For American cinema, the 1970s was an era during which a new generation of filmmakers created work for a new kind of audience--moviegoers who were hungry for stories that reflected their own experiences and who were turning their backs on aged old studio formulas. As a result, emerging filmmakers influenced by foreign directors such as Godard, Kurasowa and Fellini coupled with the social climate and a struggling studio system, converged to create a new kind of moviemaking.
Through their choice of material, filmmakers such as Francis Ford Coppola, Martin Scorsese, Robert Altman, Peter Bogdonovich, William Friedkin, Roger Corman and Paul Schrader revolutionized mainstream movies and for the first time personal visions were coming out of the studio system.
How did Hollywood make so many great, challenging, offbeat films in the 1970s? A Decade Under the Influence lists the reasons--or rather, lets the people who did the filmmaking list the reasons. The decade-shaping interviewees include Martin Scorsese, Robert Altman, Francis Coppola, et al. The film's argument has actually been conventional wisdom for at least 10 years, but it's well-supported by an abundance of clips, which should inspire even hardcore film buffs to seek out rarities such as Thunderbolt and Lightfoot or The King of Marvin Gardens. One might observe that the scarcity of women directors or black filmmakers suggests that the decade was not entirely golden, and the memories may be burnished a bit by nostalgia. But there's no question that the big studios were far more adventurous back then, and this briskly moving survey gives a lively Film 101 lecture in exactly why. --Robert Horton
- Region 4
- Standard Edition
- 1.78 : 1
- Dolby Digital Surround 2.0
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