Told in a quasi-documentary style, this companion piece to I Am Curious (Blue) (1968) deals with topics such as class society, non-violent resistance, sex, relationships, and tourism to Francoist Spain.
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 relationships, political activism, and meditation. Meanwhile, the actors, director and crew are shown in a humorous parallel plot about the making of the film and their reactions to the story and each other. Nudity, explicit sex, and controversial politics kept this film from being shown in the US while its seizure by Customs was appealed.Written by
Molly Malloy <email@example.com>
On Oct. 6, 1969, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis was leaving a theater showing the film when she was confronted by paparazzi. She gave a photographer a judo flip in the confrontation. See more »
Do you have to have a religious belief to take part in a non-violent movement?
Martin Luther King:
No, not necessarily.
If you find that a person cannot stand being attacked, what do you do with him? Do you speak to him and explain to him that he cannot be with you any longer?
Martin Luther King:
Well, we always discourage those who cannot be subjected to attack - the one who would retaliate with violence - not to participate in a demonstration. The rules are very rigid in a non-violent movement and we feel that a person who can't take ...
[...] See more »
Opening credits as follows: (voiceover, sung) Sandrews makes good films (on screen) "Lena Nyman, theatre student, age 22" (on screen) "Vilgot Sjoeman, director, age 42" (on screen) "Jag aer nyfiken" [I Am Curious], three times (voiceover) Buy our film, the only film that comes in two versions, one yellow, one blue. Same but different, that is true! Unique to view, the one that's blue. Ugly and nice, we repeat it twice: this is the yellow version, yes, the yellow version! (on screen) "en film i gult" [a yellow film] See more »
A home video version has around twenty minutes of politics edited compared to what was seen in the original 35mm. See more »
"I Am Curious (Yellow)" was the first "mainstream" movie in the United States to show sexual intercourse. Although the film was made in Sweden, the controversy that it ignited here reveals a lot about how we Americans think and act about sex.
The film itself is no masterpiece, but is mildly entertaining. The plot, as such is, centers around Lena, a young woman harboring bad feelings toward the men who have slept with her. She has a dream in which she ties her first 23 men, all of whom were using her only for their own orgasm, to a large tree and dynamites them. Gee, that sounds more like an American movie of today.
The other dimension of the plot is kind of a documentary about the Swedish policy of not waging overt war against any country who occupies them. Remember, this was during the cold war, and even though Sweden has been officially neutral for many years, there was a country nearby that was too big to ignore or trust. In the unlikely even of occupation, Swedish citizens were urged to wage "passive resistance" in the form of fraternization, work slowdown. and sabotage. The "Yellow" in the title comes from the Swedish flag, along with its sequel "I am Curious (Blue)."
It was very hip for young people to see this movie. Although it was banned in many locations, many baby boomers traveled someplace else to see the movie. Ah, the forbidden fruit! After reviewing "I am Curious (Yellow)" at least five times, a committee of local civic and religious leaders decided it had no redeeming social qualities and banned it in my native Pittsburgh. It just happened that I had a trip to L.A. that summer and a paid premium price to see this otherwise undistinguished film. And most college students, including myself, were not flush with extra cash.
Filmed in black and white in Swedish with English subtitles, it was just a bit hard to keep up with what was going on. But then again, you really couldn't think of this surrealistic story in a linear way.
The movie did offer some very entertaining diversions, including the opening scene where Lena and her wealthy sponsor attend a reading of "Babi Yar" by Yevtushenko. There was even a cameo of Dr. Martin Luther King. Lena and one boyfriend also had sex in public places -- it probably would have been meaningful if you knew Stockholm. To be very honest, most of the sex scenes were funny rather than erotic, whether or not that was intended.
This firm broke the taboo of showing sex in America, for better or worse. Many American movies in subsequent years have shown sex. Just as "The Dirty Dozen" broke the taboo against four-letter words in mainstream U.S. films. Now you hear language, in movies, even on TV and especially the radio, that would have offended "polite" people a generation ago. I guess the viewer must decide whether that is progress.
I suspect the makers of this film meant it to be surrealistic, not to be taken totally seriously, sort of like "Candy," another film of that era, or "Ally McBeal" in modern times.
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