Monday 14 January
Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice
BOB & CAROL & TED & ALICE 1969 Directed by Paul Mazursky 105 minutes In English
In the late 60s, the counter-culture was so widespread that it temporarily entered the mainstream and created weird cinematic cocktails such as this one. Even normal middle-class 'square' types caught the fever, became slightly off-hinged and tried to explore social experiments. One of these experiments was the 'free love' movement.
This flick, which still remains edgy today, follows a couple (Robert Culp, Natalie Wood) who go on a retreat to have their mindset changed. When they return to LA, they try out their new progressive ideas of openness and total honesty on their friends (Elliott Goul, Dyan Cannon). As the film progresses, they all together test the boundaries of sexuality, monogamy and friendship. And like I said, the fact that a Hollywood film would enter such wild thematic territory (a ménage à quatre) already shows how the 'hippie' generation had penetrated the mainstream (or perhaps how the mainstream had co-opted the hippie movement).
Robert Culp's performance as a hip and sensitive Bob would pave the way for the New Age movement, along with a perverted strain that became Silicon Valley. An incredible cast pulls this thing off, and the fact that Natalie Wood (West Side Story) took on such a risky subject gave the entire project legitimacy - otherwise it would have been rejected as filthy and sick. The soundtrack is by the dynamic trumpeter and jazz composer Quincy Jones, and the Jackie DeShannon theme song 'What the World Needs Now' became a huge hit. A crazy time-capsule.
This will be a high-definition screening.
THE HAIR CUT (1982)
Directed by Tamar Simon Hoffs
The great John Cassavetes stars as a busy business executive who is always on the run. He jumps into a barber shop for a quick haircut and instead of getting a new hair style, he instead gets a new life. Great little short about the meaning of life, directed by a woman and even featuring a cameo by the pop band The Bangles.
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