Have a Psychedelic Summer 40th Anniversary of the Summer of Love Film Festival
Friday – Thursday September 7-14
The Grand Illusion Cinema
1403 NE 50th Seattle Wa 98105
206 523 3935
It was forty years ago that young people from around the United States flocked to the Haight Ashbury district in San Francisco for the Summer of Love. Media coverage took what had been brewing in Haight-Ashbury for a couple of years and exposed Hippies to the national audience. The Summer of Love lasted only that one summer, but flower children returning to their homes spread the hippie counterculture across the nation. Two years later Woodstock helped define the generation and Altamont helped end it.
Friday September 7 7:00 and 9:00 The Hippie Temptation 16mm
In 1967 CBS sent reporter Harry Reasoner to San Francisco to report on the Summer of Love. The report that aired on Tuesday August 22, 1967 was titled THE HIPPIE TEMPTATION. It opens with Harry Reasoner walking down the street in Haight Ashbury saying “This Harry Reasoner reporting from San Francisco without flowers in his hair.” The sets stage for his frowning look at what he finds. He found lots of young kids loitering on the streets and in the parks. He visits the house of the Grateful Dead. He attends a concert and light show featuring the group Canned Heat. He visits Dr. Dave and the Haight Free Clinic. He attends a street party with the Grateful Dead playing. He also spends time interviewing a doctor who shows examples of the chromosome damage caused by using LSD. Oops, that last one wasn’t exactly factual reporting. CBS was the station of Walter Cronkite and was a trus ted source for the news. With only three national television stations and Tuesday being a slow night, it is probable that 50 percent of the viewing public tuned into the report. One year later CBS would premiere 60 Minutes, with Harry Reasoner and Mike Wallace as the first hosts. The Hippie Temptation is 50 minutes long. It will be preceded by a program of two 1960’s anti-war shorts. The first is the earliest American anti-war film of the sixties “Toys On a Field Of Blue” which was made by the actor Richard Evans in 1961 when he was 26. Mr. Evans went on to be a prolific television actor. The second is “Vari?ci?k egy t?m?ra” (Variations On a Theme) made in 1961 in Hungary by Istvan Szabo. Mr. Szabo later won the Oscar for best foreign film of 1981 with his “Mephisto.”
Saturday September 8 7:00 LSD and Other Drug Scare Films 16mm
This program of educational scare films will conclude with a send up of them done in Portland, Oregon in 1972 by a couple of high school kids. That film is Drugs Killers or Dillers? It was made by Tim Smith and Matt Groening. Yes, that Matt Groening. It will be preceded by Beyond LSD, LSD Trip or Trap (made by Sid Davis), The Day I Died, and All My Tomorrows. All of these are great, but All My Tomorrows is particularly effective. The last time I showed it in Seattle it started a a discussion at Internet Archive Forums . Drugs Killers or Dillers is a wonderful film and even better when seen in the context of when it was made.
Saturday September 8 9:00 Wild In the Streets 35mm
Wow! Cranked into production during the Summer of Love and released early in 1968, this American International Pictures teen epic is the ultimate LSD nightmare. It is about a rock star who becomes president of the United States and puts everyone over the age of 30 into concentration camps where they are force fed LSD. The rock star is played by Christopher Jones. Richard Pryor is a member of his cabinet. Shelley Winters is his mom. She doesn’t just get sent to the over thirty concentration camp, she is killed there attempting to escape. Just another of the great examples of Shelley dying on screen. The hit song (Nothing Can Change The) Shape of Things to Come was written by Cynthia Weil and Barry Man. Les Baxter, the “King of Exotica” did the soundtrack music.
Sunday September 9 7:00 and 9:00 Defining the 60’s Through Classic Commercials 16mm
100 commercials from the 60’s, many in glorious black and white. See the hair, cars, cosmetics, medicine, underwear, food, toothpaste, and more. Many featuring performers you will recognize including Lily Tomlin (a very funny laundry detergent ad), Ron Howard, Tony Randall and Anita Bryant, Pat Pauslen, and others. This is also a chance to see classic ads for the the product that was banned from Television advertisements in 1971, Cigarettes. The commercials will be seen in their respective groups preceded by intertitles. As Norman Douglas said “You can tell the ideals of a nation by their advertisements.”
Monday September 10 7:00 The Young Animals (aka Born Wild, 1968) 35mm
Another A.I.P teen epic rushed into production in 1967 and premiered early the next year. It was directed by Maury Dexter and written by James Gordon White. Mr. Dexter had a long career starting with low budget trash that culminated with his 1968 trifecta of Maryjane, The Mini-Skirt Mob, and The Young Animals. After that he worked with Michael Landon on Little House on the Prairie and Highway To Heaven. After the death of Michael Landon, Mr. Dexter retired. The writer James Gordon White specialized in racial and class conflict in his screenplays. His first writing credit was for The Hellcats (aka Biker Babes, 1967). He really hit his stride the next year with The Glory Stompers. His final screenplay was for the amazing The Thing With Two Heads (1972) starring Ray Milland and Rosy Grier as the black and white heads on one man’s body. As hard as it may be to believe, that was the follow up to his The Amazing Two Headed Transplant (1971).
The psychedelic rock bands Orphan Egg and The American Revolution both perform. Orphan Egg does the song In Big Letters. For unknown reasons you can find Orphan Egg on the Grateful Dead Family Discography http://www.deaddisc.com/GDFD_Orphan_Egg.htm. The American Revolution does the song Love Has Got Me Down. They produced one LP in 1968.
The Young Animals examines racial conflict and violence between white and Chicano students at a California high school. It is a much better film than one would expect. Surprisingly, quality actors lead the way. Tom Nardini (Cat Ballou) and Patty McCormick (The Bad Seed) are both excellent. David Macklin is also very good as a Mexican hating wasp psychopath.
Monday September 10 9:00 She Devils on Wheels 1968 35mm
This double feature examines parental fears of parents during the Summer of Love. They didn’t have just LSD and Hippies to contend with. They also had to worry about biker gangs and racial strife. She Devils on Wheels is a Herschell Gordon Lewis biker chick flick. It was distributed by A.I.P. The theme song “Get Off the Road” was performed by the Florida garage band Faded Blue. It was later covered by The Cramps. The plot concerns a female biker club called The Maneaters and their domination of male bikers. Herschell Gordon Lewis went from being a exploitation film maker to the being the guru of direct marketing. Wow, talk about joining the establishment.
Tuesday September 11 7:00 The Viet Nam War and How We Got There 16mm
This program features the CBS Special Report from 1967 PULL THE HOUSE DOWN. It features Harry Reasoner and his son Stuart. The general issue is the generation gap. The specific issue is Viet Nam. It has great footage of events and good dialogue between Harry and Stuart. It ends with John Sebastian singing his song Younger Generation. It starts with the Department of Defense film The US Soldier (c1962) showing “advisers in SE Asia and touting our ability to hit the enemy with a “nuclear” punch. The second film is the US Government film The Only War We Seek (1963) which is about The US Agency for International Development. It is an amazing at foreign aid at this pivotal time and never once claims to be “spreading democracy.”
Tuesday September 11 9:00 Examining 60’s Teenage Angst 16mm
The National Film Board of Canada allowed film makers to make films on topics ignored in America. This programs examines the roots of youth dissatisfaction with the establishment. No Reason to Stay is a film made in 1966 about a teenage boy who decides to drop out of high school. It is an amazing film. Also in the program is the NFB film ” The Summer We Moved to Elm Street “. It is story of a young girl and her alcoholic father. It is one of my very favorite films. The third film is ” The Game ” made in 1966 by George Kaczender. It concerns boy teens who have a garage band and their introduction to sex. All three films will floor you with their willingness to to tackle subjects seriously that were ignored in America.
Wednesday September 12 7:00 and 9:00 Setting the Music Stage: Scopitone A Go Go 16mm
Most people know what Psychedelic Music is. This program will help show what immediately pre-ceded it. Specifically it covers the Pop music scene that existed before the Beatles and the British Invasion. This will be an all American Scopitone show featuring Procol Harum, Bobby Vee, Dick and Dee Dee, Joi Lansing, Danny Whitten, Paul Anka, Jody Miller, Debbie Reynolds, and many more. It will similar to my famous Scoptione a Go-Go which I did in NYC and that was covered on MTV in 1997.
Thursday September 12 7:00 and 9:00 The Psychedelic Music Show
Great and rare late sixties performance films featuring Janis Joplin, Jefferson Airplane, The Doors, Jimi Hendrix, Sly and the Family Stone, John Lennon, Creedence Clearwater Revival, and more. The Complete Psychedelic Music Show list:
CREEDENCE CLEARWATER REVIVAL, LOOKING OUT MY BACKDOOR, 1970. Creedence was a Bay Area band getting lots of SF gigs in 1967 before going wide in 1968.
JANIS, Trailer for the 1974 documentary film about Janis Joplin.
JANIS JOPLIN, with THE COSMIC BLUES BAND, does TRY (“just a little bit harder”). She is introduced by David Steinberg, host of The Music Scene Show television show.
SLY AND THE FAMILY STONE sing LIFE, a really great music video, color, 1968.
JIMI HENDRIX performs FOXY LADY, an exceptional film by Charlatan Production.
DOORS ON MT. TAM do a long version of LIGHT MY FIRE, color, 1968.
JOHN LENNON, BED-IN FILM shot 6/1/69 with Tim Leary, Smothers Brothers, Murry the K. and Alan Ginsberg watching John and Yoko stay in bed for peace. The music track is COLD TURKEY, Color.
JOHN LENNON, SLIPPING AND SLIDING from Rock and Roll album session, Harry Nillson on piano, color,
INSTANT KARMA, John Lennon and Yoko Ono TV event called People For Peace “lets all shine on…” 1970, color, ROLLING STONES’ LADY JANE, 1966, with footage of young girls attacking a young Mick.
JEFFERSON AIRPLANE at the Fillmore with light show. They sing Its No Secret (Signe Anderson is the singer – before Grace). The co-stars on the program were The Dead. Also shows the Airplane rehearsing at the Matrix. 1968. Great footage of the Fillmore and the crowd coming to the show.
ANIMALS, SAN FRANCISCO NIGHTS, 1967, color.
RICK NELSON as a hippie in striped pants singing DON’T MAKE PROMISES, film produced by Charatan Productions, color.
1910 FRUIT GUM COMPANY perform TAKE A GIANT STEP and SIMON SAYS, 1968, very silly images, color, Budah Records, Charlatan Productions.
BILL MEDLEY, formerly of the Righteous Brothers, sings PEACE BROTHER PEACE, 1968, part animated, color.
BEACH BOYS, TIME TO GET ALONG, a forgotten masterpiece, shows them in recording studio, color.
SAM THE SHAM, BOOGEY FARMER (Sam is now the Reverend Sam Samudial), color, 3m. Check out Sam the Sham a very cool guy.
MYSTERY PERFORMER The end for the show, a performer who really shows how inclusive Hippie music could be. He performed at the Moneterey Pop Festival