Turn On, Tune In, Drop Out

The Hippie movement of the mid-sixties, which first flourished in San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury neighborhood, has rarely been captured accurately in Hollywood feature films but there have been a few exceptions and one of the most notable is Psych-Out (1968). Filmed on location in San Francisco by cinematographer Laszlo Kovacs, under the director of Richard Rush (The Stunt Man, 1980), the American-International release captures a moment in time as well as any documentary on the same subject. On a visual level, you couldn’t ask for a better snapshot of the period from the clothes to the hair styles to the social behavior and counterculture attitude. Even the now dated hipster jargon, some of which will make you cringe, seems true to the period. If only the musical acts featured had been less a top forty fabrication than the real thing (Only The Seeds have any credibility among the groups on display), Psych-Out might have had a more significant impact upon its release.

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CINEMATEK in Brussels – Enter The Sacred Film Shrine

Photography by Wouter Spitters

Photography by Wouter Spitters

Prior to traveling to Brussels, Belgium this past November, I put some serious research time into identifying the key sights and activities I wanted to see and do while visiting. Apart from the essentials like a walk through “The Grand Place” and a visit to the Magritte Museum, there are plenty of offbeat detours like the incredibly cluttered but charming Musee de Jouet (a vast collection of toys from the past) and the Musee des Instruments de Musique, housed in a former 1899 department store in the art nouveau style. If you are a fan of Belgium beers, you will be in heaven here (visit A La Morte Subite and Delirium Tremens Cafe for starters) and your choices of various cuisines will be endless though you may be tempted to try the local specialty – mussels & frites – at least once unless you have an aversion to shellfish and french fries. And if you a film lover, particularly one interested in repertory programming, you will be amazed at what you find for Brussels has a thriving movie culture with even more “classic cinema” viewing options than nearby Amsterdam (less than 3 hours by train), another mecca for cinephiles which we visited a few days before.     Continue reading