2009: 86. Pictures at a Revolution

“A few dozen reporters, wire-service men, studio publicity department employees, gossip columnists, and personal managers were gathered on Melrose Avenue in Hollywood outside the locked headquarters of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.”

Pictures at a Revolution: Five Movies and the Birth of the New Hollywood, Mark Harris

This is the kind of book that I really enjoy, when executed properly, and Harris does a bang up job.  He tells the story of the five movies that were nominated for Best Picture in 1967 (The Graduate, Bonnie & Clyde, Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, The Heat of the Night and Doctor Dolittle), and how these pictures tell the story of a shift change from old to new Hollywood (you would be, after all, hard pressed to find two films more different than Doctor Dolittle and Bonnie & Clyde).  I love reading about Hollywood, and learning about what it took to get the movies made, and the personalities involved, the gossip and the history was itself interesting, but placed in the larger context of the end of the studio system/beginning of the era of more independant/auteur driven films it was delightful.  A must read for anyone interested in movies or pop culture, but I think anyone who is generally interested in America or the 1960’s would also find it delightful.  It’s extremely well-written and well-researched, and not at all the sort of cheesy thing you often get with book about the movies.  Harris writes about pop culture seriously, (while not trying, in the method of our more outrageous English professors to pretend it is more than it is).  A great read.

Date/Place Completed:  July 2009; D.C.

Categories: Non-Fiction

© Carrie Dunsmore 2017