22 February 2004 | exterminator_99
Good introduction, but nothing on the book
The last golden age of Hollywood film-making is captured in this two hour documentary, based on Peter Biskind's bestselling book of the same name. Director Kenneth Bowser does a commendable job of corralling many of the key names of the period in this light but passable introduction to the topic.
Bowser's treatise of 1970s Hollywood is essentially a potted history of the time many of the key developments and vital films that were made during this period are passed over or given nothing more than a cursory glance. The documentary suffers as a result and added to this, historical inaccuracies are also evident.
Film fans will most enjoy the scenes of archival footage a desperately nerdy George Lucas being introduced as Francis Ford Coppola's 'assistant'; Jack Nicholson, Bob Rafelson, Dennis Hopper and Peter Tork on the set of The Monkees vehicle 'Head'; and the piece de resistance, a home movie with Messrs Spielberg, Lucas, Milius, Coppola, de Palma, Schrader and Scorsese all in the same room. To be a fly on the wall at that party!
There are also current interviews with the likes of Peter Bogdanovich, Dennis Hopper, Peter Bart, John Milius, Michael Phillips, Paul Schrader, Peter Fonda, Albert S. Ruddy and many more figures of the time.
Bowser's documentary serves as a snapshot of the time Biskind's novel is a veritable diary. The book is packed with amazing stories that even a 13-part series couldn't document. Watch this documentary, get a taste of the time and then buy the book to immerse yourself in a fantastic period of American filmic creativity.