SP 471 (G1, Monday) Week 12 | United States Government | Watergate Scandal

The Seventies

• Divided into two distinct periods as far as film history goes

Saturday Night Fever, 1977

The Seventies
• The VietnamWatergate years 1970-1977

The Seventies
• And after Star Wars

The Seventies
• Vietnam continues • Invasion of Cambodia by Nixon sparked more numerous and more violent protests on college campuses • Finally exited the most unpopular war in history in history in 1975

The Seventies
• Social gains eroded by economic recession • Foreign competition led to first ever trade deficit • OPEC oil embargo in 1973 lowered production & raised prices - to $3.65 a barrel! (now it‟s $78)

The Seventies
• The Civil Rights movement became more radicalized • Rise of AfricanAmerican cinema • Positive images like Sounder

The Seventies
• Blaxploitation
– Employed a large number of African Americans in front of and behind the camera – Attacked by NAACP for negative images

The Seventies
• Paranoia and disillusionment were prominent as cinematic themes

The Seventies
• Watergate - Break-in at Democratic National Committee in the Watergate Hotel -1972 • Spiro Agnew, Vice president, resigns in 1973 because of bribery charges • Resignation of Richard Nixon in 1974 • Gerald Ford becomes the only president who was never elected

The Seventies
• Watergate Casualties and Convictions
– one presidential resignation – one vice-presidential resignation – 40 government officials indicted or jailed

The Seventies
• While the country was falling apart, the American cinema underwent a renaissance • Film attendance began to rise • Younger executives at studios were more receptive to new talent and ideas • Young directors to relate to the youth market

Francis Ford Coppola, Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, Roman Polanski & Martin Scorsese

The Seventies
• Even though production costs increased 200% between 1968 and 1976, studios were making money • Capital put into 6-8 large productions with broad appeal • Offbeat/risky films were financed independently and distributed through studios so they weren‟t risking too much money • Tax shelters allowed financiers to write off failures easily

The Seventies
• Tight plots of “Classical” cinema deemed old fashioned & massmarket • “Grand Hotel” formula
– Ensemble casts with lots of characters (40 in Nashville) – Loose episodic structures – No clear resolution

Nashville, 1975

The Seventies
• Genre & Revisionism
– Reverses or undercut the classical idea

Cabaret, 1972

The Seventies
• Heroes were no longer “heroic”

Chinatown, 1974

The Seventies
• Loosening of production code led to the most explicit sex ever put on screen • Porn was suddenly very popular • Not a great period for love stories - sex often fused with violence • Only top ten female star of the period was Barbra Streisand

The Seventies
• While movies became more masculine, the Feminist movement was on the rise • Women, when they did get a starring, sympathetic part, were often helpless and dependant • While female stars became less bankable, women lost power in Hollywood • Were not welcomed into directing

A Woman Under the Influence, 1974

Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore, 1974

The Seventies
• Joan Micklin Silver‟s Hester Street, 1975 • Elaine May‟s The Heartbreak Kid, 1972

The Seventies
• The rise of the “Buddy Film” • Men only needed other men

Midnight Cowboy & Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid, 1969

The Seventies
• Movies became much more technical and stylish
– Scorsese, Lucas, Spielberg along with established directors like Peckinpah, Kubrick & Fosse

Jaws, 1975 A Clockwork Orange, 1971

The Seventies
• Directors still coming from television
– Robert Altman

• And from Europe
– – – – John Schlesinger Ridley Scott John Boorman Roman Polanski

The Seventies
• Acting
– – – – – – – Peter Fonda Warren Beatty Elaine May Paul Newman John Cassavetes Mel Brooks Woody Allen

The Seventies
• …and film school
– – – – Francis Ford Coppola George Lucas Brian DePalma and Martin Scorsese

The Seventies
• The Landlord, 1970 • Dir. By Hal Ashby
– With Beau Bridges, Lee Grant, Diana Sands, Louis Gossett Jr., Pearl Bailey – Shot by Gordon Willis(The Godfather films, Annie Hall)

The Seventies
• Anti-establishment values • Not optimistic • Deals with
– – – – Race relations Gentrification Class Youth vs Age

The Seventies
• Hal Ashby (1928-1988)
– Grew up Mormon – Began as an editor (Best Editing Oscar in 1967 for In the Heat of the Night) – Edited for Norman Jewison who recommended him to direct The Landlord, his first film – His films are hard to classify – Use of music, biting humor & unusual camera placement

The Seventies
– After a string of offbeat hits, his career and personal life went into decline after the Jaws/Star Wars years – no one wanted quirky, thoughtful films – Always difficult to work with, he made a string of questionable films after Being There before he died of cancer at 59 – Cited by Judd Apatow & Wes Anderson as a major influence

The Seventies
• Beau Bridges (1941-)
– Son of Lloyd, brother of Jeff – Numerous film & television from Norma Rae to My Name is Earl

• Lee Grant, (1927-)
• Acting since childhood, first Oscar nomination in 1952 • Blacklisted in the 1950‟s • Nominated for The Landlord, she won for another Ashby film, Shampoo 1976 • Now a director (Directors‟ Guild Award for Nobody’s Child & Oscar for Down & Out in America)

The Seventies
• Louis Gossett Jr., (1936-)
– Career spans 50 years – Oscar for An Officer & A Gentleman although you may know him from Stargate SG-1

• Diana Sands, (1934 -1973)
– Influential in breaking down race barriers on stage – Most famous for the original production & film of A Raisin in the Sun

The Seventies
• Pearl Bailey, 1918-1990
– Dancer & singer in Vaudeville although never formally trained – Numerous film & stage roles, most famously, the all-African American version of Hello Dolly – Graduated from Georgetown University at age 67 – A Republican, she campaigned for both the Nixon and Ford as well as attending UN sessions as Ford‟s special ambassador – A Met fan, she also sand the national anthem in the „69 World Series

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