“Bonnie and Clyde”: New Hollywood on the Big Screen

One of the films that changed our town plays at the Million Dollar Theatre.

Lofty film criticism would not be lofty film criticism without the frequent suggestion, by the writer, that a particular movie was so different and so groundbreaking -- "groundbreaking" being one of the top ten lofty film criticism terms, of course — that it was set to change the course of how movies are made, forever.

Mostly? This is wishful thinking on the part of the reviewer, though their cinema-loving heart is in the right place. We want our films to go further, push envelopes, grow both we viewers and the industry, simultaneously.

"Bonnie and Clyde" actually did just that. The 1967 classic was at the feisty forefront of the New Hollywood movement, which saw leaner realism and stylish drama begin to replace the three-hour musicale extravaganzas, the sorts of lavish movies that had been Tinseltown's heavily sauced meat-and-potatoes only months beforehand.

You can see the famously stripped down, modern-aesthetic-y film, which marks its 50th in just a couple of years, on the big screen at the Million Dollar Theatre on Saturday, March 21. Alison Martino's Vintage LA, Grand Central Market, and the historic movie palace are in partnership on the showing, which will feature jazzy, vintage tunes from the California Feetwarmers ahead of the show.

Actor Michael J. Pollard will also be in attendance, and Ms. Martino shall chat with him about his production memories and time on set with Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty.

Grand Central Market and the Million Dollar Theatre, by the by, both suit the era of the film, or, actually, a decade or so before the early-1930s era of "Bonnie and Clyde." So grabbing a sinker or raft — old-school lingo for doughnuts and toast, of course — next door would help fit the feel of the film, or at least the time the film captures.

Tickets for the movie? They're ten bucks.

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Writing lofty film criticism? We like it. After all, film fans should gently coax the medium they love from time to time. We're all on the same movie-loving path here.

Adoring three-hour musicale extravaganzas? So very a-okay. A fan can like both New Hollywood and Old Hollywood showstoppers, the kind that used to have an intermission in the middle.

Sinkers and rafts? Why don't we still use diner lingo nowadays?

Wearing a beret to the screening, or fedora? Up to you, but please kindly remove your chapeau when it's curtains-up.

What's the next New Hollywood? Anyone's guess, but larger movie trends do evolve and change, from time to time.

Perhaps the next phase for film these days will be something that falls between the blockbuster and the indie. Remember when middle-budget movies ruled? Studios, we're gently coaxing here, if we might, before we jump in our Model T and peel out.

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