The Explanation
(for those who require one)

And, of course, that is what all of this is -- all of this: the one song, ever changing, ever reincarnated, that speaks somehow from and to and for that which is ineffable within us and without us, that is both prayer and deliverance, folly and wisdom, that inspires us to dance or smile or simply to go on, senselessly, incomprehensibly, beatifically, in the face of mortality and the truth that our lives are more ill-writ, ill-rhymed and fleeting than any song, except perhaps those songs -- that song, endlesly reincarnated -- born of that truth, be it the moon and June of that truth, or the wordless blue moan, or the rotgut or the elegant poetry of it. That nameless black-hulled ship of Ulysses, that long black train, that Terraplane, that mystery train, that Rocket '88', that Buick 6 -- same journey, same miracle, same end and endlessness."
-- Nick Tosches, Where Dead Voices Gather

The Art of Cinema #489

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Promo poster for Head (Bob Rafelson, 1968). The fact that The Monkees aren’t even mentioned in the ad shows how quickly their popularity sank. The Monkees TV show premiered in September, 1966, Monkeemania running neck-and-neck with Batmania. When Head came out in November 1968, those and the other pop manias of the 60s (Beatlemania, Bondmania) began to dissolve under the weight of civil rights, student unrest, the hippie movement, drugs, Nixon vs. Humphrey, the sexual revolution, women’s lib, the generation gap, Vietnam, you name it. It was a weird time. A fan of the Monkees living on Long Island, I vividly recall the opening weekend of Head: it played in a very small handful of theaters, but only for late shows on Friday and Saturday nights. By the following Monday, it was gone. Outside of articles concerning Bob Rafelson and Jack Nicholson, I never saw mention of it again until it came out on VHS some twenty years later. (H/t: JonCow)

2 comments :

JonCow said...

1968 would have been Nixon vs Humphrey.

swac said...

There were two distinct campaigns for this movie, one that featured the Monkees prominently on one-sheets and lobby cards, and then the more oblique one that spawned this example (featuring an image of forward-thinking author John Brockman), which also included TV spots and radio ads. I think the latter was Raybert's attempt to reach a hipper audience for the counter-culture, post-modern message of HEAD, which didn't really find its crowd until years later.