Thursday, November 30, 2006

Cactus Flower


Some things just beg to be "blogged" about. One such thing is the movie CACTUS FLOWER. When I turned it on today (thanks to a tip from McNeil Central) I saw Goldie Hawn, as a record store employee, standing in front of two large smiling heads of Buck Owens (they were on album covers). As you know, Mr. Owens has been a serious object of "blog" contemplation - or "blog"templation, as I call it in my special language of "blogging." But the astounding coincidences didn't end there. Next thing you know, Walter Matthau and Ms. Hawn were off to see a movie: the Zefferelli version of ROMEO AND JULIET, which happens to be a film on which my friend Eugene Walter worked. CACTUS FLOWER is a perfect example of what Jeff McNeil and I would like to discuss in our non-existent coffee table/scholarly research book HIPSTER HEGEMONY, which is, of course, about the way that "subversive" culture was absorbed and repackaged by mainstream comedies of the 60s. I have been told by many people that it's a terrible idea for a book... but you know, it's fantastic for "blogging." Consider the scene in which Goldie Hawn, Ingrid Bergman, Walter Matthau and Jack Weston end up at a hip new joint, The Slipped Disc. Listen to the fake rock-n-roll in the background. At several points, including this one, a muzak version of "I'm a Believer" crops up in the score of CACTUS FLOWER. We could talk about the Monkees for awhile in a similar connection, but I see that this is already becoming one of those "posts" that "need" paragraph breaks, because people become so weary and confused in this lonesome desert we call "blogging." What was I saying? Oh, yes. Someone should compile a CD box set of fake groovy rock from swinging sixties movies. A band that particularly fascinates Mr. McNeil is this sort of mushy psychedelic gang called The Comfortable Chair. I believe Mr. McNeil was on the losing end of an ebay auction for their LP, which was produced by a couple of members of the Doors. The Comfortable Chair play a key role in the Bob Hope/Jackie Gleason film HOW TO COMMIT MARRIAGE, a seminal text in Hipster Hegemony studies. According to HOW TO COMMIT MARRIAGE, The Comfortable Chair live together in a single apartment and share all their belongings communist-style. This is not an accessible Bob Hope film. He made many legitimately hilarious movies, and some decent, pleasant workhorses, then some that are wonderful in a "bad" way... and then there is HOW TO COMMIT MARRIAGE. It may be truly abominable. And I love Bob Hope. It's hypnotic, is what it is. Mr. McNeil may have more to say on the subject of HOW TO COMMIT MARRIAGE in the future.