When "Easy Rider" roared onto American movie screens, Rock Hudson and Doris Day ran for cover, and the movie industry's never been the same. In this hour of To the Best of Our Knowledge, some Hollywood history: the birth of the blockbuster and the rise of the independents.
Peter Biskind is the author of "Easy Riders, Raging Bulls: How the Sex, Drugs and Rock 'n' Roll Generation Saved Hollywood." He tells Judith Strasser that films like "Easy Rider" helped Hollywood re-connect with the youth audience; that the 1970s were a director's decade; and that Steven Spielberg and George Lucas are to blame for the "blockbuster."SEGMENT 2:
James Schamus is an independent producer and screenwriter who has also collaborated with major studios. He tells Steve Paulson about both experiences, and his long-time partnership with director Ang Lee. Schamus teaches cinema studies and production at Columbia University; his films include "The Wedding Banquet," "The Ice Storm," "Eat, Drink, Man, Woman," and "Sense and Sensibility."SEGMENT 3:
Cultural critic Stanley Crouch is an essayist, jazz critic, contributing editor to "The New Republic" and a huge fan of film director John Ford. Crouch tells Steve Paulson that Ford's films, especially "The Searchers," reflect the issues of racism, conquest and identity that lie at the heart of the American experience. Also, writer Jonathan Lethem tells Jim Fleming that he felt compelled to re-tell "The Searchers" in his new science fiction novel, "Girl in Landscape," and explains how he did it. And yes, we hear a little clip of John Wayne.Cassette copies are available at 1-800-747-7444. Ask for program number 98-07-26-C.
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