Opening Wednesday at A Theater or Drive-in Near You

Opening Wednesday at A Theater or Drive-in Near You

The Shadow Cinema of the American '70s

Book - 2017
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"When we think of '70s cinema, we think of classics like The Godfather, Taxi Driver, and The Wild Bunch. but the riches found in the overlooked B movies of the time, rolled out wherever they might find an audience, unexpectedly tell an eye-opening story about post-Watergate, post-Vietnam America. Revisiting the films that don't make the Academy Award montages, Charles Taylor finds a treasury many of us have forgotten, movies that in fact "unlock the secrets of the times." Celebrated film critic Taylor pays homage to the trucker vigilantes, meat magnate pimps, blaxploitation "angel avengers," and taciturn factory workers of grungy, unartful B films such as Prime Cut, Foxy Brown, and Eyes of Laura Mars. He creates a compelling argument for what matters in moviemaking and brings a pivotal American era vividly to life in all its gritty, melancholy complexity."-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York :, Bloomsbury USA,, 2017.
ISBN: 9781632868183
1632868180
Characteristics: 199 pages ; 22 cm
Summary: "When we think of '70s cinema, we think of classics like The Godfather, Taxi Driver, and The Wild Bunch. but the riches found in the overlooked B movies of the time, rolled out wherever they might find an audience, unexpectedly tell an eye-opening story about post-Watergate, post-Vietnam America. Revisiting the films that don't make the Academy Award montages, Charles Taylor finds a treasury many of us have forgotten, movies that in fact "unlock the secrets of the times." Celebrated film critic Taylor pays homage to the trucker vigilantes, meat magnate pimps, blaxploitation "angel avengers," and taciturn factory workers of grungy, unartful B films such as Prime Cut, Foxy Brown, and Eyes of Laura Mars. He creates a compelling argument for what matters in moviemaking and brings a pivotal American era vividly to life in all its gritty, melancholy complexity."-- Provided by publisher.

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lukasevansherman
Aug 15, 2017

As a nascent cinephile in the late 80s, one of the first things I learned was that the 70s was the golden age of American Cinema: the studio system was crumbling, maverick directors and actors were given free reign, violence and sex was far more acceptable, and, simply put, movies grew up. The decade gave us masterpieces like "The Godfather," "Chinatown," "Taxi Driver," and "Annie Hall." And then, if you accept conventional wisdom (And the opinion of Peter Biskind in his hysterical hymn to the films of the decade, "Easy Riders, Raging Bulls."), Steven Spielberg and George Lucas ruined everything. Charles Taylor doesn't really subscribe to this theory and has fresh approach to the cinema of the 70s, avoiding the blockbusters and masterpieces and looking at what he calls "the shadow cinema" of the decade. He looks at 15 films, none of which were either very popular or critically acclaimed. It's in the exploitation films, b-movies, and disreputable genre films that Taylor finds the true pulse of the 70s. He looks at 15 films, some obscure and some well-known, and he sheds light on the familiar (Peckinpah's "Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia," "Foxy Brown") and the lesser known ("Prime Cut," "Winter Kills"). Taylor's cultural criticism approach is in the mold of Robert Warshow and J. Hoberman and, like them, he's smart, sharp, and illuminating. For a look at the more mainstream 70 films, there's the documentary "A Decade Under the Influence."

l
lukasevansherman
Aug 15, 2017

As a nascent cinephile in the late 80s, one of the first things I learned was that the 70s was the golden age of American Cinema: the studio system was crumbling, maverick directors and actors were given free reign, violence and sex was far more acceptable, and, simply put, movies grew up. The decade gave us masterpieces like "The Godfather," "Chinatown," "Taxi Driver," and "Annie Hall." And then, if you accept conventional wisdom (And the opinion of Peter Biskind in his hysterical hymn to the films of the decade, "Easy Riders, Raging Bulls."), Steven Spielberg and George Lucas ruined everything. Charles Taylor doesn't really subscribe to this theory and has fresh approach to the cinema of the 70s, avoiding the blockbusters and masterpieces and looking at what he calls "the shadow cinema" of the decade. He looks at 15 films, none of which were either very popular or critically acclaimed. It's in the exploitation films, b-movies, and disreputable genre films that Taylor finds the true pulse of the 70s. He looks at 15 films, some obscure and some well-known, and he sheds light on the familiar (Peckinpah's "Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia," "Foxy Brown") and the lesser known ("Prime Cut," "Winter Kills"). Taylor's cultural criticism approach is in the mold of Robert Warshow and J. Hoberman and, like them, he's smart, sharp, and illuminating. For a look at the more mainstream 70 films, there's the documentary "A Decade Under the Influence."

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