This weekend marks 50 years since the release of the film that shook up studios and ushered in a new wave of auteurs including Coppola and Scorsese. Does the complacent Hollywood of 2017 need a similar shock?
We will never know the contents of Warren Beatty’s head once it became clear he had cued Faye Dunaway into wrongly naming La La Land this year’s best picture at the Oscars. Rooted centre stage, the cast and crew of the real winner, Moonlight, filing by, he wore the horrified blank stare of the veteran actor suddenly unable to remember his line. Or perhaps he found himself a happy place – lost in thoughts of Bonnie and Clyde, the transformative crime movie whose 50th anniversary was the reason he and Dunaway were there anyway.
In truth, that was a bit of Academy flimflam. Released in August 1967, Bonnie and Clyde didn’t win the Oscar for Best Picture, losing to In the Heat of the Night and the elegant heft of Sidney Poitier. But in the half century since, the influence of the true-ish story of public enemies Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow has never stopped rippling. Throw in The Graduate, out four months later, and you have the vanguard of what would be called “New Hollywood”. Like a flicked switch, it changed the movies – leading an onrush of struttingly glorious films that caught the mood of youth, made by directors, not executives, filling screens with sex and violence, ambivalence and auteurist flourishes…Read More