1971: The Year Hollywood Went Independent is a brand-new season of films launched at the Cinema Rediscovered Festival in Bristol this July. The season comes to the IFT with five ground-breaking films from this influential year, and 35mm screenings of FIVE EASY PIECES and THE LAST PICTURE SHOW.
Following the success of EASY RIDER in the late 60s, Hollywood was searching for the next big thing and gave the greenlight to outsiders, mavericks and cultural renegades.
1971 marked their zenith. Films like the late Monte Hellman’s TWO-LANE BLACKTOP, Alan J. Pakula’s KLUTE, Bob Rafelson’s FIVE EASY PIECES, Robert Altman’s MCCABE & MRS MILLER and Peter Bogdanovich’s THE LAST PICTURE SHOW), all released in 1971, reveal a parallel Hollywood universe of countercultural cinema.
Women were key to this creative moment whether in front of the camera: Jane Fonda (KLUTE), Julie Christie (MCCABE & MRS MILLER) and Cloris Leachman (who sadly passed away recently and won a Supporting Actress Oscar® for THE LAST PICTURE SHOW); or behind the camera: Polly Platt (THE LAST PICTURE SHOW) and scriptwriter Carole Eastman (FIVE EASY PIECES).
America itself was going through intense social and political upheavals from race riots at home to the Vietnam War, from the impact of 60’s counterculture to Watergate which changed and challenged who and what the mainstream was. From the perspective of 2021, these films offer a glimpse into independent cinema and a unique perspective on America and American film.