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Scenes From A Revolution: The Birth of the New Hollywood Paperback – 5 Feb 2009

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Product details

  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Canongate Books; Main edition (5 Feb. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1847671217
  • ISBN-13: 978-1847671219
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 3 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 368,525 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"Contains enough tantrums, firings and exposed star insecurities to thrill the most jaded Hollywood-watcher . . . a terrifically enjoyable read." (Christopher Fowler Independent on Sunday 2008-03-16)

"Harris's book is racy, wise and deeply funny...All human life is here and most of Hollywood too." (Nigel Andrews FT 2008-03-31)

"Absolutely wonderful. An extraordinary book that combines social and pop history in an unputdownable volume." (Richard E. Grant)

"Wonderful, addictively engrossing and very smart . . . one of the best books about film I have ever read" (NICK HORNBY)

"Mark Harris understands that film making depends less on creative talent than on social connections, bullshit, and work done in restaurants. As an exercise in social gossip (and incest), Scenes from a Revolution is hard to beat." (Chris Petit Guardian 2008-03-15)

"Harris's book initially overlaps with Easy Riders, Raging Bulls, Peter Biskind's roaring study of 1970s US cinema. But in fact it stands shoulder to shoulder with it, like a better organized 1960s prequel." (Larushka Ivan-Zadeh Metro 2008-03-12)

"Beyond the intrigue and the gossip, Scenes from a Revolution is a persuasive account of one of the turning points in our cultural history." (Daily Telegraph 2008-04-05)

"A fresh and detailed portrait of counter-culturalism on the move through American cinema. Harris' style is easy and lucid and well-worth spending time with." (Paul Dale The List 2008-04-10)

"Impeccably researched, engagingly written and remarkably readable . . . the real joy here is the elegant flow of Harris' narrative, moving seamlessly from picture to picture and presenting a thorough, and entertaining, look at a turbulent time." (William Thomas Empire 2008-05-01)

"A near-faultless work of film criticism" (Melissa Katsoulis Sunday Telegraph 2008-06-15)

"Excellent . . . might justly claim to explain how Hollywood came to be what Hollywood has become." (Andrew O'Hagan London Review of Books 2009-02-26)

"[Harris] is excellent on shifting attitudes towards race and homosexuality, but the real entertainment here comes from unsparing depictions of back-room machinations, business betrayals and egos so beastly Dr Dolittle would struggle to tame them." (Victoria Segal Guardian 2009-02-21)

"The depth and scope of Harris' research, coupled with his nose for a good anecdote, bring to life the book's dramatis personae of visionary egomaniacs and Machiavellian rainmakers. If you can get to the last page without having rented all five DVDs, I'd like to know how." (Daragh Downes Irish Times 2009-02-21)

"

Very entertaining and full of characters . . . lots of dueling egos and bad behaviour.

" (William Leith Scotsman 2009-04-25)

Book Description

'The most revelatory and entertaining Hollywood book since Easy Riders, Raging Bulls.' Daily Telegraph

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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By John on 14 Mar. 2008
Format: Hardcover
Scenes from a Revolution: The Birth of the New Hollywood is traced through the events that lead to the production and nomination of "In the Heat of the Night", "Bonnie & Clyde", "Doctor Doolittle", "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner" and "The Graduate" for the best picture in the Academy Awards Ceremony of 1967. As you read it you become painlessly enmeshed in the practical nuts and bolts of movie making as well as the political, social and technological changes affecting their production and distribution. It is clearly based on meticulous research and interviews so you get both the contemporary take on things and the older and perhaps wiser reflections on events of many of the main characters.

The context is that Hollywood in the mid 60's was still mainly organised as factory-studios with the exception of United Artists that was a publisher-distributor (a producer put a creative package together and agree costs and profits and UA marketed and distributed.) But the whole system was in reality the walking dead. Before the mid 50's back to the 30's 5 of the 8 big studios also controlled the theatres. This link was broken by a 1948 Supreme Court ruling that required exhibition to be separate from distribution-production. This system had allowed the studios to do block booking which was usually a package of 5 films- one good and the rest a range of A and B stinkers. It was this practice that the judgement had ruled on. The solution was seen a divorcement which RKO as one of the weaker studio had jumped on for its own advantages so forcing a chain reaction of separation. Ironically, it was the first to be broken up by an outside conglomerate, stripped of its film assets and finally came out of the movie industry completely.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Scriber_scouse VINE VOICE on 4 Feb. 2010
Format: Paperback
The Birth of New Hollywood is a very engaging look at one year of cinema and five now renowned films which were nominated for Oscars. This is written in an easy to read conversational style and generally avoids the poe faced jargon of so many other attempts to 'literise' film making. I enjoyed the way Harris looked at each movie charting the whole process from the writing of the script, to initial casting choices all the way up until the critics views of the films. Sometimes it was surprising to see how badly received some of these classics were. If I had any complaint about this it is that at times there is too much intercutting between different narratives about each film. This constant back and forth nature of retelling the pre and post production of the five movies makes it a difficult book to just dip into otherwise you lose the thread of each story. Overall though this is a great book for the person in your life who fancies themself as Mark Kermode.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The only thing you want from this book is more detail, not that there isn't enough already. Not quite in the league of Easy Riders, Raging Bull but essential for anyone interested in either the birth of New Hollywood or how the Golden age of Hollywood came crashing down.
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