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Easy Riders, Raging Bulls: How the Sex, Drugs and Rock 'N' Roll Generation Saved Hollywood (2003)

TV-14 | | Documentary | 9 March 2003 (USA)
A look at 1970s Hollywood when it was known as New Hollywood, and the director was the star of the movie.

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Based upon Peter Biskind's book of the same name, this BBC-produced documentary traces the rise of a generation of Hollywood filmmakers who briefly changed the face of movies with a more personal approach that pushed the boundaries of what was acceptable on-screen. Influential directors who appear include Arthur Penyn ("Bonnie and Clyde"), Dennis Hopper ("Easy Rider"), Francis Ford Coppola ("The Godfather"), John Schlesinger ("Midnight Cowboy"), Bob Rafelson ("Five Easy Pieces") Martin Scorsese ("Taxi Driver"), Peter Bogdanovich ("The Last Picture Show"), and Jonathan Demme ("Crazy Mama"). Narrated by William H. Macy, the documentary features vintage clips of Coppola, Scorsese, Beatty, George Lucas, Sam Peckinpah, Roman Polanski, Robert Altman, and Pauline Kael. It also includes original interview material with Penn; Roger Corman; Bogdanovich; Hopper; David Picker; writer/directors John Milius and Paul Schrader; actresses Karen Black, Cybill Shepherd, Margot Kidder, and Jennifer Salt;... Written by alfiehitchie

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How the Sex Drugs and Rock 'n' Roll Generation Saved Hollywood

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9 March 2003 (USA)  »

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Easy Riders, Raging Bulls  »

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Many of the subjects profiled in author Peter Biskind's book, including directors Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, Robert Altman, and 'William Friedkin', declined interviews for the documentary. See more »

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References Apocalypse Now (1979) See more »

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Good introduction, but nothing on the book
22 February 2004 | by See all my reviews

The last golden age of Hollywood film-making is captured in this two hour documentary, based on Peter Biskind's bestselling book of the same name. Director Kenneth Bowser does a commendable job of corralling many of the key names of the period in this light but passable introduction to the topic.

Bowser's treatise of 1970s Hollywood is essentially a potted history of the time – many of the key developments and vital films that were made during this period are passed over or given nothing more than a cursory glance. The documentary suffers as a result and added to this, historical inaccuracies are also evident.

Film fans will most enjoy the scenes of archival footage – a desperately nerdy George Lucas being introduced as Francis Ford Coppola's 'assistant'; Jack Nicholson, Bob Rafelson, Dennis Hopper and Peter Tork on the set of The Monkees vehicle 'Head'; and the piece de resistance, a home movie with Messrs Spielberg, Lucas, Milius, Coppola, de Palma, Schrader and Scorsese all in the same room. To be a fly on the wall at that party!

There are also current interviews with the likes of Peter Bogdanovich, Dennis Hopper, Peter Bart, John Milius, Michael Phillips, Paul Schrader, Peter Fonda, Albert S. Ruddy and many more figures of the time.

Bowser's documentary serves as a snapshot of the time – Biskind's novel is a veritable diary. The book is packed with amazing stories that even a 13-part series couldn't document. Watch this documentary, get a taste of the time and then buy the book to immerse yourself in a fantastic period of American filmic creativity.


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