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Old 19-01-2005, 11:45   #41
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Originally Posted by anephric
Has Cruising ever been released on R1 dvd? I didn't think it had and, if so, would someone kindly direct me towards it...
I assume Gary ment NTSC VHS as it certainly hasn't been released on DVD anywhere. The fisting bit is there, but not to the extent Friedkin filmed it, apparently you see the fist appear on the stomach!
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Old 19-01-2005, 12:58   #42
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Why the huffing and puffing? I saw the point you were making in that post - but surely the original Easy Riders... focus of the original list is more interesting than what could become simply another summation of the greatest films ever created, aka "my favourite films"...?

The huffing and puffing is because I'm tired of being deliberately misunderstood. Anyway, consider this my last post on this thread.
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Old 19-01-2005, 13:04   #43
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Without sounding errant (and continuing in the knowledge that you're not listening anymore) what do you mean 'deliberately misunderstood'?

I was interested in continuing your line of discussion (admittedly I got sidetracked).
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Old 19-01-2005, 13:06   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike
Why the huffing and puffing? I saw the point you were making in that post - but surely the original Easy Riders... focus of the original list is more interesting than what could become simply another summation of the greatest films ever created, aka "my favourite films"...?

The huffing and puffing is because I'm tired of being deliberately misunderstood. Anyway, consider this my last post on this thread.
Fair enough - though I have no idea why the attitude, and am unaware of anyone who has "deliberately" misunderstood anything. Hey ho - on with the discussion.
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Old 19-01-2005, 13:19   #45
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Grrr... never mind, consider it Grumpy Old Man blather. I didn't intend to derail any discussion, I just thought it might be interesting to go beyond the 1969-80 limit set by the NFT, because I'm becoming increasingly suspicious of the Biskind theory the more films from the 1940s and 1950s that I watch.

It seems to me that the theory is based on an idea that the films between "Bonnie and Clyde" and "Heaven's Gate" represented a fundamental change in the way Hollywood operated. I don't think it necessarily did.

These are some random thoughts...

The hegemony of the director within the system began long before 1967 - look at the power Minnelli had at MGM for example or the way United Artists began treating the director as the prime mover in their films from the early 1950s onwards. Admittedly, this only lasted for many of them while they had hits, but the same can be said of the later period and all we see in 1980 is the same end of the road that came for Stroheim or Griffith many years earlier. "Heaven's Gate" is important in itself because of the scale of the financial disaster but it's no more individually important than the numerous big-budget flops of the previous few years - "Big Wednesday", "New York New York", "Sorceror" - in bringing the era to a supposed end. Indeed, I'm not sure if the era did end - Philip Kaufman had far more success at getting his films made on his own terms in the 1980s than in the 1970s, Woody Allen kept his deal with UA and then the same deal with Orion, Scorsese was able to keep making the films he wanted to even when they kept flopping, Coppola was still employed (and encouraged to spend vast amounts of other people's cash) after "Apocalypse Now" and "One From The Heart" - and "Rumble Fish", made for Universal, is just as much of a personal film as those two, in my opinion.

Anyway, sorry for any offence caused I always get grouchy around birthday time.
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Old 19-01-2005, 13:35   #46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike
Grrr... never mind, consider it Grumpy Old Man blather. I didn't intend to derail any discussion, I just thought it might be interesting to go beyond the 1969-80 limit set by the NFT, because I'm becoming increasingly suspicious of the Biskind theory the more films from the 1940s and 1950s that I watch.

It seems to me that the theory is based on an idea that the films between "Bonnie and Clyde" and "Heaven's Gate" represented a fundamental change in the way Hollywood operated. I don't think it necessarily did.

These are some random thoughts...

The hegemony of the director within the system began long before 1967 - look at the power Minnelli had at MGM for example or the way United Artists began treating the director as the prime mover in their films from the early 1950s onwards. Admittedly, this only lasted for many of them while they had hits, but the same can be said of the later period and all we see in 1980 is the same end of the road that came for Stroheim or Griffith many years earlier. "Heaven's Gate" is important in itself because of the scale of the financial disaster but it's no more individually important than the numerous big-budget flops of the previous few years - "Big Wednesday", "New York New York", "Sorceror" - in bringing the era to a supposed end. Indeed, I'm not sure if the era did end - Philip Kaufman had far more success at getting his films made on his own terms in the 1980s than in the 1970s, Woody Allen kept his deal with UA and then the same deal with Orion, Scorsese was able to keep making the films he wanted to even when they kept flopping, Coppola was still employed (and encouraged to spend vast amounts of other people's cash) after "Apocalypse Now" and "One From The Heart" - and "Rumble Fish", made for Universal, is just as much of a personal film as those two, in my opinion.

Anyway, sorry for any offence caused I always get grouchy around birthday time.
No offence caused whatsoever. I was simply questioning the earlier post. Here, you make excellent points, and I agree with you.
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Old 19-01-2005, 13:37   #47
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But if you look at some of your examples - Milius, Friedkin - they most definitely became casualties of the '80s... Scorsese was able to make the films he wanted only by trading off (Cassavetes-style) projects that he didn't necessarily want to make. Coppola lost any real autonomy he had and, even with Rumblefish, had to horsetrade with The Outsiders.

I think the Easy Riders argument (the notion that the studios had absolutely lost touch with what the public 'wanted' and passed the reins in both a sense of 'authorial power' and 'cultural' power...) is still valid: Minnelli et al were ostensibly still members of a perceived community... Hollywood had to open the gates to the barbarians in the '60s and '70s, in that respect.
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Old 19-01-2005, 13:50   #48
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Ah yes, but the people who replaced the studios didn't have a much better idea what the public wanted either. The public soon got tired of the BBS productions and went back to big studio films or films made by producers, e.g. Zanuck/Brown, who had a home at a studio not unlike the Arthur Freed or John Houseman deals at MGM. A lot of the films which were commercial and critical hits - and which influenced the cultural climate - were made under conditions not substantially different, except in terms of permissiveness, to those in the early 1960s - "The Exorcist", "French Connection", "Chinatown" for example. The likes of Zanuck/Brown, Robert Evans, John Calley and David Picker were executives raised in the same tradition as the studio chiefs from the golden era and were considered to be 'safe'. The period in which the indepndents had any major influence on production was relatively brief. Their lasting impact was probably greater but not all that great.

The barbarians were allowed in before the 1960s. The cultural and authorial power of an independent producer such as Preminger was incredibly strong. Scorsese didn't begin horse-trading to any significant extent until well into the 1980s.

Regarding Milius and Friedkin, they weren't casualties of the 1980s so much as casualties of having too much power and too much freedom. What happened to them was virtually identical to what happened to Erich Von Stroheim in the studio system at the end of the 1920s. There are just as many "unorthodox" films being made in mainstream American cinema between 1980 and 1984 as there were between 1976 and 1980 and possibly more.
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Old 19-01-2005, 13:51   #49
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It's also arguable that the studios didn't lose touch with the public. They certainly had flops, but so did the studios back in the 1950s and early 1960s. If you look at the numbers, apart from "Easy Rider", the films the public wanted to see were mainstream studio productions such as "Paint Your Wagon", "Patton", "Love Story" and "Airport".
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Old 19-01-2005, 15:12   #50
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Really? I've always had the notion that Paint Your Wagon was held up as an artifact of how far out of touch the studios had got...

I've been brainwashed by Biskind and his unruly afro.

If the 'out of touch' argument is fragile, then, why did the studios take so many seemingly bizarre 'chances' with unproven film-brat directors?

Quote:
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There are just as many "unorthodox" films being made in mainstream American cinema between 1980 and 1984 as there were between 1976 and 1980 and possibly more.
But there's nothing of the impact of The French Connection, the 'folly' of Heaven's Gate, the rawkishness of M.A.S.H, the idiosyncratic archness of The Last Picture Show...

There's Reds... I'm curious (without being facetious) as to what other examples you're thinking of...
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Old 19-01-2005, 16:09   #51
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Not all of these are good (nor were their seventies counterparts) but they all qualify for my case:

"The Right Stuff", "Honky Tonk Freeway" (it's dreadful but it's still unique), "One From The Heart", "Raging Bull", "Cutter's Way", "King of Comedy", "Melvin and Howard", "Pennies From Heaven", "Thief", "Blow Out", "All The Marbles", "Excalibur", "Shoot The Moon", "Cat People", "The Thing", "Blade Runner", "Ragtime", "Honkytonk Man", "Once Upon A Time In America", "The Dead Zone", "Popeye" (which is surely one of the strangest blockbusters ever made and, in its full version, every inch an Altman movie), "The Long Riders", "Streets of Fire", "Under The Volcano", "Stardust Memories", "Prince of the City", "Hammett", "Tempest", "Under Fire", "Missing", "True Confessions", "Eureka"...

Now I don't like all of the above, nor do I think they're all good movies. But many of them are just as quirky and inventive, and plainly products of a strong controlling individual vision, as anything produced 1976-80. You can add to the list some more obvious successes such as "ET", as personal and idiosyncratic a film as Spielberg has ever made and "Dressed To Kill". I think a lot of the above films can hold their heads up high in the company of the films you mentioned.
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Old 19-01-2005, 16:10   #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anephric
Really? I've always had the notion that Paint Your Wagon was held up as an artifact of how far out of touch the studios had got...
Any film that plants Lee Marvin atop the charts for weeks on end must have touched a nerve somewhere (and I, as a callow youth, bought the soundtrack without seeing the film; yowsa - my hair stood on end when I heard Clint warbling)

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I've been brainwashed by Biskind and his unruly afro.
It's a fair point; haven't we all to some degree?
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Old 19-01-2005, 16:17   #53
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As part of his argument, Biskind states that "Darling Lili" was one of the out-of-touch films which were done away with when Robert Evans arrived at Paramount. Which would be fine if it were not for the fact that Evans personally gave that film the OK in 1969. "Star!", another oft-quoted example, was okayed by Richard Zanuck.

"Paint Your Wagon" didn't turn a profit but it was one of the most successful films internationally in 1969/70. The other films I named are better examples.

Most of the movie brat directors hired had already proved themselves on other projects - certainly true of Bogdanovich, Rafelson, Scorsese, De Palma and Coppola.
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Old 19-01-2005, 16:44   #54
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For the record, I love Paint Your Wagon. I was just mentioning it as an oft-referenced example
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Old 19-01-2005, 18:06   #55
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Hasn't the subject of this thread got a little lost in the rush to list titles - The Warriors for God's sake? What's the importance of that? If you take the NFT's season and the slightly arbitrary starting date of 1967 you surely have to go back a few years to locate the movie or movies that brought about the change. And those movies were the real ones that changed or brought about or enabled the change in Hollywood. In fact Hollywood has never changed - its raison d'etre has always been to make money. But I would hazard that the most important film of the 60s would be Cleopatra, followed by Star! The Fall of the Roman Empire, Darling Lili and Hello Dolly, the movies that finally hammered home the nails in the coffin of the studio system and thus paved the way for movies like Easy Rider and Bonnie and Clyde.
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Old 19-01-2005, 18:17   #56
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I wouldn't say The Warriors was a particularly notable film in this context of 'change', but culturally its impact has been huge... especially in Japan, where it was adored. I could go on for weeks about the amount of videogames, songs etc that reference it.
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Old 30-01-2005, 13:18   #57
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Just bought my ticket for the restored version of "Heaven's Gate". Seems to be quite a few seats left on Sunday 27th Feb so if you want to see it, there's still plenty of time to book it.
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