I can’t find the comment on this blog that recommended this film, but whoever you are, I am so grateful. I’ve never seen a film that captured the special spirit of San Francisco in the mid-60s as well as this one. It’s hard to describe what went on in the Haight-Ashbury district from say, 1963 to 1967 (when the “Summer of Love” proved to be the death knell). It was a joyous, harmonious, sharing, open, friendly, and loving community, and the San Francisco music was unique. It wasn’t London or New York or the Beatles, Stones, or Dylan; it was uniquely San Francisco, and the Red Dog Saloon in Nevada city played a key role in the music and style and spirit of the times.
If you were there, I’d hazard to say you’ll love this movie. They got it right! A bunch of it was filmed in 1991, and all of these people are still together: articulate and insightful. Filmmakers and editors did a fabulous job of piecing together videos, stills and interviews. The music! The clothing! The hair!
The Charlatans and Big Brother and the Holding Company stand up to the test of time. The latter was one of my favorite bands (before Janice came along). (Deadheads, there is no Grateful Dead music in this film.) There is one beautiful mandala-like sequence of the ’60s posters, giving you a sense of this powerful new art form. A bunch of wonderful black-and-white stills interspersed with moving footage. The reminiscing comes off well. There was joy then, boy was there, and it’s adequately reflected here.
Plus the DVD is $3.99.
Music du jour: Keep on Smilin’ by the Wet Willie Band/I Don’t Trust You Man by Willie Big Eyes”Smith/Amsterdam Rag by Ben Prestage