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Related: 1960s - Hara Kiri (launch)

Novels: Boredom (1960) - Alberto Moravia

Films: Black Sunday (1960) - La Dolce Vita (1960) - The Little Shop of Horrors (1960) - Peeping Tom (1960) - Psycho (1960) - The Virgin Spring (1960)

The Monotone Symphony (March 9, ) - Yves Klein [Google gallery]

On a clear night in March, at ten pm sharp, a crowd of one hundred people all dressed in formal black tie attire, came to the Galerie International d' Art Contemporain in Paris. The event was the first conceptual art piece to be shown at the gallery by their new artist, Mr. Yves Klein. The gallery was one of the finest in Paris.

Mr. Klein in a black dinner jacket proceeded to conduct a ten piece orchestra seated on one side of the gallery. The orchestra was to play Mr. Kleins' personal composition of The Monotone Symphony first written by him in 1949. This symphony consisted of one note. --http://members.aol.com/mindwebart3/page2.htm

Peeping Tom vs Psycho

An investigation of the factors behind the quick but painful box office death of Michael Powell’s Peeping Tom, through a comparative analysis with its contemporary, Alfred Hitchcock’s phenomenally successful Psycho

 On June 16, 1960, Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho opened at two showcase theaters in Manhattan, where it played regularly to near-capacity audiences for nine weeks before extending its opening into neighborhood theaters. The unprecedented success of the film is illustrated by the fact that first run Manhattan theaters continued to run Psycho even after the film opened in the second run theaters. This was due to the fact that there had been very little fluctuation in the box-office performance since opening day, as compared to the more traditional 10 to 20 percent drop after a film’s first week. Psycho was an unqualified commercial success and it made Hitchcock extremely wealthy.

Psycho had an immediate influence on commercial filmmakers -- William Castle’s Homicidal (1961), Robert Aldrich’s Whatever Happened to Baby Jane (1962), as well as upon the "art" movie -- Roman Polanski’s Repulsion (1965). It virtually established a whole subgenre of psychotic thrillers and ".... thus became not only a classic but a minor social phenomenon." (Naremore, p. 75) Robin Wood calls the film "One of the key works of our age" (Wood, p. 113) and Donald Spoto writes, "In method and content, in the sheer economy of its style and its brave, uncompromising moralism, it’s one of the great works of the modern age." (Spoto, p. 327)

Exactly one month prior to Psycho’s release, on May 16, 1960, Michael Powell’s Peeping Tom was released in Britain. It was crucified by the British press, and quickly withdrawn from distribution. Powell authority Ian Christie comments: "The outraged press response to Peeping Tom on its release ... has become a landmark in British cinema. Not only did it mark one of the decisive moments of unanimity among reviewers, a rare prise de position, but it virtually ended Michael Powell’s career as a major director in Britain..."(Christie, 1978, p.53)

Yet, when Powell died in 1983, Sir Richard Attenborough declared, "Of his generation, [Powell]... was unquestionably the most innovative and most creatively brilliant filmmaker this country ever boasted." (Thomson, 1990, p. 28) Peeping Tom is consistently rated as one of Powell’s greatest films, perhaps his masterpiece. In Caligari’s Children, the Film as Tale of Terror, S. S. Prawer claims that "No other work has ever made us reflect more painfully on what we are doing when we pay to watch the simulated agonies and ecstasies of the horror movie ..."--http://www-scf.usc.edu/~jrthomps/paper.htm [Jul 2005]

see also: 1960 - Pscycho - Peeping Tom

Blue Movie (1960) - Terry Southern

  1. Blue Movie (1960) - Terry Southern [Amazon US]
    Southern dedicates this book to Stanley K., for whom he wrote the Dr. Strangelove screenplay. It would have been GREAT to see Kubrick do an on-screen version of this wonderfully satiric novel!

    An obvious poke at the Hollywood self-styled 'artistic' community, Blue Movie reads more like an excerpt of Hustler's Letters than a standard novel at times. The world's premiere director, for the sake of 'art', wants to film a porn flick that isn't merely gratuitous sex within a thin plot -- like the stereotypical stag film. However, as the novel unfolds, it becomes apparent to the reader that this is futile despite these grand delusions of art - the story of their escapades mirrors a stereotypical porn movie plotline itself - this book isn't merely ABOUT filming a BLUE MOVIE, it's a self-contained BLUE MOVIE in itself! Recommended. --Bradley Beth for amazon.com

Village of the Damned

  • Village of the Damned (1960) - Wolf Rilla [DVD, Amazon US]
    This moody little sci-fi classic has it all over the competition when it comes to possessed tykes with telekinetic powers. Midwich's mysteriously hatched brood bores into the subconscious both with their eyes and with their creepy Hitler Youth-like presence. Based on John Wyndham's 1957 novel The Midwich Cuckoos, and starring George Sanders as the most skeptical of the "miracle" parents, Village gets off to a rousing start when the isolated town of Midwich is cordoned off after some invisible knockout gas descends from above. A few weeks later, every female of childbearing age is pregnant. Much anger and consternation ensue, especially in those families for which the blessed event isn't a blessing.

    Nine months later: a town full of blue-eyed, golden-haired cherubs with telekinetic and telepathic powers. The kids mature at an alarming rate and travel the streets in packs. Anyone who looks at them sideways meets with a violent accident. Barbara Shelley, Sanders's wife, is scolded by her child; a motorist who is deemed a threat winds up driving into a wall.

    The film is especially refreshing in these days of computer- generated visual effects. Director Wolf Rilla, working from a script cowritten by Stirling Silliphant, generates unease the old-fashioned way: through clammy atmosphere and character development. The opening sequence, in which the military attempts to figure out the extent of the Midwich epidemic, is especially unsettling. --Glenn Lovell for Amazon.com

    Village of the Damned was a science fiction film made in 1960.

    It was a fairly faithful adaptation of the novel The Midwich Cuckoos by John Wyndham. The actor George Sanders was in the leading role.

    There was a remake in 1995. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Village_of_the_Damned_(1960_movie) [May 2005]

    Theory of Film (1960) - Siegfried Kracauer

    1. Theory of Film (1960) - Siegfried Kracauer [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]
      "Kracauer's profound theoretical investigation revealed film as the form that best captured the new modes of experience that characterize modernity. Miriam Hansen's brilliant introduction chronicles the work's genesis and transformation through Kracauer's conversations with Adorno and Benjamin, his flight from the Nazis, and his uneasy assimilation into the Cold-War United States." --Tom Gunning, University of Chicago

      Siegfried Kracauer's classic study, originally published in 1960, explores the distinctive qualities of the cinematic medium. The book takes its place alongside works in classical film theory by such figures as Bela Balázs, Rudolf Arnheim, and André Bazin, among others, and has met with much critical dispute. In this new edition, Miriam Bratu Hansen, examining the book in the context of Kracauer's extensive film criticism from the 1920s, provides a framework for appreciating the significance of Theory of Film for contemporary film theory.

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