Dedications: My four late friends Rory, Stan, Bryan, Jeff - shine on you crazy diamonds, they would have blogged too. Then theres Garry from Brisbane, Franco in Milan, Mike now in S.F. / my '60s-'80s gang: Ned & Joseph in Ireland; in England: Frank, Des, Guy, Clive, Joe & Joe, Ian, Ivan, Nick, David, Les, Stewart, the 3 Michaels / Catriona, Sally, Monica, Jean, Ella, Anne, Candie / and now: Daryl in N.Y., Jerry, John, Colin, Martin and Donal.

Sunday, 22 July 2012

The English '60s explode into colour ....

How we lived then: I love this image from Schlesinger's A KIND OF LOVING, 1962 - 50 years ago!
One more '60s post, on how that decade began: watching just two channels on a small black and white television with one's family in the lounge, no high definition then! - as in A KIND OF LOVING above, which captures that tedium perfectly. No wonder there was an explosion in music, art, movies, as young people went out a lot to express themselves and make their own entertainment ... cue those new black and white movies for the new generation like BILLY LIAR, THE SERVANT, THE KNACK, GEORGY GIRL, MORGAN ...
Julie Christie's Liz in BILLY LIAR comes down to London where she would soon be a DARLING (left, with the boys), leaving Billy behind up north - while Rita Tushingham's journey from A TASTE OF HONEY to SMASHING TIME via A PLACE TO GO, THE LEATHER BOYS, THE GIRL WITH GREEN EYES and THE KNACK showed the '60s girl moving from grim reality to fantasy and slapstick in day-glo colours, as well as getting involved in jewellery capers with Marcello Mastroianni (DIAMONDS FOR BREAKFAST) and going to India with Michael York in THE GURU.
Michael and Rita in THE GURU.
By the mid-60s there was that explosion into colour with The Beatles in HELP!, popular movies like Clive Donner's NOTHING BUT THE BEST and WHAT'S NEW PUSSYCAT? which we liked so much: Romy! Capucine! Paula! Peter! I had the soundtrack album by Burt Bacharach; the cult classic MODESTY BLAISE and then Antonioni gave us a different view of London in BLOW-UP - as we joined the new generation having fun in HERE WE GO ROUND THE MULBERRY BUSH and SMASHING TIME.... then we were ready for psychedelia and MIDNIGHT COWBOY and the rest as 1970 began... Donen's ARABESQUE (Sophia, Peck labels) was also a perfect mid-'60s caper with a plot that makes no sense now - a message in a microdot which would be delivered electronically now, but Loren dressed by Balmain has a lot of fun and Alan Badel is the best suave Arab villain with a shoe fetish ever.  I remember friends and I going off to the Odeon, Kensington for the first day of Visconti's THE DAMNED, one of the movies one had to see that year 1969.
The Beatles in colour - the HELP! songs are like the first pop videos
The zany climax of WHATS NEW PUSSYCAT?, so very mid-'60s

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