Being Hal Ashby

Being Hal Ashby

Author: Nick Dawson

Publisher: University Press of Kentucky

ISBN: 9780813173344

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 440

View: 265

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.
Being Hal Ashby
Language: en
Pages: 440
Authors: Nick Dawson
Categories: Biography & Autobiography
Type: BOOK - Published: 2009-04-17 - Publisher: University Press of Kentucky

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
Authoring Hal Ashby
Language: en
Pages: 240
Authors: Aaron Hunter
Categories: Performing Arts
Type: BOOK - Published: 2016-08-25 - Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA

Casting fresh light on New Hollywood – one of American cinema's most fertile eras – Authoring Hal Ashby is the first sustained argument that, rather than a period dominated by genius auteurs, New Hollywood was an era of intense collaboration producing films of multiple-authorship. Centering its discussion on the films
Being There in the Age of Trump
Language: en
Pages: 240
Authors: Barbara Tepa Lupack
Categories: Literary Criticism
Type: BOOK - Published: 2020-08-20 - Publisher: Lexington Books

Jerzy Kosinski’s Being There (published in 1970 and adapted to film in 1979) was prescient in its vision of a simple man without discernible talent or political experience whose knowledge of the world comes almost exclusively from television. Yet his very shallowness establishes him as a TV celebrity and propels
Hal Ashby and the Making of Harold and Maude
Language: en
Pages: 224
Authors: James A. Davidson
Categories: Performing Arts
Type: BOOK - Published: 2016-01-28 - Publisher: McFarland

The original script was sold to a major Hollywood studio virtually overnight; the screenwriter was working as a pool boy and driver for the producer; the director was considered an "acid freak" by the studio heads; the star was a 74-year old actress who didn't know how to drive a
Being There and the Evolution of a Screenplay
Language: en
Pages: 488
Authors: Aaron Hunter
Categories: Performing Arts
Type: BOOK - Published: 2021-01-28 - Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA

Being There and the Evolution of a Screenplay provides an insightful look at the drafting of one of Hollywood history's greatest scripts. Being There (1979) is generally considered the final film in Hal Ashby's triumphant 1970s career, which included the likes of Harold and Maude (1971) and Shampoo (1975). The