Wonderful is the obvious but apt accolade for this strangely obscure little gem made literally at the peak of what became known as 'Swinging London' or more generally the 'Swinging Sixties'. It looks absolutely fabulous with superb costumes and stunning sets. As for locations, I eventually tracked down the reservoirs at West Molesey as the primary source with Beesborough being the primary one and I assume the associated pumping station was that used both for the workplace scenes and the later rather manic cycle machine scenes. I had never realised the close connection between the Beatles and Roman Polanski but writer Gerard Brach (Cul de Sac, What? Fearless Vampire Killers and the film under discussion) seems to have been the main link, although actor Ian Quarrier and director Joe Masot were apparently big on the 'scene' during 1967 and 1968. George Harrison made considerable contributions to British cinema of the time but his more extreme Indian influences to this soundtrack are probably the only let down. Fortunately director Massot has assembled an alternative cut of the film using the original Wonderwall sessions and this makes for a much more acceptable viewing. Jack MacGowran, much favoured by Samuel Beckett but also appeared in Cul de Sac and Fearless Vampire Killers, is perfect in the role of obsessive mad professor cum obsessive peeping tom. Which brings us to Jane Birkin, who doesn't do too much in this (she doesn't even speak) but is 1967/68 London personified. She has that 'look', she can wear those clothes (or not) and moves with a grace that almost takes the breath away. Something between a butterfly and a gazelle. she floats through the film seemingly effortlessly, her role simply to move about with or without clothes and to 'react' to others. Fab film that captures perfectly a moment in time.
The eccentric professor Oscar Collins lives completely secluded in his chaotic apartment. When a model (Penny Lane) and her photographer boyfriend move in next to him, he becomes fascinated...
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April 10, 2019