Friday, October 12, 2007

Easy Riders, Raging Bulls

When Biskind's book was published, Altman had not yet made Gosford Park, Scorsese hadn't directed The Departed, The Aviator, or Gangs of New York (though I'm not convinced the latter two are films that will go down in history as "great"), and Coppola hadn't become the Godfather of one of the most prominent families in Hollywood (Sofia and Roman, Jason and Robert Schwartzman (the latter of Rooney), Nicolas Cage) not to mention a major producer in his own right. So the book feels a little dated.

Still, it's quite the ride, and by ride, I mean, it's amazing most of these directors are still alive, let alone working. Improv-ers with great luck, lots of swagger, enough blow to kill Mr. Ed, and a total disregard for their screenwriters, every director but Spielberg spat in the face of the studio system and mostly got away with it (for awhile). It's truly amazing. If you want to be a screenwriter, I urge you to read this book because, if today is anything like the '70s (and hopefully, it isn't), all directors will hate screenwriters (because they're nor producing their own material) and rewrite and take credit for the writers' work. The industry appears to be savage and unpleasant, and while I know it's changed, I think the savagery and unpleasantness still exists, just in an evolved form.

1 comment:

wcdixon said...

In summing up, I wish I had some kind of affirmative message to leave you with. I don't. Would you take two negative messages?
-- Woody Allen