The Magic Christian

Tuesday, 20 August

The Magic Christian

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SUMMER SCHEDULE! Doors open 8.30PM. Jeffrey's intro + film start 30 minutes later than usual, at 9PM

THE MAGIC CHRISTIAN    1969 Directed by Joseph McGrath 101 minutes In English

Around the world during the late 60s, cinema was breaking apart in various ways. In Europe artistic films were being knocked out at a rate unlike anything else in history. But there were also films that were insane, that were breaking all the rules. Many of these wayward flicks were infused with drug-taking or a bold devil-may-care attitude. A crazed writer named Terry Southern was at the root of many of these projects, and was responsible for Easy Rider, Candy, and Dr. Strangelove hitting the screens. So here we have another one of these impossible movies that takes pot-shots at greed and the total financialization of our lives.

The storyline is simple, we have a rich guy who picks up a homeless orphan from the streets and takes him to his luxurious home. His aim is to prove that everyone can be bought, it only matters on how much is being offered. The film shoots off from this premise, and takes the two of them on a crazy journey as they bribe people to do insane things. If that premise sounds a bit Monty Pythonesque, then there is a reason for that. Some of the early Monty Python instigators were also involved in this wild flick, and appear from time to time - like John Cleese and Graham Chapman. And like a Python flick, this one doesn't have a single riveting story, but has a more episodic feel, like a ramshackle series of events.

The cast is utterly mind-blowing... we have Peter Sellers as the billionaire, Ringo Starr as the homeless bloke, and appearances by Raquel Welch, Yul Brynner, Spike Milligan, Christopher Lee, Richard Attenborough and Roman Polanski. It's full of absurdism, surrealism and black humor... and it's often relentless. Besides all this madness, it has a hit theme song by Badfinger written by Paul McCartney, with lyrics that reflect the anti-commercial, freedom-loving mentality of the 60s. A bizarre example of counter-culture, and one that kicked against all the conventions just to make sure there was no way it could become a commercial product. In other words, at least thematically, it's maybe a good antidote to the extreme marketing, hyper-consumerism and money-grabbing of the modern world we find ourselves in today.

This will be a high-definition screening.

Date & Time: 

Tuesday, 20 August, 2019 - 21:00


  • film


  • 3-5 €
- 3 €
Filmhuis Cavia
Van Hallstraat 52-1
1051 HH Amsterdam


Go through the gate. Cavia is on the right hand side, above Xena Sports. Take the stairs.


Former squat, now legalised

Filmhuis Cavia is a counterculture cinema, founded in 1983 by a squatters movement, which programs films you aren't likely to see anywhere else.


  • film

opening times: 

Our regular screenings are on Tuesdays (programmed by Jeffrey), Thursdays and Fridays, but we also have extra screenings and film festivals throughout the year. Look us up to find our monthly program.

Doors always open half an hour before the film starts.

Weekly programme of film screenings in a circuit of underground / self-organised venues. Forgotten movies that should have been classics, neglected flics, lesser-known gems, always with a personal introduction by the programmer. All films in English, or with English subtitles.


  • film

opening times: 

mostly Sunday to Thursday at about 7 different underground locations.