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Related: 1960s

Trends: The London counterculture - Fanny Hill (1750) (legalized in the USA)

Founding of: The UFO (Underground Freak Out) club - Superstudio - Archizoom

Films: Blow Up (1966) - Chelsea Girls (1966) - The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966) - Persona (1966) - Le Streghe (1966) - The Wild Angels (1966) -

Novels: Gordon (1966) - Edith Templeton

Music: Freakout (1966) - Frank Zappa - In Sound From Way Out (1966) - Perrey & Kingsley

Deaths: André Breton (1896 - 1966) - Siegfried Kracauer (1889 - 1966) - Irving Klaw (1911 - 1966)

Persona (1966) - Ingmar Bergman [Amazon.com]

Time magazine cover, April 8, 1966

Le Roi de coeur/King Of Hearts (1966) - Philippe de Broca

Le Roi de coeur/King Of Hearts (1966) - Philippe de Broca [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

This film was a touchstone of the late 1960s, when it was seen as an antiwar allegory for a world in which madness seemed to reign. Of course, that would probably be true whenever this movie was shown, wouldn't it? Directed by Philippe de Broca and set during World War I, King of Hearts stars Alan Bates as a Scottish soldier separated from his unit in France. He wanders into a small French village that has been abandoned by its residents in the face of oncoming combat. Instead, the town is populated by the residents of a nearby insane asylum, whose keepers have fled--a fact that escapes the innocent soldier, who assumes these are the regular folks. A film that celebrates the innocence and wisdom of the insane, even as it questions who the real madmen are. --Marshall Fine

More films

  • Cul-de-sac (1966) - Roman Polanski
    A wounded criminal and his dying partner take refuge at a beachfront castle. The owners of the castle, a meek Englishman and his willful French wife, are initially the unwilling hosts to the criminals. Quickly, however, the relationships between the criminal, the wife, and the Englishman begin to shift in humorous and bizarre fashion. - Sean Taylor for imdb.com

    Immediately after the box–office success of his macabre masterpiece Repulsion, Roman Polanski returned to a theme he had explored in his early classic Knife in the Water – the destruction of a fragile relationship by a maligned outsider. The resulting film was Cul-De-Sac. Donald Pleasence and Francoise Dorleac play a mismatched couple – he effeminate and petulant, she sensual and enigmatic – who share a bizarre sexual relationship, living in a remote castle. Their very isolation from the world prevents their eccentric partnership from foundering. Only an outsider can disrupt their make–believe lifestyle.

    That disruption arrives in the belligerent form of Richard and Albert, two oddball gangsters straight out of a 1940's film noir, wounded, desperate and on the run. They demand shelter, and as Richard waits for instructions from his gangland boss, he slips into a dangerous round of game–playing with his unwilling hosts. But it seems that Richard is not always to have the upper hand. With its larger than life performances, wicked black humour and superb use of striking outdoor location – the film was shot on Holy Island in Northumberland – Polanski created an exceptional film. --learmedia.ca

  • Morgan! (1966) - Karel Reisz [Amazon US]
    Morgan Delt (David Warner) is a social misfit obsessed with Karl Marx, large primates and stopping his beautiful ex-wife (Vanessa Redgrave) from marrying his former best friend. But as Morgan roars through swinging London, his pursuit of both love and sabotage begins to take some very bizarre turns. Can one charming madman save the only thing in the real world that's lived up to his best fantasies? David Warner and Vanessa Redgrave became overnight stars in the '60s British comedy classic directed by Karel Reisz (Saturday Night and Sunday Morning) that proves love is eternal, sanity is relative and nothing is more dangerous than a heartsick man in a gorilla suit.--From the Back Cover

  • Fahrenheit 451 (1966) - François Truffaut [Amazon.com]
    The classic science fiction novel by Ray Bradbury was a curious choice for one of the leading directors of the French New Wave, François Truffaut. But from the opening credits onward (spoken, not written on screen), Truffaut takes Bradbury's fascinating premise and makes it his own. The futuristic society depicted in Fahrenheit 451 is a culture without books. Firemen still race around in red trucks and wear helmets, but their job is to start fires: they ferret out forbidden stashes of books, douse them with gasoline, and make public bonfires. Oskar Werner, the star of Truffaut's Jules and Jim, plays a fireman named Montag, whose exposure to David Copperfield wakens an instinct toward reading and individual thought. (That's why books are banned--they give people too many ideas.) In an intriguing casting flourish, Julie Christie plays two roles: Montag's bored, drugged-up wife and the woman who helps kindle the spark of rebellion. The great Bernard Herrmann wrote the hard-driving music; Nicolas Roeg provided the cinematography. Fahrenheit 451 received a cool critical reception and has never quite been accepted by Truffaut fans or sci-fi buffs. Its deliberately listless manner has always been a problem, although that is part of its point; the lack of reading has made people dry and empty. If the movie is a bit stiff (Truffaut did not speak English well and never tried another project in English), it nevertheless is full of intriguing touches, and the ending is lyrical and haunting. --Robert Horton for amazon.com

  • The Pornographers (1966) - Shohei Imamura [Amazon US]
    Before Todd Solondz and Tarantino, there was Shohei Imamura. Of course, much of the taboo material is implied rather than shown, but the comedy is indeed just as black. But perhaps the most precious aspect of this film is Imamura's style. Jump cuts, freeze frames, and other New Wave cliches missing in his later works are here in full force, contributing to the eerie beauty resulting from some interesting lighting schemes (this is a black and white film). The story concerns a middle-aged barber(think of The Eel,1997)who makes 8mm pornos. Not surprisingly, his homelife is as unconventional as his artistic endeavors, and much of the comedy stems from the follies of the latter component while tension builds form the former(his wife slowly goes insane). It is Imamura's great talent to shuttle between the two, and his later works never achieved the same level of deftness. --StpOnDrsy for amazon.com

  • What's Up, Tiger Lily? (1966) - Woody Allen, Senkichi Taniguchi [Amazon.com]
    What better way for writer-star Woody Allen to cash in on the success of What's New Pussycat? than to write a quickie exploitation comedy that makes fun of quickie exploitation films? In some respects What's Up Tiger Lily? is a forerunner of Mystery Science Theater 3000, only instead of having actors sit back and make sarcastic comments about a cheapo movie, here they dub new dialog onto a ridiculous Japanese spy extravaganza. Allen's exquisite sense of the absurd is in fine form as espionage professionals pursue a top-secret recipe for egg salad. At one point during the planning of a break-in, a spy unfolds a map of their quarry's residence, explaining that the man "lives here." "He lives on that small piece of paper?" questions one of the henchmen. It's that silly. But it's often uproarious. Louise Lasser, Allen's former wife (and co-star of Bananas and future star of TV's Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman) is among the voice actors. --Jim Emerson for amazon.com

  • Seconds (1966) - John Frankenheimer [Amazon.com]

    This film plays into all our fantasies about new lives and second chances. A discontented middle aged man stumbles onto a mysterious agency that fakes his death and literally turns him into Rock Hudson...but, needless to say, the new, supposedly better life the agency constructs isn't all it's cracked up to be. James Wong Howe's mind-boggling black and white photography makes excellent use of distorted lenses, creating a horrifically off-kilter universe of apprehension and foreboding. It often looks more like a European art film rather than the Hollywood production it is, but its subject matter is strictly all-American. In other words, you should watch SECONDS in place of AMERICAN BEAUTY. --Adam Groves in http://www.fright.com/edge/fiftybest.html

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