Friday, 7 October 2016

Capital Celluloid 2016 - Day 290: Mon Oct 17

Beyond The Valley of the Dolls (Meyer, 1970): Picturehouse Central, 7pm



This 35mm screening is part of the brilliant Edgar Wright season at Picturehouse Central. Here are the full details.

Venerable and adored film critic Ebert crossed the line to become scriptwriter in this collaboration with 1970s skin-flixster Russ Meyer.  An enduring camp cult classic, it follows three pneumatic wannabees who come to Hollywood to make it big but find only sex, drugs and sleaze.  Sophisticate Ebert brings a touch of sly wit and class to this most unlikely of projects.

From Kate Arthur, on BuzzFeed:
“…But always enhancing Ebert’s place as a seminal figure in movie criticism was his hilarious contribution to movies themselves: the 1970 release Beyond the Valley of the Dolls. He cowrote it with shlocktarian Russ Meyer, and it’s just an unparalleled spectacle of amazingness. On the occasion of its 10th anniversary, Ebert wrote about the experience in Film Comment: “We wrote the screenplay in six weeks flat, laughing maniacally from time to time, and then the movie was made.”

“The plot doesn’t make any sense, but if you want to try, Wikipedia has a good summary. And Louis Peitzman has written the “19 Reasons “Beyond The Valley Of The Dolls” Is The Greatest Cult Film Of All Time.” As Louis points out, Beyond the Valley of the Dolls gave us many gifts, but my favorite (and I’m sure I’m not alone) was the Z-Man character, who Ebert said was based on Phil Spector (“but neither Meyer nor I had ever met Spector,” he wrote).”

Two thumbs up, Roger!

Time Out review:
'With his first movie for a major studio, Meyer simply did what he'd been doing for years, only bigger and better. That's to say, he turned the homely story of an all-girl rock band's rise to fame under their transsexual manager into a delirious comedy melodrama, soused in self- parody but spiked with dope, sex and thrills.'

Tony Rayns


Here's one of the great songs from the soundtrack. In The Long Run by the The Carrie Nations.

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