Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Criterion turns on with Head

Criterion continue to astonish and mystify with their selection of films. November will see the release of a 7-film boxset called America Lost and Found: The BBS Story comprising of Easy Rider, Five Easy Pieces, The Last Picture Show, The King of Marvin Gardens, Drive He Said, A Safe Place and Head. Easy Rider and Last Picture Show are favourite films around here, but I'm really excited about Head, the wacky and surreal Monkees movie from 1968. The film follows the Monkees on a series of crazy adventures, mixing TV commercials, documentary inserts (including starting footage of the infamous head shot execution of a Viet Cong) and psychedelic effects; and featuring some of the band's best music. (the live performance of Circle Sky is a highlight). The screenplay was written by Jack Nicholson who can be spotted in a brief blink-and-you'll-miss-it cameo when the film crashes thru the fourth wall to reveal the cast and crew, including director Bob Rafelson making the film - its one of the many delights of this acid-soaked Pandora's box.


  1. I'm a dyed-in-the-wool-hat Monkees fan - have been since coming home from school and catching the show in reruns. Head is a trippy movie to the max - a fun deconstruction of the very image the boys allowed to be built around them. I got to first see it projected in college which was amazing. My fave tune is The Porpoise Song.

  2. Yeah, me too, the show was on heavy rotation in Ireland when I was a kid, but sadly it hasn't been on TV in years. Agreed on The Porpoise Song, it really is one of the band's best numbers, and a great moment in the film when the band plunge into an ocean of LSD. I like Circle Sky as well, and the very subversive use of Vietnam newsreel footage played over the song, including the still shocking footage of the South Vietnamese police chief executing a Vietcong prisoner - it almost feels like a slur on the band's young teenage fans... Craig I think I'm going to give my 2-disc Rhino compilation (with lenticular sleeve) a spin after this !