Archive for September 13th, 2017

I really like the scene this photo evokes – taken last night at the U2 concert at Arrowhead Stadium in the great city of Kansas City, MO.

U2 continues their 30th anniversary Joshua Tree tour in the Americas through October.

 

As a movie lover I also love reading about cinema. This fact is well known by my friends which is why while on vacation last week I was given a copy of Opening Wednesday at a Theater Or Drive-In Near You: The Shadow Cinema of the American ’70s by Charles Taylor – a love letter of sorts to a particular genre of film from our not too distant past which is often overlooked. As a film critic, and obvious fan of the genre, Mr. Taylor brings us a history of 70’s era B movies – looking at them individually as well as collectively to highlight a culturally significant movement.

About Opening Wednesday at a Theater or Drive-In Near You by Charles Taylor: “When we think of ’70s cinema, we think of classics like The Godfather, Taxi Driver, and The Wild Bunch… but the riches found in the overlooked B movies of the time, rolled out wherever they might find an audience, unexpectedly tell an eye-opening story about post-Watergate, post-Vietnam America. Revisiting the films that don’t make the Academy Award montages, Charles Taylor finds a treasury many of us have forgotten, movies that in fact ‘unlock the secrets of the times.’ Celebrated film critic Taylor pays homage to the trucker vigilantes, meat magnate pimps, blaxploitation ‘angel avengers,’ and taciturn factory workers of grungy, unartful B films such as Prime Cut, Foxy Brown, and Eyes of Laura Mars. He creates a compelling argument for what matters in moviemaking and brings a pivotal American era vividly to life in all its gritty, melancholy complexity.”

The B movies of the 1970s are a little before my time, but I loved reading about these films and their significance and it helped me think about the second features I spent hours watching in my own youth at the drive-in in the 1980s (mostly low budget team romps). Not all film is fine art, but 40 years on the throwaway films of the 70s are now relics worth exploring, and that is what Mr. Taylor gives us in his fine book.

Opening Wednesday at a Theater or Drive-In Near You: The Shadow Cinema of the American ’70s by Charles Taylor is available from Amazon and other fine booksellers everywhere.