Easy Rider opened on July 14th 1969 at Beekman, then at Third Avenue and 58th Street in New York. Within a week, it had grossed more than the amount spent on the production, led by a drug crazed Dennis Hopper. From that moment on, the old Hollywood studio system hit rock bottom, after an initial wake-up call in 1967 by Arthur Penn’s Bonnie & Clyde. A Vietnam War-conscious USA where political movements and, equally important, drugs, suddenly were in focus, paved the way for a new generation of filmmakers. Inspired by the Italians and the French New Wave, they revolutionized the American film industry. Orson Welles once stated that Irvin Thalberg ruined Hollywood with the idea of the creative producer. After Easy Rider, the reign of the producers and studios, which had lasted over three decades, was over, replaced by a New Hollywood. A Decade under the Influence portrays this time, when directors like Coppola, Scorsese, Bogdanovich, Friedkin, Altman, Beatty and Ashby (to name a few) emerged as the new kids on the block. Although treating the same period as sibling Easy Riders, Raging Bulls, this film is unique in its way of contemporary filmmakers as interviewers. Sans sleaze, they manage to go further than the myths, thanks to the openhearted conversations with the people who were there at the same time. Notably, the ones you’d really want to get some answers from never appear. Maybe Lucas and Spielberg aren’t to blame. Can’t be too exciting to be constantly accused of having ruined this creative era in American film with blockbusters Jaws and Star Wars.ELIN LARSSON

Title
A Decade under the Influence
Director
Ted Demme & Richard LaGravenese
Country
USA
Length
108 min
Festival
2003
Section
Collage
Language
English
Production year
2003
Cast
Francis Ford Coppola,William Friedkin,Martin Scorsese
Producer
Gini Reticker
Script
Richard Lagravenese
Music
John Kimbrough

You might also like

See all films from the 2003 festival