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By medium: music in the 1970s - film in the 1970s

John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever (1977) [Amazon.com]

La Grande Bouffe (1973) - Marco Ferreri [Amazon.com]

1970s overview

High inflation, unemployment, and interest rates produce stagflation among industrialized nations; most OECD economies fall into chronic budget deficit. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1970s [Oct 2004]

The chaotic events of the 1960s, including war and social change, seemed destined to continue in the 1970s. Major trends included a growing disillusionment of government, advances in civil rights, increased influence of the women's movement, a heightened concern for the environment, and increased space exploration. Many of the "radical" ideas of the 1960s gained wider acceptance in the new decade, and were mainstreamed into American life and culture. Amid war, social realignment and presidential impeachment proceedings, American culture flourished. Indeed, the events of the times were reflected in and became the inspiration for much of the music, literature, entertainment, and even fashion of the decade. --http://kclibrary.nhmccd.edu/decade70.html [oct 2004]

Subcultures of the 1970s

In the 1970s the hippie, mod and rocker cultures were in a process of transformation which temporarily took on the name of freaks (openly embracing the image of strangeness and otherlyness). A growing awareness of identity politics combined with the legalisation of homosexuality and a huge amount of interest in science fiction and fantasy forms of speculative writing produced the autre with an attitude freak scene. There was a lot of talk about "revolution", most of which was, undoubtedly, a lot of talk.

At some stage, though it's unclear when, some of the hacker/computer nerd subculture took on the derogatory word geek with pride, in the same way the freaks had done. Computer usage was still a very inaccessible secret world to most people in those days but lots of people were interested in computers because of their appearance in science fiction. The dream of one day owning a computer was a popular fantasy amongst science fiction fandom which had grown from a minor subculture in the first half of the 20th century to a quite large contingent by the 70s, along with horror fandom, comics fandom and fantasy freaks.

Since the freak scene was connected to the political ideas of the alternative society the bands on the freak circuit didn't please the bank balances of the pop industry very much. A band like The Edgar Broughton Band or The Pink Fairies would play at a free festival, not on Top of the Pops. Legend has it that Hawkwind, a space rock band on the freak scene had refused to play on Top of The Pops when their first single Silver Machine "accidently" went into the UK Singles Charts. The music/fashion/subculture which the pop industry created as a commercial alternative to the freaks was glam rock. Glam was a continuation of the trendies of the mod culture in the 60s which appealed to the androgynous trend of the seventies.

At the same time there emerged a new subculture called skinheads. The "skins" or skinheads were anti-aesthetic, pro-basic, fiercely working class tough youths. They had the image of homophobia and racism and this image was often true although, paradoxically, they loved black Jamaican reggae, ska, and bluebeat.

Skinheads mainly began from 1969, as a development from the hard, headcase type of mods but, by the mid-70s, some crossover was happening between skins and the freak scene. This developed into the punk rock culture which became apparent from about 1975 onward. Punks managed to be both hardcases and tongue-in-cheek at the same time. The concept of Anarchism became fashionable.

Disco became a really significant centre of subculture from about 1975 onward.

When punk was happening some of the progressive rock elements took it as a challenge to live faster, harder and tougher than punk. They kept the long hair of the freak scene, adopted the black leather jacket as virtually a uniform and took on the name heavy metal (which is a phrase from the writings of William S. Burroughs).

The continuance of hippie ideas of spirituality and mysticism was in the New Age movement, which increased in size and influence.

Mods made a comeback in the 1970s as a post-punk alternative mod phenomenon, inspired by rock band The Who and the British film Quadrophenia.

In 1979 the Usenet was created as a medium of communication over the, still very primitive, internet of the time. The Usenet and the BBS subculture would become increasingly significant over the next few decades. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_subcultures_in_the_20th_century [Dec 2004]

Music in the 1970s [...]

music in the seventies

The prevailing societal winds of the 70's - inflation, public demoralization, and economic recession- fostered an environment in which music like punk (nihilism), new wave (ice-olation), or disco (hedonistic party vibe), easily thrived. A far cry from the idealistic themes of peace, love, equality, and awareness that laced rock and R&B in the 60's. --http://www.toshikubota.com/e_html/discodaze.asp [Oct 2004]

See also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_trends_in_music_%281970-1979%29 [Oct 2004]

Film in the 1970s [...]

Movies in the 1970s came in a wide variety, as the socially-conscious young directors that emerged in the late '60s grew in different directions, influenced by music, literature, and the nature of crime and war. The early part of the decade focused on increasingly realistic, gritty movies, including Francis Ford Coppola's Godfather pictures and Robert Altman's M*A*S*H. A trend that lasted through the decade was the popularity of disaster movies, starting with Airport in 1970. Another trend was the birth of the big-budget horror film, initiated by William Friedkin's The Exorcist which spawned numerous imitators. A pivotal moment in movies was the 1975 release of Steven Spielberg's first major hit, Jaws, widely regarded as the birth of the blockbuster motion picture (a trend sealed two years later with the release of Star Wars. The end of the decade saw the first Vietnam War movies, from directors Michael Cimino (The Deer Hunter) and Coppola (Apocalypse Now). --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1970s_in_film [Oct 2004]

Contemporary art [...]

Contemporary art should not be confused with modern art - the former is art being created today and the art of roughly since the early seventies, while the latter generally refers to art from the 1860s until the 1970s. Contemporary art is characterized by its extreme diversity and the apparent lack of specific movements. -- adapted from wikipedia.org, Mar 15, 2004--http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Contemporary_art, Nov 2003


  • 1970 El Topo (1970) - Alexandro Jodorowsky
  • 1971 A Clockwork Orange (1971) - Stanley Kubrick
  • 1972 Watergate scandal, Deep Throat (1972) - Gerard Damiano
  • 1973 La Grande Bouffe (1973) - Marco Ferreri
  • 1974 Film As a Subversive Art (1974) - Amos Vogel
  • 1975 Spain: Francisco Franco dies
  • 1976 Je t'aime, moi non plus (1976) - Serge Gainsbourg
  • 1977 Eraserhead (1977) - David Lynch
  • 1978 Harvey Milk assassinated
  • 1979 USA, Disco Sucks

    Sexual Revolution [...]

    The sexual revolution was a substantial change [revolution] in sexual morality and sexual behaviour throughout the West and other wealthy countries in the late 1960s and early 1970s. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sexual_revolution [Oct 2004]

    Hippie [...]

    The hippie movement was at its height in the late 1960s to early 1970s. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hippie [2004]

    Gay pride [...]

    The gay pride movement may arguably be seen as analogous to the "Black is Beautiful" movement in the United States during the 1970s. Just as African-Americans argued that beauty should not be solely defined by the standards of the ethnic majority, members of the gay pride movement argue that the inherent worth of homosexuality should not be defined in terms of the heterosexual majority.

    Activist L. Craig Schoonmaker claims to have coined the term "gay pride" in description of the 1969 Stonewall riots. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gay_pride [Oct 2004]

    • 1970 - First U.S. gay pride parade held in New York City
    • 1971 - Colorado, Oregon repeal sodomy laws; gay age of consent in the Netherlands changed from 21 to 16 (equalized; Penal Code Section 248bis dropped)
    • 1972 - Ann Arbor, Michigan becomes first city in United States to pass gay rights ordinance
    • 1973 - The American Psychiatric Association removes homosexuality from its DSM-II.
    • 1974 - Ohio repeals sodomy laws.
    • 1977 - Harvey Milk elected city supervisor in San Francisco. Dade County, Florida enacts a Human Rights Ordinance. It is repealed the same year after a militant anti-gay-rights campaign led by Anita Bryant.
    • 1978 - Harvey Milk assassinated
    • 1979 - first U.S. gay rights march on Washington, DC
    --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gay_rights_timeline [Sept 2004]


    From 1970 to 1972, Baader robbed banks and bombed buildings. His lifestyle and that of other members of the gang involved opulence, glamourous apartments, sports cars, and weekends in Paris in 5-star hotels. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andreas_Baader [Sept 2004]

    Vietnam [...]

    1973 - U.S. involvement in Vietnam finally ends. The U.S. lost about 50,000 soldiers in Vietnam, and suffered more than 300,000 wounded. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vietnam_war_timeline [Oct 2004]

    Computers, technology

    • Microprocessors are developed - used first in industrial applications and after that also in consumer products
    • Pocket calculators make the slide rule obsolete.
    • Home computer revolution starts
    • Unix created along with C programming language
    • Microsoft is founded (1975)
    --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1970s [Oct 2004]

    Movies of the 70s - Jurgen Muller

      Movies of the 70s - Jurgen Muller [Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]
      The 1970s: that magical era betwixt the swinging 60s and the decadent 80s, the epoch of leisure suits and Afros, the age of disco music and platform shoes. As war raged on in Vietnam and the cold war continued to escalate, Hollywood began to heat up, recovering from its commercial crisis with box-office successes such as Star Wars, Jaws, The Exorcist, and The Godfather. Thanks to directors like Spielberg and Lucas, American cinema gave birth to a new phenomenon: the blockbuster. Meanwhile, across the Atlantic, while the Nouvelle Vague died out in France, its influence extended to Germany, where the New German Cinema of Fassbinder, Wenders, and Herzog had its heyday. The sexual revolution made its way to the silver screen (cautiously in the US, more freely in Europe) most notably in Bertolucci's steamy, scandalous Last Tango in Paris. Amidst all this came a wave of nostalgic films (The Sting, American Graffiti) and Vietnam pictures (Apocalypse Now, The Deer Hunter), the rise of the anti-hero (Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Dustin Hoffman), and the prestigious short-lived genre, blaxploitation.

      Decorative Art 70s

      Decorative Art 70s (2000) - Charlotte P. Fiell, Peter Fiell [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

      From Library Journal
      These two volumes reprint edited versions (from the Sixties and Seventies) of Decorative Art in Modern Interiors, which was originally published as the yearbook of the British journal Studio Magazine. As the editors point out, since its founding in 1893, the magazine was one of the first publications to promote good design by showcasing practitioners such as Charles Rennie Mackintosh and Charles Voysey. It continued its mission of presenting the latest in international design until the 1980s, when it folded. The two books are divided into chapters that cover the best of architecture, interior design, furniture, textiles, wallpaper, glassware, lighting, silver, and ceramics. They are illustrated with hundreds of photographs, and in some cases floor plans and elevations for buildings are included as well. While little or no information is given regarding the designers, architects, or firms responsible for the work, and indexing is not as comprehensive as it could be, for those looking for examples of how we lived in the "Swinging Sixties" (shag carpeting and all) and subsequent design trends of the 1970s, this is the place to look. For larger decorative art collections and academic libraries supporting design courses.Margarete Gross, Chicago P.L.

      Futuro (2003) Marko Home [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

      This plastic, ellipsoid, portable holiday hideaway is among the most striking samples of Utopian space-age design.

      The Futuro house, initially designed by Finish architect Matti Suuronen as a mass-producible ski cabin, was introduced to the public in 1968. Its flying-saucer-like elliptical shape and plastic construction reflected the space-age optimism and utopian vision of the sixties, and attracted the world's attention. However, despite a global marketing campaign that included exhibitions and proposals for variants on the function of Futuro, it was destined for commercial failure, crippled by its quirky design coupled with the 1972 oil crisis, which tripled the price of plastic. Today, only thirty Futuros remain, primarily in Finland, Russia, Japan and the United States, used variously as gas stations, cafes, and art exhibits. This glossy book offers a detailed, fully illustrated history of the Futuro, as well as a retrospective journey into our recent futuristic past. Also included is an exclusive DVD featuring the 29-minute documentary film Futuro - A New Stance for Tomorrow, plus 45 minutes of rare amateur film and other archive footage. --via Amazon.de

      "The Futuro house designed by Finnish architect Matti Suuronen was first introduced in 1968. Its flying-saucer-like elliptical shape still retains its appeal even today, reflecting the space-age optimism of the sixties and a utopian vision of 'a new stance for tomorrow'

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