Last Great American Picture Show: New Hollywood Cinema in the 1970s

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Overview

The French Connection, The Last Picture Show, M.A.S.H., Harold and Maude—these are only a few of the iconic films made in the United States during the 1970s. Originally considered a "lost generation," the 1970s are increasingly recognized as a crucial turning point in American filmmaking, and many films from the era have resurfaced from oblivion to become a reference for new directorial talents. The Last Great American Picture Show explores this pivotal era in American film history with a collection of essays by scholars and writers that firmly situates the decade as the time of the emergence of "New Hollywood."

Sam Peckinpah, Arthur Penn, Peter Bogdanovich, Monte Hellman, Bob Rafelson, Hal Ashy, Robert Altman, and James Tobac: these legendary directors developed innovative techniques, gritty aesthetics, and a modern sensibility in American film. Here, contributors compellingly argue that the cinema of today's major directors—Steven Spielberg, James Cameron, Quentin Tarantino, Ridley Scott, Robert Zemeckis—could not have come into existence without the groundbreaking works produced by the directors of the 1970s. A wholly engaging and long-overdue investigation of this important era in American film, The Last Great American Picture Show reveals how the films of the 1970s transformed the American social consciousness and influenced filmmaking worldwide.

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Editorial Reviews

Cinema Scope - Geoff Pevere
"The Last Great American Picture Show offers a truly dizzying range of options simply for mapping the decade that has come--for better or worse, truth or legend--to acquire a hot retrospective golden glow. . . . The Last Great American Picture Show . . . restores to the decade the sense of fecund chaos that a more linear, journalistic account of the decade risks losing for the sake of imposing some retrospective linearity on what was ultimately remarkable for its incoherence: a few historical moments when Hollywood lost the script, forgot the plot, and stood there wondering just how it got there in the first place."
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Noel King is an independent scholar.
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Table of Contents

Part One: Introduction The Impure Cinema: New Hollywood 1967-1976     Alexander Horwath "The Last Good Time We Ever Had": Remembering the New Hollywood Cinema     Noel King American Auteur Cinema: The Last - or First - Great Picture Show     Thomas Elsaesser Part Two: Histories The Decade When Movies Mattered     David Thomson A Walking Contradiction (Partly Truth and Partly Fiction)     Alexander Horwath The Exploitation Generation, or: How Marginal Movies Came in from the Cold     Maitland McDonagh New Hollywood and the Sixties Melting Pot     Jonathan Rosenbaum Part Three: People and Places Dinosaurs in the Age of the Cinemobile     Richard T. Jameson "The Cylinders Were Whispering My Name": The Films of Monte Hellman     Kent Jones NASHVILLE contra JAWS, or "The Imagination of Disaster" Revisted     J. Hoberman For WANDA     Bérénice Reynaud Everybody Knows This is Nowhere: The Uneasy Ride of Hollywood and Rock     Howard Hampton Auteurism and War-teurism: Terrence Malick's War Movie     Dana Polan Part Four: Critical Debates The Pathos of Failure: American Films in the 1970s: Notes on the Unmoticated Hero     Thomas Elsaesser Trapped in the Affection Image: Hollywood's Post-traumatic Cycle (1970-1976)     Christian Keathley Grim Fascination: FINGERS, James Toback and the 1970s American Cinema     Adrain Martin Allegories of Post-Fordism in 1970s New Hollywood: Countercultural Combat     Films and Conspiracy Thrillers as Genre Recycling     Drehli Robnik BibliographyList of ContributorsPictures (with credits)Index of Film Titles
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