Tag: Gene Hackman

February 13, 2017 /

The question of where the momentous artistic energy generated by the late 1960s would lead must’ve loomed large in the minds of Hollywood executives as they witnessed the dismantling of the studio system and rise of the American auteur. What kind of institution would the Academy become after awarding the X-rated Midnight Cowboy Best Picture? Would grafting the European director/creator model across the pond be successful? Coppola, Friedkin and Stallone, among others, responded with a resounding affirmation, driving the Hollywood into the American New Wave, where freedom reigned and masculinity was on hyperdrive.

November 14, 2008 / / Film Notes

By KJ Hamilton

Mississippi Burning – 1988 – dir. Alan Parker

The basic plot:  two FBI agents are sent to a small town in Mississippi to investigate the disappearance of three young poll workers.  This wouldn’t be a big deal except the film is set in 1964, these pollsters were also civil rights workers, and one of them was African American. The two agents, Anderson (Gene Hackman) and Ward (Willem Dafoe) are as different as night and day. Ward has worked his way up through the ranks by following the strictest protocol. He knows the rule book inside and out.  Anderson, on the other hand, spent the majority of his law enforcement career in a small Southern town.  One agent is a Northerner, the other a Southerner.   The dichotomy of that situation in the context of the rest of the film is quite interesting.  You’ve got black versus white, north versus south, local versus federal, man versus woman. It’s an all-out war.