Movies that are slightly off.
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…
"The Pimple Song" should have topped the charts in '69.
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…
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.
Truth and Soul, 100%.
A lot better than I thought it'd be, kinda Fassbinder-y in terms of tha themes. There's also something strangely rhythmic, borderline musical at play, couldn't quite get my finger on it this time, but there were many chunks of dialogue I could imagine getting spun off into beats of some kind. The ethereal cereal commercial gets used on the new Avalanche's record, not what I was thinking, but maybe I'm on the right track.
A very tasteful, arty parable about the perils and rewards of selling out.
An irreverent and edgy satire centered in a through-the-looking-glass version of the golden age of American advertising. With just as much scope in terms of social commentary, Putney Swope stands on similar footing as Dr. Strangelove, but with a bent toward the realm of pseudo-meta blaxploitation. As well, it holds its own with Easy Rider, also released in 1969, as a progenitor for modern American independent cinema.
Antonio Fargas is my spirit animal.
So Robert Downey Jr's father, Robert Downey, directed this insane madcap comedy which has been cited by Louis C.K and Paul Thomas Anderson as a huge influence on their work, that also being the reason I sought out this film in the first place.
Now that I've watched it, I don't know exactly what to think. This racist, homophobic, sexist film is both hilarious and tedious, in my mind it bounced between a one star and a five star rating at times. It's definitely an obtuse film with some of the most unorthodox yet original editing I've seen in a film from that period and even now.
You can see this film's DNA in C.K's television show 'Louie', as well…
What a wonderfully bizarre yet utterly hilarious film. The film reeks of underground with its cinematography, themes, and issues, yet it manages to be wittier and punchier than many comedies even today.
If you're feeling overwhelmed, but still want to squeeze a film into your daily routine, this list is made for…
I have 2 questions.
First, since joining Letterboxd, what film have you logged the most times, and how many times…