Monday, August 31, 2015

We had DeNiro - you had...

Being a baby boomer, I'm as stubborn as any to keep doing what I'm doing, writing and making films (when they give me money). And I notice that other baby boomers are doing the same thing, Scorcese isn't quiting, Spielberg isn't and even Peter Bogdanovich isn't.


Bogdanovich was a film critic back in the 70's and made one of the best films of that era.

And it was filmed intentionally in black & white. Totally, eh?

The Last Picture Show was set in a dusty Texas town that was going downhill and was built around the theater which was soon to be gone.  Set in 1971, it had a huge cast that would become famous. Jeff Bridges, Cybil Shepard and a ton of character actors like Ben Johnson and Cloris Leachman, who won an oscar. Bridges went on to win an Oscar for Crazy Heart.

I mention this movie because it was one of the boomer generation's first forays into movie-making. Along with Bogdanovich, Spielberg made a TV movie called Duel which became a classic in Europe. That led to Jaws.

Then a storm of movies  appeared from new filmmakers, including Francis Coppola who's second movie, The Rain People, is one of my favorites. After that he did The Godfather.

Then there's Martin Scorcese who made a movie about Italian guys called Mean Streets
which introduced Robert DeNiro. And Brian DePalma who made Carrie.

What was different here was that we, the boomers, wanted films that reflected what our generation was about. Thus the "F-word" in the previous blog.  What we did was change how movies were made.

We wanted more reality, and not the Hollywood musicals. Thus we made our movies of which there are dozens of classics that are still watched.

So now, we seem to be turning it over to millennials. Sort of. 

The millennials aren't quite sure about their movies, mostly because they had parents who told them they were wonderful and many believed it.

For millennials, I would probably say the best one is Christopher Nolan and maybe a few others, but again, their movies aren't really different, they're just stories that we had (ie Batman) and remade them. 

But it's not really their fault because the big thing that also changed was corporations. Big companies took over the studios, Columbia is owned by Sony, Paramount is owned by Viacom, NBC owns Universal, MGM is hanging on.

So what happened is that corporations decided on what to make, partly because they had movies they could copy (Batman, Superman, etc.) and also because the movies became very costly.

That meant taking a risk on something new. Unlike the boomers, who all entered the film industry through inexpensive films they made themselves. Millennials didn't have that chance, sure, they made movies but mostly the same ones over and over again.

Movies that were about going back to their home to find the boy/girl/LBGT love of their life. 

And also, competition really came down the pipe, those film schools spit out millennials like crazy and soon they were thirsting for jobs.

But for most of them, probably 90%, ended up working at MacDonalds.

Okay, a bit exaggerated.

And so, speaking of Peter Bogdanovich, he made a movie last year and it just opened this last week in LA in one theater. It's called She's Funny That Way.

Odd title but I liked it, so did my boomer friends. 

But the reviewers tore it apart.

Must have been millennials.

But then there is Jennifer Lawrence.  Best actor of her generation. Really.

1 comment:

  1. I think what changed a lot of movies and TV, for me, was the cell phone. There are quite a few period things on TV over here: Foyle's War (excellent but now finished), Endeavor and all the other 'costume' stuff but I was watching an old Columbo episode today - great script and actors (Janet Leigh, John Ireland and the great Peter Falk) and the amount of time the characters could have saved if they had a cell phone. Rockford too and Mad Men having to use the phone box to call home. These days if you're left out in the wilderness you use the phone.