A New Beginning

The 1960's marked the beginning of an era in Hollywood that would witness a breed of film not seen before. With the studio no longer the presiding power in Hollywood, directors took their newfound control and pushed the limits of experimentation. Mike Nichols' rapid editing and integration of Simon and Garfunkel vocals in The Graduate (1967) presented a protagonist's plight in a way that was and still to this day on the cutting edge. The science fiction genre was revived with the use of enigmatic symbolism by Stanley Kubrick in 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968). Dennis Hopper's assimilation of jump cuts often reserved for French New Wave films gave Easy Rider (1969) a choppy feel that spoke to a generation with its drug-laced themes and a blaring rock soundtrack. In 1968 the Motion Picture Association of America created a rating system similar to the one used today. The system presented the industry as being sensitive to public concern while allowing filmmakers such as Sam Peckinpah (The Wild Bunch, 1969) and John Shlesinger (Midnight Cowboy, 1969) creative license to convey ideas of both violence and sexuality.