Readers who have been following this blog have heard my praise for the book “Pictures at a Revolution. Five Movies and the Birth of the New Hollywood”. It follows the five Oscar nominees for Best Motion Picture in 1968 from conception to the Awards ceremony. Careful readers might also have picked up on this blog's pleasure in serendipity and how unexpected things always happen at what seems like the right time. Well ….
No sooner had I finished “Pictures…” than I went to visit Ira Resnick, one of the most important movie poster collectors in the world as well as a talented photographer in his own right. I was telling Ira about the book and he was giving me a tour of his new office and there in the back room was the very portrait of Katharine Ross which Anne Bancroft (Mrs. Robinson) uses to lure Dustin Hoffman upstairs in her house in order to seduce him in The Graduate. It’s the key prop from one of the most discussed movies in the book!
Shortly afterwards (as I was writing about the 60s) I remembered a passage in “Pictures…” about the movie-centric lyrics to the song “Manchester, England – England” from the musical “Hair”. So I went on to YouTube to see what they had from “Hair” and there was just about every song as well as the entire movie broken up into 10 minute or so episodes.
The amazing thing (to me) though, was how well the film, dancing and music held up, although this shouldn't have been surprising given the director was Milos Forman and the choreographer Twyla Tharp. The songs - as you will see - sound even better after not having been overplayed for a while, although I gather that the Public Theater will be mounting “Hair” as one of this summer’s “Shakespeare in the Park” productions. Book now! And in the meantime enjoy the clips below.
"I Got Life"
"Manchester, England - England"