Hippies working for The Man

0

Comments

Add +

This week, George Clooney comedy 'The Men who Stare at Goats' illustrates how the influence of the hippy movement spread into all areas of human endeavour, including the US military. We look back at six memorable onscreen heroes who fought the system from within, struggling towards universal love 'n' peace in the service of The Man...

Kelly's Heroes (1970)

The movie ‘Kelly’s Heroes’ serves up a supreme example of Beatnik Blitzkrieg as a freaky-deaky cast of acid-fried crazies half-track their way through Europe in search of nothing more than shits, giggles and Nazi gold.The Man There hardly exists a corporation more unwieldy and authoritarian in its attitude toward spiritual growth and personal gain than the US Army. The message Clint Eastwood’s Kelly looks like he’s spent the majority of the war in the hairdresser, Telly Savalas acts like a guy nursing a major hangover and Donald Sutherland’s ‘Oddball’ is constantly complaining about the ‘negative waves’ that the greatest conflict of the twentieth century has instilled in his fellow grunts. All of this plus the most inappropriately jaunty theme song of all time – ‘Burning Bridges’ by the Mike Curb Congregation – make for a timeless document of intransigence, greed and idiocy that will hopefully make The Man think long and hard about starting World War Three.
Lord of the Rings Gandalf.jpg

The Lord of the Rings (2000-2003)

The movie Rustic short-arses save the world.The Man Okay, so he’s not exactly working for any specific ‘Man’ (except possibly the Big Man in the Sky), but let’s check the facts regarding self-styled ‘wandering wizard’ Gandalf. Long hair, even longer beard, wears a dress, no fixed abode, mysterious background (probably in ‘the arts’), hangs out with circus folk, smokes mysterious ‘pipe weed’, resists authority, fears modernization, investigates conspiracy theories, carries a stick, talks to trees, eagles, horses and moths… the list goes on. His death-and-resurrection sequence is a mini acid trip all on it’s own, not to mention those nutso fireworks. The message Never, ever mess with Ian McKellen. Oh, and, if possible, love one another.
Serpico.jpg

Serpico (1973)

The movie: Decked out like a West Coast rock god/Guatemalan bean farmer, NYPD cop Frank Serpico (Al Pacino) is happy to be getting on with precisely what The Man has charged him with doing, namely protecting and serving the good burghers of Brooklyn.
The Man
Serpico’s straight-arrow approach to law enforcement doesn’t sit well with his fellow flatfoots, who are all as bent as a sack of corkscrews. The message The Man, ultimately, could care less about such niceties as ethical conduct or doing a good job; keeping your head down and going with the flow are the orders of the day. But our Frank just ain’t down with those orders.
Goin' South.jpg

Goin' South (1978)

The movie In this garrulous, self-directed comedy Western, Jack Nicholson finds himself sentenced to work not for The Man, but The Woman after being saved from the gallows by a Civil War ordinance declaring that a man sentenced to hang for anything short of murder can be claimed for a husband by any single woman.
The (wo)Man
The spinster in question is hard-faced Mormon Mary Steenburgen, who is dead set on righting Jack’s wrongs, ironing out his innate rambunctiousness and working him into the ground. Wolfman Jack, however, is cut from far funkier cloth…The message Marry at gunpoint, repent at leisure.
SilentRunning.jpg

Silent Running (1972)

The movie Bruce Dern’s oh-so-subtly monickered ’70s spaceman Freeman Lowell – the last ecologist left in a dying solar system – drifts into the dark armed only with a trio of increasingly anthropomorphic robots and a seemingly endless supply of Joan Baez tapes.The Man The bigwigs back on Earth, who unilaterally decide to cut funding for Lowell's eco-crusade. But when his Biodome forest begins to wither, Freeman freaks out Major Tom style, jettisons the payload and blows himself to kingdom come. Take that, corporate fascists!The message Just proves that, from ‘Forbidden Planet’s ominous space cadet Dr. Morbius through Zaphod Beeblebrox and Obi-Wan Kenobi right up to techno-tree-hugger ‘Wall-E’, hippies have a pretty solid track record when it comes to colonising the outer limits.
electric_horseman.jpg

The Electric Horseman (1979)

The movie Director Sidney Pollack’s sly iconoclasm meets Robert Redford’s gauche liberalism in a bizarre confection that nobody would think to invent if it didn’t already exist. It sees broke-ass rodeo has-been Redford journeying from eight-second hero to Vegas stooge.
The Man
The mysterious and all powerful AMPCO corporation and their ultra-generic down-home cereal Ranch Breakfast – which has more than a whiff of the 'Soylent Green's about it.The message Subtly photographed by Owen Roizman and featuring some fine, mournful songs from Willie Nelson, the movie is actually a staggeringly heavy-handed metaphor for self-actualisation, hippy-dippery and god knows what else. Despite the films many and obvious shortcomings, it remains such sterling entertainment that not even the intrusion of Jane Fonda can keep it out of the winner’s paddock.
che_5.jpg

Che (2008)

The movie(s) That guy from those posters gets jungle fever fighting colonial forces in sunny South America.The Man Freaky Fidel Castro thinks he’s The Man, but lurking in the background are the true architects of this popular revolution: spoiler alert, it’s those dratted commies again.
The message
Man’s most righteous dreams of liberty and equality are inevitably corrupted by power and greed. Also, jungles are a bit boring.

Author: Adam Lee Davies & Tom Huddleston


Users say

0 comments


Top Stories

Meet the dream team: a preview of ‘Les Misérables’

Meet the dream team: a preview of ‘Les Misérables’

Director Tom Hooper and his cast tell us how they turned the super-musical into movie blockbuster.

Oscar predictions

Oscar predictions

The Time Out film team weighs in on the nominees for the 2013 Academy Awards

January film highlights 2013

January film highlights 2013

Get ready for the big guns… Spielberg, Tarantino and Bigelow

October film highlights

October film highlights

Daniel Craig’s 007 comeback, a genius indie romcom and all the mysteries behind ‘The Shining’ unravelled.

The Time Out film debate 2012 highlights

The Time Out film debate 2012 highlights

The results of our study on the state of films and filmgoing in 2012.

Read 'Time Out film debate 2012 highlights'

Martin Freeman interview

Martin Freeman interview

'The Hobbit' actor tells us why he wouldn't have a pint with Bilbo Baggins.

Sam Mendes interview

Sam Mendes interview

Dave Calhoun speaks to the director of 'Skyfall' about the latest film in the Bond franchise.

Ang Lee interview

Ang Lee interview

The genre-hopping director tells us how he invented a new genre with 'Life of Pi'

Michael Haneke interview

Michael Haneke interview

The twice Palme d'Or-winning director discusses 'Amour'.

Read our interview with Michael Haneke

Thomas Vinterberg interview

Thomas Vinterberg interview

The Danish director talks about his powerful new drama 'The Hunt'.

Read our interview with Thomas Vinterberg'

Ten things the 'Twilight' movies did for us

Ten things the 'Twilight' movies did for us

Time Out looks back at the impact of the 'Twilight' saga.

Discover what 'Twilight' has done for us

On the set of 'Sightseers'

On the set of 'Sightseers'

Time Out heads to the Lake District to visit director Ben Wheatley on set.

Read about our visit to the 'Sightseers' set

Tim Burton interview

Tim Burton interview

The director talks about 'Frankenweenie', which he describes as 'the ultimate memory piece'.

Read our interview with Tim burton

The top ten Christmas films of 2012

The top ten Christmas films of 2012

Our pick of the best films showing over the festive period.

Read 'The top ten Christmas films of 2012'

What's your film guilty pleasure?

What's your film guilty pleasure?

Mean Girls? Dirty Dancing? Tell us your favourite film guilty pleasure.

Read 'Film guilty pleasures'

When teen stars turn serious

When teen stars turn serious

Ten young actors come of age on the silver screen.

Read 'When teen stars turn serious'

50 years of James Bond

50 years of James Bond

From Connery to Craig, we revisit all 22 Bond films.

Read '50 years of James Bond'

Paul Thomas Anderson interview

Paul Thomas Anderson interview

The director talks Scientology and working with Joaquin Phoenix.

Read the interview

Hilarious horror films

Hilarious horror films


Ten funny horror movies which went spectacularly off the rails.

Read 'Hilarious horror films'

Martin McDonagh interview

Martin McDonagh interview

The director talks psychopaths and theatre – 'my least favourite artform'.

Read the interview

Autumn horror films

Autumn horror films

We round-up the five best horror movies of Autumn 2012.

Read about this Autumn's best horror movies

On the set of Skyfall

On the set of Skyfall

Time Out visits Istanbul to see the latest Bond movie being made.

Read 'On the set of Skyfall'

Bond: then and now

Bond: then and now

Does Skyfall refresh or rehash the James Bond franchise?

Sally Potter interview

Sally Potter interview

The British director explains why 'Ginger and Rosa' is her most mainstream film yet.

Daniel Craig interview

Daniel Craig interview

'I’m almost as in demand as Brad Pitt’