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Little Stabs at Happiness (1960)

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5.0
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Ratings: 5.0/10 from 251 users  
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A film in four parts. In "In the Room", a man and a woman in outlandish garb are sitting in a claw-foot bathtub smoking, while the man abuses a doll in various ways. In "They Stopped to ... See full summary »

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Title: Little Stabs at Happiness (1960)

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A film in four parts. In "In the Room", a man and a woman in outlandish garb are sitting in a claw-foot bathtub smoking, while the man abuses a doll in various ways. In "They Stopped to Think", the filmmaker focuses on a woman trying to position a stool upon which to sit next to a wall. The filmmaker, in voice over, talks about filming the scene, and his current relationship with the people shown in the film, who were his friends at the time of filming and who are now largely out of his life. The scene shifts to a pier where a man and woman are filmed, they playing to the camera. In "It Began to Drizzle", a man and woman are lounging in a street side outdoor patio. They have to decide what to do. The scene then shifts to a man and some children doing chalk drawings on the sidewalk, and how other respond to what they are doing. In "The Spirit of Listlessness (Jack Smith)", a man lounging on an urban rooftop is playing with balloons while he plays to the camera with other items around ... Written by Huggo

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User Reviews

Wow.....all I can say is wow.
3 May 2012 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

This Ken Jacobs film can be found on "American Film Treasures/Avant Garde Film: Disc 2"--a compilation of mostly forgotten art films of the 20th century. This DVD set is NOT for the casual viewer and sometimes I wonder why I watched the films--as some of them were VERY artsy and weird! It is interesting that the commentary on the DVD said that when it was first shown, half the audience loved it and half became hostile and screamed and booed through the film. I can understand this. Imagine a film scored by a scratchy old 78rmp song with some images that often make no sense--such as a guy putting out a cigarette into the eye of a baby doll and then performing an oral act on the dolls crotch. Disney this certainly ain't!! The film shows a man and a woman--the man with a gray nose and scarf and a woman in a plastic scarf. The woman mostly does nothing and the guy acts really goofy throughout. Then, in the middle, the film maker begins talking in a rambling manner for a bit as you see feet. He then plays various annoying sounds as you see odd images of a woman (perhaps the one from earlier in the film) as he continues to ramble. Finally, the guy talks about how the folks in the film don't like him any more. Then, like the first portion, it consists of similar stuff from the first portion--with no sound at all this time. Either this is great art or he's crazy...I'd go for the latter. As is true of most of these films, it's really impossible to rate this, but this one is probably one of the least enjoyable and rambling in the collection.


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