Putney Swope (Downey, 1969): Alibi Film Club, Dalston 8pm
This is screening as part of the Scala Beyond, a six-week season
celebrating all forms of cinema exhibition across the UK, from film
clubs to film festivals, picture palaces to pop-up venues. You can find
more details here at the website.
The Alibi film club introduction: Never before released in the UK, we invite you to a very rare
screening of PUTNEY SWOPE Robert Downey, Sr’s 1969 counterculture
comedy. PUTNEY SWOPE is an anarchic satire about the takeover of a
Madison Ave ad agency by a group of militant Black Panther types. Pitched somewhere between the rata-tat-tat hysteria of the Marx
Brothers and Lenny Bruce’s savage politicism. Shot in b&w but
interspersed with a series of demented Technicolor adverts, the film
lists amongst its highlights: a crazed Antonio Fargas (Huggy Bear), two
dwarfs playing the US President and his First Lady and a marketing
campaign for a volatile Nazi car called “the Bormann Six”.
Chicago Reader review:
'Robert Downey Sr.'s low-budget, hit-or-miss dadaist (or gagaist) 1969 satire, about a group of blacks taking over a Madison Avenue ad agency, is a bit of a relic now, though a decidedly offbeat one. Only a fraction of the jokes ever worked, but the determined goofiness of some of the conceits (e.g., German midgets Pepi and Ruth Hermine as the U.S. president and first lady) and the interspersed parodic TV commercials (all of them in color, though the rest of the movie is in black and white) give one a better idea of the jaunty excesses of the late 60s than Hollywood movies of the same period. If you're in a silly enough mood, you might have a good time. With Arnold Johnson, Stanley Gottlieb, Allen Garfield, Antonio Fargas, and a fleeting bit by Mel Brooks.'
Here is the trailer.