Being Hal Ashby: Life of a Hollywood Rebel (Screen Classics)

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More filters. Sort order. May 17, Aaron rated it really liked it. I had a weird blind spot with Ashby for the longest time until last year I finally took the journey through all his films and discovered that he was absolutely one of my favorite directors. Dawson's book is meticulously researched and organized, providing some incredible insights into Ashby the man and Ashby the filmmaker -- intertwined fascinating characters who, at times, seem like thoroughly different people.

Being Hal Ashby: Life of a Hollywood Rebel - Nick Dawson - Google книги

His inability to sustain meaningful personal relationships with his family -- I had a weird blind spot with Ashby for the longest time until last year I finally took the journey through all his films and discovered that he was absolutely one of my favorite directors. His inability to sustain meaningful personal relationships with his family -- particularly his daughter -- contrasts completely with the warmth and generosity reported from so many of the friends and colleagues who were part of his life.

As a cinefile, it is quite sad that Ashby's body of work is so relatively limited. Dawson especially places his last four films into valuable context as it's nearly impossible to call any of them "Hal Ashby films" since Ashby's skill came from his vision and his editing, and the latter was torn from him, in some cases completely.

Dawson definitely doesn't hide his own admiration for Ashby, but he seems to back up the character he presents with a wide variety of testimonials from the people who knew, worked with and loved Ashby.

The final chapter -- depicting Ashby's relatively quick decline and death due to pancreatic cancer -- is probably the strongest of the book because even more than any other section, we see and learn about this complicated man: A recluse with so many friends; his life was brilliant and tragic; he was able to have the people who loved him around him as he declined, and after spending most of his adult life holed up in editing rooms with just one or two companions -- if any -- it's amazing the dedication and love he still received from people, including some of the biggest names in the film industry at that time.

The characterization Dawson provides of Ashby's complicated feelings about his father, longing but disconnected relationship with his mother and complete inability to deal with his daughter make his incredible generosity to his colleagues even more fascinating.

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Here was a man who kept creating his own family or families , and aside from making meaningful work, he seemed to want nothing more than to pass on his experiences and knowledge to others, acting as a mentor -- a dedicated, caring mentor, at that -- to numerous people. Does that kind of one-no-one dedication to mentoring -- which seems to have existed a great deal during the early Hollywood studio system and even through the rise of the independents in the '70s -- exist anymore?

The writing itself isn't perfect, and there are moments where the style is too straightforward and dry. But Dawson's book is a must read for any true film lover. Jan 03, Zack rated it really liked it. An excellent and valuable look into the life and work of a thoroughly underrated filmmaker. While I would have liked more insight into why his films are so effective, this gave me a better portrait of the brilliant, dysfunctional personality behind them, and inspired me to rewatch his work -- in fact, I taught a short course at a continuing education program where this was a big help with the syllabus.

A great read. Sep 16, Barry Hammond rated it really liked it.

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One of my favorite films of all time is 8 Million Ways To Die, which I discovered in this book is a film that Hal Ashby was actually removed from by crass producers and didn't edit or do the soundtrack for, so I'm left wondering how much even better it would have been if he had. That's just one tiny tidbit in a book filled with facts and stories about the legendary rebel director of films like Harold and Maude, The Last Detail, Shampoo, Being There, the Rolling Stones concert film Let's Spend One of my favorite films of all time is 8 Million Ways To Die, which I discovered in this book is a film that Hal Ashby was actually removed from by crass producers and didn't edit or do the soundtrack for, so I'm left wondering how much even better it would have been if he had.

An unconventional, well-loved, and difficult artist is captured here in all his complexity by Nick Dawson, who had full access to Ashby's archives and to the friends and professional companions of his life's work.

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A great tribute to a great artist of the cinema. Nov 09, Kathy rated it it was amazing. My public library system holds a themed film series each year. They are remarkable works, and Ashby has become one of my favorite directors. Aug 23, Mike rated it liked it. I don't know, man. Kind of a hagiography, but I love these behind the scenes accounts of people making movies, or really any form of art. The one thing you see repeatedly is that there is a very fine line between being protective of your vision and being harmfully intractable.

The second thing is that if you act like an asshole you better be successful -- and be that way in perpetuity. Because as soon as you have a miss the industry will be quick to say, "It's not worth it.

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Life's too short," I don't know, man. Life's too short," when deciding whether or not to hire you. The third thing is don't do cocaine on set.

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Hal Ashby (–) was always an outsider, and as a director he brought an outsider's perspective to Hollywood cinema. After moving to California from a. Hal Ashby () was always an outsider, and as a director he Being Hal Ashby: Life of a Hollywood Rebel. Nick Dawson. Series: Screen Classics.

And if you have a daughter spend time with her before you're a corpse at a funeral. Aug 15, David Parson rated it liked it.

Once it gets past the obligatory "early days", which is written with very little spark, the biography blooms from film to film, as Ashley's filmography and life are chronicled with the aplomb that his work is famous for. Brisk yet informative glimpse into the life and influences of one of my favorite directors who, in addition to having a train wreck of a personal life he was married five—or six?

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I appreciated reading about the supportive, loving relationships he had with mentor figures Robert Swink and Norman Jewison, and Brisk yet informative glimpse into the life and influences of one of my favorite directors who, in addition to having a train wreck of a personal life he was married five—or six? I appreciated reading about the supportive, loving relationships he had with mentor figures Robert Swink and Norman Jewison, and all the behind-the-scenes antics that helped mold the development of Coming Home , Being There , Shampoo , Bound for Glory , The Last Detail , and Harold and Maude.

Also a good reminder that some of the antecedents of his unique zeitgeist can be found in the films of William Wyler and George Stevens. Think the one movie that I really wish he had succeeded in getting off the ground was his version of I Never Promised You a Rose Garden , but I guess it just wasn't meant to be. Nov 14, Steve rated it really liked it Shelves: non-fiction , film.

Thoroughly researched and told with an obvious love for the subject that meant that I was largely persuaded by the apportioning of blame for the decline in the quality of Ashby's later films lying almost entirely with other people.

That Dawson's affection for Ashby mirrors that of seemingly almost everybody who knew him re-enforces this sense. I'm tempted to say that the even-handed way in which all of his films are given equal attention left me wanting more about the making of Harold and Maude Thoroughly researched and told with an obvious love for the subject that meant that I was largely persuaded by the apportioning of blame for the decline in the quality of Ashby's later films lying almost entirely with other people.

I'm tempted to say that the even-handed way in which all of his films are given equal attention left me wanting more about the making of Harold and Maude and The Last Detail in particular, but that would be to fault what is ultimately one of the book's great strengths.

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The population was doubling every ten years, and Thomas Ashby benefited hugely from an ever-growing number of customers: by the early s, he was employing eleven men and had moved to a specially constructed building with a factory in the rear and a shop in the front. They were playing with a broomstick when Jack decided to throw the "spear" at a cushion on the porch swing. Mike Nichols is another director who is hugely influential right now. One of my favorite films of all time is 8 Million Ways To Die, which I discovered in this book is a film that Hal Ashby was actually removed from by crass producers and didn't edit or do the soundtrack for, so I'm left wondering how much even better it would have been if he had. Ian Bernard and his wife, Judith, used to come round, and the four of them would stay up late, drinking and laughing, and often recording their conversa- tions. The plots of these movies have begun to wear with age, but their flair persists. Hetz got married in June , and Jack and Beth followed suit that October.

The biggest criticism I can make is to say that it left me wanting a greater degree of critical analysis at times. Jan 25, David rated it it was amazing.

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Amazing and articulate look into one of the most under-appreciated filmmakers of the Seventies. Dawson debunks the tragic antihero that Ashby has been portrayed in other books and managed to dig deep into his life and his creative strokes of genius; starting from his conflicted upbringing, to his unfortunate death in May 24, Jason Coleman rated it really liked it. Dawson's analyses, both of the films and of the subject himself, could have gone a little farther, but this decade-in-the making biography is an invaluable first step in reappraising Ashby, whose remarkable run in the '70s can hold its own with the work of Coppola, Altman, and Scorsese.

May 03, Wiley rated it liked it. Needful book, amateurish writing style. Glad I got it. Christopher rated it it was amazing Jun 18, Da Glass rated it it was amazing Sep 04, Mel rated it really liked it Aug 20, Darrell rated it liked it Sep 15, Demi Moore. Steven Jay Schneider.

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Being Hal Ashby: Life of a Hollywood Rebel

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