Saturday, May 29, 2010

Life lived in public: Deceased Artiste Gary Coleman

He was 4’7”, a child star, and we knew every twist and turn of his existence. At different times I was amused by, bored by, and felt bad for the little man who had been “Arnold” on Different Strokes. When a celebrity dies, you think back to something they did or said that made an impression on you — when the announcement of Coleman’s death came out this week, I remembered that he had revealed on a daytime talk show (I’m pretty sure it was Geraldo) that he had a condition whereby he hadn’t “sat down” on the toilet (somesuch delicate phrasing) for years, and instead voided himself in another manner (presumably a colostomy bag). That’s the point where you realize the colorful little person on TV isn’t leading such an amusing life in private.

So many of Gary’s public and private run-ins were recounted on tabloid TV, with probably one of the lower moments being his stint as a mall security guard, when he was accosted by an autograph seeker who got pissed off and he wound up punching her. He did have a temper, but then again if you were constantly in the public eye and your show biz fortunes found you starring in the mockumentary Midgets vs. Mascots, I think you’d be pissed off too.

But let us have some levity (please!). Here he is doing some shtick for the WWF with Jeff Jarrett, master of the “guitar shot”:

A much-circulated ad he did a for loan service that included an outtake of him laughing:

Along with the clip where he spoke to the camera excoriating “bone-headed idiots!”, this particular clip of him earlier this year cursing out someone on the panel of the horrific tabloid-TV crapfest The Insider is the most popular Coleman show of anger (actually he’s rather composed):

One of the best Seventies shows that has been out of distribution for a long time is Fernwood 2-Night. Here is a scene from the show’s second incarnation (America 2-Night) with Gary as “Little Wayne Coleman” (someone yells “Hey, Gary!” when he comes out, and Martin Mull ad-libs “isn’t it sad when cousins marry?”). Gary played a local California boy that Barth Gimble (Mull) was trying to adopt; he later hosted the “kids version” of the show (which appeared on the show proper) in Barth’s place.

And the two single best clips you’re gonna find. Italian TV host Sabrina Salerno journey to L.A. to talk to “Arnold.” The show is Matricole & Meteore, and included are scenes from Different Strokes dubbed in Italian, a Euro view of L.A. (which still seems to include disco), and Gary saying his tagline in Italian:

But the kitsch mother lode is this “career change” moment when Gary was making the talk show circuit with Michael Jackson impersonator Dion Mial to promote a single they’d released called “The Outlaw and the Indian.” It’s pretty special:

Friday, May 28, 2010

Conservatives say the darndest things: Deceased Artiste Art Linkletter

Usually I’m filled with a sort of reverent wistfulness when I write about a celebrity who has died, but I have to admit at the outset of this post that I always felt that Art Linkletter’s most prominent trait on TV was his sanctimoniousness. His interviews with kids were way cloying, his hosting benign, and his comedy… well, it wasn’t really comedy. He was involved in the creation of Groucho’s You Bet Your Life, so he somehow participated in something I really enjoyed. His own stuff? As the kids nowadays put it, “meh.”

Linkletter was openly conservative, and seemed like the very definition of the old guard, a narrow-minded gent in every way. He lived to 97, but spent the better part of his time in the media in the last 41 years preaching against drugs. He blamed the 1969 suicide of his daughter Diane on LSD, even though it wasn’t found in her system upon her death. He made it his personal mission to “save” America’s youth, and warn parents that their kids were indulging in dangerous, nay lethal, behavior. Throughout the crusade he never appeared to me to be dismayed by his daughter’s death, but rather seemed like an opportunist exploiting her demise to create a new identity for himself, one that allowed him to condemn the drug culture, and by extension the liberal “permissiveness” of the Sixties and Seventies. Perhaps there was grief behind his crusade, but in his TV appearances, you merely saw a hateful older man who had decided that the villain that killed his daughter was the demon “drugs” and not her own inner turmoil (or perhaps his own bad parenting?).

John Waters’ joyously dark short “The Diane Linkletter Story” is no longer on YouTube (ah, now there’s a piece of nasty-assed satire), but I can offer you an appearance by Art selling “Circus Nuts” on a TV ad with Diane:

The solid-gold shameless 45 that Linkletter put out after his daughter’s death, a melodramatic spoken-word recording (that subsequently won a Grammy) that he had recorded with Diane about a father’s anguish over his runaway daughter. Corny as fuck, startling kitsch, but only because Linkletter meant it to be heartwarming and sincere, and was in fact exploiting his kid’s personal trauma. This recording is used in the soundtrack of the Waters movie, and yes, it does seem to imply that any girl who’s forced to participate in the recording of a bummer like this would’ve wanted to off herself:

And to close out, a pretty amazing bit of early “ambush TV,” in which host Stanley Siegel (wherever did he go?) “sandbags” Dr. Timothy Leary with a call-in from an outraged Art Linkletter. I agree with Leary that the ever-pompous Linkletter made a living off his daughter’s death. Siegel allows Linkletter to tell off crazy ol’ Tim at length. Art also condemns the Jefferson Airplane, Allen Ginsberg, and the whole hippie culture — he truly was one of those folks who was outraged that the youth culture of the Sixties ever happened, and set out on this crusade to assuage his own guilt or emptiness, and to find a “cause” that could indeed prolong his long-dormant career.

UPDATE: Dick Cavett confirms that, despite hosting a show called People Are Funny, AL wasn't a funny guy at all. Here is his account.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Mark Twain Prize to... Tina Fey?: A list of far more deserving candidates for a lifetime achievement award

[The pics used to accompany this blog post are meant to illustrate a point. A pretty obvious one.]

The American Film Institute’s Lifetime Achievement Award shows were really something to watch back in the 1970s and ’80s. The folks receiving the prize were bona fide A-list talents who were without question worthy to get a lifetime achievement award. Two-hour award presentations were made to performers and filmmakers on the order of Ford, Welles, Hitchcock, Capra, Huston, Astaire, Cagney, Gish, Davis, Stanwyck, and Fonda.

In the 1990s, as U.S. culture and entertainment took its precipitous slide toward the utter soulless crap that is extremely popular in today’s mainstream, the AFI Award began going to performers and filmmakers whose careers were still in full flourish, but who could guarantee a solid audience for the TV airing of the award show. What had been amazing about the AFI was that, even though the usual “mavericks” (Ray, Fuller, Sirk, and on and on) were going to be ignored, in the '70s and '80s you were treated to CBS (I believe that was the network) presenting a two-hour show saluting the work of Lillian Gish or John Ford or Orson or some Golden Age star who worked in the era of black and white that network television wants to stay far, far away from (the opening and closing moments of Wizard of Oz aside).

Then, with the sole exception of Robert Wise, the AFI turned to honoring only those who would attract TV ratings and a roster of current-day Hollywood names to salute him/her. Nicholson, Eastwood, Spielberg, Scorsese, Streep, and others whose careers were still moving along at a steady clip were then honored, and the result was similar to the many, many moments in the Oscar ceremony when Hollywood slaps itself on the back and reminds us all what wonderful movies used to be made, and how the pap that comes out these days is the obvious continuation of what came before. The most interesting thing about the list of winners that can be found here is that the recipients have gone from being in their 70s and 80s to 45 for the extremely charming but oh-SO-non-versatile Tom Hanks (45).

I bring up all this about the valuelessness of the AFI awards, and the shameless grab for TV ratings (or even a network to air the event — for a bit it was relegated to cable from its original network home), to bring up the subject of yet another valueless encomium, the Mark Twain Prize for Humor. The Kennedy Center presents this honor, and it has been sort of dubious since its inception — what makes the Kennedy Center board experts on humor in America? Whatever their qualifications are or aren’t, the award has followed the same trajectory as the AFI award, except it has been even more singularly pathetic in its choice of honorees, its ignoring comic legends who deserve appreciation, and its craving for viewers (especially since the show airs on PBS, and not a commercial network).

The prize jumped the shark when it made its first fourth honoree, and its first female, Whoopi Goldberg, in 2001. I’m not going to debate Goldberg’s comic pedigree — she did do great accents and voices back when she did standup, but that was a very long, long time ago. In any case, they leapfrogged over the first modern female standup, Phyllis Diller, the second, Joan Rivers, and the many women who populated variety television (never mind the women comedy writers) to move on to Whoopi, after having saluted two national treasures and comic innovators — Richard Pryor and Jonathan Winters — and one gent who had a good run in the Fifties and Sixties, Carl Reiner.

Probably the next horrific honoree was Lorne Michaels in 2004. Michaels spearheaded a show that was brave, bold, and innovative for five years, and has been a walking-dead example of everything that is dull, boring, and formulaic in TV sketch comedy since then (with the exception of the sterling 1984-85 season, which was cast almost entirely with “ringers,” meaning people who were already proven commodities as sketch/character comedians). There have been others whose contribution to American comedy is indisputable (Neil Simon, Bill Cosby, George Carlin, Lily Tomlin), but the obvious mandate is to interest TV viewers in the ceremony, and so this year the winner of the prize is none other than the pin-up of snarky sketch and fake-news comedy, Tina Fey.

I am not going to debate the merits of Tina Fey as a comedian here. I find her stuff pleasant but not memorable. The hubbub that surrounded her Sarah Palin imitation in 2008 was fascinating, in that there were other comic actresses on the Web doing equally good impressions of the Brainless One, and Fey’s “material” was essentially direct quotes from Palin’s own verbal missteps. Fey is a good-looking woman (never let that slip out of the equation), and she is currently a powerhouse to be reckoned with in terms of reputation, paycheck, and drawing power. But is she the 2000s equivalent of Dorothy Parker? Not on your life. Except, of course, to those who consume only contemporary mainstream culture, and are not familiar with anything old, foreign, or even slightly "alternative."

In any case, since the Mark Twain Prize has now irredeemably jumped the shark, I would like to submit for public view a list of the people they’ve forgotten to honor (in case you haven't been looking at the pics I've scattered throughout this post). Maybe they feel these people wouldn't be “ratings bait” — then again, on PBS you’d think an older name would be ratings bait, but PBS is as dull and lifeless as the rest of American broadcasting these days.

I’m leaving out the names of such folk as Professor Irwin Corey and Bob Elliott, as I think that, though they richly deserve the prize, a mainstream board like the Kennedy Center’s would never be that hip. I also leave out the solid gold name of Woody Allen (who was without doubt in the top rank of American humorists of the second half of the 20th century), since I have the feeling that he has already turned the honor down. I can’t help but feel that they’ve never asked Mel Brooks, though, since I don’t think he would turn it down (not a man who revisits an item like Spaceballs). I know that they’re probably already prepping the Twain Prizes for Adam Sandler, Will Ferrell, and Jack Black, so let me remind everyone who is still alive and deserves the Prize. If it really had any meaning.

  • Mort Sahl
  • Shelley Berman
  • Nichols and May
  • Dick Gregory
  • The Smothers Brothers
  • Mel Brooks
  • the aforementioned grandma of women standups, Phyllis Diller

And after all that, I’m not even going to mention that Mark Twain was a WRITER for fuck’s sake, and that breed of humorist hasn’t even been given a second thought. Then again, when your comedy prize is little more than a joke, well… it writes itself, doesn't it?

On Facebook's privacy "problem"

There is much “news” on the Internet these days about the privacy violations perpetrated by Facebook. I find it funny that people feel "violated" by the site, since it never says explicitly (c’mon, let’s be honest) that it will protect your information, your identity, or your creations — it exists simply to link people up, and to generate page views for itself.

Facebook is the hottest Internet “community” currently, but like YouTube and MySpace, it is an attempt to gather users together to create a hub of Internet activity. The site came into existence with classically American rules about “obscene” materials. To wit, nothing with any nudity on the site. Filthy language okay, unclad bodies never ever — the U.S. steadfastly refuses to grow up, it ain’t happening, no way no how. We like bein’ the all-powerful, church-going hypocrites we pretend to be.

I’m on all three sites mentioned above, as I am here on Blogspot — where I’ve found a lot of freedom, thus far. I’ve never been so delusional as to think that there is actual free speech on the sites, though, or that what I’m doing is not being “tabulated” for consumer demographic use. Although we pay nothing to use the sites’ storage capacities, we provide them with that most valuable of all commodities on the Internet, content.

I am still very amused by the abandonment of MySpace by most of its users (except musicians and other entertainers, who need the free storage space for audio). That can be most readily attributed to the laziness factor — which is as intrinsic to American life as the hypocritical prurience mentioned above. Middle-aged and senior users find Facebook easier to use since you don’t have to find a “wizard” to build a page, and there is a pretend “gate” around the “community,” so one can pretend one is really only in communication with the folks one chooses as “Friends.”

The gate is fake, the community is fake. Only the communications between users and, yes, the content is real, so let’s just focus on that and not pretend that a corporate-run site really gives even one-millionth of a shit about the safety of its users’ personal information. This is the Internet after all. It’s all a big farce, but a fun one, so let’s be honest and acknowledge the game we’re playing.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Budd Boetticher: the Funhouse interview

This is one of the numerous interviews done for the Funhouse before the "digital era" arrived. I spoke to Budd in September of 2000, and it was a delight. The man was a no-nonsense type who was happy to tell stories about his filmmaking (and bullfighting) past. He was an incredibly engaging individual, as charming as the heroes (and villains) in his pictures.

Here he speaks about his friend John Ford:

And answers a question about filming in CinemaScope:

Aesop, Orson, and a Sixties pop tune

The Internet is filled with misinformation, rumors, urban legends, and in-depth info about stuff of no meaning or consequence. On the other hand, it holds untold wonder, lots and lots (and lots) of quality free stuff, and, yes, it solves bar bets, arguments, debates, trivia contests, and that hunt for a specific dimly remembered song lyric. I was in the last-mentioned mode the other day, when I just had to sort out what song it was that included the lyric, “…sssssighed the snake…” Within a few clicks I had encountered this 1968 one-hit wonder by Al Wilson that is as catchy as hell:

Hadn’t heard it on the radio in a few decades now, but it was coursing around somewhere in the back of my mind. Of course, the song brought up a certain movie scene that also can’t be forgotten. The question arises, though: why is the same story told by Orson Welles in Mr. Arkadin about a frog and a scorpion? It appears that that is the more popular version of the story “often mis-attributed to Aesop” which has a variant known as “the farmer and the snake.” The songwriters obviously wanted to sex the tale up (a “tender woman” is a helluva lot more interesting than a farmer). As the frog and scorpion story (not to be confused with the “Frog and Peach” restaurant), it has had several dozen appearances in popular culture, the best of which has been and will forever be Orson’s telling in his very jumbled and uneven mystery pic Mr. Arkadin (aka Confidential Report,1955). Orson was god.

And totally off the topic of the fable and back onto the pop tune, turns out Al Wilson (who died back in 2008) was not a one-hit wonder by any means. He also gave us the indelible tune “Show and Tell”, and one I vividly remember from my childhood, “The La La Peace Song.” The song was also recorded around the same time by O.C. Smith, but the one I remember was the Wilson version. It’s gotta be the most upbeat song ever to mention racial injustice and skyjacking. Ah, the early Seventies…

FOOTNOTE: And who wrote "The Snake"? Oscar Brown, Jr., who had a very lively life as a singer, songwriter, playwright, poet, and civil rights activist. His Wiki bio can be found here. Nice pedigree for such a memorable tune.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

“No rights, only duties”: new interviews with Uncle Jean

Since I wrote the blog post below, there has been more new Godard-info on the Net. The New York Times has published a review of Film Socialisme that indicates it is indeed the dense and brilliant work we’ve all been expecting it to be. Of course, reading the review my mind went off onto a Godardian tangent, wondering if Manohla Dargis has finally moved to NYC, or whether she’s still telecommuting her reviews in from L.A. (Who would have ever thought that the “paper of record” in a major U.S. capital of culture would make its chief film critic someone who wouldn’t deign to live in the city in which the paper was published? Ah, but then again, I’m so old-fashioned and analog, and her insights are really so invaluable a bi-coastal hookup was totally necessary….)

But, veering away from that missive from the shores of privilege and onto the latest classically contrarian statements by Uncle Jean, I point your attention to the invaluable translations of current Godard interviews being served up on the Cinemasparagus blog by Craig Keller. Craig recently provided translations of various Godard items, including an interview from the film’s press kit and two current magazine/website interviews. The first magazine interview is a chat between Uncle Jean and “child of ’68” turned mainstream politico Daniel Cohn-Bendit in Télérama. The article finds JLG probing his friendship with, and memories of, “Dany” while also noting that he engages in contradiction in his statements not for “fun,” but “to provoke an argument, in the sense of the Greeks.” Craig’s translation can be found here.

Another, even more quotable, interview with the Master can be found in the pages of the current issue of Les Inrockuptibles. Craig has provided a translation of this talk too, and there are plenty of interesting statements from Godard. His latest film took four years to create, and thus he wishes it was distributed in a rather unique way (this odd scenario is offered to both the Inrockuptibles interviewer and Cohn-Bendit). He also voices his support for the Iranian filmmaker Jafar Panahi and (gasp) Roman Polanski. The wonderful phrase from Film Socialisme, “what’s different these days is that the bastards are sincere” is explored; he reaffirms his disinterest in Truffaut’s more conventional later films (they were “not what we were dreaming of”); and he was the one who proposed YouTube as the site for his infamous trailers (which consist of the whole feature sped up to different commercial-style lengths). Find out his view of posterity, ownership of art, intellectual property (take a guess), and the words that might well wind up on his gravestone here.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Why I will continue to love Uncle Jean

News about Godard's latest, Film Socialisme, upon its premiere at the Cannes Film Festival. Followers of his work, and readers of this blog, will remember, that he has already fashioned and made available online a series of trailers that show the film in its entirety, but sped up to a four-minute and a minute-and-a-half duration.

The legendary French film director Jean-Luc Godard, whose latest work, Film Socialisme, is showing at Cannes this week, has decided to run its subtitles in "Navajo English" as in old Westerns where the Native Americans spoke in choppy phrases. Because the drama takes place on a cruise ship where no one speaks the same language, Godard has fashioned his subtitles concisely to say the least. If a character is saying "give me your watch", the subtitle will read "You, me, watch."

The text above appeared on the site for the Independent here. JLG continues to be the oldest enfant terrible around.

Passings in Passing: Lena Horne and Frank Frazetta

I am not personally a collector of the work of Frank Frazetta or Lena Horne, but I certainly admired and respected them. In lieu of obit tributes, I’ll simply link you to some clips and images.

Good galleries of Frazetta’s work can be found at two tributes sites, one put up by a fan and one put up by his family. His work on movie promotional materials is fascinating. Most movie buffs are aware of his self-referential poster for the Eastwood movie The Gauntlet:

But fewer knew he did this promotial image for What’s New Pussycat? (I didn’t, and I have the paperback with it on the cover somewhere):

And he also did this dramatic poster for Polanski’s Fearless Vampire Killers:

And when it comes to the beautiful and talented Ms. Horne, there is little I can say to add to the chorus of praise, so I will spotlight her 1953 appearance on the beloved What’s My Line?:

Her duet with Funhouse deity Sammy Davis Jr. (audio only — they apparently never appeared on TV together?):

And with another Rat Pack member. Lena guests on The Perry Como Show with Dean Martin:

One of her last appearances in a fiction film, in The Wiz, directed by her son-in-law Sidney Lumet (who is a superb director, but may not be the best choice to helm musicals):

And another flashback to that weird period when the “old” met the “new.” Lena covers McCartney’s “Maybe I’m Amazed,” and makes it her own. Why? Who knows?

And remembering her at her all-time prettiest, acting and singing in the two-reeler Boogie Woogie Dream from (1941)

Thursday, May 6, 2010

"Dollybird" with a load of talent: Deceased Artiste Lynn Redgrave

By no means do I want this blog to simply be a collection of obits, but I’m happy to pay tribute to people whose work I’ve admired once they’ve shuffled off this mortal coil. Lynn Redgrave, who died only about a month after her brother Corin, had a busy career that combined both the very high and the extremely low. Impressive stage work alternated with pure crap TV series, but for me she will always be best remembered with two of the finest movies about "Swinging London" in the Sixties — yes, the decade that is the gift that keeps on giving.

First, let us run through the extremely low end of Ms. Redgrave’s resume (I have the utmost respect for her as a person and actress but, well… this is what I do in the Funhouse…). Perhaps the weirdest thing I found in her obits was a scandal I had forgotten about, whereby (try to chart this out) her son married a single mom whose kid, it was revealed, had previously been sired by Ms. Redgrave’s husband, John Clark. That qualifies for “I’m My Own Grandpa” status (with Mr. Clark being both the father and “grandfather” of the kid) but, as an add-on to that very unusual relationship, it was noted that Ms. Redgrave toured with Mr. Clark in the play Love Letters; they gave a special perf of said play to the jurors in the O.J. trial. I have no idea how/why they came up with that play being the proper entertainment for the jurors in a murder trial, but there you have it.

At least one theatrical endeavor that she attempted never saw the light of day, and not through any fault of hers: you can consult the Jerry Lewis biography King of Comedy by Shawn Levy to read why the Broadway-bound version of Hellzapoppin' starring Jerry and Ms. Redgrave died on the road in the mid-Seventies before it hit the Great White Way.

Back on TV, Ms. Redgrave became associated with the Weight Watchers brand for a time through numerous TV commercials, but her TV C.V. is pretty impressive in its schlockiness: The Love Boat, Fantasy Island, the series House Calls (from which she was famously fired for wanting to breastfeed on the set), and later on, Desperate Housewives and Ugly Betty — not forgetting a very odd turn in the Sherilyn Fenn dramedy Rude Awakening where she basically did a knockoff of Joanna Lumley’s character on Absolutely Fabulous. One of the other strange TV choices she made was to appear with her sister Vanessa in a very odd redo of What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? in 1991 (seen above). It is one of the strangest double-acts in TV-movie history, and is eminently watchable, but as you're viewing it, the question "why?" will never leave your mind....

In looking for traces of her more memorably tepid TV work on YouTube, I came up with two shards, one from the completely forgotten sitcom Teachers Only

And the sitcom that paired her with Jackie Mason, the really, really bad Chicken Soup:

Her movie career was quite uneven also, due to the fact that she worked extensively in theater (where she received critical accolades for many performances, especially later in her career). Since I want to get all of the schlock out of the way, let me just spotlight perhaps her most renowned crap lead role, starring in The Happy Hooker (1975):

Thankfully, in the late Nineties, Ms. Redgrave’s movie roles went from fun crap like the above to things like Shine and Gods and Monsters, although she still did appear in some wonderfully campy items like The White Countess, which found Natasha Richardson supported by her mom Vanessa and auntie Lynn, both doing roadshow Chekhov Russian accents. I included a non-Redgrave-sisters scene from that incredibly corny flick in my tribute to Ms. Richardson. Of course, Ms. Redgrave’s greatest personal triumph was her very public struggle with breast cancer. She fought the disease for seven years and finally succumbed to it, but contributed some very inspirational materials (a book with her daughter, plays about her family, and some very personal interviews) while being the trooper she always was, and continuing to work as best she could on a regular basis.

But let’s flash back to the Sixties for my favorite part of Ms. Redgrave’s movie career. First, a little segment from I’ve Got a Secret in 1967, which finds host Steve Allen engaging her in one of the lamer set-ups (they gave up on the “secret” notion somewhere in the early Sixties). She is quite engaging, with her hair piled high upon her head:

She distinguished herself from her sleek, very serious sister Vanessa by playing two wonderful comedy roles in two of the best Swinging London movies ever. The first, Georgy Girl (1966), was a sort of epilogue (along with Alfie) to the “kitchen sink”/angry young man subgenre that required all young men to be rebels and their women to have “a bun in the oven.” Here, Lynn is centerstage and her character, though depicted as dowdy throughout the film (an impression furthered by the inclusion of a hot young “Charlie” Rampling as her friend), is not as helpless as the kitchen-sink girls like Rita Tushingham in A Taste of Honey. She may be the love interest of an energetic young man (Alan Bates) and fawned over by an rich older man (James Mason), but she ultimately chooses her own fate, even if it is a decidedly un-feminist one.

And what makes the film so great besides its three great lead performances and its views of 1966 London? Well, the fucking THEME SONG by the Seekers, for one. It is such an enchanting piece of pop, it literally sums up and adds to the film as a whole, remaining completely unforgettable:

Here is the sequence in which Georgy sings:

And the touching end of the picture, in which the song once more comments on the action while imprinting itself in our heads forever:

The other Swinging London pic Ms. Redgrave made is not as well known as Georgy. Smashing Time is a pastel-colored joy that is all about the impression that London (the fantasy London of the mind) was making on youth around England (and, by extension, around the world). The film is in the mode of referential musicals-with-people-who-can’t-sing, of the type made by Godard (Une Femme est Une Femme) and Rivette later on. The characters in this kind of musical are folks who’ve seen lots of musicals and then live one out in front of our eyes. The movie is charming, ineffably goofy, and a helluva tribute to London in the year it was made, 1967. Here is a trailer made for American viewers:

This is not one of Ms. Redgrave's scenes, but I couldn't overlook the visit to the “Too Much Boutique":

Lynn arrives on Carnaby Street, and there are photographers and models everywhere:

And, lastly, North Country girl Lynn being packaged as a pop superstar even though she's tonedeaf. She's so young! (that's the name of her hit tune, don't get ideas...)