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What 70s B-movies teach us about the cynicism of the decade

by FilmWeek

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550 cars watch the film on the opening night of the first drive-in cinema in Scandinavia. Keystone/Getty Images

The term 70s cinema implies true film classics like The Godfather or Taxi Driver. But film critic Charles Taylor believes there’s more to be learned about the decade through its B-movies.

In his new book, “Opening Wednesday at a Theater or Drive-In Near You,” he takes a deeper look at the 70s movies not considered classics, including Prime Cut, Citizens Band, and Eyes of Laura Mars, arguing that each tells a story about the cynicism of America in the wake of Watergate and Vietnam. Today’s movies, he says, are less meaningful, lacking the depth and honesty of these films.

FilmWeek sits down with Taylor to explore the 70s films he deems so significant, and how things have changed since then.


Charles Taylor, film critic and author of the book, Opening Wednesday at a Theater Or Drive-In Near You: The Shadow Cinema of the American '70s” (Bloomsbury USA, 2017)

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