In The Balcony
NEW on the Balcony marquee...
One 'o them Hippie movies. How far out is it? (Olive Films BD $29.95, DVD $24.95)
Alice's Restaurant (1969, dir. Arthur Penn) is a wonderful comedy-drama that we liked a lot, based on Arlo's true story as told on the first side of his 1967 debut album.
Guthrie receives his draft notice, has a series of adventures with his hippie musician friends, and is ultimately rejected for service because he littered one Thanksgiving Day (that's all it took?!?!?).
His friend, an artist named Alice, opens a restaurant, and has drama with a heroin-strung-out friend, an abusive husband, and a dumbass cop who plays himself in the film.
Pete Seeger shows up to sing with Arlo at the bedside of the dying Woody Guthrie (played by an actor 'cause Woody died in '67).
Arlo, after getting kicked out of college: "Seems like schools have a habit of dropping out around me."
Arlo, to Sheriff, who's taken his belt before incarcerating him: "Do you really think I'm going to hang myself over littering?"
We've said this before, but I think movies of the 1970s are oft-times dated in a way that movies of the 1960s aren't. Weird, eh? This is hippies and Vietnam and pop art and a guy getting the shit beat out of him 'cause his hair's too long (and I would like to think in a better world, some redneck would have sense and humanity enough to say, "Leave the kid alone, his dad wrote This Land is Your Land, for Chripesake") but it's still beautiful and timely and the last shot in the film will break your heart. Arlo's very good in the film, by the way, as are Pat Quinn as Alice, James Broderick as her husband, and Michael McClanathan as the heroin monkey. You'll recognize M. Emmet Walsh as the screaming Sergeant who hollers gibberish.
A lovely film that may well become a Thanksgiving tradition here in the Balcony, and the Blu-Ray is a beautiful print of the film. Highly recommended.
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