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This movie, based on the cult Broadway musical of the 60s, tells a story about Claude, a young man from Oklahoma who comes to New York City. There he strikes up a friendship with a group of hippies, led by Berger, and falls in love with Sheila, a girl from a rich family. However, their happiness is short because Claude must go to the Vietnam war.Written by
Dragan Antulov <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Superb Forman Adaptation of Legendary Vietnam Era New York Show
Milos Forman celebrates the hippies: people should be able to remember with this how beautifully right they often were. They are still usually put down as much as they were when they were operational.
The best "HAIR" is beautiful Beverly D'Angelo's, blowing in the wind as she sings "Good Morning, Starshine" in the Pontiac convertible with her new friends as they zoom across the Nevada desert to find Claude (John Savage.)
Berger (Treat Williams) has two fabulous arguments with "the authorities," both of which are very painful to watch, because you can feel the military-social force over what is considered to be his irresponsibility and paltriness. The first time is at Sheila's wedding party when he resists eviction from the party, and ends up mostly prevailing by dancing on the table--although he and all of his friends end up in jail for it. The second time, at the army base, he does not prevail and the other well-known solution is arrived at. But both times you can feel the quiet violence of authorities against gypsies.
Actually, society tells you to be like the Flower Children, then punishes you if you actually do it.
Just because a lot of the original Flower Children became Yuppies doesn't mean they didn't do anything important when they were hippies.
The 60's were NOT over because of what some otherwise fine writers have "authoritatively" said had already begun to occur before the Manson murders. Anything artistically beautiful leaves living traces that endure forever: this film documents one of those movements that mattered.
They called this writer "media poison" and she wasn't always that. She just called them "children" who she more or less said were just "living this way" and left it at that.
They had been smart not to tell her everything in Haight-Ashbury when she drank gin and took ups to do the story.
In the same group of essays, she claims not be interested in "paradises, real or artificial."
Well, that explains a lot.
She said she was too unstable to take acid when they offered it to her; but this was only partially true: It was fear of paradises.
Otherwise, it is impossible to miss how this extraordinary film, made almost 15 years after Haight-Ashbury and the East Village would cease to exist as they had (remaining primarily only as weak mutations reduced to unspeakable New Age ashrams, where the pot was all gone and heavily enforced k.p. duty--vilely called "karma-yoga things"--was prevalent) captures so much of the happiness that some of us remember so well still as we continue on as kinds of older hippies...
Twyla Tharp's choreography and Ann Roth's colours are all that that strange moment was and is supposed to be--I remember the way people who had used LSD drew stars; you could always tell a psychedelic star, a psychedelic moon, a psychedelic sun. I went to a New York head shop where I was referred to an "84-year-old morphine addict" who lived in Paris, who I was to look up as I bought two velvet hats.
Some hippies lasted. I saw Adam Purple at the Union Square Market in 1996 riding a bicycle festooned with many balloons and told him how much I had loved his tulip garden in concentric circles grown in a vacant lot in what was then a wino neighborhood on Eldridge Street, about 1977--and then razed for high-rise apartments. He said "yeah, if it's good it won't last..."
Well, that's not exactly true, of course, but he wouldn't have been a pure hippie artist if he hadn't been able to put it that way, and not try to see it another way.
His wife was Eve Purple. I hope he hadn't really married her. They obviously wouldn't have needed to.
Beautiful Beverly D'Angelo seems to love Berger and Claude and Hud (Dorsey Wright) and she is never corny about it. Nobody is corny.
Corniness has little to do with love.
Hud's fiancee is Cheryl Barnes and she sings "Easy to Be Hard" full of deep Gospel that resonates dark sounds in Central Park.
It is this song that proves the comprehensive intelligence of the show: Hud has just tried to shirk his responsibilities to Cheryl and their young boy. He wants to "wish them away." In this song she talks about how easy it is to be hard, "especially people who care about strangers...who care about evil and social injustice.." those same people who will walk away from those close to them when they get in the way of their easy time of it. Gradually, Jeannie and Sheila and Berger and Woof make Hud go back and gather Cheryl and the boy up. Even the hippies were being given a strict test for hypocrisy; the beauty of this is that they pass the test so we can love the hippies.
The 'carpool' going across the desert would never have been possible if Cheryl and the baby hadn't been part of the "mornin' singin' song."
Central Park has never been more of a movie star than it is in this one, and New York is sure *lookin' good* in this memoir of collective rapture.
That same essayist said "New York was no mere city" and that she would always have the feeling toward it as of "the first person who touched you."
She was often right, of course. It's not my fault she wouldn't give the hippies a break. They had time to help bring on the resistance to the Vietnam War that forever changed the course of what America could then be, no matter how hard it tries to forget it.
"Let the Sunshine In" makes it impossible for the song in the Pontiac Bonneville convertible to be called "Good Mornin' Sunshine," and that is a true blessing, it goes without saying.
It's about those psychedelic stars even though they are under the sun in the morning in Nevada and this moment in the film is like a magic carpet ride all its own. This is where the hippies just get to be hippies (like in THE NIGHT OF THE IGUANA when Mrs. Faulk (Ava Gardner) says when Richard Burton finally lets loose "That's Shannon bein' Shannon!"):
"Good mornin,' Starshine...you lead us along...My love and me as we sing...our early mornin' singin' song...
"Glitty clup cluby...libbee lubbee loobee..oh la la la lo..
"Saba sibbie saba...Dooby aba naba.. lily lo lo..
"Dooby ooby wama...Nooby aba naba.. early mornin' singin' song..."
"Singin' a song, song to sing...
"Song song song, si-ing sing sing sing-song... "Song song song, si-ing sing sing sing-song... Song song song, si-ing sing sing sing-song.."
(This is not a cereal song, but it would make cereal seem okay and even macrobiotic food more bearable if one remembers beautiful Beverly D'Angelo and beautiful Treat Williams-it wouldn't even hurt Anita Bryant and Pat Boone and other Baptists, but they couldn't sing it either.)
A song about song. Very perfect singin' song, I'd say.
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