Filmed by Pennebaker in 1971, but the rushes were consigned to the filmmaker's vaults as unusable after their initial viewing. After meeting and marrying Pennebaker in the mid-1970s, Chris Hegedus discovered the footage and edited together the final version of the film for release in 1979. The film went on to enjoy a five-year cinematic release in the United Kingdom. See more »
Town Bloody Hall is a documentary that charts the course of a public debate about feminism and the feminist movement, chaired by none other than Norman Mailer. The film is quite humorous at times as the debate grows a little heated, but in the end I have to wonder why it was felt that this would constitute riveting viewing material. The various participants in the debate seem quite un-sure as to the validity of their respective arguements when cross-examined by the other speakers, Mailer in particular. Jill Johnson´s vontribution, a feminist-lesbian poem was the most interesting part of the movie, not only because it was highly entertaining, but also because it´s length of duration (over the allotted ten minutes) appeared to infuriate an up till then in control Mr Mailer. It was interesting to see him wringle on the end of his own hook. Germaine Greer made an interesting point about the immorality of some rich folks earning more in one week than a thousand working-class families could make, collectively, in a year. How this rightful indignation, however, reflected on a debate concerned with feminism and woman´s issues in a patriarchal world was a little beyond my comprehension!. The film displays all the hallmarks we have come to expect from D.A. Pennebaker - grainy shots, out of focus shots, hand-held camera shots, etc. How come all of his documentary films seem to appear somehow "out of date", as though the camera stock being used was slowly disintegrating?. This film was only made in 1979 yet it feels as though it belongs to some period in the sixties, between "Monterey Pop" and "Don´t look Back". An intersting look at an interesting debate, but ultimately I felt that a more satisfactory film could have been made to enhance and illuminate the issues that were discussed.
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