Michael Sauter
May 21, 2004 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Easy Riders, Raging Bulls

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
Unrated
runtime
118 minutes
director
Ken Bowser
genre
Documentary

We gave it an A-

The era tends to get romanticized, but the 1970s really did represent Hollywood’s last golden age — a time when young directors named Coppola, Scorsese, Polanski, Spielberg, and Lucas were rewriting the rule book, adding vibrance and vision, and making it possible to think of American film as art. Kenneth Bowser’s BBC documentary, based on Peter Biskind’s book, provides an absorbing overview of that brief shining moment, marked by meteoric rises, rapidly inflating egos, runaway budgets, and lots of drugs. Though rich with anecdotes, the film only skims the surface of the scene that Biskind so juicily chronicled. On the other hand, the book didn’t come with film clips.

EXTRAS In one of several illuminating mini-docs about individual filmmakers, Peter Bogdanovich recalls being offered ”The Godfather,” ”The Exorcist,” ”The Way We Were,” and ”Chinatown” — and admits that, yeah, he probably should have said yes.

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