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Cameron H.

Musical Mondays Week 90 Hair

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4 hours ago, Cameron H. said:

“Sodomy—✅

Fellatio—✅

Cunnilingus—✅

Pederasty—What the fuck?!?

Is that like walking around instead of driving?

3 hours ago, Cameron H. said:

According to IMDB, both Bruce Springsteen and Madonna auditioned for parts. Better movie? 

Depends on the roles they got. Obviously in this version of the story it would be Berger and Shelia right? Madonna as Shelia? I buy it. Springsteen as Berger... not so sure.

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2 hours ago, Quasar Sniffer said:

I guess another problem I have with getting behind the movie is that... the Vietnam War was objectively horrible, and the only characters who recognized that were these self-serving, myopic free-love-obsessed morons, but the most self-actualized character, Claude, is making a conscious choice to go. It's clear going to Vietnam isn't his first choice of how to spend his youth, but he doesn't go out of his way to avoid it. So if only idiots express any antipathy to war, where does the movie stand? Obviously, the military does not come off great, but we're exposed to its hypocrisy for much less screen time than the band of hippies.

For me I got the read that Claude didn't want to die in war but at the same time he had to go. I imagine his father was in Korea or the second World War or something so there was a sense of obligation and duty he had to enlist when drafted. He was still young and naive and despite everything he was determined to go fight. Granted I don't know if any of us were around at the time (I don't think so) but I imagine his attitude was pretty prevalent. I know my father was in the navy at the time and didn't want to go but he knew if he got the orders to go he'd have to. I think the ending is the movies judgement on Vietnam. Like you said it was objectively horrible and even at the time the people knew it. The ending of having this young life snuffed up and showing the many graves of presumably similar people is a reflection on the cost of the war. Then we cut to the crowd of people outside the White House basically protesting. The characters now dressed more 'square' have been matured by the cost of war. It's brief but it's there. Not to mention when Berger is yelling at the rich party guest that Claude was going to die to protect them and their way of life to their disinterest and care. I think this is the express the general meaningless of the war as well. What is he fighting to protect? How is this actually affecting their lives? 

I think part of the problem is you have a play written during the war and the movie many years after the war. You have two different mindsets at both times. However, do you rewrite the play to reflect that? Completely change the ending? I think the decision to have Claude be a reluctant outsider makes more sense and says more about war than having a leader of a group of hippies decide to listen to his draft orders like in the play. One you have the conflicted everyman who is hearing both sides that realizes he can't fight the man, the other you have a committed antiwar person who gives in. I haven't seen the play but the story may justify that more in the real version. In a post war version in seems a bit odd. In the end, I'll have to find the quote, but when looking up about the differences between the play and the movie there was a quote from Milos Forman who found hippies and to a degree the war to be boring. He wanted to focus more on the lives it affected.

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7 hours ago, Cameron H. said:

“Sodomy—✅

Fellatio—✅

Cunnilingus—✅

Pederasty—What the fuck?!?

"What the fuck?"?!?  They just listed four ways to fuck!  Were you not paying attention? 🙂

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17 hours ago, AlmostAGhost said:

Yea I wondered this in my Letterboxd. I truly couldn't tell. It seems like it's supposed to pro-hippie, but also goes out of the way to make them look pathetic. I kind of wish it had a bit more of a stance on this.

But I did like it, it's super crazy. The songs are NUTS. The situations are even weirder. 

But honestly, I found the deeply ironic ending to be really good. It's all sort of nonsense before that, but I thought it was a good twist ending. 

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5 hours ago, Cam Bert said:

For me I got the read that Claude didn't want to die in war but at the same time he had to go. I imagine his father was in Korea or the second World War or something so there was a sense of obligation and duty he had to enlist when drafted. He was still young and naive and despite everything he was determined to go fight. Granted I don't know if any of us were around at the time (I don't think so) but I imagine his attitude was pretty prevalent. I know my father was in the navy at the time and didn't want to go but he knew if he got the orders to go he'd have to. I think the ending is the movies judgement on Vietnam. Like you said it was objectively horrible and even at the time the people knew it. The ending of having this young life snuffed up and showing the many graves of presumably similar people is a reflection on the cost of the war. Then we cut to the crowd of people outside the White House basically protesting. The characters now dressed more 'square' have been matured by the cost of war. It's brief but it's there. Not to mention when Berger is yelling at the rich party guest that Claude was going to die to protect them and their way of life to their disinterest and care. I think this is the express the general meaningless of the war as well. What is he fighting to protect? How is this actually affecting their lives? 

I think part of the problem is you have a play written during the war and the movie many years after the war. You have two different mindsets at both times. However, do you rewrite the play to reflect that? Completely change the ending? I think the decision to have Claude be a reluctant outsider makes more sense and says more about war than having a leader of a group of hippies decide to listen to his draft orders like in the play. One you have the conflicted everyman who is hearing both sides that realizes he can't fight the man, the other you have a committed antiwar person who gives in. I haven't seen the play but the story may justify that more in the real version. In a post war version in seems a bit odd. In the end, I'll have to find the quote, but when looking up about the differences between the play and the movie there was a quote from Milos Forman who found hippies and to a degree the war to be boring. He wanted to focus more on the lives it affected.

To build on this, I wonder, outside of counter the counter culture, how against the war America actually was at the time. Of course, when we look back at it, we know it was a stupid war, but when I look at contemporary films, an anti-war bias isn’t exactly prevalent. I’m thinking of movies like The Graduate that came out during the war, starring a character that should be concerned about being drafted now that he’s no longer in school, or the fact MASH was set in Korea because he couldn’t do a movie about Vietnam. According to this contemporary  New York Times article , the war was still pretty popular in 1965-66 and that didn’t really flip flop until 69. Since this movie is set in 68, it feels like it might fill that transitional time.

Even the characters that oppose or support the war seem confused as to why. Claude tells Hud he’s going to “protect him,” and the characters that try to get him out of fighting seem to do so out of self-serving motivations (e.g. “Marry me then you don’t have to go—and my baby will have a father.”)

Also, there is a rally in the middle of the movie, but honestly, it’s pretty sparse whereas the protest at the end fills the streets. Maybe I’m reading too much into it, but it feels to me like the movie is making a commentary regarding hindsight. That is, yes, we all know it’s stupid now, but at the time, it was a little more complicated.

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I didn't like Berger because he would ham it up.

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23 hours ago, grudlian. said:

The movie had some pretty notable changes apparently. Claude was the leader of the hippies. He died instead of Berger. So, I don't know if the more complex view of the hippies is due to hindsight or updating it for the times. Has anyone seen the musical?

I've seen the musical, but it's been so long I don't remember much except the musical showed more dongs than the movie.

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6 minutes ago, tomspanks said:

I've seen the musical, but it's been so long I don't remember much except the musical showed more dongs than the movie.

You’re saying the movie needed more hairy, 70’s dick. Got it 😉

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So...the Sargent whose clothes they stole...he’s dead, right?

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50 minutes ago, Cameron H. said:

So...the Sargent whose clothes they stole...he’s dead, right?

Wow.  I hadn't thought of that.  Also Claude being at Arlington would seem to mean he was dishonorably discharged for that.

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13 hours ago, Cameron H. said:

@grudlian.and @AlmostAGhost, how do you feel about Bob Dylan’s “I Contain Multitudes?”

I didn't even know this came out until now!

I think it's pretty good. I guess it feels like a bit of a let down after Murder Most Foul but that's a bit unfair.

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55 minutes ago, Cameron H. said:

So...the Sargent whose clothes they stole...he’s dead, right?

He must be. Otherwise he'd probably have been able to figure out the switch between Claude and Berger.

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9 minutes ago, grudlian. said:

He must be. Otherwise he'd probably have been able to figure out the switch between Claude and Berger.

It was listed as a goof on IMDB, and I didn’t notice at the time, but the tombstone at the end has Berger’s name, not Claude’s. This means that at some point the military discovered the switcheroo, but didn’t do anything about it.

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1 minute ago, Cameron H. said:

It was listed as a goof on IMDB, and I didn’t notice at the time, but the tombstone at the end has Berger’s name, not Claude’s. This means that at some point the military discovered the switcheroo, but didn’t do anything about it.

I noticed that.  I figured it was supposed to be emblematic of the military's lack of care for their soldiers.  A warm body was a warm body.  It seemed strange that the soldiers were only given three minutes to get ready to go overseas and then they were marching to the plane.

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Poor Mrs. Garrett.  She went from rich partier to housekeeper.

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20 minutes ago, Cinco DeNio said:

Poor Mrs. Garrett.  She went from rich partier to housekeeper.

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Yeah, I noticed this too! This movie is a wealth of 80s maternal figures. Nell Carter from Gimme A Break. Beverly D'Angelo from Vacation.

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51 minutes ago, Cameron H. said:

It was listed as a goof on IMDB, and I didn’t notice at the time, but the tombstone at the end has Berger’s name, not Claude’s. This means that at some point the military discovered the switcheroo, but didn’t do anything about it.

Weird. There goes my theory that Claude has to live his days as Berger, much like Don Draper did in Mad Men.

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2 hours ago, Cameron H. said:

You’re saying the movie needed more hairy, 70’s dick. Got it 😉

I feel that way about most movies.

51 minutes ago, Cameron H. said:

It was listed as a goof on IMDB, and I didn’t notice at the time, but the tombstone at the end has Berger’s name, not Claude’s. This means that at some point the military discovered the switcheroo, but didn’t do anything about it.

I thought that was done on purpose.  It made me think of his poor mom, who just wanted to clean his pants...

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1 hour ago, grudlian. said:

I didn't even know this came out until now!

I think it's pretty good. I guess it feels like a bit of a let down after Murder Most Foul but that's a bit unfair.

Neither did I! I was just flipping through new releases and saw it. I agree with you. It’s a good song, but “Murder Most Foul” is freaking epic.

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5 hours ago, tomspanks said:

I feel that way about most movies.

I thought that was done on purpose.  It made me think of his poor mom, who just wanted to clean his pants...

IMDB has a mention of the tombstone in the Goofs section.  That says the Army discovered Berger's real name at some point.  They kept him since he was supposed to be drafted anyway.  (He burns his draft card when we first meet the hippies.)

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12 minutes ago, Cinco DeNio said:

IMDB has a mention of the tombstone in the Goofs section.  That says the Army discovered Berger's real name at some point.  They kept him since he was supposed to be drafted anyway.  (He burns his draft card when we first meet the hippies.)

That’s right! He does, doesn’t he?

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7 minutes ago, Cinco DeNio said:

IMDB has a mention of the tombstone in the Goofs section.  That says the Army discovered Berger's real name at some point.  They kept him since he was supposed to be drafted anyway.  (He burns his draft card when we first meet the hippies.)

The buddy-stands-in-for-his-dead-friend is a pretty standard war movie trope dating back to the 40s if not earlier, and as someone pointed out spoilerly, it's a major plot point in TV's Mad Men.

I watched a lot of war movies and had a particular interest in Viet Nam growing up, because it was winding down and America was starting to cope with the aftermath, cinematically and otherwise, in the late 70s with films like Apocalypse Now and The Deer Hunter (and even, a bit later, First Blood). I see the film of Hair as a bit of a cynical cash-in on both the respectability of the Viet Nam films so far and the sudden popularity of retro movie musicals, especially Grease. That said, the film itself is OK, not aging terribly well like many musicals. Watching it now feels the way it feels to watch Rent. Like you've found your old View-Master and some forgotten reels.

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I felt like adding, I hate that it's called Hair. It has nothing to do with anything. I know the relation between hippies and hair, let it flow, but it's such a stupid reference point for the film. Also it's just another aspect that makes me assume they're mocking the hippies. 

How many of the songs could have been more interesting titles? Age of Aquarius

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6 minutes ago, AlmostAGhost said:

How many of the songs could have been more interesting titles? Age of Aquarius

...

Sodomy?

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25 minutes ago, AlmostAGhost said:

I felt like adding, I hate that it's called Hair. It has nothing to do with anything. I know the relation between hippies and hair, let it flow, but it's such a stupid reference point for the film. Also it's just another aspect that makes me assume they're mocking the hippies. 

How many of the songs could have been more interesting titles? Age of Aquarius

I don’t mind the title so much. I think the Berger voluntarily cutting off his hair for Claude, especially when he was so adamant he would never cut his hair earlier in the film, is effective—if facile— narrative shorthand. 

I don’t, however, like that he’s proud of the fleas in his hair.

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