Saturday, 6 February 2010

Harold & Maude: only 39 years late "it's quite good"

Went to Harold and Maude last night at Gypsy Hill. I obviously had heard about before now but never got round to seeing, it’s not one of the 10 films channel 4 show on repeat!

Anyway it’s really really good, funny, snappy and moving in equal measure. It’s also thankfully weathered the years well and the odd bit’s that haven’t (the occasional slips into overly wacky humour) have a great deal period charm.

I won’t go over the plot in great detail suffice to say it’s a May to December relationship between a 79 woman and young man/lad. Having said that it’s snappy the writers etc manage to build engaging rounded characters but not have them hang around. In fact the slight untidiness of the plot is part of its charm, particularly in a world were even “indie” films have scripts poured over so every narrative cog works perfectly.

One other thing to point out is that Wes Anderson wouldn’t have career without this film most of “The Royal Tenebaums” is a direct rip off of Harold and Maude in feel if not content. Oh and Jarvis stole his whole “look” from Harold’s wardrobe.

Obviously the film wouldn’t work without Bob Cort and Ruth Gordon who seem to have secured there fame with these roles alone even though both enjoyed eventful and in Ruth case long careers. Their interaction is so believable from the start it’s difficult to imagine many other actors carrying it off.

So if you haven’t seen it don’t wait as long as I did!

Anyway it Friday so how about tune well the OST for Harold and Maude is largely by Cat Stevens as he was known then. He’s an odd figure nowadays after having a pop star moment and supporting the fatwa against Salman Rushdie he seems to have been welcomed back into the media fold. His crimes aren’t nearly as bad as Phil Spector etc who still get played like I say not straight forward and sometimes it pays to trust the song not the singer.

If you want to sing out (alternate version) by Cat Stevens


Mondo said...

I remember reading about this in my Cult Films book by Danny Peary (1983 I think)..

I've always been very tempted, but rarely see it on TV

BLTP said...

I think you'll enjoy it is "quirky" but not in irksome way and it whips along as I said . The musics good and it's shot in that late 1960's saturated kodachrome stock that our dreams are made of.