If "You Are What You Eat", then the performers in
that film are made of flowers and bubble gum, with a dash
of lollipops and a whiff of pot.
It's like watching 6 home movies of your parents' wedding where the characters
live -and move and have their being in a time out of mind..
The ancient world of the California hippie in the
eternal summer of 1967 is the setting, packaged in the glittering celluloid colors of light
shows, flowers, and painted bodies, and tied together with
ribbons of pop music..
They're all here,Tiny Tim
and The Mothers of Invention,even the Beatles, courtesy of Michael Butler, who
joined Peter Yarrow [of Peter, Paul and Mary] in
producing the film.
Occasionally the film
is as self-indulgent as the kids it captured for posterity,
lingering on a dance sequence just because it looks pretty.
But most of the time, it sticks to its subject, showing
the hippies acting out their lifestyles of love-ins and orgiastic sex.
Not profound or preachy, the movie still has a point of view
about the flower children more apparent in these days of campus revolt,
probably, than when the film was conceived.
These are the mindless children, hung up on sensation, thumbing their noses at the world,
accepting anything that will outrage conventional straight folks.
An aboriginal desert concert, staged like a Kraft Music Hall production number,
ends in a group grope.
A Bearded half-mad recluse [who provides the film's title] is always on the way to
some profound statement, but never gets there.
"Since I was 7, I dreamed of this place," he says of the junk yard he inhabits.
In his senility, he unwillingly pinpoints the fraud of the hippie ideal&$151;the boredom and futility of a life without
purpose or responsibility.
Even life in a commune is a long day's dying for everyone but the children,
and John Simon's sardonic song is is a 2-year-olds dirge for his elders: "
My name is Jack. I live in the back of the Greta Garbo home for wayward boys and girls."
While the 2-year-old revels in being alive, the adults smoke pot and stare vacantly at the future that lies empty before them.
SUPER SPADE is the film's one superstar. As the hero of Haight-Ashbury in those hallcion,
he had his pick of white chicks, making dates over the phone with strangers.
But Super Spade ["That's capital S-P-A-D-E," he says on the phone]
was murdered in 1967, presumably for giving away too many drugs and undermining the Mob's profit..
His real name was Bill Powell Jr. even he was without ties.
"You Are What You Eat," In the Aardvark Cinematheque theater, is an impressionistic record of things
as they were, a psychedelic tintype now chiefly of interest to historians.
YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT
A Commonwealth United release.
Filmed and directed by Barry Feinstein.
Edited by Howard Alk, Presented in the Aardvark Cinematheque.
Reproduced according to "Fair Use"