From A to Z--Air Hostesses to Zabriskie Point--a kaleidoscopic overview of the current movie market by the author of the five-volume History of Cinema Art. A discussion of the conglomerate status and diversification of the major film corporations gives way to an examination of the roles of producers/directors and finally the not exactly original conclusion that Hollywood is abandoning the ""super-spectacle formula"" (the spectacle is defined here in terms of De Millean biblical/historical epics--for some reason the disaster flicks of today don't qualify). Other topics which the author touches on include the rise of independent and TV-trained directors; the growth of youth-oriented/anti-establishment/black-exploitable films; the wave of violence and porn (a movement which is itself counter-trended by an occasional Love Story or Summer of 42); underground cinema; Jonas Mekas and ""kinoplastics""; Andy Warhol and the avant-garde; Gene Youngblood and ""expanded cinema""; the future of cable TV and cassette movies; the techniques of cameramen Gordon Willis and Haskell Wexler, etc. ""The American cinema is like a gigantic pot. . . . No one is sure what is inside, and it is not always the most interesting things that come to the surface. But, occasionally, among the froth and dregs, there is a glimpse of something that sticks in the mind. . ."" or in the throat. Little froth--but little fizz either. One of those all-purpose nothings.