The American film industry transformed itself during the 1970s: a new order emerged out of the chaos of the former studio system. A new rating system freed directors to explore serious subjects but allowed for the expansion of exploitation films as well. So while unprecedented social and political commentary emanated from the film-school-trained "New Hollywood" auteurs, the bigger change was the major studios' embrace of sensationalist content, mass advertising, and saturation booking. The methods of fringe exploitation producers became the norm.
Some of the films discussed in this book include: Five Easy Pieces, Chinatown, Carnal Knowledge, Straw Dogs, A Clockwork Orange, Mean Streets, The Conversation, Nashville, Shampoo, Taxi Driver, and Apocalypse Now.
David A. Cook is Founding Director of the Film Studies program at Emory University, where he is Professor of Film. He is the author of A History of Narrative Film and the "Motion Picture History" entry in the Encyclopedia Britannica.
"David Cook's Lost Illusions is an excellent account of Hollywood in the 1970s—a decade of social upheaval around the world and major transformation in the U.S. movie industry. His book overflows with useful data, and his lucid account of mainstream entertainment is nicely supplemented by the special chapters by other scholars: Douglas Gomery on exhibition, William Rothman on documentaries, and Robin Blaetz on the avant-garde."—James O. Naremore, author of More than Night: Film Noir in Its Contexts
"A book of impressive research which eschews vague impressions for a rigorous look at industry documents and publications, among other sources of information. . . . The breakthrough in Cook's study comes primarily from the ways he figures the interrelation of the two key developments in 1970s American film around auteurism and industry reconsideration. . . . David Cook's volume is a studding addition to the series."—Dana Polan, Film Quarterly