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I just picked up an advance readers copy from work the other day-- and I'm thoroughly enjoying it!


The book is fantastic, filled with wonderful stories (all the time wasted trying to teach a Dr. Doolittle chimp to make breakfast). The parallels with 2008 are strongest, though, at the beginning of the story in 1963 and 1964 when Hollywood realizes -- and begins to acknowledge -- that it's broken -- pumping out cookie-cutter Westerns, war flicks and bloated Biblical epics (comic book extravaganzas?), groping about to find out what's next. The Truffaut and Bergman movies playing all over New York, hinting at what's to come, feel an awful lot like YouTube or other new media vanguards. Reading this book, I felt very hopeful about Hollywood's ability to reinvent itself.

E.C. Henry

Mark Harris's "Pictures at a Revolution: Five Movies and the Birth of the New Hollywood" sounds like a winner. Will look for it the next time I'm at Borders.

LOVED this years Oscars. The Academy's presentation was top notch. Sid Ganis and crew were really on their game this year. Thought they honored the movies history real well, and window dressed this year's nominiees in a very classy, artsy way. This was the best Oscars presentation program I can ever remember watching. Kudos to all who were part of putting this moving Oscars presentation together.

Biggest shock of the night, in my opinion, was the Coen brothers reaction, or should I say lack there of, to winning Best Adapted Screenplay AND Best Picture of the Year. All they did was bascially smile -- what's up with that?!

- E.C. Henry from Bonney Lake, WA

Will Keightley

E.C. That's the Coen style. I just wish that Roderick Jaynes had won the editing prize for No Country. I wonder who the codger was that they used as a photo in presenting the award?

Billy, the book's in my queue. Sounds like my kind of tale.


SECOND best speech - Marketa Irglova, after being brought back to the stage by Jon Stewart, for best song (YAY!!!).


I think the late 60s were a different time, not just for movies but people were more engaged and aware of what was going on, so culture was more connected. I've talked to a lot of old hippies and beatniks (up here in SF) about that time period - people who left the United States in 1970-71 because they were so mad - and they all relate the same experience, of a feeling sometimes in the mid-70's when they felt the wind go out of their sails and they knew that the revolution wasn't going to happen this time around. The intense energy dissipated and only fumes were left for inspiration. That's what allowed disco - and movies like Grease and Saturday Night Fever - to become popular.

I think think over half our population (or more) is still checked out. Don't you?

Joanna Farnsworth

In 19 years of top marks at school and university, the only exam I ever failed was high school chemistry the morning after the 1968 Academy Awards.

I'll never forget it. At 15, I put my academic future on the line - for the movies. And never regretted a moment. Thanks Billy, and Mark, for reminding us of the details of that eventful year.

All I remember is, I couldn't NOT watch every minute. That's how important movies should be, for everyone. Let's get it back ...

Diana Celesky

Thanks for telling us about this book. I'm going to check it out. It sounds fascinating. Wish more pictures were made now with that kind of staying power.

Diana Celesky

Oh, and Happy Leap Day, Billy!


Tavis: Makes it hard to do anything other than read, doesn't it?

True, Ernest, and the Oscars echoed this theme by giving so much of the gold to foreign filmmakers and stars... much like the shift from "the center" that happened in the '60s.

As Will points out: They be the Coens, E.C. Watch 'em and weep.

...speaking of getting teary, wasn't that great?

Don't have an actual figure to project, Christina, but some portion thereof? Definitely.

Joanna, I'd love to. But my favorite movie of the year is called The Race For the White House.

Diana: Happy to be leaping.


I recently saw The Graduate (figured some day some movie bigwig would ask if I ever saw it and then if I said no I'd get fired on the spot)...and I liked a LOT.

Except the ending was kind of...ambiguous? I'm no movie nerd, so I'm sure I'm either A) wrong or B) the only one who doesn't know the story behind it...but I felt like the ending was incredibly REAL and therefore...uncertain.

...I don't think you could do that nowadays.

Frank  Conniff

Hey, maybe I'm a square, but I think the songs from Dr. Doolittle were great.


J: One funny/interesting thing about that very last shot (Hoffman and Ross on the bus) -- Nichols had the cameraman keep running, looooooong after the take was supposedly over (i.e. past what the two actors had rehearsed) specifically so he could get the "real moment" of them looking like, WTF are we supposed to do now?! It worked well, didn't it?

Frank: My girlfriend's been plaguing me by singing "Talk to the Animals" around the house.

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