Two rather odd experiments using the blue screen effect to put Ann-Margret’s candy-colored intro and reprise to Bye Bye Birdie into a nightmare context. Both are disturbing for different reasons. The Wizard Of Oz clip is almost Buñuelian in its sepia-tinged surrealism. While the sludgy-looking Manson mash-up is just plain creepy.
The Burroughs-Gysin cut-up method applied to one of America’s teen dreams results in something bordering on the horrifying and apocalyptic
Dangerous Minds pal Ned Raggett has been bravely looking into the career and ultimate downfall of You Light Up My Life composer Joseph Brooks who committed suicide this past weekend.
Read the New York Magazine article for the full deal about why this man will not go mourned by most of humanity. But if you want a picture of deeply hilarious delusion-in-action, enjoy this collection of bits from his WTF 1978 romantic melodrama If Ever I See You Again (With Jimmy Breslin and George Plimpton, who aren’t in this selection of scenes—Shelley Hack, sadly, is immortalized forever.)
Terrence Malick’s The Tree Of Life which was five years in the making has won the Palme D’Or at this year’s Cannes Film Festival. Personally, I’m thrilled. I am a huge Malick fan and the film’s trailer suggests something quite magical. The reviews confirm my sense that this movie may be one of the few contemporary American films that aspire to the kind of consciousness raising that has been all but abandoned since Kubrick’s 2001: Space Odyssey and Peter Weir’s Fearless. Gaspar Noe’s Enter The Void stands alone among recent films that recognize cinema as a form of alchemy.
With Sean Penn and Brad Pitt in starring roles and the Palme D’Or, it is conceivable that a pure art film may find an audience in the USA.
Tree Of Life opens next weekend in New York and L.A. and expands to other cities on June 3rd.
Back to the Land. Urban homesteads. Sustainable cooperatives. The movement that swept the nation in the 70s is back with a new passion. Economic, permaculture, and social concerns have drawn thousands across the country to rediscover the benefits of collective living. The new Process book The Modern Utopian is the definitive examination of the alternative communities in the ‘60s and ‘70s, documented by those who knew it and lived it—from the fabled Drop City to Morningstar Ranch, Timothy Leary at Millbrook to Detroit’s Translove Energies and the still-thriving Stephen Gaskin’s Farm.
Join Process Media’s Jodi Wille as she leads a conversation with members of a new generation (mostly in their 20s and 30s) of intentional communities in Los Angeles. Afterwards, Process presents a rare screening of the 1972 documentary/concert film RAINBOW BRIDGE. This gem of occult/commune 70’s cinema features Warhol stars Pat Hartley and Chuck Wein, Dr. Bronner, cosmic surfers, black power soul sisters, clairvoyant shamans, Jesus freaks, and the actual inhabitants of a chic mansion commune in Maui called the “Rainbow Bridge Occult Research Meditation Center.”
Then Jimi Hendrix drops in, and on the slopes of the Haleakala volcano, he performs for his penultimate live concert in the U.S. before his departure from the planet only two months later.
Rainbow Bridge is is a mind-blower. It was directed by a guy named Chuck Wein who palled around with Andy Warhol in the 60s and who “discovered” Radcliffe debutante Edie Sedgwick (at their mutual therapist)
Cinefamily, 611 N Fairfax Avenue, 7pm, but if you get there early, there is a meet-n-greet with snacks thing on the patio with the special guests.
Made by UCLA students in 1975, Sonic Boom is a short comedy starring George Kennedy, Ricky Nelson, Keith Moon, Jonathan Winters and Sal Mineo. Directed by Jeff Mandel, the associate producer was Eric Louzil, who went onto make a successful career as a writer, producer and director of low budget horror films. In an interview with Chris Radcliffe, Louzil explained how he had two ideas for his student film:
One was about killer bees coming to California either to be called Deadly Buzz or Deadly Hum to star David L. Lander and Michael Mckean a.k.a. Lenny and Squiggy before they had been cast in the hit television show Laverne & Shirley (1976-1983) and the other was Sonic Boom, a comedy short about a supersonic jet that lands in a small town and creates hysteria over an impending sonic boom that never happens. The former project got scrapped because Landers And Mckean wanted too much creative control over it.
“The way they cast Sonic Boom was simply this: they would get together at production meetings, take out the entertainment section of the Los Angeles Times and find out who had made it into press. Then they would essentially stalk these performers and ask them to help out with their student film.
Mandel and Louzil wanted either Keith Moon or Elton John to appear in the film, as Radcliffe explains:
Elton John was in town playing at the Troubadour so it was a toss up between Keith or Elton. They chose Keith because he was a bigger name at the time. They began hanging out at the clubs he was know to frequent until they caught up with him and he agreed to appear in the film for $1,400 In cocaine and a television, though the one page agreement signed between the producers and Keith read for “One Case Of Coke And A Television” - to which one can only assume that the latter he used to throw out of some window.
“There was something of a scene when the Director and some other guy went down to Palm Springs to get the cocaine and were afraid they would get busted on the return trip. In any event Keith’s scene was filmed at the Burbank Court House where he played the part of a professor wearing a cotex on his upper lip for a mustache. He arrived on the set in a gold limousine (which at that time was extremely rare and impressive) and left in a different one. The short film was eventually released theatrically in 1975 where it was shown before the feature film of the evening Man Friday (1975) starring Peter O’ Toole and Richard Roundtree. Man Friday was a retelling of the Robinson Crusoe story with a strong social message.”