it was founded by Charlie Chaplin, Douglas Fairbanks, Mary Pickford, and D.
The idea was that the film-makers would control their own destinies, cut out the middlemen, the meddling moguls who got rich off their labor. The surviving owners, Chaplin and Pickford, were not speaking to each other, and in they sold the company to Arthur Krim and Bob Benjamin, two smart lawyers with some motion picture experience.
Krim understood that the only way for a motion picture company to prosper was to be run as a studio without a lot, that is, as a financing and distribution entity.
What UA had to sell, the thing that would make the tiny company more desirable than its big brothers, was artistic freedom, and a bigger slice of the profits. But even UA was a geriatracy. It was a catch situation: Get out fast. The younger generation had to wrest it away from them. There was a great deal of prejudice if you were a kid and ambitious. The average age of the crew was sixty years old.
When they saw me walk on the stage, looking younger than I really was, like a baby, everybody turned their backs on me, just walked away. The studios were still churning out formulaic genre pictures, an endless stream of Doris Day and Rock Hudson vehicles; big-budget epics, like Hawaii, The Bible, and Krakatoa, East of Java; war films, like Tora!
At the same time, the stars who ornamented these creaky vehicles were not drawing the way they used to. The Sound of Music represented the last gasp of family entertainment, and in the half decade that followed, the war in Vietnam grew from a blip on the map somewhere in Southeast Asia to a reality that might easily claim the life of the boy next door.
According to Variety, marked the beginning of a three-year slump. Attendances, which hit an all-time high of Box office was down, inventories were up. Money was tight, therefore costly to borrow. According to Bart, " The movie industry was more on its ass than any time in its history, literally almost wiped off the face of the earth. To change metaphors, the once proud studio system, already a leaky vessel, was listing badly, and the conglomerates were circling beneath the chop, looking for dinner.
Although Hollywood watchers looked on gloomily as studio after studio became no more than an appetizer for some company whose primary business was insurance, zinc mining, or funeral homes, there was a ray of sunshine.
The same upheavals that had left the studios bruised and battered made room for fresh blood in the executive suites. In , Cassavetes scraped together enough money to make a feature called Shadows in New York, entirely outside the system. Kubrick, working in England, made Lolita in , and then followed it with Dr.
Strangelove in , a savage and scathingly funny demolition of Cold War culture. Still, the handful of daring American movies was nothing compared to what was going on in the rest of the world.
Wherever you looked—Poland, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, Sweden, Japan, Latin America—directors with unpronounceable names were making stunning movies.
Although these films were foreign, they seemed more immediate, more American than anything Hollywood was turning out. They hit home with a shock of recognition. He recalls, " You saw The Battle of Algiers ten times so you could memorize how to build the proper cell structure. Pennebaker, and the Maysles brothers, who had developed cheap, lightweight equipment that enabled a whole generation to take to the streets to capture a reality that was rapidly becoming more fantastical than anything springing from the febrile brow of even the most inventive screenwriters.
Assassinations, love-ins, prison breaks, bombings, airplane hijackings, hundreds of thousands of people flocking to Washington to levitate the Pentagon, dollar bills tumbling slowly through the air onto the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, were daily occurrences.
There were no maps to this wilderness of change. No one had blazed a trail. People had no idea. You pushed here, and if it gave there, you slipped in. And as all that pushing and shoving was going on, the equipment was changing, getting smaller and easier to use.
Then the Europeans emerged. Like that Blow-Up picture. It was much easier to get stuff going. There was a complete loss of nerve by the American studios at that point, says Boorman. They were so confused and so uncertain as to what to do, they were quite willing to cede power to the directors.
London was this swinging place, and there was this desire to import British or European directors who would somehow have the answers. Adds Paul Schrader, who was then the film critic for the major underground newspaper in L. There was nothing that was too outrageous. Says Guber, If you were young or you came out of film school, or you made a little experimental film up in San Francisco, that was the ticket into the system.
It was like a petri dish with an enormous amount of agar, so that anything you dropped in there grew. When the hippies finally did come knocking, in other words, the gates swung wide open, creating the illusion, as Milius puts it, that the citadel was empty. But this was only an illusion, and a dangerous one at that. The citadel was filled with land mines and booby traps. A scattering of cars, headlights glowing fuzzily in the predawn gloom, had just begun to navigate the freeways as the first commuters sleepily sipped coffee out of Styrofoam cups and listened to the early morning news.
A high of 71 degrees was expected. The Manson trial, now in the penalty phase, was still titillating the city of Los Angeles.
Suddenly, the ground started to shake violently, not like the rolling, almost soothing motion of previous earthquakes. This was an abrupt heaving and falling that was terrifying in its intensity and duration, threatening to go on forever. For many, the 6.
Over in Burbank, Martin Scorsese was jolted out of bed. He had just gotten a big break, an editing job at Warner Bros. Marty was staying at the Toluca Motel, across the street from the lot. Dreaming of rare books when he heard a rumble, he imagined he was in the subway. I jumped out of bed, looked out the window, he recalls.
Everything was shaking. Lightning was slashing across the sky—it was the electric wires from the telephone poles, falling down. It was terrifying. I thought, I gotta get outta here. By the time I pulled on my cowboy boots, got my money and the key to the motel room, and made it to the door, it was over. I went to the Copper Penny, and while I was having coffee, there was a big aftershock.