BEING HAL ASHBY ~ Life of a Hollywood Rebel

BEING HAL ASHBY  ~ Life of a Hollywood Rebel

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Book review and technical detail BEING HAL ASHBY ~ Life of a Hollywood Rebel Nick Dawson

Technical detail of BEING HAL ASHBY ~ Life of a Hollywood Rebel
Title
BEING HAL ASHBY ~ Life of a Hollywood Rebel
author Nick Dawson
ISBN 92159
Language
Category Entertainment & Sports
Publisher University Press of Kentucky
Pages 440
Publishing Date 1st January, 1970

Book Reviews:

The adventure of how a afflicted boy from Utah who rarely watched films became the administrator of Actuality There and Harold and Maude, arduous Hollywood with his accelerating attitude.FilmInFocus editor Dawson chronicles anniversary of Ashby’s films from its apperception to premiere in close detail, accomplished by hundreds of appear conversations and recollections. The columnist pays appropriate absorption to Ashby’s determinative years as an editor, during which he was mentored by administrator Norman Jewison through abounding films afore eventually actuality handed the reins. According to endless testimonies from his peers, accompany and actors, Ashby was brilliant, amusing and entertaining. His acceptability and actualization as a drug-addled hippie belied his affected assignment belief and charge to professionalism on set. Much of the contentment in account this adventure comes from the irony surrounding assertive films and claimed choices. Afore it became a band classic, Harold and Maude was a bomb with the critics. Though he climbed agilely to bulge as a filmmaker, Ashby affable abrupt into new adulation diplomacy after circumspection; he affiliated aural weeks and afar about as quickly. Dawson posits that the afterlife of Ashby’s father—which Hal, abandoned amid his family, advised a suicide—was the adumbration the filmmaker could never escape and the antecedent of abiding agitation in his claimed life. The columnist withholds this affectionate of assay for best of the narrative, but he offers it occasionally as a absolution for Ashby’s eruptions and abandonments. Dawson glides through Ashby’s ashore claimed relationships, wisely allotment to abide instead on the assignment of a man whose career captivated his life.A advantageous account by a able biographer.

Hal Ashby (1929–1988) was always an outsider, and as a director he brought an outsider's perspective to Hollywood cinema. After moving to California from a Mormon household in Utah, he created eccentric films that reflected the uncertain social climate of the 1970s. Whether it is his enduring cult classic Harold and Maude (1971) or the iconic Being There (1979), Ashby's artistry is unmistakable. His skill for blending intense drama with off-kilter comedy attracted A-list actors and elicited powerful performances from Jack Nicholson in The Last Detail (1973), Warren Beatty and Julie Christie in Shampoo (1975), and Jon Voight and Jane Fonda in Coming Home (1979). Yet the man behind these films is still something of a mystery.In Being Hal Ashby: Life of a Hollywood Rebel, author Nick Dawson for the first time tells the story of a man whose thoughtful and challenging body of work continues to influence modern filmmakers and whose life was as dramatic and unconventional as his films. Ashby began his career as an editor, and it did not take long for his talents to be recognized. He won an Academy Award in 1967 for editing In the Heat of the Night and leveraged his success as an editor to pursue his true passion: directing. Crafting seminal films that steered clear of mainstream conventions yet attracted both popular and critical praise, Ashby became one of the quintessential directors of the 1970s New Hollywood movement.No matter how much success Ashby achieved, he was never able to escape the ghosts of his troubled childhood. The divorce of his parents, his father's suicide, and his own marriage and divorce―all before the age of nineteen―led to a lifelong struggle with drugs for which he became infamous in Hollywood. And yet, contrary to mythology, it was not Ashby's drug abuse that destroyed his career but a fundamental mismatch between the director and the stifling climate of 1980s studio filmmaking. Although his name may not be recognized by many of today's filmgoers, Hal Ashby is certainly familiar to filmmakers. Despite his untimely death in 1988, his legacy of innovation and individuality continues to influence a generation of independent directors, including Wes Anderson, Sean Penn, and the Coen brothers, who place substance and style above the pursuit of box-office success.In this groundbreaking and exhaustively researched biography, Nick Dawson draws on firsthand interviews and personal papers from Ashby's estate to offer an intimate look at the tumultuous life of an artist unwilling to conform or compromise.

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