Thursday, January 17, 2008

Bunny Lake is Missing

In recent years, aging baby boomers are able to revisit (or perhaps visit for the first time) movies originally made in the sixties, but not widely shown at the time. For example, Bunny Lake is Missing, one of the weirdest yet most sixtieish movies of the sixties, was mostly known to us through the Mad Magazine parody. Another Otto Preminger movie that features Jackie Gleason taking LSD, "Skidoo", was largely unknown to most people in the sixties. Thanks to the Internet, dvd's and cable tv, artifacts of the sixties are in many cases more available now than when they were in the sixties.

A high school kid would hear the name Andy Warhol occasionally, but his movies rarely made it across the Hudson River when they were new. One of the scariest thoughts I have ever had was, "Can you imagine if they had the Internet in the sixties?". For being a kid, even a hip intellectual kid in the sixties, you only knew about things as rumours or long after they happened. Brian Jones dying I only found out about two days later, and that was because the disc jockey at WKBW casually mentioned it before playing "Honky Tonk Women". That John Lennon said the Beatles were more popular than Christ comment took weeks to reach my ears.

When the mainstream media did portray the sixties scene, it was always with beautiful blonde hippie girls with rich fathers and tall sculptured young male hippies with long hair and dirty clothes. Beatnicks were represented by Maynard G. Krebs in the classic sit com the Many Loves of Dobie Gillis. The Monkees were the cleaned up version of actual rock bands and their shenanigans. Perhaps that's what made things so fascinating to kids at the time was that information was harder to come by. Except for the Mommas and the Poppas. Every kid knew all the details of their lusty lives.

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