Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Book Excerpt: Easy Riders, Raging Bulls

Dennis Hopper and Peter Fonda in Easy Rider (1969).
I'm right in the middle of reading Peter Biskind's Easy Riders, Raging Bulls: How the Sex, Drugs and Rock-'n-Roll Generation Saved Hollywood (1998).

Here are some interesting sound bites (so far) from Biskind's interviews.

"Jaws was devastating to making artistic, smaller films. They forgot how to do it. They're no longer interested." 
~ Peter Bogdanovich, director

"The cocaine problem in the United States is really because of me. There was no cocaine before Easy Rider on the street. After Easy Rider, it was everywhere."
~ Dennis Hopper, actor/director

"Popcorn pictures have always ruled. Why do people go see them? Why is the public so stupid? That's not my fault." 
~ George Lucas, writer/director

"There's a darkness in my soul, a profound darkness that is with me every waking moment."
~ William Friedkin, director (The Exorcist)

"In the trades I see, 'This picture will be helmed by veteran director Martin Scorsese.' It seems like only yesterday I was a 'new young filmmaker.'" 
~ Martin Scorsese, director/producer

"Star Wars was the film that ate the heart and soul of Hollywood. It created the big-budget comic book mentality." 
~ Paul Schrader, writer/director


  1. I didn't like that book. I thought it was too much about the things behind the scenes and the parties and not enough about the actual history of New Hollywood. I saw film version of it and I really didn't like it.

    I much more recommend A Decade Under the Influence which I think tells the story better about New Hollywood movement of the 1970s and how it really fell apart.

    1. Yeah, I've noticed reviews have been really mixed about the book. I'm enjoying it because I don't mind that it's not an actual history of New Hollywood ...more like a social exploration.

      But thanks for the book recommendation. Once I'm done this one it will be a nice follow-up to learn more about the actual history.

    2. Actually, A Decade Under the Influence is a documentary co-directed by Ted Demme.

    3. Even better! Thanks for the rec!

  2. A great book. Down and Dirty Pictures by Biskind is also excellent!

    1. Yeah, that one has been recommended to me a few times. I'll have to add that to my list.

  3. Ooh! I read that before seeing Easy Rider! I liked it, very interesting!

    1. Did it change the way you watched Easy Rider, do you think?

  4. Oh, I'll definetly have to read this book. It sounds so interesting. :D


  5. Yeah, it's really interesting.

    Just started following your blog. Look forward to your posts!