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I was there; '70s films were different Manohla...

August 24, 2003

I was there; '70s films were different

Manohla Dargis writes that "The New Hollywood (of the '70s) wasn't that different from the Old. It was just Hollywood." OK, I was there and I don't remember seeing her. Actually, the Hollywood of the '70s was different in several fundamental ways: The studios backed serious, personal films -- and we actually looked forward to seeing them. Greater freedom and control (and encouragement) were given to new filmmakers. And, yes, there was a pervasive energy and exuberance in town that doesn't exist in a world of sequels and franchises. If she's so bored with the movies of the '70s, Ms. Dargis should be compelled to see "Gigli" and "Bad Boys II" every day next week.

Peter Bart

Los Angeles

Peter Bart was vice president of production at Paramount Pictures and president of Lorimar Film Company. He is the vice president and editor in chief of Variety.

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