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Running in from seemingly nowhere, Micky Dolenz, Davy Jones, Michael Nesmith & Peter Tork - better known collectively as The Monkees - disrupt a bridge opening ceremony. From where and why did they come to disrupt the proceedings? They were filming a series of vignettes in several different genres, including a wild west sequence, a desert war sequence, a Confederate war sequence, and a science fiction sequence. They disagree with much of what is happening around them, and try to figure out how to escape the oppression they feel - symbolized by a big black box in which they are seemingly imprisoned - by the forces around. That oppression is often shown in the form of "The Big Victor Mature". Written by
Truly one of the most underrated masterpieces in film-making.
I will admit, I had the opportunity in the past to watch this film, and after about 5 - 10 minutes into it, I felt like many did. I was expecting a Monkey movie that was similar to the television show, but instead I was given... well, I didn't know what I was given to be honest.
However, after finally watching this film, I realized that not only had I had a closed mind to the brilliance it depicts, I also found myself watching it over and over again. It's the one movie that never ceases to interest me, simply because it keeps me alert, as I try to attempt to decipher it's meanings. And just when I think I've figured out something in the film, it's answer is destroyed once I watch the film again. Brilliance indeed.
It seems that most people who disliked this film are wanting to watch a film with primarily a clear plot. They want everything explained and all questions answered in the finale. Well sorry, if that's what you're wanting, this is not the movie for you. But if you liked movies like The Matrix (and better yet, their sequels) I think you'll appreciate the thought provoking, mindblowing experience this film will give you.
Think of the film being like a dream. In our dreams, things make no sense, things we expect to happen don't, people places and things don't speak, act or function in the same way they do in reality. To complain about "Head" is like complaining about a dream you've had that you felt you could not understand. The mind is a complex system, and being that a film titled "Head" is just as complex, is it that difficult to relate the two?
The music (and musical numbers) really stand out, especially Peter Tork's two compositions, which remain the best tracks in the film, "Can You Dig It?" and "Long Title: Do I Have To Do This All Over Again?"
This film proves that The Monkees were much more than just four zanny guys in a 'pre-fab' group (as their critics called them) on a television show, but that they are actually much more intelligent and talented than the world would give them credit for. There's so many messages that can be derived from the film, both in regards to The Monkees and to the 'entertainment industry' in general, that it stands as a masterpiece of film-making that was far ahead of it's time.
I feel, had this film been released as an independent piece at this point and time, it would actually garner the respect and admiration it deserves.
And one finale note:
One could compare this to The Beatles "Magical Mystery Tour" film, since The Beatles film appeared to be just as strange and bizarre. However, in my opinion, "Head" stands far above anything The Beatles put on celluloid.
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