’60s

Withnail & I (Bruce Robinson, 1987)

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UK, 107 min

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A Technicolor Dream (2008)

UK, 90 min

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A Technicolor Dream is a documentary film chronicling the development of London’s counter-culture underground of the 1960s, and the events which led up to the 14-hour “Technicolor Dream”, a benefit concert for what was at the time England’s largest underground newspaper — the International Times (or I.T.).

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Eclipse of the Sun Virgin (George Kuchar, 1967)

USA, 15m
16mm; color/sound

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I dedicate this film poem to the behemoths of yesteryear that perished in Siberia along with the horned pachyderms of the pre-glacial epoch. This chilling montage of crimson repression must be seen. Painstakingly filmed and edited, it will be painful to watch, too.

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Fritz the Cat (Ralph Bakshi, 1972)

USA, 78 min

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Psychedelic, irreverent, adults-only animated film based on underground artist Robert Crumb’s cartoon of ultra-hip cat. Cult favorite for its cynical look at ’60s counterculture. Entertaining for those who lived through era. — reel.com

Bakshi‘s feature film debut. His three major films from this late ’60s/ early ’70s period are each pretty raw, highly personal, and controversial. (I’ve now only Heavy Traffic left to see from this era, and I’m expecting it to be the best of the lot.)

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le Joli mai (Chris Marker & Pierre Lhomme, 1963)

Fr, 165 min

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Released in 1963, Chris Marker’s Le joli Mai was one of the first and finest examples of cinema vérité to come out of France. Poetic, witty, complex, the film uses as its initial focus the spring of 1962, the first spring of peace for France since 1939. With rooftop shots of Paris on the screen, the narrator in the opening commentary tells us: “For two centuries happiness has been a new idea in Europe, and people are not used to it.” In the very political film which follows, Marker examines that idea of happiness on the small, private scale and on a larger, societal scale.

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