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on 22 November 2005
I thought this would be a good book. But it is far better than i thought. It goes into great detail about the making of such films as Fight Club, Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction, Magnolia and Boogie Nights,Being John Malcovich, Traffic. And many others as well as going into the beginnings of the above mentioned directors. . . .This book is highly recommended for those that love the movies from the 1990's
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VINE VOICEon 18 April 2009
Essentially a contemporary version of Peter Biskind,s Easy Riders, Raging Bulls: How the Sex-drugs-and Rock 'n' Roll Generation Changed Hollywood and Down and Dirty Pictures Sharon Waxman's hugely readable book attempts to put into milieu the impact that a new wave of film-makers had on the movie industry during the 1990,s .
Waxman, who writes for the new York Times spent a decade researching and interviewing for this book and it shows in the level of detail and anecdotal evidence and opinion. Though other directors could be included -Wes Anderson, Darren Aronofsky ,Sofia Coppola amongst others - Waxman has chosen to go with the six who she feels have most contributed to a movement that "Shattered the status quo".
So she concentrates on Quentin Tarantino ,who like in Jane Hamsher,s excellent book about the making of Natural Born Killers [DVD] [1994-Killer Instinct: How Two Young Producers Took on Hollywood and Made the Most Controversial Film of the Decade ,comes across as a bit of a prat. Disloyal ,greedy and slightly dysfunctional though clearly talented-though that seems to be on the wane now. Spike Jonze and Paul Thomas Anderson are too clearly talented but both have issues with their family background and while Jones seems eccentrically likable Anderson is toweringly arrogant if you believe the book. Stephen Soderbergh is probably the most grounded of the six, though a commitment-phobe , unlike the acerbic David Fincher ( although his contempt for Studio executives is probably justified given that one asked of a scene in Fight Club [1999] [DVD] "do the breasts have to have nipples"? ) and David O,Russell who sounds a bit deranged at times.
The process of their films and careers-the battles they had to fight to bring their visions to the big screen is compulsive and laced with juicy anecdotes with the on set tension on Three Kings [DVD] [2000] between Russell and George Clooney being brought quite vividly to life. Finchers fight to get ....errr Fight Club - 2-disc Special Edition [DVD] [1999] made is arguably the most revealing about the Hollywood system .
The writer largely keeps her own opinions on the films to herself which is fair enough but also lacks an ability to contextualize and critique and bring the information she unearths under discerning scrutiny. The reader is left to make their own mind up but when you are reeling under the constant upheaval redolent within the industry ,laid out in glorious Technicolor by the writer on several occasions( though it is pertinent in some cases) I think the reader could have done with some assistance to put everything into perspective.
Still Rebels On The Backlot makes a valid case for the luminosity and subversive vision of the six directors . She also muses that the brilliance and imagination of their early work may already be on the decline. It is certainly hard to envisage , looking at what is around at the moment, any new young talent dropping unexpectedly from the sky like one of the frogs in Paul Thomas Andersons Magnolia (2 Disc Box Set) [1999] [DVD] and reinvigorating Hollywood like the six in this book did .
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on 2 October 2013
If you're interested in directing or producing, looking at the innovative and rebellious works of these 90's directors and they're films and how they got made with be extremely informative. Highly recommended.
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on 5 May 2016
Used for university, very big help!
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