|Dennis Hopper and Peter Fonda in Easy Rider,
one of the film’s that inspired A Decade Under the Influence.
A film’s personality is marked by its maker
Films were marked by the personality of the filmmakers.
Even when they were reinventing genres, the filmmakers didn’t just
churn out marketable product—the made great films which were also
box office hits with the public. The movies were smart and the studios
were making money.
Don’t get personal
I had no interest in getting into the personal lives
or mistakes of these artists [in A Decade Under the Influence].
There’s so much of that today. We know way too much about everybody
and it’s all the same. There’s nothing new in the mistakes or abuses
of creative people. I wanted Decade to document the movies,
the work that remains a part of our culture forever. Who knows what
contribution Panic in Needle Park or Network can make
on a young filmmaker, or even a moviegoer, who sees it today.
Movies are memories
My family would get dressed up to go into the
city and see Planet of the Apes, for example, to celebrate
my communion. So I personally have a lot of memories tied up in
these films. I remember standing on line with my dad waiting to
get into The Godfather and Serpico. My high school
is in the background of The French Connection car chase.
It’s all in the pacing
The pacing of the seventies was very different.
They really took their time to develop atmosphere and character.
It was as if they worked in long hand instead of sound bytes.
Filmography for Richard LaGravenese
A Decade Under the Influence (2003) [director/producer]
Beloved (1998) [writer]
Living Out Loud (1998) [writer/director]
The Horse Whisperer [writer]
The Mirror Has Two Faces (1996) [writer]
Unstrung Heroes (1995) [writer]
The Bridges of Madison County (1995) [writer]
A Little Princess (1995) [writer]
The Ref (1994) [writer/producer]
The Fisher King (1991) [writer]
Rude Awakening (1989) [writer]