Every seven years since 1964, in what’s known as the Up series, Granada Television has caught us up on the lives of 14 everyday people. The subjects of the documentary series were 7 years old when it began; in the latest installment, 56 Up, they are well into middle age.
Apted on what this experience has been like for him
“What can I say? I mean, it’s the favorite thing I’ve ever done, the thing I’m most proud of. It’s nerve-wracking, because you think you’re always going to blow it and you’ll wreck the whole thing. It seems fragile, and I’ve learned a lot of lessons about it. I’ve made mistakes on it and had to correct those mistakes. You know, particularly I got into a situation, I think, early on where I became judgmental about people — that if they didn’t agree with my standards of success, failure, happiness, whatever, then I would feel they were the lesser for it. And also I try to play God. I try to predict what might happen to people, and sort of set it all up for that. And I did that, and that was an embarrassing mistake. And I think what I’ve learned all the way through is the less I do, the better.”
“Yet once you’ve come to be part of this particular patch, you’ll never love another. Like loving a woman with a broken nose, you may well find lovelier lovelies. But never a lovely so real.”
― Nelson Algren, Chicago: City on the Make
In 1973, the commune experiment ended and Creem relocated into a proper office in Birmingham, one of Detroit’s toniest suburbs. Still, the city’s scrappy, underdog spirit remained a crucial element of the magazine’s aesthetic. “I don’t think it could have existed anywhere else,” Alice Cooper said in a phone interview. “In New York it would have been more sophisticated; in L.A. it would have been a lot slicker. Detroit was the perfect place for it, because it was somewhere between a teen magazine and Mad magazine and a hard rock magazine.”
Tracks the tumultuous rise of two talented musicians, Anton Newcombe, leader of the Brian Jonestown Massacre, and Courtney Taylor, leader of the Dandy Warhols, and dissects their star-crossed friendship and bitter rivalry. Both are hell-bent on staging a self-proclaimed revolution of the music industry. Through their loves and obsessions, gigs and recordings, arrests and death threats, uppers and downers, and ultimately to their chance at a piece of the profit-driven music business. How each handles his stab at “success” is where the relationship frays and burns.
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In a decade where reality and fiction blurred, these movies showed us who we really are.
20. Dawson City: Frozen Time (2017)
To make Dawson City: Frozen Time, director Bill Morrison — who often works with old footage — reused hundreds of reels of nitrate film shot in the 1910s and 1920s and unearthed in 1978 in Dawson, a town on the Yukon River in northwestern Canada. The reels had been presumed lost, and Morrison stitches them together to reconstruct the history of the town, which is loaded with wild stories of fortunes made and lost, with twists and turns as exciting as any fictional film. It plays like a silent film, at times, but one with an eye toward the present, and toward the way old stories shape the future.
The strange ironies of history aside, the star of the show is still the late Joe McCarthy — and what a performer he was! One can recall his jowly menace and five-o’clock shadow, but it is shocking to rediscover his nervous giggle and his showbiz personality. There was a strangely populist appeal working for McCarthy as the last apostle of direct democracy unsullied by all the confidential “arrangements” of the well born and well educated. When Ike plugged up his keyhole after throwing Stevens to the wolves outside the door, McCarthy was finished. Even the Trotskyists, who had toyed with the idea of using McCarthy as their golem against the Stalinists, were soon bored by Joe’s ludicrous inexactitude. Curiously, Joe’s medium was neither television nor radio, and he was hardly a Huey Long out on the stump. With succinctness as his forte and fear as his gospel, McCarthy may have been the first and last demagogue of the wire services.
—Village Voice, January 16, 1964
Andrew Sarris reviewing, Point of Order!, by Emil De Antonio and Daniel Talbot, from the book, Confessions of a Cultist: On the Cinema, 1955-1969
A portrait of one of the few remaining men only ‘flophouses’ on New York City’s infamous skid row, the Bowery.
Ray: Once you take the cherry out of life. Once you take your wife, or your love or however….the cherry, life ain’t nothin man. It ain’t nothin man. You’re a zero, and everything else you’re doing is just fucking around.
Nathan: You haven’t lived until you’ve been in a flophouse with nothing but one lightbulb and 56 men squeezed together on cots. With everybody snoring at once, and some of those snores so deep and gross and unbelievable dark, snotty, gross subhuman wheezings from hell itself. Your mind almost breaks under those deathlike sounds and intermingling odors of hard, unwashed socks, pissed and shitted underwear. And over it all, slowly circulating air much like that emanating from uncovered garbage cans. And those bodies in the dark, fat and thin and bent some legless, armless. some mindless. And worst of all, the total absence of hope. It shrouds them and covers them totally. It’s not bearable. Those men were all children once. What has happened to them? And what has happened to me? It’s dark and cold out there.