This documentary explores American cinema in the 1970s, a decade often described as the best years in film. What results is an ode to the art form, one that pays homage to the “auteurs” that emerged from that distinctive time period, such as Francis Ford Coppola and Martin Scorsese. Director-writer Ted Demme passed away in the middle of the project; Richard LaGravenese stepped in to finish it. The film premiered at Sundance in January 2003.
Though he was related to Oscar-winning director Jonathan Demme, director Ted Demme eschewed any hint of nepotism to gain success in Hollywood through years of hard work. Starting as a production assistant, Demme worked his way up to producer before creating the seminal show “Yo! MTV Raps” (MTV, 1988-1995), which helped introduce hip-hop to the mainstream masses. From there, he made his debut as a feature director with old friend Denis Leary in the lead for the hailed, but underappreciated comedy “The Ref” (1994). Demme earned more critical praise for the otherwise ignored “Beautiful Girls” (1996) before taking turn toward more dramatic fare with the impressive “Monument Ave.” (1998). He next won an Emmy Award as one of the producers on “A Lesson Before Dying” (HBO, 1999) while taking the directing reigns for the rather misguided comedy “Life” (1999), starring Eddie Murphy and Martin Lawrence. Demme received some criticism for “Blow” (2001), his sympathetic take on real-life cocaine… read more
Richard LaGravenese is an American screenwriter and occasional film director. He is best known as the writer of The Fisher King.
LaGravenese was born in Brooklyn, New York, the son of a taxi driver. He graduated New York University Tisch School of the Arts, Experimental Theatre Program.
LaGravenese wrote The Fisher King on spec in the late 1980s. It was acquired by Lynda Obst and Debra Hill’s production company and subsequently directed by Terry Gilliam.
In New York City during the early 1980’s, billed as “The Double R” comedy duo, in collaboration with playwright Richard O’Donnell, LaGravenese co-penned and consecutively performed in several Off-Off-Broadway productions including Spare Parts, Blood-brothers, and Entrees at The 78th Street Theatre Lab, The Lion Theatre, and West Bank Cafe. While working with O’Donnell, LaGravenese discovered he had a knack for writing dialog. —Wikipedia
Basically my entire 70s film class done in three hours. Very informative, very interesting. They did not cut too many corners and cover a decent amount of films. It's a shame that certain filmmakers were not included for various reasons (not interested, death, being Terrence Malick....) but it is worth seeing nonetheless. Especially if you like 70s films.