When Junior Thibodeau is still in utero, he receives an ominous message from a mysterious source: "Although to you we may seem quite knowledgeable, even omniscient, we in fact know only one thing for certain, which is this: thirty-six years, one hundred sixty-eight days, fourteen hours, and twenty-three seconds from now, on June 15, 2010, at 3:44 p.m. EST, a comet that has broken away from the Kuiper Belt near Neptune will impact the Earth with the explosive energy of 283,824,000 Hiroshima bombs." Junior thus lives his whole life with the knowledge of humankind's certain demise, and the big question is, especially as the only person on the planet armed with this information, does anything he does, that anyone does, really matter?
Author Ron Currie, Jr. answers that question in the book's title, yet Junior's rocky journey to understanding the big question is what makes Everything Matters! so funny, odd and heartbreaking. He, his troubled parents, his baseball prodigy older brother Rodney, and Amy, the girl he has loved since they watched the space shuttle explode together, take turns telling the story; each has a unique voice and a very different take on what is going to happen. And what is going to happen isn't necessarily what you think it might be: Currie takes a foregone conclusion and spins it into something gratifyingly unexpected.
In 1969, a low-budget biker movie, Easy Rider, shocked Hollywood with its stunning success. An unabashed celebration of sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll (onscreen and off), Easy Rider heralded a heady decade in which a rebellious wave of talented young filmmakers invigorated the movie industry. In Easy Riders, Raging Bulls, Peter Biskind takes us on the wild ride that was Hollywood in the '70s, an era that produced such modern classics as The Godfather, Chinatown, Shampoo, Nashville, Taxi Driver, and Jaws.
Easy Riders, Raging Bulls vividly chronicles the exuberance and excess of the times: the startling success of Easy Rider and the equally alarming circumstances under which it was made, with drugs, booze, and violent rivalry between costars Dennis Hopper and Peter Fonda dominating the set; how a small production company named BBS became the guiding spirit of the youth rebellion in Hollywood and how, along the way, some of its executives helped smuggle Huey Newton out of the country; how director Hal Ashby was busted for drugs and thrown in jail in Toronto; why Martin Scorsese attended the Academy Awards with an FBI escort when Taxi Driver was nominated; how George Lucas, gripped by anxiety, compulsively cut off his own hair while writing Star Wars, how a modest house on Nicholas Beach occupied by actresses Margot Kidder and Jennifer Salt became the unofficial headquarters for the New Hollywood; how Billy Friedkin tried to humiliate Paramount boss Barry Diller; and how screenwriter/director Paul Schrader played Russian roulette in his hot tub. It was a time when an "anything goes" experimentation prevailed both on the screen and off.
After the success of Easy Rider, young film-school graduates suddenly found themselves in demand, and directors such as Francis Coppola, Peter Bogdanovich, George Lucas, and Martin Scorsese became powerful figures. Even the new generation of film stars -- Nicholson, De Niro, Hoffman, Pacino, and Dunaway -- seemed a breed apart from the traditional Hollywood actors. Ironically, the renaissance would come to an end with Jaws and Star Wars, hugely successful films that would create a blockbuster mentality and crush innovation.
Based on hundreds of interviews with the directors themselves, producers, stars, agents, writers, studio executives, spouses, and ex-spouses, this is the full, candid story of Hollywood's last golden age. Never before have so many celebrities talked so frankly about one another and about the drugs, sex, and money that made so many of them crash and burn.
By turns hilarious and shocking, Easy Riders, Raging Bulls is the ultimate behind-the-scenes account of Hollywood at work and play.
About the Author
Peter Biskind is the author of five previous books, including Easy Riders, Raging Bulls: How the Sex-Drugs-and-Rock 'n' Roll Generation Saved Hollywood. He is a contributor to Vanity Fair and was formerly the executive editor of Premiere magazine. He lives with his family in Columbia County, New York.
Praise for Easy Riders Raging Bulls…
Peter Biskind's great, scathing, news-packed history...is one hell of an elixir -- salty with flavorsome gossip, sour with the aftertaste of misspent careers, intoxicating with one revelation after another,...an "A."
The Washington Post Book World
Biskind's devourable book is that rarity, a Hollywood exposé that you can read mouth agape, slurping up scandal and titillation so fast you're in danger of choking -- without feeling ashamed of yourself.
San Francisco Chronicle
Biskind is a magician at prying revealing yarns and juicy quotes out of his subjects. And the resulting scenarios are deliciously tawdry...moments of real intelligence and grace.