Hi Dave:

Agreed about your assessment, although I love "Taxi Driver," consider it a classic mainly because I 
knew the NYC of those days. Same with "French Connection." The place was a total hellhole dump by 
the 70s, and those films depicted it as-was.

I don;t recall the Cinema Noir films pointing to any better tomorrows. They were correctly depicting 
a society ground down by the depression, the corruption of prohibition and the general depravity 
resulting from poverty, time on hands and rampant corruption, which was a true depiction of many 
areas of US cities in those days.

-- Tom Fine

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "David Breneman" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Friday, October 09, 2015 1:06 PM
Subject: [ARSCLIST] AW: [ARSCLIST] AW: [ARSCLIST] for those interested in the biggest Star Wars news 
this side of the galaxy

I shouldn't have spoken so broadly. I didn't mean that it was dark in that there
was no creativity, it just was dark, as in ominous, frequently depressing
(films like Taxi Driver and Easy Rider were more an ordeal than an
entertainment) and ambivalent.  A film that started without a studio logo
often as not just ended, with no resolution to the story.  It was like you came
in after the start and left before the end.

Dark, ominous, ambivalent - that's the 70s.  It was like the 30s, but without
the belief in a better tomorrow.  A lot like the current decade in that regard.

David Breneman
[log in to unmask]
Betreff: Re: [ARSCLIST] AW: [ARSCLIST] for those interested in the biggest Star Wars news this side 
of the galaxy
Datum: Fri, 09 Oct 2015 13:59:02 +0200
Von: Tom Fine <[log in to unmask]>
An: [log in to unmask]

Hi Dave:

Maybe for you the 70s was a "dark era" for films. Definitely not for me. Many of my favorite films
were made then. The concept of moving away from fake Hollywood ideas of life was embraced,
technology allowed for mostly on-location shooting and even sound production, and the movies started
reflecting more of actual life, which, in reality (as opposed to smarmy fake Hollywood fantasy) IS

Great documentary about all of this, "Under the Influence":

To name just a few of my favorite movies that would never have been made in pre-70's Hollywood:
"Dirty Harry," "The Godfather" parts 1 and 2, "Jaws," "The Exorcist" (in my opinion, the scariest
movie ever made), "The Omen," "Needle Park," etc. etc. This was also the era of some great rock
concert movies and also some classic documentaries. The very fact that many of us felt the US was
going down the toilet was a huge influence on movie-making at that time. The cameras captured the
nastiness of 70s life, and reflected back that, indeed, the country was spiraling down the bowl,
much like NOW! The difference today is that young people are obsessed with "emojis" and Facebook and
other nonsense and thus don't pay attention long enough to pick up a movie camera and document the
rot or turn it into realistically dark tales for the big screen. That said, there have been a few
very good movies made in recent years, and when it's done right, out in reality-land (as opposed to
a few elite big-city theaters and a few elite suburban art-cinema theaters), digital projection is
superior in all ways to worn-out films running on out-of-focus projectors operated by stoned kids
with no technical knowledge.

By the way, the formula is there for a new revolution in films. Hollywood studios are conglomerated
and choose to not use actors in favor of stupid animation, blue screens and digital toys (and end up
with movies just as fake-looking and dull as the big soundstage musicals of the 30's). There is very
little skill in script-writing these days, and comic books seem to rule the roost as far as "plot"
fodder. And, like in the 70s, there have been technological breakthroughs that miniaturize and
simplify film-making. One example that I hoped heralded a new wave was "District 9", a great sci-fi
film out of South Africa about 10 years ago now. But, the followup by members of that team was the
ill-conceived and ill-fated "Chappy."

Hollywood's utter failure has led to the move by much movie-making creativity to cable TV,
particularly HBO, AMC and Cinemax. Shows like "Walking Dead," "True Detective" and even "Vikings" on
History Channel use dialog, acting, plot-progression and a two-armed embrace of the current
"darkness" to make riveting entertainment. Meanwhile, traditional networks, especially Disney-owned
ABC, offer on-screen fairy tales (literally), treated the evening audience as if they are 5 years
old. And that's the one or two evenings a week where traditional networks actually offer produced
programming. The rest of the time is mind-rotting "reality" shows, talentless "singing and dancing
contests" and new takes on stale game-show ideas. Yuk!

Finally, note that Star Wars itself wouldn't have been made in pre-1970's Hollywood. What, a
serialized sci-fi series with a distinctly cowboy-western flavor to it? No way! The success of
earlier rebel films, especially "The Godfather" and "Jaws" are what cleared the ground for Star
Wars. I cite those two movies especially because they proved that "outsiders" could do complex plots
with relatively large budgets and ambitious filming locations and schedules, and make lots of money
for the producers. Regarding Star Wars, one man's opinion here -- the first movie was pretty darn
good, I remember seeing it with my father and brothers as an older kid and enjoying it but thinking
it was too neat a package. I'll always prefer the original, un-digitized un-"fixed" version, with
the models and no computer animation (available only on the original Laserdisc, as I understand
it -- all subsequent releases have included the digital  re-do of the plastic-model scenes). But,
the second movie, "The Empire Strikes Back," was the classic. All subsequent movies were
progressively less interesting, to my taste. "Empire Strikes Back" was one of those cases where
there was just enough creativity, budget and technology to allow a still-hungry film-maker to tell a
great story.

-- Tom Fine

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "David Breneman" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Thursday, October 08, 2015 10:08 PM
Subject: [ARSCLIST] AW: [ARSCLIST] for those interested in the biggest Star Wars news this side of
the galaxy

Von: Music Hunter <[log in to unmask]>

> As a big Star Wars fan, I couldn't be more excited to bring this offer to
> you.   To coincide with the release of the most anticipated movie of the
> year, Sony is releasing Star Wars: The Ultimate Soundtrack Collection box
> sets on both CD and vinyl.

I did some looking into this, and I was surprised to learn that the CDs
for the first three / middle three / whatever films feature the 20th Century
Fox fanfare (1933) and Cinemascope Extension (1954) by Alfred
Newman.  That was not on the original soundtrack LP album I have
from the first / fourth film.  I've always wanted a clean copy of that
audio trademark, and my investigation yielded  an mp3 copy I could
download from Amazon for 99 cents.  It has evidence of tape hiss,
which in addition to indicating an admirable light touch in noise
reduction, also tells me that it's from the original soundtrack.

For movie fans, the 70s were a dark era.  Hell, for *everyone* the 70s
were a dark era.  Movie studios frequently started films "cold" without
a logo, as studio logos were considered passe'.  One of the great things
that got the viewer in the mood for a really amazing cinematic experience
with Star Wars was when the 20th Century Fox logo and fanfare burst
onto the screen in a way that hadn't been seen in well over a decade.
It set the scene for what was to follow.

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