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Eduardo Casais <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I find this movie unique. If you have read of, or can remember the mid-1960s, you know that the character Julie Christie plays was absolutely the one adored by everyone- by all who considered themselves "in" and "trendy" and "modern". And she is completely taken apart by this movie.
I can think of only one other movie at any time in any language that so thoroughly demolishes the pretensions of the very people whom the smart set aspired to be at the time the movie was coming out. Amazingly that movie was 'Alfie', that came out about that same year. (A movie like La Dolce Vita is in a different mode - the people are the new meretricious post-war haute bourgeois class - a frequent target through history, and in that way, like The Ice Storm or Interiors or American Beauty as an attack on such values).
Virtually all "serious satires" take on targets that the "chattering classes" consider suspect - the hidebound, the hypocritical, the "authority figures" whom youth wish to overturn. Not this one. Astonishingly, in the midst of mod London, the very middle of the swinging 60s, you get a movie that looks at its non-committal "live for the moment" hedonistic experimentation and blasts its moral character with a cannon.
This just doesn't happen in movies - compare say, "If" or "O Lucky Man" or say, "Network" (to name three I like), and you'll see the targets as the familiar powers that be - from school to television. But Julie Christie's character is what people thought was new and wonderful - and its superficiality is blown to bits.
It's as if a movie now were to look at a poor black woman raising a child alone - and blast her for any behavior that contributed to this state. It just won't be done - the sympathies are all running FOR that character. So were the sympathies for the Julie Christie character in that time - and the movie is very very brave in running so utterly against the current.
I just love the movie - it's a step up from Schlesinger's earlier ones -the script is superb, the performances are excellent without exception. (Lawrence Harvey is particularly good - but of course it's Christie's movie).
Do see it. It's also full of wonderfully imaginative touches - such as the ending scene.
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