Friday, 30 September 2011
A Decade Under the Influence 
Cinephiles from around the world agree that 1970’s ranks as a watershed moment in the history of American cinema. A host of socio-political factors, like relaxation of censorship codes, Vietnam War, Watergate Scandal, flower power, political angst, counter-culture, anti- establishmentarian spirit, etc., inspired the creation of a slew of groundbreaking movies that changed the landscape of American cinema. A Decade under the Influence is not so much a critical inquiry into this period as it is a nostalgic throwback for film aficionados in order for them to relive and/or be pushed towards that golden age of filmmaking. The documentary doesn’t just cover a plethora of such definitive classics as The Godfather, The Godfather Part II, Taxi Driver, Easy Rider, Annie Hall, Chinatown, Five Easy Pieces, Midnight Cowboy, One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Mean Streets, M*A*S*H, Dog Day Afternoon, McCabe and Mrs. Miller, The French Connection, Exorcist, Jaws, among numerous others, but also some of the directors and actors whose works left lasting imprints on lay-viewers and critics alike. The clinching aspect about the documentary is the host of interviews that the makers managed in securing with such legends as Martin Scorsese, Francis Ford Coppola, Milos Forman, Sidney Lumet, Robert Altman, Peter Bogdanovich, Sidney Pollack, Dennis Hoppergjn, Julie Christie et al, to enrich us with their views and fond reminiscences. It is not without some curious omissions nor does it provide any significant critical insights, but its heartfelt tribute to 70’s cinema has made this a memorable work.
Director: Ted Demme & Richard LaGravenese
Genre: Documentary/Film History