Tag Archives: 1960s


The eyes have it: Stills from Village of the Damned, Passport to Pimlico and The First Movie

In order to stem the tide of my perpetual catch-up in this (often) ill-conceived attempt to write about every film I watch, I present this mass posting, where I write a brief something about some of the British titles I have caught over the last couple of months but have neither the time nor inclination to expand upon further.

Here goes nothing…

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13 Most Beautiful: Songs for Andy Warhol’s Screen Tests
d. Andy Warhol / 1964-66 / USA / 4 mins per film
with live music by Dean and Britta
@ Barbican Theatre (London, UK)

Dean & Britta performing 13 Most Beautiful at the Barbican (Photo: http://www.quarterlifeparty.com/)

It’s a simple enough concept: grab a camera and a roll of 16mm film, point said camera at your friend, acquaintance or personal superstar and keep shooting until the very last frame has had its all too brief moment in front of the shutter. No sound, no dialogue, no enforced action of any sort…just faces in the frame – some smiling and a few scowling, plenty of posing and a couple of tears.

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d. Richard Lester / 1968 / USA /  105 min

Still from Petulia

Screen Addict is back, finally! And boy do I have lots of updates to share, so expect yet another onslaught of wordy film gibbering as I struggle to catch up on the backlog of my backlogs.

First up is Petulia, an excellent, underrated little gem from an underrated director (Richard Lester), that explores what becomes of London’s swinging sixties once they cross the pond and start to go sour. A gloriously disjointed narrative unfurls as Julie Christie plays an unhappily married socialite who spreads her misery to a recently divorced doctor, Hollywood’s own walking proboscis, George C. Scott.

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d. Alfred Hitchcock / 1960 / USA / 109 min
Viewed at: Downstairs @ the Prince Charles Cinema (London, UK)

Still from Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho

Is there anything at all that hasn’t already been said/written about post-silent Hitchcock, let alone about a film as canonical as Psycho? Probably not, that’s why I actually attempted, during a screening of the recent British re-release, to identify what I really don’t like about it.

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Thoroughly Modern Millie
d. George Roy Hill / USA / 1967 / 138 mins
Viewed on: BBC Four (UK)

I have mixed feelings about this one. I think it’s a little too long, a bit silly and I still maintain that – despite being set in the 1920s – some of the fashion and a lot of the choreography seems very 1960s. But how can you not like it? Julie Andrews enters the frame as a dowdy Mary Poppins-type and, after a quick costume change, steps into a thoroughly modern world of ‘bob’ cuts, cloche hats and the Charleston. It also has evil ‘orientals’ (led by the distinctly un-oriental comedienne Beatrice Lillie), and a cast of characters that include the inimitable Carol Channing, as well as Mary Tyler Moore, the Pope from Mister Lonely, Marion Crane’s boyfriend from Psycho, Kung Fu‘s Master Kan and the late Mr. Miyagi.

I also found it interesting that most of the musical numbers operate within the internal emotion of individual characters. Unlike traditional musicals, where songs are often addressed directly toward other characters, the songs here only illustrate the internal thoughts or feelings of a character and are often delivered in a direct address to the camera. Plus, when she’s not singing them, Millie uses silent film style intertitles to convey these emotions. Good-O!

Anyway, apart from anything else, it has a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. What more do you want?

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