I like the fact that the band is still called Sonic Youth, even though they’re all in their 50s. Similarly, there’s the term New Hollywood, which represents a very specific time in which the studio bosses gave free reign to independent-minded, radical filmmakers looking to push the artistic boundaries of film. It is a cinema movement that came out guns blazing in 1967 with Bonnie and Clyde and suffered its first wound from Jaws in 1975, then sank into the mud under its own weight by 1977 with Sorcerer. (Yeah, that’s right, Roy Scheider represents the end of New Hollywood from both directions.)

But these movies still feel “new.”

These were films made by a generation influenced by European Art Cinema, reacting against big studio bloat and, in many cases, taking advantage of new technical advances. There are a hundred books you can read about this movement, and the safest bet it to check out Peter Biskin’s “Easy Riders, Raging Bulls” as a primer.

Like most people my age, New Hollywood is a sweet spot – and it was a real chore to limit myself to just eight underrepresented gems. My initial brainstorm had twenty-five titles that all fit the “obscure” and “great” parameters. Maybe I’ll revisit this column with a Volume II if there are calls for it in the comments. (The people have the power!)

Hats off to Twitter’s @MoviesByBowes for the suggestion. Read More »

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It’s a crazy, mixed up world and we are thankful for movies that offer proof. Slashfilm’s Weekend Weirdness examines such flicks, whether in the form of a premiere for a provocative indie, a mini review, or a look at a book on a filmmaker’s life.

Any self-respecting male should take a few moments each year to look to the life of Dennis Hopper for inspiration, and this doesn’t include watching the Hollywood renaissance man hold down his crazy button in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 or laughing in a haze at his hunt for candy in Thailand between ping pong bouts on Fishing with John. There are numerous reference books and movie history tomes available to familiarize and refresh on the actor and filmmaker’s invaluable contributions to film and counter culture. The latest is a coffee table book published by Rizzoli entitled Dennis Hopper & The New Hollywood that spans his acting career and allots a fair portion to his well-recognized black and white photography and personal art collection.

The timing of the release is ideal, seeing how last month Hopper was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and in July his art work will be exhibited at the MoCA, marking the highly anticipated debut of new museum head Jeffrey Deitch. After the jump, I’ve included a few excerpts and cool page shots.

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