No idea if there is a list for this yet, but I think I will keep this as kind of…
Don't Rock the boat… Sink it.
Swope is the only black man on the executive board of an advertising firm, and is accidentally put in charge after the death of the chairman of the board.
Absurdist satire of the highest order, Putney Swope is painfully funny, ludicrous, and jarringly incongruous. Among the subjects that find themselves under its scathing gaze are commercialism, ideological extremism, and racial and gender rights. Nothing is sacred, nothing is safe. From today's viewpoint, it's easy for the viewer to distance themselves from the issues thanks to the film's dated language and delivery, but Swope's power lies in the increasingly prescient presentation of those issues. Advertising that relies on sex and crudity, the government's role in corporate dealings, and the cult-of-personality applied to nearly anyone in show business; to think that we were warned of these things in 1969 makes their reality today all the more sadly hilarious.
It's a bit…
Putney Swope is an adventure in, "What can we get away with?"
This is a film from Robert Downey Sr. the man who gave us such treasures as Robert Downey Jr. The latter has obviously garnered more fame than the former, but who was given more to the world of film? Sr. has influenced such filmmakers as Paul Thomas Anderson and Louis C.K., making some of the most controversial films of the 1960s and 70s. Putney Swope is his most well known and most borrowed from. It's a movie that puts laughter first, with style following closely behind. A movie that simultaneous makes you a better and a worse person for having watched it.
Putney Swope is about a black…
"Rockin' the boat's a drag. You gotta sink the boat!"
Paul Thomas Anderson always talks about Putney Swope and the Influence Robert Downey Sr. had on him. He spends a lot of the time on his Boogie Nights commentary talking about it and working with RDS on the film (he played the record label guy who wouldn't let Dirk take his album). I was listening to an incredible two hour interview with him and Marc Maron on the WTF podcast (I would really reccomend listening to it, he goes into depth about all of his movies. It even shaped where I want to go for college), and again this movie came up. It seems to come up in many interviews…
Putney Swope is one of the most offensive comedies I've ever seen. It's jokes consist mainly of racist, sexist, and ableist humour, but since the movie is such an obvious satire it's content doesn't become problematic. The supporting characters are little more than stereotypes, and this helps the films interpretation of 1960s America and its many cultural problems.
Downey Sr. is being critical of both the radicals and the reactionaries, taking no side of his own and pointing towards a type of anarchism. None of Putney's behaviour makes any logical sense; he fires employees on a whim, protests against marketing certain items while using obscene methods of advertising his products, and he attempts to keep a code of ethics despite…
In terms of humor and satire, it's like Blazing Saddles on steroids.
If it could only have kept up the quality of the introductory scene. That is one hilarious way to open a film.
The film as a whole feels like a bunch of guys sat in a room and came up with one-liners and they just threw them haphazardly into the script.
It is perhaps unfair to judge this harshly in 2014, as it is very much set in its' time, and probably was a way more raunchy experience in 1969.
I still managed a few laughs throughout, but it's too disjointed to be categorized as a success.
what the fuck even is this movie? it's so messy and feels like something a group of fourteen year olds did on a weekend.
This is a strange movie, make no mistake about it. It's crass, dated, slightly insensitive and confusing. But for film enthusiasts, it's a must see. Robert Downey Sr. doesn't make movies for any audience, so dare yourselves to sit through this one. But you'll be pleasantly surprised by how eclectic and surreally hilarious most of the film is.
This is no doubt a brilliant satire, I just found it a bit hard to sit through.
"You can't eat an air conditioner."
Kind of impossible to live up to its own premise. Enjoyed it well enough, and might want a second screening when I'm slightly more awake (I missed a few scenes to sleep and had to go back to watch them). The first ten minutes are incredible, though.
The firecrackers in Boogie Nights finally make sense...kind of. This was damn n̶e̶a̶r̶ incomprehensible, but I do appreciate the (decipherable) satire, absurdism, and the lack of fucks given. Also, Truth and Soul should make, like, all the commercials.
1969 - Nixon is president, Vietnam is raging, the Black Panthers are on the rise. It's been one year since the deaths of MLK and RFK. Four years since Malcolm X. The revolutions have failed and it's just a few short years before Watergate and the hedonistic hangover of the 70s begins.
"Putney Swope," in it's spellbinding madness, is a satire of the most savage variety. The title character is an accidental president, voted CEO of an advertising company because everybody thought they were throwing away their vote on the guy no one wanted. He immediately fires the old staff and brings on a radical all-black staff and rebrands the company "Truth and Soul Inc."
That "Inc." is the giveaway…
I did not know that anything this straight-up fucking weird was being made in the 60s. Feels like proto-Tim and Eric at times, with more political anger.
Hands down one of the best episodes of Mad Men.
This list is the Letterboxd version of The Oxford History of World Cinema.
The book celebrates and chronicles over one…
Missing films I can't locate on Letterboxd:
Blonde Ambition (1981)
The Devil in Miss Jones (1972)
I Like to Watch…