The Party - 3rd Friday of Film
After last week's Friday Night Festival of Depression, watching Paul Newman and Jackie Gleason burn up the black and white reel of The Hustler, it was time to lighten the mood. Rather than dive into the AMC Top 100 Films of All Time we dug out an old favorite, Peter Sellers', The Party. If you haven't seen it yet, shame on you. It's only the best piece of character comedy in the last fifty years. The blend of slapstick and Sellers ability to make even the most ridiculous of characters lovable is unique to this 1968 classic. Watch it if you haven't. Watch it again if you have. I'll personally guarantee grins. YouTube it if you must.
The film is crazy unique...it was completely improvised from a 56-page outline. Each scene was shot in sequence, and built upon the previous scene. To aid in this crazy experiment, the film's producers had a video-camera tube attached to the Panavision camera and connected to an Ampex studio videotape machine, allowing the actors and crew to review what they had just filmed. BTW...I love how cutting edge something like Panavision was. One of the only bummer's about this film is that the house doesn't actually exist. Every single interior was a sound stage shot...boo man, boo. I was hoping to find something cool like Wilt Chamberlain's old love pad, the lovemonger's self-dubbed Ursa Major Estate, up in the Hollywood Hills but no such luck
I can't get enough of these sixties era films. The style, the decor, the social context of it all...just hearing some of the dialogue that is obsolete or obviously insensitive these days is a bit of a cheap thrill for me. If you pay closer attention to detail the small subtleties are amazing...people smoking at the office and at the dinner table, the lesser inhibitions with regard to drinking, the representation of just about everything from law enforcement to the role of men and women. I love it. It's kind of exactly what I was mentioning in earlier posts, the discussion about definitions and how they're changing or how they've been wrong right from the start. It doesn't take much thought to compare and contrast these things. If you lit a smoke up at your desk these days people would look at you like you needed a helmet, but it was the norm in 1968. Pretty obvious that the norm was waaaay off. See what I'm sayin'...definitions. It's like you're dreamin' about Gorgonzola cheese when it's clearly Brie time, baby. I don't know why I just said that.
Anyway...blah blah blah...The Party...friggin' hilarious~! Third Friday of Film, a laughable but much needed left turn off of the awards path. Next week...hmmmm...suggestions?