A film-by-film
Shagger’s Guide!


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)


Martin Lewis says: 4 Shags!

Mick Jagger has had a spotted acting career. His performances usually work at their best when he is playing some version of himself or able to camp it up. (In one memorable misfire - the Julien Temple-directed music video for 1983’s “Undercover of the Night” - Jagger was supposed to be an evil, tropical-suited, South American drug baron - and yet he resembled nothing so much as avuncular Wilfred Hyde-White who played Col. Pickering in “My Fair Lady”.) It is Keith who usually has the decadent charisma. But “Performance” is vintage material. Co-directors Roeg and Cammell coaxed a satanic, majestic turn from Jagger - who discovered eye shadow in a BIG way. The film is a brooding, yet explosive masterpiece. The dark side of the loon - that was swinging London. It anticipates the souring of the hippie dream and the descent into the Dionysian decade that followed. Altamont was just around the corner. Don McLean’s fists were beginning to clench....


1970 Warner Bros., 105 min. Dir. Nicolas Roeg & Donald Cammell. Perhaps the wildest, most deeply layered psychedelic movie ever made — gangster James Fox goes on the lam, hiding out in reclusive pop-star Mick Jagger’s decaying townhouse in the hippie London ghetto. Jagger and poly-sexual pal Anita Pallenberg put Fox through his paces with mind games and large doses of psylocibin mushrooms — all climaxing in the mind-blowing “Memo For Turner” production number. Brutal beatings, sexual identity crises and prodigious drug-taking is punctuated by one of Jack Nitzsche’s best scores (highlighted by Ry Cooder’s incredible bottleneck guitar work). Pallenberg’s rumored off-camera seduction of Jagger upset her then-boyfriend, Mick’s fellow Stone Brian Jones - who was apparently sunk by the news.


A.I.P. Freak-Out Double-Feature!

Special guests: Director Richard Rush - and on-screen band - Strawberry Alarm Clock!

Martin Lewis says: 3 1/2 Shags!

Jack with a full head of hair! And them dirty, mixed-up hippie kids! This film is a goof! Middle America could only imagine how sordid Haight Ashbury was - so this film was considerate enough to show it. Of course fashions moved so fast in those halcyon days that the hippie movement depicted in this film had already been replaced by the yippies and the freebies - to name but two - by the time the movie was released. Watching early Jack is a joy. Knowing what is to come in his career - and trying to guess what he was really thinking as he uttered some of the best dialogue this side of a canceled Tony Danza sitcom (please excuse the tortology.)


1968, AIP (MGM/UA), 82 min. Exploitation action-expert Richard Rush (HELL’S ANGELS ON WHEELS, THE STUNTMAN) delved into the psychedelic scene here, as deaf runaway Susan Strasberg hitches to San Francisco to find missing psycho-sibling Bruce Dern. She’s taken under the wing of well-meaning longhair musician Jack Nicholson — who gives her a guided tour of the Haight-Ashbury scene in the Summer of Love. Music by The Seeds and Strawberry Alarm Clock.

Martin Lewis says: 4 Shags!

This film is a camp classic. The Reefer Madness of its day. In truth A.I.P. had no morality factor guiding it. It didn’t order the depiction of hippies in a derogatory fashion as a political statement. It was the norm - and therefore a sound commercial decision. Ridiculing the love and peace generation was an easy target for the uptight blue meanies who felt so threatened by a generation of young people inserting flowers into gun barrels. So all the hippies are doped-up Nazis. And God didn’t make the little green apples.... Funny how all those flower petals didn’t hurt kids at school the way bullets do now... Hmmm.... While Bill Bennett, Ken Starr and the NRA puzzle that one out - enjoy this gem of Spiro Agnew-thought. But if you say “Gimme Some Truth” about the riots central to this film - check out Stephen Still’s “For What It’s Worth” on the Buffalo Springfield’s eponymous debut album.


1967, AIP (MGM/UA), 85 min. Dir. Arthur Dreifuss. L.A. bad-girl Mimsy Farmer gets involved with a gang of drugged-out hippie scum — much to the annoyance of her policeman father Aldo Ray! Inspired by the real-life Sunset Strip riots, this is A.I.P. at its pulp-filled, headline-grabbing best — with a rocket-fueled soundtrack by local garage kings The Standells-!!

FRIDAY, JULY 2 - 7:00 PM

Director Russ Meyer in Person!
Also members of on-screen band - Strawberry Alarm Clock!

Martin Lewis says: 4 Shags!

Pure Russ! This film is like the great man. It has no pretensions and even less pomp. Ebert’s script is a camp hoot. And it boasts music by local L.A. psychedelic heroes Strawberry Alarm Clock - whose hit - “Incense And Peppermints” is still a staple on classic rock radio. The event will be even more fun because of the presence of Russ Meyer.


1970, 20th Century Fox, 109 min. Dir. Russ Meyer. Girl-group madness from the director of FASTER, PUSSYCAT! KILL! KILL! Dolly Reed, Marcia McBroom and the incredibly foxy Cynthia Myers journey from hicksville to Hollywood, hoping to make it with their rock trio The Carrie Nations. They fall prey to the “business” as well as their own inflated ambitions — in what is arguably Meyer’s most purely entertaining, pop-culture sex-fest (co-written by film critic Roger Ebert.) With additional tunes by The Strawberry Alarm Clock.

Discussion following with Russ Meyer.

FRIDAY, JULY 2 - 9:30 PM

Double-Feature! Brand-New 35 mm. Print!!

Martin Lewis says: 4 Shags!

I have not yet seen this film - and I’m dying to! Roddy McDowall was one of the few real gentlemen in the entire world - let alone in the severely grace-deficient entertainment industry. And Ruth Gordon is a comedic goddess as far as I’m concerned! I’ll see you there!


1966, MGM/UA, 104 min. Dir. George Axelrod. Roddy McDowall, an overgrown teenage outcast, becomes fast friends and protector of cheerleader Tuesday Weld in one of the funniest and most underrated Sixties black comedies. Lola Albright is Weld’s alcoholic cocktail-waitress mom, Harvey Korman the puffed-up high school principal, Martin Gabel the Sam Arkoff-inspired exploitation auteur — and Ruth Gordon the poisonously-sarcastic mother-in-law addicted to yogurt and Stingers. Belly-laughs galore, and so many bizarre touches one wonders how director Axelrod ever convinced a major studio to let him get away with this much on-target brilliance!!

Martin Lewis says: 5 Shags!

I went all the way to the Odeon Hendon Central to see this brilliant Richard Lester film! I was 13 - and I knew that I would soon have to prepare myself to do battle with ‘girls.’ So this film looked to be the 101 primer. Michael Crawford defined British mod ‘cool’ in this film. I made copious mental notes during the movie. The next vacation I took with my parents - I tried to put into practice some of the things I thought I’d learned.

Martin Tries Out His Knack

1965, MGM/UA, 84 min. A How-to Manual in the art of Swinging Seduction — from the enormously-talented director of A HARD DAY’S NIGHT and HELP, Richard Lester. Michael Crawford and Ray Brooks star as teacher and student, learning the fine points of pursuing girls — including TASTE OF HONEY star Rita Tushingham and the young Charlotte Rampling and Jacqueline Bisset. Lester’s free-style shooting and fast-paced cutting cut a new swathe that today’s commercials and music video wunderkinds have emulated but never surpassed.

Ray Brooks and Michael Crawford


In-person guests Monkee Micky Dolenz and co-star Teri Garr!

Martin Lewis says: 4 Shags!

America has frequently had difficulties appreciating its heroes. Particularly those who have the temerity (a Yiddish word meaning chutzpah) to develop beyond their original image. It never understood the transition that Brian Wilson took from ersatz pop surfer to rock genius. And it has never known how to enjoy the guilty pleasures of the Monkees. It was always too easy to dismiss them as a fabricated version of the early Beatles. Yes.. and the point is? It’s not about HOW you meet - but what you do once you’ve met.

The Monkees may have been brought together to fulfill some entrepreneurs’ conception of a Beatle-style pop group - but it didn’t take long for them to assert their individuality and eventually the collective personality that they developed led to their rebellion and this film. Unfortunately, most of their fans didn’t grow with them. The team of Bob Rafelson and Jack Nicholson - who were to team up so memorably a few years later as director and actor for Five Easy Pieces - collaborated as writers on this joyously insane mosaic.

I ran into Nicholson recently at the Directors Guild memorial for Stanley Kubrick. I mentioned to him that we were planning to show Head in a new 35mm print. He was amused - and I think a little tickled - that anyone might want to see such an artifact of his youth. I assured him that we were expecting quite a crowd. Jack was bemused by this. I took the opportunity to invite him. Maybe he’ll drop by!

My dear pal Micky Dolenz will definitely be there - and we’ll be chatting about the film after the screening. Micky has many wonderful stories to share with the audience...


1968, Rhino Video, 86 min. With Micky Dolenz, Michael Nesmith, Peter Tork, Davy Jones. America’s most successful pop-group The Monkees fractured their cheeky TV-image (and anticipated much of MTV’s self-deprecatory style) with this insane collage of surreal sketches and visual jokes. Co-written by director Bob Rafelson and later FIVE EASY PIECES star Jack Nicholson, HEAD features a mind-blowing gallery of Sixties icons — including Annette Funicello, Timothy Carey, Sonny Liston and Frank Zappa!

Discussion following with actor/musician Micky Dolenz.


Psychedelic Sexualis!! Only Surviving 35 mm. Print!

Martin Lewis says: 4 1/2 Shags!

I first saw this film on late night TV many years ago - and I knew it would be perfect for this festival. Buried in the credits of this camp curio I recently spotted the name of an old friend - Ian La Frenais - who with his longtime writing partner Dick Clement wrote The Jokers. Ian had apparently written this 1968 gem on his own. I called up Ian and asked him about it. He was traumatized that I’d discovered this film! He sounded rather like an Oscar-nominated actor suddenly confronted by the release of an old porno flick done for the cash! He confessed that his pride in the film was so great that he’d never even brought himself to see the completed flick! But he recalled a story he’d heard about the movie’s sole American screening.

He told me that at the film’s 1968 US premiere at the San Francisco Film Festival - the reaction to the film was apparently so “audibly overwhelming” that they had to stop the screening! I can’t wait for our 1999 L.A. film festival reaction!!!


1968, 20th Century Fox, 95 min. Absolutely the rarest (and wildest) of Mod Artifacts, THE TOUCHABLES stars Judy Huxtable, Esther Anderson, Marilyn Rickard and Kathy Simmonds as a quartet of Pop-Art princesses who kidnap rock-star Christian (David Anthony) and imprison him in their plastic, see-through Bubble House. Gay wrestler Ricki Starr gets jealous, and tries to (literally) muscle his way into the action. Directed by the Beatles’ favorite photographer Robert Freeman (album jackets for With The Beatles, Help!, Rubber Soul et al) and featuring music by long-lost British flower-pop band Nirvana (the ORIGINAL 60’s band of that name!)


It’s All Two Much!! U.S. Premiere of Two Mod Movies!!
In-person guest SPENCER DAVIS! (Star of "Ghost Goes Gear")

Martin Lewis says: 4 Shags!

This film beckons like a siren! Any movie that boasts Lulu AND Ginger Baker has to be killer. A mere four years later Lulu had her own BBC TV show on which she introduced Jimi Hendrix! By the way - a “gonk” was a wacky over-size cross between a doll and a troll. Very popular in the 60’s with teenage girls stuck at that awkward age between puberty and Bill Wyman...


1965, Canal + Image, 92 min. Dir. Robert Hartford-Davis. GONKS GO BEAT is the epitome of Swinging 60’s silliness! Ostensibly an inter-gallactic war movie (with a Romeo and Juliet subplot) it’s really just an excuse for ‘Carry On’ style lunacy by comedians in bizarre sci-fi costumes — interspersed with musical numbers from such luminaries as Lulu, The Nashville Teens and The Graham Bond Organization - offering a fascinating glimpse of a pre-Cream Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker - and future Mahavishnu Orchestra leader John McLaughlin.

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

“When the “Great Galaxian” hears of a somewhat turbulent social situation on Planet Earth, he sends Wilco to smooth out the disagreement between the beat groups of Beatland and the ballad singers of Balladisle. This lighthearted film features a host of top beat groups with 16 great beat and ballad hits.”

Martin Lewis says: 3 1/2 Shags!

I haven’t seen this ‘piece de resistance’ (which is French for ‘piece of resistance’) - so on this one I yield my space to someone who HAS...

Steve Winwood’s brother Muff Winwood was a fellow member of the Spencer Davis Group - and has been a top producer and record executive since the breakup of the band in 1967. He recalls the film warmly:

“We were asked to star in this diabolical ‘Carry On’-type movie, ‘The Ghost Goes Gear’ – ‘gear’ was a real hip word in those days. It’s so crap, it’s hilarious. Good fun, though. They paid us well and it meant we weren’t on the road for a month. We stayed at this nice country estate that backed onto the River Thames in Berkshire.”

The film obviously holds a dear place in the band’s collective heart! And what of the members of the Spencer Davis Group now? Was the break-up acrimonious? Are they still friends? Do they ever think about their cinematic moment in the sun?

“We parted company for five or six years until the water had run under the bridge. Now, we all get together, watch old videos and have a laugh at what we used to look like – and that terrible old movie, ‘The Ghost Goes Gear’!"

Now I HAVE to see this film! It sounds so.... GEAR!!!!


1966, Canal + Image/Anchor Bay, 51 min. Dir. Hugh Gladwish. 24-carat piece of 60’s pop trivia, made as a fictional showcase for the popular British blues-soul band The Spencer Davis Group (featuring a very young Stevie Winwood in fine vocal form.) Following the familiar formula of band in wacky situations, mingling with a range of British comic performers, the film also throws in the attractions of a stately home spook and the stagings of a pop festival with Spencer and the lads joined by Dave Berry (‘The Crying Game’) and even Mr. Acker Bilk ‘Stranger On The Shore’) ! The Ghost Goes Gear was filmed in the summer of ’66 and it was released in Britain just before Christmas, as the support to the Raquel Welch vehicle “A Million Years B.C.” !

The Spencer Davis Group

Mr. Acker Bilk



Martin Lewis says: One Cool Shag!

It occurs to me that to award myself any ‘shags’ for this event might be misconstrued as self-abuse! So let me allude to the follicular type of shag. (ie the hair-do!) The mod ‘do’ came somewhere between the all-American crewcut and the Beatles ‘shag’ or ‘mop’ It was longer than that inane, bubble-gum chewing, Marine killer-in-training look - but definitely much shorter than the full floppy Beatle ‘bangs’ as the Yanks called a fringe. The Stones as rockers had unruly unkempt hair. The Who and the Small Faces as mods had the neatly coiffed mod cut. And the Beatles who had their own cut (imitated by so many others) were clearly mockers...

I was a mod - on my way to becoming a mocker. As my one-man show reveals. Perhaps I should call it a One-Mod Show....


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


A very alternative Independence Day treat!!! A Double Dose of Wild British Pop!!!!

Martin Lewis says: 5 Shags!

Call me sentimental - but I love Cliff Richard - and this movie! Cliff was our innocence. The British attempt at Elvis (as he was first billed in 1958) turned out to be a lovable all-round entertainer. And he turned out to be impervious to fashions. As early rock begat saccharine pop, begat beat music begat psychedelia begat pomp-rock begat punk... Cliff survived them all. He became the Peter Pan of Pop. Now a youthful 59 year-old - he’s STILL having hits in the UK!

Cliff Notes!

1963, Canal + Image, 109 min. With Ron Moody (‘Fagin’ in “Oliver!”) Hard to believe — but the director of BULLITT, Peter Yates, started his career with this carefree CinemaScope musical comedy starring British pop icons Cliff Richard and The Shadows. Sir Cliff and pals convert a London double-decker bus into a mobile youth hostel and take a test-spin across Europe. The stowaway lad they discover turns out to be an American heiress and... trouble ensues!

Martin Lewis says: 5 Shags!

Pop Quiz: In the halcyon years of the British Invasion - 1964 and 1965 - who were the two most successful acts? Well the Beatles were obviously the first. But who was the second? The Stones...? The Animals...? The Who...?

Well guess again! Memory plays tricks on us all! Using the Billboard singles charts as a guide - we discover that The Who had no hits in the US until 1967 - and it wasn’t until 1966 that the Animals got into the top five of British acts in the US. And while the Stones were popular - it wasn’t till 1966 that they came close to rivaling the Beatles in chart success. In both ‘64 and ‘65 they were only 4th in popularity to lighter, pop acts.

The bands that Americans were most excited by apart from the Beatles were: Billy J. Kramer & The Dakotas and Herman’s Hermits (both seen in Go-Go Mania - the final film in the festival) - and the venerable Dave Clark Five!


1965, Warner Bros., 91 min. Hoping to cash in on the success of A HARD DAY’S NIGHT, producer David Deutsch hired first-timer John Boorman (who later directed POINT BLANK and DELIVERANCE) to bang out a quick pop confection starring Britain’s hugely-successful Dave Clark Five. Instead, Boorman delivered this provocative Anti-Pop Film about the pressures of Mod stardom — where drummer Clark and model Barbara Ferris try to disappear for a few days, and find themselves pursued by a rabid caravan of press agents, managers, reporters and the rest.

The Dave Clark Five

SUNDAY JULY 4 - 4:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Grand Festival Finale!!! Fab Fun Family Event!!!

Martin Lewis says: 5 Shags!

July 4th is a difficult day for us Brits in America. I've never thought of it as Independence Day. More as Co-Dependence Day! And that makes it hard to celebrate. I mean a fight in Boston Harbor with the spilling of a large amount of tea into the ocean hardly seems like a great premise for a holiday...

So how fitting that we have this chance to end the millennium on a high note! Instead of Boston Harbor - let’s think of July 4th as Hollywood Harbor! This will be a wonderful fun-filled day. And a great treat for the family before the fireworks.

The movie is a treat. Beautifully filmed (by the man who later shot “2001” and “Superman”) and full of great performances. And the Tea Party will be a total blast! So book up NOW (there is limited capacity) and have the swinging-est July 4th ever!

I’ll see you there!


At 4pm re-live the 35th Anniversary of the British Invasion (1960’s version) with a classic 60’s Brit-pop concert movie! Then at 5:30pm Brits and Yanks kiss and make-up to celebrate the last July 4th of the Millennium together... with a Mod Tea Party!!! A perfect Lazy Sunday Afternoon!

  • Great British food & drink!
  • Live sixties music from all-star band The Shag-A-Delics!
  • Surprise 60’s pop star guests!
  • Mods & Rockers fashion show!
  • Costume contest! (Prizes for best-dressed Mods & Rockers!)
  • ‘Veddy’ British fun for the whole family - especially the kids!


1965, Canal + Image, 70 min. Dir. Fred Goode. A British equivalent of THE T.A.M.I. SHOW, this wild, candy-colored music revue features the cream of the English beat scene — including performances by the Beatles,The Animals, Peter & Gordon, Herman’s Hermits, the Nashville Teens, Billy J. Kramer & The Dakotas, and the Honeycombs!! Shot by d.p. Geoffrey Unsworth (who later photographed Kubrick’s 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY), GO-GO MANIA (aka POP GEAR) is a once-in-a-lifetime celebration of long-haired ravers and screaming teens!

Conversation following with special guests, including Gordon Waller (of Peter & Gordon) - then Everything Stops For Tea!!!



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