Friday, May 06, 2005

Chapters 8, 36, 41-44 on the DVD of Hair (Forman, 1979)

Eric stopped by after work yesterday, and the discussion fell to movies, and then eventually to Milos Forman. We decided to watch the end of "Hair," but to prepare we re-aquainted ourselves with the songs necessary to enjoy the heartbreaking reprise (admittedly "Morning Song" was not needed, but it's always funny to go glibbyaglobbyjooby with Beverly D'Angelo, who looks like a fawn being buggered with a candy-cane).

Many friends ask why I love Milos so much. Here's why: there is one push-in in the whole movie, and that is when Berger (Treat Williams) realizes he's going to be sent to Vietnam. That's restraint, and that's why he can go nuts at the end--riprapripideedo camera moves, dramatic helicoptering, storm troopers--try not to be blown away as the camera moves with Berger onto the plane.

I must admit I really could do without the last scene: a messy mass of people from 1978 running and jumping around the frame. It looks like Milos raided a Styx concert, and in a way there's no better reminder how far the hippie movement had fallen by the time he decided to make this movie; the left's ultimate betrayal of Carter would come six months later. There is one redeeming moment--at 1:56:39--in which the camera has discovered what would soon be termed "white trash," but was then only known as a Lynrd Skynrd fan and father of three.

Fun fact: cinematographer Miroslave Ondricek has shot movies for which Hollywood hack director? Yes: Penny Marshall. But then again Sven Nyqvist shot "Sleepless in Seattle" so who's complaining?

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