Re: [sixties-l] re: Steal this movie

From: Jeffrey Apfel (japfel@risd.edu)
Date: Wed Jun 07 2000 - 14:51:21 CUT

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    Martin Blank wrote:

    > Jeffrey Apfel wrote:
    >
    > > radman wrote:
    > >
    > > radman says:
    > > anybody else see this thing? is it really that bad?
    > >
    > > No, but when I see a quote like this from the review
    > >
    > > >you not only know what's going to happen, you're already
    > > >wincing at how trite it all seems.
    > >
    > > it reminds me once again of a theme that surfaced in this group way back
    > > in the 1990s: the relative
    > > paucity of powerful films (fiction, too) dealing with the era.
    >
    > why would you look for the sixties in novels (or fiction). the sixties
    > killed the novel, so why would you expect to find the distillation of that
    > experience in a form that had proved to be too small and limited to hold
    > the age the first time around. don't forget what tom wolfe said: "No
    > novelist will be remembered as the novelist who captured the sixties in
    > America." The sixties in america were too 3-dimensional and
    > multi-directional to ever be contained in a two-diminsional as a novel.
    > it's like cmparing the acid test to saul bellow.
    >
    > martin blank

    Interesting point. But even if the sixties finished off the novel, as you
    say, the era seemed kind to film. And in that medium, which seems far from
    straightjacketed in termso of expressive possibilities, there have still been
    few if any direct representations of the era that don't seem hollow, to me at
    least. So is the problem with the limitations of the medium alone, or does it
    extend to issues embedded in audience gestalt?

    To me, the best film embodiments of the sixties ethos--if there is such a
    creature--shows up in films that have nothing to do with the sixties proper.
    I think you find the zeitgeist better in Bonnie and Clyde, The Wild Bunch and
    even The Thomas Crown Affair than you do in The Strawberry Statement.

    In this regard, I liked Peter Biskind's book Easy Riders, Raging Bulls. As I
    recall, he describes a studio system, that, unlike the recording industry, was
    far from quick on its feet and was slow to capitalize on the new market that
    "youth" provided. When the studios finally figured out that something was
    indeed happening, they reversed course and opened the floodgates to newer and
    younger talent, meaning that the sixties got absorbed into Hollywood only in
    the seventies. But even then, while the best films were steeped in a new and
    different set of values shaped by the 3-D acid test of the previous decade,
    little of the acid test itself was committed to film in compelling ways.

    Jeff



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