A film-by-film
Shagger's Guide!

FESTIVAL SCHEDULE
and FILM NOTES


Plus irreverent commentary by Hollywood-based, British humorist Martin Lewis (co-creator/producer/host of this festival) - with films rated on his personal Shag-ometer! (Pat. Pending)


FRIDAY, JUNE 25 - 7:00 PM

Specially visiting from UK - co-star Eleanor Bron in-person!


Martin Lewis says: 5 Shags!

This film is utterly marvelous. Peter Cook and Dudley Moore at their very best. The casting of Raquel Welch as one of the seven sins ("Lust" - what else?!) was inspired. Cook once told me that he had gone to the distributors before the film was released and dead-panned that he wanted the film to be retitled simply "RAQUEL WELCH." Because, he explained to the bewildered executives, the theater marquees could then read: Peter Cook & Dudley Moore in "Raquel Welch"!! Don't miss this classic!

BEDAZZLED

1967, 20th Century Fox (Criterion), 107 min. Dir. Stanley Donen. BEDAZZLED is the definitive Mod Comedy, filled with leaping lesbian nuns, bottles of Froony Green Eyewash and Raquel Welch as "Lillian Lust" (the Babe with the Bust). Peter Cook wrote the screenplay and stars as the deliciously hip Devil, merrily ripping the last page out of Agatha Christie novels. Dudley Moore co-stars as the hapless hamburger chef who trades his soul for seven chances to bed the luscious Eleanor Bron. Includes wonderful parody of the British mod pop show "Ready, Steady, Go!" with Moore and Cook portraying rival pop singers out to impress the swooning dollybirds.

Plus, rare British TV clips of Peter Cook and Dudley Moore.


Peter Cook and Dudley Moore

FRIDAY, JUNE 25 - 9:30 PM

Swingin' London in two ultra-rare movies!

In-person guest! Double-Oscar-winning director Robert Amram began his career as a writer for "Mods & Rockers!" director - the late Kenneth Hume - and he will introduce that film with some amusing memories of the outrageous director!


Martin Lewis says: 3 1/2 Shags!

I've never seen this - but I booked it for the festival for four reasons. 1) Without producer-hustler Larry Parnes we would probably never have heard of the Troggs or Kinks. We OWE him! 2) "Heinz" was the first British bass player to discover the sexual power of peroxide. Without him there would have been no Sting! 3) The film title matched the name we'd already selected for this festival. So we HAD to have it. 4) The original synopsis was the clincher!

MODS & ROCKERS!

1964, 25 min. Color. Dir. Kenneth Hume. This insanely-rare Mod gem was produced by Troggs/Kinks manager Larry Parnes to cash in on the beat-music boom and features Sting-prototype Heinz - a bottle-blonde bass guitarist who exited beat pioneers the Tornadoes ("Telstar") for solo stardom; a sublime 'Beatles ballet' sequence and an 18-year old Mick Fleetwood drumming in a Beatles cover band!

The original promotional synopsis for the film describes it as follows:

"A symbolic ultra modern coffee bar sets the scene for a girl in gold lame jeans, bolero and bootees, to start moving to the pulsating rhythms beating out from a glittering juke box. As the music becomes progressively louder and more frantic, so the dancer increases the speed of her lithe movements to keep pace with the tempo. A boy starts to dance with this red-headed dynamo of a girl, but is repelled when she accepts the advances of a second boy. The two men vie for her attentions."



The Animals and Small Faces

TONITE LET'S ALL MAKE LOVE IN LONDON


Martin Lewis says: 4 Shags!

This film captures the exhilarating, giddy feeling of being alive in London in 1966. For one brief shining moment (actually 1964 to 1968) London was the capital of the universe. We were kings of the world! We had the Beatles, Stones, Who & Kinks. We had Mary Quant. We had Carnaby Street and Kings Road. And in July '66 we beat Germany at soccer to win the World Cup! England indeed swung "like a pendulum do." Add in Syd Barrett and it truly felt like the Piper WAS At The Gates of Dawn... Come "See Emily Play" indeed... Come See SYD Play!!!!

1967, Blue Dolphin Films, 70 min. Subtitled "A Pop Concerto For Film," director Peter Whitehead's kaleidoscopic documentary of mid-60's London features a Who's Who of the Mod Scene including Michael Caine, Vanessa Redgrave (singing songs for Fidel Castro!), Julie Christie, David Hockney, Allen Ginsberg, novelist Edna O'Brien, The Animals, the Small Faces, the Rolling Stones and their enigmatic manager Andrew Loog Oldham. It also features extremely rare footage and early music of the original Pink Floyd with the legendary Syd Barrett! The Pink Floyd material was shot just before they recorded their first album. A must-see for fans of the 'Crazy Diamond.'


A rare photo of Syd Barrett on stage with Pink Floyd

SATURDAY, JUNE 26 - 4:00 PM

Mod Children's Matinee In Super-Marionation CinemaScope!!


Martin Lewis says: 4 1/2 Shags!

Gerry and Sylvia Anderson were geniuses. They put sly humor into their puppet characters. Though created for kids - the TV shows and their spin-off movies worked just as well for adults. "Thunderbirds" was actually the fourth of their creations in as many years. ("Four Feather Falls," "Supercar" and "Fireball XL5" preceded the International Rescue Thunderbirds crew.) Producers of today's kids entertainment might spend millions on effects and computer animation - but they can't rival the naive charm of this movie. If you have kids anywhere under the age of 80 - bring 'em! They'll thank you! Thunderbird audiences are Go!!!!!

THUNDERBIRDS ARE GO!

1965, MGM/UA, 94 min. Dir. David Lane. Gerry and Sylvia Anderson's hit TV-series "Thunderbirds Are Go!" virtually defined the Mod/Sci-Fi look with its sleek silver space-craft and cheeky dialogue ("That's F-A-B!"). This the first of two stunning THUNDERBIRDS features shot in WideScreen features our heroic puppets blasting off into space, where they collide with marionettes of Cliff Richard & The Shadows singing the hit theme song!!



SATURDAY, JUNE 26 - 6:00 PM

FAB BEATLE NIGHT! Producer Walter Shenson In-Person!!


Martin Lewis says: 5 Shags!

"A Hard Day's Night" rightly gets all the critics' plaudits for its ground-breaking style - and "Help!" is consequently usually held in slightly lesser regard. But Lester, Shenson - and Fabs manager Brian Epstein instinctively knew that - just as each Beatles album showed musical progress - this film had to be much more than a repeat of the Beatles' first film. (ie they couldn't produce a cloned formula film as Elvis' 60's movies had become.) The rich colors and snappy pace perfectly matched the warm hues and muscular strut of the music the Fabs created between 1964's exuberant, monochromatic "Hard Day's Night" album and 1966's diamond-sharp, op-art "Revolver" collection. This film is Austin to the 10th Power!

HELP!

1965, 90 min. Dir. Richard Lester. "We were guest stars in our own movie," John Lennon once quipped about HELP! an elaborate, hilariously-irreverent color fantasia in which the Beatles go up against Leo McKern (TV's "Rumpole"), Eleanor Bron (from BEDAZZLED) and their legions of Kali-inspired killers. From London to the slopes of the Austrian Tyrol and the Bahamas. Also features Dick Lester cast regular - Roy Kinnear (the Musketeer films), and Beatles movie staple - Victor Spinetti. Featuring infectious vintage mid-period Beatle tunes including The Night Before, You've Got To Hide Your Love Away, I Need You, Another Girl, Ticket To Ride and You're Going To Lose That Girl - HELP! looks (and sounds) better and better each year.

Plus some Beatles rarities! Discussion following with producer Walter Shenson.


The Beatles on a mountainside in Austria, as Eleanor Bron,
dressed in white, blends into the background

80th BIRTHDAY SURPRISE FOR PRODUCER WALTER SHENSON!!!

By the way - producer Walter Shenson - who also produced "A Hard Day's Night" - celebrates his 80th birthday just four days before this screening. Let's give him a magnificent birthday gift! Let's give him a packed house - full of Beatles fans of all ages! Our special thank you to the man who put the Beatles on film and defined their visual image for all time.

SATURDAY, JUNE 26 - 8:15 PM


Martin Lewis says: 4 Shags!

I saw this film in January 1969 - in the week it opened in London. Actually - I think it was the week it PLAYED in London! It was the first film to show at the CineCenta in Leicester Square - Britain's first multiplex. It was treated harshly by the critics - and closed almost immediately. It was a shaggy, impressionistic film that defied convention. It was a whimsical trip. And watching Jane Birkin's barely-clad body was a not entirely unpleasant experience for a young, growing lad! The music was excellent. Harrison created a superb soundscape which augmented the action. I've seen Joe Massot's new director's cut and it holds up very well. Given that the film never made it to North America it's highly unlikely that Mike Myers could have seen this film. And yet you'll sense Austin Powers in every frame! Wow! Cosmic forces baby!! The newly-discovered Harrison recording is a great bonus too. It's like being deep inside the Magical Mystery Tour! Blue Jay 'Wall'!!!!

Beatle Rarities Among Highlights Of Film Fest
U.S. Premiere Restored Director's Cut! Director Joe Massot In-Person!!

WONDERWALL

1969, 76 min. Dir. Joe Massot. Absolutely glorious/meaningless headtripping madness, WONDERWALL is a virtually plotless fantasy about an eccentric scientist (Jack MacGowran) who discovers a secret window into the endless sex-life of gorgeous nymph Jane Birkin (Serge Gainsbourg's main squeeze and co-singer of "Je T'aime Moi Non Plus"-!) It features a shimmering, sitar-laced instrumental score by Beatle George Harrison plus the film's lost and previously-unused "Blue Jay Way"-like theme song recently discovered in Harrison's vaults. A surreal journey back to the Age of Altered Consciousness lap it up! Plus the short "Reflections On Love", 1965, 13 min. Exuberant CinemaScope portrait of Swinging London from WONDERWALL director Joe Massot (who later shot the Led Zeppelin doc THE SONG REMAINS THE SAME) featuring definitive London dollybird Jenny Boyd (sister of Beatle George's wife Pattie and future wife of Mick Fleetwood). Discussion following with director Joe Massot.



SATURDAY, JUNE 26 - 9:00 PM

LIVE ON STAGE - MOD ONE-MAN SHOW!!
IN OUR NEW STEVEN SPIELBERG THEATRE (At The Egyptian Theatre)

Martin Lewis says: Shag-worthy!

Oh gosh! Modesty forbids me commenting on this show! I know the performer far too well to be completely objective. But I can tell you that the photo was taken at the height of my mod period. In the automatic photo booth at Swiss Cottage tube station. Cost me 2/6. Which was how we wrote down 2 shillings and sixpence in those pre-decimal days. (Spoken aloud - we would say: "Two and six.") 12.5 pence now. Approx. 20. I thought my Beatles cardigan was VERY hip! And the Roy Orbison shades set me back 5 shillings! 40! I felt like a million pounds.... and looked like a total twit!

GREAT EXPLOITATIONS!

An Audience with Martin Lewis

Live show. 75 min. Complementing our MODS & ROCKERS! festival we're proud to present two live stage performances by British humorist Martin Lewis of his acclaimed one-man show GREAT EXPLOITATIONS! - an autobiographical tale which starts with teenage life in 60's Swingin' London. (His "gospel-true" story includes the claim that at the age of 14 he kissed his first girl, murdered his Latin teacher - and wrote 4 songs recorded by the Beatles!) This is the inaugural event at our new 78-seat Steven Spielberg Theatre. Special price: $10 ($7 members)

"Pick of the Week! True wit... Ultra-high-energy... machine-gun style delivery of sardonic observations - sweetened by an irrepressible exuberance... A bloody good time!" - L.A. Weekly

"A very captivating raconteur" - Los Angeles Magazine

"Intelligently funny..." Paper Magazine (New York)

"Warm, charming and funny as hell!" - Nightlife Magazine


SUNDAY, JUNE 27 - 4:00 PM


Martin Lewis says: 5 Shags!

Every boy wanted to be David Hemmings' character. He was obviously partly-modeled on David Bailey - THE great Swinging Sixties photographer. What a great life! Snap a few shots of Twiggy in the morning. Down the pub for a couple of pints of 'wallop' at lunch. Back to the studio. Sweating over a hot Hasselblad. Flash a few frames of Julie Christie. Then off for a club crawl. The Ad Lib... The Bag O' Nails... The Speakeasy... Then back home for a quick 'leg-over' with live-in galpal Jean Shrimpton... "Yeah baby! Give me all you've got...!" (Somehow it doesn't sound the same when Herb Ritts says that...)

BLOW-UP

1966, MGM (Warners), 111 min. Dir. Michelangelo Antonioni. In-demand fashion photographer David Hemmings shags half the models in London before running into enigmatic beauty Vanessa Redgrave, who only wants a certain roll of film from him. A riddle within a riddle, Antonioni's most famous film has often been imitated (De Palma's BLOW-OUT, Greenaway's DRAUGHTSMAN'S CONTRACT) but never equaled. Great score by Herbie Hancock. The film was shot during the brief 4-month period in 1966 when The Yardbirds featured its rarest line-up - the twin lead guitar attack of Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page - and Antonioni had the wisdom/fortune to snag them for his movie. Watch for the scene when Hemmings fights to grab a piece of Jeff Beck's smashed guitar as a gig gets out of control!


SUNDAY, JUNE 27 - 6:30 PM

Two Groovy Movies! Double-Feature!!


Martin Lewis says: 4 1/2 Shags!

I remember going to see this at the Golders Green Ionic (an indie cinema near the north west London suburb I grew up in.) Scriptwriters Dick Clement & Ian La Frenais had previously created one of the 60's best TV sitcoms - "The Likely Lads." A couple of frisky, Northern working-class lads permanently on the razzle. One was a cheeky John Lennon character. His pal was the cuter, quieter, down-to-earth one - a sort of hybrid of the personalities of Paul, George and Ringo. The two brothers who Clement and La Frenais created for The Jokers were from a different social background - they were upper-class Southerners - but even so - Michael Crawford's character was clearly a reprise of their cheeky, Lennon-like tearaway. How I wanted to be like him! Watching the Crawford character and pals zoom around London's toniest districts in the ultimate mod car - a souped up mini-moke - is to experience the jubilant essence of how it FELT to be young in Merrie England circa 1966...

THE JOKERS

1967, Universal, 94 min. Director Michael Winner's dazzling (but rarely-screened) satire of Young London, features Michael Crawford (pre-Phantom of the Opera) and Oliver Reed as a pair of rich, freewheeling brothers making the rounds of posh parties. Their anarchic spirit gets the better of them and a string of increasingly elaborate pranks results in their making off with the Crown Jewels. The first movie written by Britain's premier comedy-writing duo Dick Clement & Ian La Frenais ("The Commitments" and "Still Crazy.")




Martin Lewis says: 5 Shags!

The notion that a pop star (they hadn't yet become 'rock' stars) could ever be that influential on what kids thought or how they felt was held to be ludicrous at the time. Even the success of the Beatles and Dylan was (erroneously) thought by sociologists to be a passing fad like hula-hoops. 'They' just didn't get it. Watkins DID get it. He sensed that the power of the counter-culture could be usurped for evil ends. This film was way ahead of its time. Incidentally, Watkins' 1966 "War Game" was a 'what-if'' docu-drama commissioned by the BBC to look at how Britain would deal with a nuclear attack. The BBC establishment was so horrified by the devastation and social disorder that Watkins' film depicted - that they refused to air the show. It was smuggled out and hit the underground movie circuit. Beatles manager Brian Epstein showed it to John Lennon - who later cited it as the film that politicized him and turned him into a pacifist. Power to Peter Watkins! "Privilege" is just as good! Don't miss this film!!!

PRIVILEGE

1967, Universal, 101 min. From Peter Watkins, director of seminal British anti-nuclear film THE WAR GAME, PRIVILEGE is a hypnotically prescient look at the sinister media-controlled future where pretty young pop-star Paul Jones (once lead singer for Manfred Mann) is manipulated by Church and State to influence his legions of adoring fans. Sixties supermodel/icon Jean Shrimpton (in her only major film role) plays Jones' disillusioned girlfriend, who finally convinces him to rebel against the forces controlling their lives. Jones belts out the title song and several others as a proto Ziggy Stardust in a film that brilliantly anticipates the rise of rock star as religious icon. (Only surviving print.)



MORE FILMS: WEEK TWO OF THE FESTIVAL...


SHAGGING 101 - How To Buy Festival Tickets

Return to The Mods & Rockers! Homepage



Copyright © 1999 Springtime!