Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 12

Thread: Bored with blockbusters? Why Hollywood needs another Bonnie and Clyde moment

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Tuesday, October 1st, 2013
    Last Online
    Yesterday @ 1:23 PM
    Posts
    12,314
    Post Thanks / Like

    Bored with blockbusters? Why Hollywood needs another Bonnie and Clyde moment

    Bored with blockbusters? Why Hollywood needs another Bonnie and Clyde moment

    This weekend marks 50 years since the release of the film that shook up studios and ushered in a new wave of auteurs including Coppola and Scorsese. Does the complacent Hollywood of 2017 need a similar shock?

    Bonnie and Clyde still

    ‘In the half century since its release, the influence of the true-ish story of public enemies Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow has never stopped rippling.’ Photograph: Ronald Grant
    View more sharing options

    Danny Leigh
    Thursday 10 August 2017 11.00 EDT Last modified on Thursday 10 August 2017 17.00 EDT

    We will never know the contents of Warren Beatty’s head once it became clear he had cued Faye Dunaway into wrongly naming La La Land this year’s best picture at the Oscars. Rooted centre stage, the cast and crew of the real winner, Moonlight, filing by, he wore the horrified blank stare of the veteran actor suddenly unable to remember his line. Or perhaps he found himself a happy place – lost in thoughts of Bonnie and Clyde, the transformative crime movie whose 50th anniversary was the reason he and Dunaway were there anyway.

    In truth, that was a bit of Academy flimflam. Released in August 1967, Bonnie and Clyde didn’t win the Oscar for Best Picture, losing to In the Heat of the Night and the elegant heft of Sidney Poitier. But in the half century since, the influence of the true-ish story of public enemies Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow has never stopped rippling. Throw in The Graduate, out four months later, and you have the vanguard of what would be called “New Hollywood”. Like a flicked switch, it changed the movies – leading an onrush of struttingly glorious films that caught the mood of youth, made by directors, not executives, filling screens with sex and violence, ambivalence and auteurist flourishes.

    For proof, watch out for the Melvillean mass of 50th anniversary pieces about to be published. Once The Graduate has been and gone, next year you can set your watch by the tributes to 2001: A Space Odyssey and the queasy genius of Rosemary’s Baby. Then in 2019, it will be the turn of Sam Peckinpah’s charred and bloody Wild Bunch, John Schlesinger’s Midnight Cowboy and Dennis Hopper’s Easy Rider. And so we will keep going until we reach the breakthroughs of pups such as Francis Ford Coppola, Brian De Palma and Martin Scorsese.

    A persuasive school of thought has it that the years between 1967 and 1979 – maybe we draw a line at the upriver freakout of Apocalypse Now – were the best American cinema would ever have. Whereas the state of the art now can look like the moment before the revolution. The Hollywood of 1966 was bland and besieged, studios throwing vast sums at puffed up spectacles that found audiences ever more prone to washing their hair. For anyone who has spent the last six months avoiding The Mummy and King Arthur, the scene may seem familiar. Every year has its clunkers, of course – but the existential nag of “what are we doing here?” feels louder every time you enter the cinema. A new New Hollywood would have no end of takers.

    To the studios of the early 60s, Hollywood was the movies, and vice versa. But New Hollywood came out of broader horizons, with youthful Manhattan thrillseekers turning to movies made thousands of miles from America, the adventures of the French New Wave. The writers of Bonnie and Clyde, Robert Benton and David Newman, were just that kind of hip kid – before the great Arthur Penn was hired, their first choices as director were François Truffaut and Jean-Luc Godard.

    The other ingredient was the socio-political something in the air, the bloody churn of Vietnam, riots across the US, the psychedelic moment. None of that was up on screen. Yet still no one saw New Hollywood coming. Bonnie and Clyde stole up on the culture in a way it would be impossible to do today, with a zillion truffle-hunter content providers tracking movies from their first pitch. Moonlight, the definitive surprise package, won the Oscar this year having been first tipped to do so while still being edited. The immediate response to Bonnie and Clyde were reviews deriding it as lowbrow sleaze, and a release schedule of Texan drive-ins.

    But it became a pop culture smash – Dunaway’s beret the autumn’s fashion must-have. What audiences saw that critics hadn’t was the ticklish idea behind the violence; that it could be funny and ugly, and that sex was simultaneously all that mattered and no big thing (note for the record that the favourite movie of the sexual revolution had an impotent hero). It was a song played on the offbeat, a “gangster film,” Robert Benton said, “about all the things they didn’t show you in a gangster film.” The same counter-intuition informed the casting of The Graduate, the hunk at the heart of Charles Webb’s source novel played by the nebbishy Dustin Hoffman. As one film closed with a wall of bullets and the other an uncertain stare into the future, a particular type of movie – all square jaws and sunset endings – looked redundant. In remembering how to talk to young audiences, American movies grew up. Films held two thoughts in their head at once. The day was saved.

    Sort of. The influence of New Hollywood was deeply lopsided, the hallmark shrug of doubt less durable than the wisecracks. In modern times, the most vocal heir to the aesthetic has been Quentin Tarantino, whose films at their best have the same livewire hum as Bonnie and Clyde – and at worst exactly the dimwit snigger of which Beatty and Dunaway were wrongly accused.
    More.

    Interesting. I see a lot of movies - way, way more than the average American. The only genre I simply won't pay to see is the Rom-Com, so I see a lot of drama, comedy, sci-fi, horror, thrillers, and action movies. I see my share of the quirky and "artistic" flicks as well.

    The writer is incorrect about the state of movie-watching in the mid 60s. Audiences were not tired or bored by mainstream offerings from big studios at that point. Far from it. Movies still held a central entertainment place in the hearts of most people across all demographics. The emergence of "important" films that examined topical social issues or used edgy devices such as blatant sex, drug use, anti-heroes, and other transgressive themes (at that point) didn't pull audiences in, they drove audiences out.

    Films changed radically at that point in time. By the mid-70s, movie-going was no longer a family activity on any level. It increasingly became the domain of teen and young adult males. This was true even for minority directors. Movies suitable for the under 10 crowd became their own genre. Few movies were made with primary, well developed characters over 50 years of age where the character was depicted as smart or sympathetic.

    Hollywood lost the over 50 demographic, the family demographic, and many women. This isn't all up to poor scripts and bad ideas but that's a significant factor.

    For what it's worth, I think that if Hollywood made interesting movies that an entire multi-generational family could watch together, they'd get more box office winners. They would not get award winners since that is so skewed right now.

    When you think of the huge number of still-compelling films that hold your interest even without gratuitous sex, sketchy language, gore, or high speed chases and punch-fests, it's a wonder studio executives haven't stumbled on this commonplace observation themselves. 'Family-friendly' movies always make more money on average than their more adult alternatives.

    I don't think we need a new Bonnie And Clyde moment in film. More like a new Witness for the Prosecution moment.

    The Guardian

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013
    Last Online
    Today @ 2:17 AM
    Posts
    2,622
    Post Thanks / Like
    I didn't live at the movies.

    Bonnie And Clyde was a standout because it was lush, but also because you couldn't sign on to the internet and fact check it back then.
    Patton
    Godfather
    Man Called Horse
    True Grit
    2001 Space was a snooze.
    Planet of the Apes
    The Garden of the Finzi Contini
    Cabaret
    Mash
    Reporters used to break stories. Now they're just fucking tattletales. - Adam Carolla

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013
    Last Online
    Today @ 2:17 AM
    Posts
    2,622
    Post Thanks / Like
    I've always thought this photo of my grandparents (circa 1939) was Bonnie and Clydish

    bivalve.jpg
    Reporters used to break stories. Now they're just fucking tattletales. - Adam Carolla

  4. Likes Michele, 80zephyr, phillygirl liked this post
  5. #4
    Join Date
    Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013
    Last Online
    @
    Posts
    10,033
    Post Thanks / Like
    Quote Originally Posted by Novaheart View Post
    I've always thought this photo of my grandparents (circa 1939) was Bonnie and Clydish

    bivalve.jpg
    I love that!


  6. #5
    Join Date
    Wednesday, June 17th, 2015
    Last Online
    Yesterday @ 6:39 PM
    Posts
    7,825
    Post Thanks / Like
    Just bring back the cowboys. And Gone With The wind.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Tuesday, October 1st, 2013
    Last Online
    Yesterday @ 1:23 PM
    Posts
    12,314
    Post Thanks / Like
    My taste in older films runs to the noir or to "twist" films but I do love me some epics. An amazing number of Westerns made between 1948 and 1968 had shockingly deep character studies and embraced less popular viewpoints.

    Cinéma vérité essentially sucked but was popular among critics during the late 60s and through the 70s. Some of the worst 3 hours of my life involved 'My Dinner With Andre' (forced to see it), 'Satyricon' (rewatched it recently to confirm the suck), and 'American Beauty' (again, rewatched to confirm).

    On the other hand, some dismissed movies in niche categories hold up surprisingly well: 'Boxing Helena', most of the "Emmanuelle' movies, 'Gods and Generals', and even things like 'Black Swan' and 'The Little Girl Who Lives Down The Lane' and 'Desperately Seeking Susan' (Madonna's only good film).

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013
    Last Online
    Today @ 2:17 AM
    Posts
    2,622
    Post Thanks / Like
    Quote Originally Posted by phillygirl View Post
    I love that!
    Thanks. That was taken at Bivalve MD on the Nanticoke River.
    Reporters used to break stories. Now they're just fucking tattletales. - Adam Carolla

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013
    Last Online
    Yesterday @ 4:09 PM
    Location
    LA (Lower Alabama)
    Posts
    3,867
    Post Thanks / Like
    It's not the directors and the scripts that are necessarily a problem, it's the studio system. They are no longer really concerned with the box office returns a film may generate in the United States. They look to global results. And what sells, globally? Action films and horror flicks with simple plots. Why? They are easily translatable and almost always can cross cultural divides. China's taste in film has MUCH more sway in what gets made in Hollywood these days than what plays well in Peoria or even Austin.

    China (and the global audience) are why there are umpteen Transformers movies, and why Marvel and DC Comics are sitting on piles of cash via mostly banal and embarrassingly bad comic book adaptations.

    Films that appeal to family friendly audiences (or young adult oriented raunchy comedies, for that matter) often include cultural references specific to the US and Canada, or at best western Europe. That leaves out a lot of potential moviegoers elsewhere. The big studios see it strictly as a monetary decision: A well-liked middle of the road family movie in the US might rake in $75 million on a paltry $10 million budget, mostly from US/CA/UK ticket sales. But a low rated schlockfest of CGI and grunts that costs $120 million to shit out will make $75 million in the US and $350 million overseas. To bean counters, it's a no-brainer which to green light.
    When I die, I want to go peacefully in my sleep like my grandfather, and not screaming like the passengers in his car.

  10. Likes Gingersnap liked this post
  11. #9
    Join Date
    Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013
    Last Online
    @
    Posts
    6,131
    Post Thanks / Like
    I record movies that I haven't seen while going through the channels to see what's on. After having family here for three weeks running, I sat down to watch Interstellar with Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway. It was such a good movie and I'm not a big fan of science fiction. I also watched The Old Man and the Sea with Spencer Tracy. Not a Hemingway fan per se but that was a good book and movie.
    “Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree.”
    - Martin Luther

  12. #10
    Join Date
    Tuesday, October 1st, 2013
    Last Online
    Yesterday @ 1:23 PM
    Posts
    12,314
    Post Thanks / Like
    Tom has hit the nail on the head.

    I knit a lot. This involves listening to movies more than watching them. It's essentially useless to listen to most movies made after 1995. They are made with an eye to the overseas market. If you watch movies, you might miss this.

    Dialog is short and very simple - BASIC English usually. There are long stretches of totally visual material but not necessarily amazing visuals. Meh.

    I prefer movies with a lot of witty dialog so mostly 1987 - 1935.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •