My newest column in the St. Helena Star: “By the time the 1970s came to a close we had come to expect summer blockbuster movies — “Jaws,” “Star Wars,” “Halloween” — each one more exciting to young impressionable minds than the previous. By 1979 some of the top movies included “10” with Bo Derek, “The Jerk” with Steve Martin and “Alien” with Sigourney Weaver — all of which fit our new sense of what a movie should contain: action, a touch of sophomoric humor and a large dose of titillation or fear.
But that year another type of film broke onto the scene. These movies brought social issues to the surface in an honest and riveting manner. And although the top grossing movie that year was “Kramer vs. Kramer,” a story of divorce, another movie that set the bar for such films was “Apocalypse Now.” The director for this groundbreaking movie was Francis Ford Coppola, a local Napa Valleyian whose kids attended the same public school as me and my slightly less famous cadre of friends.” Read more >>>