cover of book

Hollywood Incoherent: Narration in Seventies Cinema
by Todd Berliner
University of Texas Press, 2010
Cloth: 978-0-292-72279-8 | eISBN: 978-0-292-73954-3 | Paper: 978-0-292-73752-5
Library of Congress Classification PN1995.9.D49B47 2010
Dewey Decimal Classification 791.436


In the 1970s, Hollywood experienced a creative surge, opening a new era in American cinema with films that challenged traditional modes of storytelling. Inspired by European and Asian art cinema as well as Hollywood's own history of narrative ingenuity, directors such as Martin Scorsese, Robert Altman, William Friedkin, Stanley Kubrick, Woody Allen, and Francis Ford Coppola undermined the harmony of traditional Hollywood cinema and created some of the best movies ever to come out of the American film industry. Critics have previously viewed these films as a response to the cultural and political upheavals of the 1970s, but until now no one has explored how the period's inventive narrative design represents one of the great artistic accomplishments of American cinema.

In Hollywood Incoherent, Todd Berliner offers the first thorough analysis of the narrative and stylistic innovations of seventies cinema and its influence on contemporary American filmmaking. He examines not just formally eccentric films—Nashville; Taxi Driver; A Clockwork Orange; The Godfather, Part II; and the films of John Cassavetes—but also mainstream commercial films, including The Exorcist, The Godfather, The French Connection, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, Dog Day Afternoon, Chinatown, The Bad News Bears, Patton, All the President's Men, Annie Hall, and many others. With persuasive revisionist analyses, Berliner demonstrates the centrality of this period to the history of Hollywood's formal development, showing how seventies films represent the key turning point between the storytelling modes of the studio era and those of modern American cinema.

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