August 27, 2015

From Tragedies To Feel-Good Movies -- The "Little" Movie That Changed Hollywood In The 1970s

I found this interesting quote from a Vanity Fair article which talks about how movie (and, really, storytelling trends) can suddenly change. I mean, can you believe that the original Star Wars movie had at its beginnings been considered a "crappy little adventure film"? Neither can I. Anyway, it's still fun to note how it changed the industry back in the 1970s:

What people sometimes forget about the first Star Wars was that when it hit theaters, in 1977, it was startling not just for its revolutionary special effects but also for its unabashed sense of fun. After 10 years of haunted, pessimistic, even nihilistic hits such as Bonnie and Clyde, Easy Rider, The French Connection, The Godfather, Chinatown, One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest, Network, and Taxi Driver--films in which more often than not the heroes, such as they were, ended up compromised, defeated, or dead--there was something radical about a movie where the good guys win an unambiguous, bell-ringing victory, and receive medals in the final scene to boot. As Time put it in a big 1977 feature about Lucas and Star Wars, "It was a weird idea to make a movie whose only purpose was to give pleasure."

The rest of the article where I got this quote from talks about how trends change, with notably interesting takes on scifi back in the 1970s, as well as the whole uproar that's been surrounding Harper Lee's Go Set A Watchman and her somewhat more controversial (yet realistic--yes, the truth does hurt sometimes) portrayal of white America in the 1950s aound the time of the Civil Rights Movement. And, frankly, now that I've found out more about its background, I really want to read the book!
Anyway, you can check out the full article on Changing Tastes here.

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