Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Watch Kool-Aid turn into Electric Kool-Aid--Rafelson and Schneider Style

(Oh god, he's delving into film AGAIN?!)

If you have a few minutes (which you obviously do if you're reading this), check out the various thematic, visual similarities in these two clips. Both are from those legends of cutting-edge American cinema, Bob Rafelson and (the recently deceased) Bert Schneider.  (and, though Dennis Hopper and Jack Nicholson weren't involved in The Monkees TV Series, they were hanging out towards the end of it, both for the fun times and research for Head). And yes, I realize that Schneider and Rafelson's roles in each of these clips aren't completely analogous. But they were both involved in one way or another. 

Clip One is from The Monkees in Paris. (One of the strangest episodes-- There's no dialog except in the opening and closing scene, which have The Monkees arguing with the director about the monotony of all the show's scripts). Anyway, this episode is grainy, shot on location all around Paris, and features chicks in mini skirts, guys in leather fringe jackets, a slightly druggy, arty, disturbing vibe, and a scene shot in a cemetery. There's no straight up sex (like in the Easy Rider clip), but some implied sex. And it's just FRANTIC.
Of course, it's from a TV show marketed for 10 year olds, so like I say, this is straight up Kool Aid. Maybe with a couple extra teaspoons of sugar for added fun (and a horrible come down, man.)

Clip Two is from the legendary Easy Rider, filmed only two years later, when The Monkees were still around, but as cold as last week's mac and cheese. 
More chicks in mini skirts, more dudes in fringe, more grainy, on location shots, more disturbing moods, and another scene in a cemetery. But this time, the Kool-Aid had most definitely been spiked.
And, having read some about the making of this film, Dennis Hopper did his very best to make this scene as realistic as possible. It sounds like he was out of his Feck-in head (get it?). For example,  Peter Fonda is really and truly bumming out with that statue. Hopper made him think of some horrible personal stuff while Fonda was in a, shall we say, susceptible state of mind. Nice.
I don't think any one made any one in the Monkees do the same.
So dig.
Oh, hey: 
If you have time, watch all of both, and see the parallels. If you're in a rush, go to 8:30 in clip one and 5:30 in clip two and watch each for 2 minutes.  You'll hopefully see what I mean. Parallels, man, Par-a-llels-uh!

The Monkees in Paris--1967

Easy Rider--1969

And in case you didn't hit the Head link above, here's the one minute goodie you missed and that ties this mother together.

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