By: Movie Snurb –
Many people believe that 1967 was the beginning of the New Hollywood Era. The influential movement of the French New Wave gave way to heavily stylized Hollywood films, this was also ushered by a relenting of power by the studios and letting directors and screenwriters have all of the power on set. This birthed a new era in filmmaking and presenting us with some of the greatest films ever made. The 70’s is widely considered the greatest decade for films and this is the reason. These films’ influence and reach can be seen in hundreds of movies up to the present day. Therefore, here are some of the films I believe should be watched from the New Hollywood Era. I will be doing another six-pack of these because there are too many good ones to choose.
Bonnie and Clyde
Many consider this film to be the beginning of the New Hollywood Era. It’s also probably one of the most heavily influenced by the French New Wave, and you can tell in the filmmaking style, with quick edits, implication of sex on film, and heavily stylization. This film was a real changing of the guard in Hollywood. Studios relinquishing power to the artists, allowing them have the artistic freedom to show over-the-top violence or allude to certain sex acts which in 1967 was quite racy. The over-the-top stylized violence has become a staple in films today for better or worse, leading to many controversies that continue until this day. It’s a highly influential film, but it’s also a great film, which is why it has stood the test of time and led to many retellings and spin-off stories.
Abita Brewing – Maison Blanc
This French style beer is a beer-wine hybrid made with white grapes. A nice semi-dry refreshing summer brew pairs perfectly with Bonnie & Clyde. Since this film draws immense influence from the films of the French New Wave, why not pick a beer that is also inspired by the French brewing style?
Another film from the seminal year 1967, but arguably had even more influential than Bonnie and Clyde. A statement on the generation gap, this film could have only been made during this era. It’s a film for those twenty-somethings that have no idea what their life has in store for them after college. During this era the college graduates did not want to be the previous generation; getting a job, having a family, and doing this until you die. Is this all there is to life? This film became a beacon for this generation for that reason. In addition, the cinematography is revolutionary; every scene in this film you can see its influence on other films. I love the shots showing the isolation that all early twenty-year-olds feel. This film has stood the test of time because it wasn’t only the Baby Boomers that dealt with the uncertainty of their future and not wanting to be their parents.
Golden Road Brewing – Mango Cart
I knew this film called for a nice fruit beer perfect for the summertime. Now, after watching this film you can enjoy a second one while floating around in your pool while soaking up the sun. Just try not to get in as much drama as Ben.
The Last Picture Show
A film from 1971, this one a bleak yet real look into the life of a small-town during the formative years of one’s life. This film follows a group of seniors in a small town in Texas in 1951 on the cusp of the Korean War. This film is that beautiful meld of the New Hollywood Style and that Golden Age of Hollywood. The gorgeous black and white with the simplicity of the camerawork fits perfectly with this story of high schoolers growing up and having very matter of fact sex. I’ve never seen a film depict sex in such a realistic and unattractive way. A film too graphic for just 10 years prior arrived just on time. Sex at that age is just awkward and that’s is how McMurty and Bogdanovich portray it, nailing those awkward moments in everyone’s life. It’s an honest film about times changing and people growing and shedding their innocence. It’s always uncomfortable, but will remain timeless for its depiction of sex, small-town life, and how things always seem to change between generations.
Community Beer Co. – Texas Lager
I thought it’d be fitting to go with a nice Texas beer. However, I don’t want to keep using Shiner Bock though it is delicious. I discovered this beer and thought it had the perfect name. A Texas beer for a seminal Texas film.
A Clockwork Orange
I debated on placing this film in this six-pack because I feel like there are better films that represent the New Hollywood Era. However, I when I decided that I will be doing this theme again, I decided I had room for this film in this six-pack. I wanted to place this on my six-pack for one main reason; this is the only era this film could’ve been made. I know I said this before with other films in this six-pack, but when you really think about the visceral sex, violence, and depravity in this film this era is the only place it has a home. It’s too far out there for the Golden age of Hollywood. It’s too misogynistic and full of female violence for the present #MeToo times. In this 1970’s era of artistic freedom, with its penchant for stylized violence and sex, this was the perfect time for this film to land even if was still considered ahead of its time.
New Holland Brewing – Clockwork Orange Liqueur
Yes, normally I do beers, but I discovered this liqueur in Price Chopper a couple years ago. It’s delicious by itself, but on New Holland’s website they have some great recipes. Therefore, I propose instead of a beer you grab yourself a bottle and make a nice mixed drink for this Horrorshow of a film.
Robert Altman had a string of brilliant films through the 1970’s; however, none were as influential on American cinema as Nashville. Unfortunately, I think we can thank Altman for those massive ensemble cast films about the holidays. Nashville is that quintessential ensemble cast and done to perfection. Not only is it the brilliant cast, but it’s the way Altman melds all of the storylines together, fleshing out his characters while never losing sight of his vision. It’s an impressive feat of filmmaking. Not only is the storytelling monumental, but the sound design in this film was revolutionary. I was recently reading an article on Indiewire about sound design in film and I read that Altman had every actor in every scene put a mic on. This way he was able to capture all the soundscapes in the scene for a truly immersive experience. On immediate reaction I thought this was a film about the times, but now while we are in Trump’s America it’s clear there is a reason this film has endured so long.
Tennessee Brew Works – Cowboys and Hippies IPA
Another beer I thought would fit perfectly with the title of the film. It’s a Tennessee brewing company and what a better beer to choose then a homegrown one. I loved this title because though Jeff Goldblum is a minor character in the film he represents the Hippies from the era and how many Americans weren’t accommodating to them.
We hear all the time about films in production and encountering setbacks. Whether that is financial, artistic disputes, casting issues, what have you. Sometimes these films actually turn out to be great like Titanic or Apocalypse Now, or at least they are not the disaster everyone is expecting like Avatar. However, there are times when the writing is on the wall with these films, everyone’s worst fear is realized, and the disaster of production produces a flop/disaster. Now I won’t say Michael Cimino’s Heaven’s Gate is a total disaster, but it could’ve been so much better. I don’t want to get into all that happened during this film, there is a great documentary on the making of this film called: Final Cut: The Making and Unmaking of Heaven’s Gate that you should definitely check out to see where this film went wrong. However, I saved this film for the last of this six-pack because it’s widely considered to be the film that killed the New Hollywood Era. Filmmakers were no longer to be trusted with large budgets with no one from the studio standing over their shoulder. So, if you have 3 and a half hours to spare, you should check out the Criterion version of this film; it’s long and bloated but still worth a watch, even if it is a reminder that some filmmakers are one hit wonders.
Freedom Edge Brewing Co. – 1890 IPA
This six-pack really worked out with beer titles and pairing them with films. Heaven’s Gate is about the Johnson County War on immigrant farmers in the 1890s. So, could there be a better beer then one from Wyoming titled 1890 IPA? I didn’t look up the name’s origin, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the name correlates to this event in history. Also, a couple beers would probably help sustain your viewing time with this film.