Easy Riders Raging Bulls: How the Sex-Drugs-And Rock 'N Roll Generation Saved Hollywood

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Simon and Schuster, Apr 4, 1999 - Performing Arts - 506 pages
Acknowledgments

Hollywood is a town of fabulators. The people who dwell there create fictions for a living, fictions that refuse tidily to confine themselves to the screen, but spill over into the daily lives of the men and women who regard themselves as stars in the movies of their own lives. Although this book tells readers altogether more than they may wish to know about the Hollywood of the '70s, I do not flatter myself that I have arrived at "the truth." At the end of this long, twisted road I am once again struck with the force of the old maxim, the more you know, the more you know what you don't know. This is particularly true in the case of Hollywood, where despite the reams of memos and contracts that now gather dust on the shelves of university libraries, very little of what really matters is committed to paper, so that an endeavor of this sort is dependent on memory -- in this case of an era twenty or thirty years in the past. Not only is the terrain distant, but in this period memory has been enfeebled by booze and drugs.

In a town where credit grabbing is an art form, to say that memory is self-serving is to say that the sun rises in the east and sets in the west. Moreover, defect of memory is a shield that enables people to go to work in the morning, protecting them from the unspeakable behavior that is taken for granted there. As director Paul Schrader puts it, "In this business, you've got to have a selective memory. Otherwise, it's too painful." Kurosawa's "Rashomon" remains one of the truest movies about the movies and the people who make them.

In this maze of mirrors, lucky is the chronicler who does not lose his or her way in the infini, Alice Mayhew gave ither blessing, and Bob Bender, along with his assistant, Johanna Li, helped it to see the light of day. My agent, Kris Dahl, guided me through the shoals of writing and editing.

Finally, I would like to thank my wife, Elizabeth Hess, and daughter, Kate, for their unfailing patience and support.

Copyright 1998 by Peter Biskind

 

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User Review  - MiaCulpa - LibraryThing

Until reading "Easy Riders, Raging bulls" I hadn't realised how important "Bonnie and Clyde" was to the rise of the auteur. However, I didn't need to read "Easy Riders ..." to know that most people in ... Read full review

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User Review  - Tonestaple - LibraryThing

This is supposed to be a history of the change in movie-making from the studio system to the "auteur" method. What I chiefly learned from this book is that Hollywood truly is an amoral swamp and there ... Read full review

Contents

Knockin on Heavens Door
13
Before the Revolution
23
Who Made Us Right?
52
Exile on Main Street
81
The Moviegoer
110
The Man Who Would Be King
143
Like a Rolling Stone
169
Sympathy for the Devil
197
Citizen Cain
286
Star Bucks
316
Coming Apart
346
The Eve of Destruction
376
We Blew It
408
Cast of Characters
441
Selected Filmography of Directors 19671982
447
Index
483

The Gospel According to St Martin
225
The Revenge of the Nerd
255
Photo Credits
507
Copyright

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About the author (1999)

Peter Biskind is the former executive editor of Premiere and former editor in chief of American Film. He is the author of two previous books, Seeing Is Believing: How Hollywood Taught Us to Stop Worrying and Love the Fifties and The Godfather Companion. His work has appeared in The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, and Rolling Stone, among other publications. He is a contributing editor at Vanity Fair. He lives in New York City.

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