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New Hollywood Cinema (1960 to 1977)
Transcript of New Hollywood Cinema (1960 to 1977)
By Deanna Ross
and Jerrell Marquise Mcgirt Historical Context During the 1960s and 1970s, there were several social movements. There was a fight for equality among races and gender. There was a "counterculture" movement that began as the youth protested the traditional view on music, sex, drugs, and the Vietnam War. There was a sexual revolution that began after the FDA approved the birth control pill. All of these movements were reflected in Hollywood, as films and documentaries began to discuss some of these issues. With the film industry suffering in profits, Hollywood also began showing more counter cultural films to interest young movie goers. State of the Film Industry However... On the surface, Hollywood appeared to be thriving early 1960s. The Majors (MGM, Warner Bros., United Artists, Paramount, 20th Century-Fox, Columbia, Disney, and Universal) still had power over distribution and high grossing films. In the 1960s, the film industry appeared to be doing well. Historical epic, such as Lawerence of Arabia (1962) or Cleopatra (1963) would play for months... Musicals, like West Side Story (1961), were massive hits! The Sound of Music (1965) was even the decade's top grossing film! Disney films, such as 101 Dalmations (1961), Mary Poppins (1965), and The Jungle Book (1967) cornered the family market. Originally, television and movies conflicted. Why would people want to go to the movies if entertainment was available in their homes? By the 1960s, "The Majors" had made peace with television. This was partly due to the high prices Networks payed for the rights to broadcast films. It also was due to the films or "telefeatures" they would show on television. The 1960s was a horrible decade for the studios. Since 1946, movie attendance began to drop. By the 1960s, it was about 1 billion a year. Studios began releasing fewer films. Unlike the 1930s or 1940s, having big stars did not gurantee profit to studios. Roadshow pictures, or films that were released in big cities for a few days before being nationwide, general release were very successful. However, the success of roadshow pictures could not combat the great losses studios had from some films. For example, Cleopatra (1963) resulted in a $40 million loss for Fox. But then... They began finding ways to fix it. In 1962, Universal was acquired by the Music Corporation of America, or a former talent agency. After, other conglomerates became interested in the studios. In 1966, Gulf + Western industries, which had auto parts, metals, and financial services, acquired Paramount Pictures. This pattern continued with Warner Bros., United Artists, and MGM. Studios were now a part of big corporations.
Though, it still did not help. The Majors still continued lose millions. By 1970, unemployment in Hollywood was over 40%. MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas was made after a financier gained control of it. In 1971, a law allowed film companies to claim tax credits on U.S.-made films. It also allowed them to recover tax credits from the 1960s and allowed film investors to have tax exempt investments. This resulted in millions of dollars that were poured back in the industry. Fillms, such as One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975) and Taxi Driver (1976), were made as a result. However, the law abolished was abolished later. It also helped when they found their target audience: college students and young adults. Young audiencees flocked to see The Graduate (1967) and Bonnie and Clyde (1967). This is when producers learned that half of all movie goers were between the ages of 16 and 24! Studios began making several youthpics films. Easy Rider (1969) launched this pattern of youth pics. These film include, The Last Picture Show (1971), M*A*S*H (1970), and more. The movies allowed young audiences to see what they could not see on television. Styles and Genres In the early 1960s, audiences were still loyal to actors. On example was comedian Jerry Lewis. example is Jerry Lewis. B movies, like the James Bond films were very popular. The horror film was revived in the late 1960s and early 1970s. There was a new respect for horror with films like Rosemary's Baby (1968), The Exorcist (1973) and Carrie (1976). Science fiction also had a revivial with film like 2001: A Space Odyessy (1968). Techniques The camera lens was important in 1960s. Many Hollywood film had a 'glossy studio look'. However, location filming was becoming popular in places like New York. Thats when the long-focal-length lenses, a lens that enlarged a small area and could be used from a distance, started to become popular. Many filmmakers aloso like the long lens because it "flatten the shot's space and produce soft, blurry contours". Soon the long lens was used all the time. Another technique that gained popularity was the use of montage sequences with poplar songs played in the background. An example would be the Simon & Garfunkel song in The Graduate. This technique soon became popular in American cinema, and allowed film studios and music companies to work together. Other techniques that were employed during the 1960s were slow motion and fast cutting. These editing techniques helped amplify emotions or violence within a situation. The slow motion death scene of the title couple in Bonnie and Clyde (1967) was very popular. Also, in the The Wild Bunch (1969) these editing techniques along with its visual feel allowed for the violence to be amplified. Ratings System People experienced a social change in the 1960s and this was reflected in film. The code became ineffectual.
In 1966, the MPAA stopped issuing certificates. They were given ratings instead. The MPAA companies created a rating system coded by letter: G (general: recommended for all ages), M (mature: recommended for viewers over sixteen), R (restricted: viewers under sixteen to be accompanied by parent or guardian), and X (no one under sixteen admitted).
Eventually, the system raised ages. Directors As older directors retired, new Hollywood took over. These new directors were called "movie brats". They included directors like Woody Allen. Woody Allen was known for his Take the Money and Run (1969) or Annie Hall (1977). Conclusion The film industry struggled throughout the early 1960s. Eventually, they financially recovered, which resulted in some of the best films that we still recognize today. Francis Ford Coppola Steven Spielberg
George Lucas THE BIG THREE The Artist THE 1970s BIG THREE:
•Three directors who emerged at the beginning of the 1970s became powerful producers and redefined Hollywood cinema.
•they were more so than “filmmakers” than directors tried their hand at every aspect of the craft, from writing to postproduction
•They were a well acquainted with each other: Francis Ford Coppola acted as producer and mentor for George Lucas on American Graffiti. Lucas and Steven Spielberg collaborated on several projects.
• Still, their paths diverged. With The Godfather, Coppola proved that he could turn out a mainstream masterpiece, but he wanted to go further, to turn Hollywood into a center of artistic cinema. Lucas and Spielberg wanted to modernize the system without disturbing it.
THE SHOWMAN The Rock Star •Coppola broke through first.
1.With “You’re a Big Boy Now” (1967). Coppola borrowed the flashy techniques of Richard Lester's Beatles films and the swinging-London pictures.
•Coppola knew the studio system from moving from Corman's American International Pictures to screenwriting (the Oscar-winning script for Patton, 1970) and then directing the unsuccessful musical Finian's Rainbow (1968).
• Unlike Coppola and Spielberg George Lucas was less of a movie fan.
1. Lucas spent his youth watching television, reading comic books, and tinkering with cars.
2. The world of cruising and rock n’ roll was depicted in his film “American Graffiti”.
• Spielberg paid homage to the Hollywood prestige picture of the 1930s and 1940s with these dignified adaptations of best-selling novels.
• Looking back to the great tradition, Spielberg filled his films with reverent allusions to the studio program picture.
Coppola •Coppola’s film “The Godfather” made vast profits which allowed the director/artist to be free with his medium
2.instead of parlaying his success into a commercial career, he plunged into an intimate, ambivalent art movie, “The Conversation”
3..He turned The Godfather, Part II (1974) into a complex, time-juggling piece.
4.Then he embarked on the vast, exhausting, budget-shattering Apocalypse Now (1979)
• Coppola's was bravura filmmaking on a grand scale.
1. In college he wanted to direct theater, and in many respects he remained an actor's director.
2. For The Godfather he fought Paramount to hire Marlon Brando and Al Pacino and gave prime roles to James Caan, Robert Duvall, Talia Shire, and other little-known actors.
3. During rehearsals he had actors improvise scenes that would not be in the film, and he held dinners in which the actors ate and drank and talked in character.
4. For The Godfather, Part II he added New York stage legends like playwright Michael Gazzo and Lee Strasberg, the dean of the Actors Studio.
5. This interest in performance was balanced by a risk-taking cinematic sensibility. The Godfather was remarkably poised, partly because it refused the fast cutting and camera movements of the early 1970s.
• Coppola and his cinematographer, Gordon Willis, settled upon a “tableau” style that emphasized a static camera and actors moving through rich, often gloomy, interiors.
• In Apocalypse Now, Coppola would strive to give the Vietnam War an overpowering visual presence, with psychedelic color, surround sound, and slow, hallucinatory dissolves.
•Spielberg proved to be the heir to the studio directors. With the right material, he could make a story come grippingly alive for his audience.
1.“Jaws” balanced its thrills with a skeptical attitude toward political leadership.
•Spielberg's New Age-tinted spirituality, often expressed as mute wonder at glittering technological marvels, proved no less popular.
•Spielberg became New Hollywood's reliable showman, recalling Cecil B. DeMille, Alfred Hitchcock, and the director whom he claimed he most resembled, Victor Fleming, the contract professional who had a hand in both Gone with the Wind and The Wizard of Oz.
• Spielberg divided his attention between what he called “fast-food movies” like Jaws and the Indiana Jones movie series” and more upscale directorial efforts such as “The Color Purple” and “Empire of the Sun”
3.Star Wars offered chivalric myth for 1970s teens, a quest romance in which young heroes could finventure, pure love, and a sacred cause. •Lucas often called himself an independent filmmakd ader. The success of Star Wars allowed him to dictate terms to any studio in town.
•Lucas believed he was spinning a simple tale grounded in basic human values.
1.Like Spielberg, Lucas hit on a resonant New Age theme: the Force, representing God, the cosmos, or whatever the viewer was comfortable with. Beneath all the hardware, he claimed, Star Wars was about “redemption.” Spielberg remarked, hyperbolic ally, that Star Wars marked the moment “when the world recognized the value of childhood.”
Lucas 4. While Coppola loved working with actors, Lucas avoided this
* He looked forward to creating his scenes digitally, shooting isolated actors against blank screens, or creating characters wholly on computer.
THEIR LEGACIES •All of “The Big Three” had immense success in the 1970s, but only Spielberg and Lucas would continue their reign over the next twenty years.
•Coppola foresaw the multimedia future but believed that Zoetrope Studios could become a vertically integrated firm on its own.
•Spielberg and Lucas thought differently, letting the studios remain distributors while they provided content.
1.Lucasfilm and LucasArts created theatrical films, television series, commercials, interactive games, computer animation, and special effects, as well as new editing and sound systems.
2.Spielberg's Amblin Entertainment produced some of the era's most popular films (Back to the Future, 1985; Twister, 1996). Later, DreamWorks SKG, which Spielberg founded with Jeffrey Katzenberg and David Geffen, churned out features and television shows, most distributed by Universal. By 1980, Lucas and Spielberg had become the most powerful director-producers in the industry, and they remained at the top for decades.