While looking for something to watch online, I came across the documentary of Easy Riders, Raging Bulls, which is inspired by the book of the same name by Peter Biskind. Funnily enough I do have the audio book version on my phone, but just haven’t listened to it. I used to listen to audio-books while working in the office when doing repetitive stuff that I could practically do on auto-pilot and listen to audio-books. I liked to listen to non-fiction books, because if it doesn’t matter as much if I miss something. Then Covid started and working from home became a thing and I’ve not really listened to audio books since, and Easy Riders, Raging Bulls sits on my phone barely ten minutes listened to and waiting for me to one day press play once again. I’ve also pretty much stopped listening to podcasts for the same reason, I used to listen to them while walking to work and now have fallen behind on pretty much every podcast I like.
Anyway, so I was looking for something to watch and found Easy Riders, Raging Bulls and that immediately caught my attention. Somewhere in the back of my mind I knew it was a documentary, but I’d never really thought about watching it. I was picking between that and a horror film that I noticed on Netflix, Come Play. After a very long week at work, that’s only just over half-over, I opted for the documentary, something that I could just watch and enjoy and hopefully find some new films to watch (and I found more than a few). I want to mention that I’ve seen Easy Rider, but I haven’t seen Raging Bull. I don’t know why I haven’t seen Raging Bull, I own it and I’m a big Scorsese fan. There’s even been a few times when I’ve planned to watch it and haven’t been able to for whatever reason. Other things happen, work runs late, or maybe I spend four hours playing mahjong in a Yakuza game instead.
The documentary was good, and I’ve definitely added quite a few films to my list that I will hopefully be watching soon. It starts mainly focused on what was happening in Hollywood during the late 1960s and the end of the studio era, kind of a good follow up after watching Babylon. It then spends a fair amount of time on Bonnie and Clyde from 1967, which I have seen and really like. It then moves through the 1970s, taking a look at some of the best and most influential films of the decade, focusing on the young and upcoming directors of the time like Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, and Peter Bogdanovich.
It last about two hours, so as you’d expect there’s not a lot of time dedicated to most of the films and some of it does seem a little glossed over. For example, they mention Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore, and show a brief clip from the film. Instead of going into any detail about the film, it then jumps to Chinatown and talks about that for a moment and then jumps to the next one. It does spend longer on some films, like Bonnie and Clyde, Easy Rider, and Jaws. Star Wars also gets a fair bit of time, with some really cool behind the scenes shots of how they created the special effects.
My main takeaway from the film is that I need to see Targets from 1968. I’ve heard about the film before, when Cinemassacre covered it for his Monster Madness series a few years back, but haven’t watched it. It looks really good, featuring Boris Karloff in one of his final roles. I’ll definitely be checking that out soon.
I would recommend the documentary if you’re looking to learn a little about late 60s and 70s films and revisit some all time greats that you’ve probably seen countless times.
Thanks for reading, and until next time,