American Cinema: The Film School Generation (1995)
*** 1/2 (out of 4)
This entry in the American Cinema series takes a look at recent filmmakers who were also film buffs and went to film schools to learn their trade. Martin Scorsese, George Lucas, Steven Spielberg, John Milius, Teri Garr, Brian DePalma, David Brown and author Linda Myles are all interviewed. What this episode basically does is look at the "new" type of filmmakers that were taking over the early 70s and each one are able to discuss their first movies, how they got their break and go onto discuss some of their bigger pictures. Spielberg probably gets the most attention as he talks about shooting 8mm films as a child, getting to work at Universal on TV projects and then of course breaking big with JAWS. Lucas talks about feeling that he only had one shot in Hollywood and discusses how the studios just didn't think his films were going to connect with an audience. Even Scorsese talks about thinking that no one would see MEAN STREETS and he discusses what he thought was going to be a disastrous preview at Warner. Another running theme deals with the foreign influence that all of these filmmakers had. Each talk about the foreign directors that influenced them and we hear how DePalma wanted to be the next Godard but instead went towards Hitchcock. Fans of these artist are certainly going to enjoy this look back at their careers but it's also just fun seeing how they got started and what Hollywood was like at this time.
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