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New Hollywood

Late 1960s Late 1970s

A new generation
Older directors retired and were replaced
by a new generation
movie brats in their 20s and 30s
George Lucas, Stephen Spielberg, Martin
Scorsese, Brian De Palma but also older
directors like Woody Allen and Robert
Self consciously turned to classical
Hollywood tradition but also had
opportunity to create something more like
European Art Cinema
And so again, what was MOST important
in all of these movies was a movie
consciousness similar to that of the New
Wave directors before them the
awareness of film history and its influence
before them, and an effort to both
celebrate the past and do something new

Coppola and Lucas on the set of Star Wars

American Art Cinema?

Late 1960s recession and search for college
audiences meant that Hollywood was more
open to the style of storytelling
We start to see films that have more in
common with European Art Cinema
(authorship, ambiguity, psychological
Examples from the book
Monte Hellemans Two Lane Blacktop (1971)
Stanley Kubricks 2001: A Space Odyssey
Francis Ford Coppolas The Conversation
Woody Allens Annie Hall (1977)
Robert Altmans Nashville (1975)

Tax Shelter Plan

1971 new law allows film
companies to claim tax
credits on investments in US
made films
Investors in cinema could
claim exemption for 100% of
their contributions to
filmmaking in the US
Later abolished in the 1980s
after industry recovered, but
contributed to a rejuvenation
of filmmaking the 1970s

The Godfather (Coppola, 1971) begins an era of box office
success that no one could have imagined
Series of films continuously break records during the decade (see
book for the numbers)

The Exorcist (William Friedkin, 1973)

Jaws (Stephen Spielberg, 1975)
Rocky (John Avildson, 1976)
Star Wars (George Lucas), Close Encounters (Spielberg) and Saturday
Night Fever (John Badham) all 1977 Star Wars is then re-released
in 1979

Blockbuster strategy
No group of films had ever made so much money on initial release
Became clear that industry success was based on relatively few films
viewers would go back to these films over and over in the theaters
and then want to see them again on TV and cable TV
Television stations began to pay top dollar to get the rights to
broadcast the films as well
We see the emergence of a new emphasis on opening weekends
Saturation advertising
Commercial tie-ins like toys, clothes, Happy Meals, etc.

Spielberg on the set of Jaws

Mix of Classical Genre &

New Authorship Styles
Studios began to mix
predictable commodities
with the new voices of a
young generation
Star Wars creates a new
modern myth out of a
combination of older sci fi
serials (Buck Rogers),
samourai films (words like
jedi, lightsabers), etc.

Independent Cinema
Paramount decision of 1948
meant that there was a place for
independent production as well
Smaller firms began to specialize
in particular niches
Blaxploitation films like Shaft
(Gordon Parks 1971)
Horror films like Night of the
Living Dead (George Romero,
1968) and The Texas Chainsaw
Massacre (Tobe Hooper, 1974)
Off-Hollywood films from NYC
independent scene like Faces
(John Cassavetes, 1968)

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