It is nearly impossible to objectively assess the magnitude of the impact that Saturday Night Fever had all over the world. Arguably, Saturday Night Fever is the movie that most radically altered and reshaped the many facets of popular culture. While it is true that other memorable films such as Star Wars (George Lucas, 1977) and The Rocky Horror Picture Show (Jim Sharman, 1975) were seminal, inspirational, and generated the avid interest of legions of fans worldwide, the influence of Saturday Night Fever was far deeper, multifaceted, and across a wider segment of society. Indeed, Saturday Night Fever not only revolutionized the film and music industries, but it also defined and dictated the dress codes and hairstyles of an entire generation. In an attempt to emulate the spirit of this flick, and for years to come, regular folks wore polyester shirts, platform shoes; bell-bottom pants, gold chains, and elaborated hairstyles. It has also been reported that during the last part of the ‘70s, John Travolta’s iconic white suit was the most popular in proms and other social gatherings. Clearly, even though Saturday Night Fever does not have today a huge and fervent fan following as the Star Wars saga does, it is also true that very few people ever dressed up like storm troopers or Jedi knights on a day-to-day basis. Therefore, it should not be a surprise that after nearly 30 years since its opening night, Saturday Night Fever remains the quintessential emblem of the ‘70s.
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Every fantastic, outrageous, bizarre creature imagined by man (or child) has already been designed by nature and lived a life quite independent of our species, thank you very much. The sea holds seemingly impossible creatures of all shapes and colors: bony, gelatinous, vividly lit from inside as if by fiber optic cables, ugly as mud, terribly fierce and utterly ridiculous. Every creature the nature lover, the artist, or simply the imaginative has ever considered and rendered is captured here in gorgeous color and seemingly impossible photographic detail. This beautiful coffee table book will blow that special someone’s mind.
In 1969, Professor Richard Brown’s Movies 101 class began as a tiny gathering of NYU film students examining contemporary film as cultural discourse. Exemplifying the zeitgeist of “the film generation”, Movies 101 quickly evolved into phenomenon unto itself. Not only did studios begin to take notice and supply him with pre-release films to test their market potential, but, Brown was also able to wrangle the stars and directors into his classroom to discuss their respective projects. Movies 101 invites you to audit the course with a Special Edition four-DVD box set with interviews with recent guests including Martin Scorsese, Jennifer Aniston, George Clooney, Willem Dafoe, and Julianne Moore—and its certainly cheaper than tuition.
As the comprehensive biography of one rock music’s true legends, Redemption Song is long overdue. Salewicz, a respected British music journalist with a long Joe Strummer/Clash association, offers the insider’s view of this brilliant and complex punk figurehead. Strummer was the John Lennon for Generation X and he gets fitting, comprehensive treatment here. The first definitive Strummer biography, it’s not likely to be the last with a personage this important in popular music history.
People get forgotten for unforeseen reasons. Raymond Bernard was the star director of a fledgling French blockbuster industry that was smothered by shifting national circumstances. Criterion’s fourth edition of its Eclipse series, dedicated to the director, is a revealing glimpse at his aborted career and his curiously overlooked talent for precisely attuned epics, incorporating a wide variety of artistic and technological developments into populist narrative filmmaking. The uncertain economics of inter-war France couldn’t sustain Bernard’s large-scale films. As budgets were slashed small-scale poetic realism became more popular, a style he in some ways anticipated. But the die was cast and for decades after France’s film industry was largely defined economically and temperamentally by the modest and more personal. Bernard continued to work, but like his idol Griffith, his status was diminished, an observer on the sidelines of an industry that he helped create. Though his fate was undeserved we can at least take pleasure in these testaments to his faint prominence.