Double Feature Friday- 1969

With the Woodstock 40th Anniversary hype and upon viewing this summer's Taking Woodstock, I decided today's double feature would center around movies that came out that year. After all, Woodstock wasn't the only thing that happened. There were many defining movies in film history that year. I've chosen two of my favorites...

Bob and Carol and Ted and Alice

Here is a movie that I truly believe to be lost on my generation. It is a quiet satire that was perfect for when it debuted, but today would not go over well (but how do we know that our views and opinions on such matters aren't because of this movie?). Anyway, it makes me really sad that I've brought up this film dozens of times, and not once have I gotten the response of "Oh, I've seen that!" It's always "I've never heard of that." 

I think that this is a film that needs to be watched, period. Its awkward silences and un-glorification of sex are nice refresher from steamy love-filled sex scenes we encounter so much today. It creates an actual realistic picture of sex, something that NEVER EVER HAPPENS. From the hilarious group retreat in the beginning to Bob making Carol's tennis partner breakfast after walking in on them having sex, to the uncomfortable ending orgy, this film is a riot (in a strange, shift-in-your-seat way). It was meant to make people uncomfortable by mocking something that a majority of the world found ridiculous. I just think that somewhere along the way it lost its flavor, and deserves to be watched by later generations the same way that The Graduate (another film of its "flavor" made two years earlier) is. 

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

One of the greatest critiques on the fall of the classic "Western," this movie was popular at its release and remains popular today. There is no other word to describe it except "brilliant." The only criticism I have is that the industry, do to the film's mild nature in comparison to today's features, has pegged it a "family film." Sure, its fast-paced, upbeat dialogue is funny- in fact, it's hilarious- but sort of goes over the head of people under the age of twelve. The first time I saw it, I was bored out of my mind and the irony was completely lost on me. I didn't understand any of the jokes. The only explanation I can come up with is that I saw it too young, and that is no one's fault because it was made before there were ratings (the system was introduced in '68 but was entirely voluntary and not widely regulated- it was all very touchy). 

Still, once I watched it again I saw the connection between Paul Newman's famous line, "Well, we can't rob banks forever," and the decline of the classic Hollywood shoot-em-up Western, which is why at the end of the film the two most famous bank robbers are left with nowhere to go and nothing to do. They weren't just searching for another bank, they were searching for another story- and found themselves literally trapped. 

... Like I said, fucking brilliant. 

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