Wednesday, April 29, 2015

The Searchers, WW2 and the movie brats




A movie opened in LA last week called Adult Beginners and a review in the LA Weekly, a hangover of the alternative newspapers that my generation started. What was interesting is that the movie was, in the reviewer's view, another millennial generation storyline.

That storyline, the reviewer said that that generation, starting around 1980, have no real stories to tell because they lack any central point in their lives. She also compared their movies to the movies written by screenwriters who survived WW2 back in the 40's.

I find myself agreeing with her to a point, probably most of you readers are of that generation where superheroes reign and stories of people go to netflex.

Then there's me... the boomer generation, 1946 to 1964. Our movies were, at first, anti-studio movies, stories that we had to ourselves and began most likely with the Beatles and following that, the assassination of JFK, Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy.

I worked for the Robert Kennedy group in Indianapolis and learned a lot of lessons canvassing homes in the ghetto.

Then there was The Searchers.



You've probably seen my posts on that movie. One that changed my life, as well as the boomer "Movie Brats" as they were called. I suppose I was sort of one myself, not within the real Movie Brats, being George Lucas, Francis Coppola, Steven Spielberg, John Milius, Brian DePalma and Martin Scorsese. They were the first film school directors. 

Strangely enough, my favorite movie was The Searchers, at age 10. And when I read bios of the Movie Brats, they too loved The Searchers. I still can't quite figure how that movie influenced so many writers and directors of my generation. 

Before them, it was studio directors who more than not likely, became directors when studio heads made them directors. They were also often recruited from England, Germany, Italy and other countries.

I had worked as a TV soundman and graduated to a news cameraman but when I was fired, I moved to Vancouver where I went to film school with my friend Phil Borsos, as well as a 2-month film school in the Rockies, where both Phil and I failed.

The Movie Brats, were called that as they didn't go to various stages of a ladder to reach the top. These guys went for the top immediately. There were changes in the wind, we were the first generation to not have to go to work to help the family.

Initially, their stories didn't really make a noise, in fact, they weren't very good. But they didn't have the studio behind them either. Coppola's movie The Rain People, was made for very little money. Coppola and his crew, including George Lucas who made a "making of.." film just hit the road and made a movie. It's still one of my favorites too.

And they had that one thing; they all helped each other. Today every new writer or director has no group, a bunch of the guys who helped each other. And the beginning of more women directors and writers. Still not equal, but a start.

Then the millennials came with their movies, of which I noticed many of their stories were about going back to their hometown to face an old girlfriend or boyfriend. There are a lot of these plots with millennials. While George Lucas made Star Wars, Coppola made The Godfather, they make Adult Beginners.

The Weekly's reviewer said it like this; you can read it as you want.

In these movies (millennials) maturity isn't a hard-won personal quest - there's a passing-the-buck bitterness that someone didn't give them the memo."

Maybe it's all been done. Maybe all we're doing now is seeing the same movies over and over again. How many versions of Star Wars are there or Star Trek, or Fast & Furious.

What's the last original movie you've seen? One that doesn't have a sequel and plays for longer than one week at your local theater?

Maybe it's not their fault, all they have is what we boomers gave them. But it's a hard act to follow.
 

2 comments:

  1. thanks for the post.One of my favourite movie.. to find good movies minilogs matrimony.

    ReplyDelete