Based on the controversial off-Broadway musical comedy revue, "Oh! Calcutta! is a series of musical numbers about sex and sexual mores. Most of the skits feature one or more performers in ... See full summary »
May is waiting for her boyfriend in a run-down American motel, when an old flame turns up and threatens to undermine her efforts and drag her back into the life that she was running away from. The situation soon turns complicated.
Harry Dean Stanton
With minimal narration by the director and very little context this is a kaleidoscope of stunning visuals from Calcutta, a city of 8,000,000 in the late 1960's: rich and poor, exotic and ... See full summary »
Lena, aged twenty, wants to know all she can about life and reality. She collects information on everyone and everything, storing her findings in an enormous archive. She experiments with ... See full summary »
This epic is a mass amalgamation of three separate film-types that is, contrary to popular opinion, coherent and a unified whole. Bob Dylan is shown in concert, often masked, during the ... See full summary »
Based on the controversial off-Broadway musical comedy revue, "Oh! Calcutta! is a series of musical numbers about sex and sexual mores. Most of the skits feature one or more performers in either a state of undress, simulating sex, or both. Written by
What you're getting on DVD was actually staged & recorded for pay-per-view TV (then in its infancy) in 1971, at Reeves Tele-Tape - the same studio facility where Sesame Street (1969) was recorded. And its stage manager was Chet O'Brien, who was then the floor manager for "Sesame Street". See more »
During the final number, you can see the camera crew in the mirrors. Also, a crew member tries to run out of the shot as the camera pans around right after that. See more »
After the musical Hair combined a little nudity with a lot of witty, tuneful songs, Oh Calcutta came along and combined a lot of nudity with a number of remarkably dull sketches.
For the most part, these sketches appear to have a humorous intent, yet none of them come close to be really funny, although one short sketch about masturbating is mildly amusing. And at the end the actors put words in the mouths of the audience, and some of those lines are actually pretty good.
My first inclination was to stop watching altogether, but when I looked up the play in Wikipedia I saw that the sketches had been written by a number of famous people, including Jules Pfeiffer and Sam Shepard. So what I did was, I would watch the first few minutes of a sketch, fast forward when I got bored, check out a little of the sketch later on to see if it got better, which it never did, and go to the next sketch.
There are also a couple of naked dance numbers, which, like everything else, aren't especially good. And there are a few songs, co-written by the guy who created P.D.Q. Bach, that are really cheesy and bland.
In terms of the filming of the play, the beginning is awful. You see the audience (clearly not a real audience but actors chosen to look like an uptight crowd) and then backstage footage of the actors. Then there's some annoying video effects when the play starts. After that the director settles down for the most part and just lets the play unfold, but since it's a bad play, that's little comfort.
Why was Oh Calcutta one of the longest running Broadway plays? I've got to assume it's all the naked people. I think at the time it just seemed daring to go watch naked people grope each other on stage and talk about masturbation and wife swapping. It was transgressive and revolutionary. Unfortunately, it was also really bad.
It's so annoying that there's video of the original Oh Calcutta but none, so far as I can tell, of the original Hair. All we have is that horrible movie made in the seventies in which they took the name and a few of the songs and created something new and much worse. How is that fair?
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