Jun 15, 2009

Hard To Find Films I'm Seeking This Week (06.15.09)


In this chosen field, it seems that the more you research, you also find how much more there is to know about. For instance, as I fastidiously uncover any obscure film from the 1970's I can get my hands on, I find that for every title I do track down, there are three or four others I read about which have slipped through the cracks... and naturally I'm interested in viewing those too!

So for fun, I thought I'd commence with a new list every Monday, featuring a handful of elusive titles that pop up in my research, which I summarily am interested in tracking down.

The Pyramid (1975; Gary Kent)

This sounds like a very interesting premise (from the IMDB):
"A young TV news reporter grows tired of Commercial programming and decides to cover more positive stories. He is fired for his troubles, and goes on a personal search for truth and beauty in the media. A voyage in consciousness for the millenium".

There is a new age web site which also has an intriguing review of the film. Gary Kent is a fascinating figure in "fringe cinema", acting and doing stunts in low-budget genre films from the 60s onward, having worked with Al Adamson, Dave Hewitt, Richard Rush and many others. This is one the handful of films he's also directed, and sounds all the more intriguing for the "finding oneself" motif that was similarly explored in films at the time.

In fact, I wrote Mr. Kent about this film-- he owns the rights to the movie, and does plan to release it to home video some day. Here's hoping that happens sooner instead of later. Additionally, his book Shadows and Lights: Journeys with Outlaws in Revolutionary Hollywood is coming out next month-- and this looks like a must-read.

You and Me (1975; David Carradine)

From the BFI:
"A travelogue-like odyssey of a Hell's Angel type who teams up with a boy on the run from home. They ride up the California coast into Oregon and Washington on his bike."

The two comments I've received regarding my obit for David Carradine have both been about this elusive film in which he directed himself, his two brothers, Barbara Hershey and Gary Busey. Apparently, it was released in some state for sporadic screenings-- hopefully with the media attention accorded Mr. Carradine of late, someone explores the possibility of getting this seen.

The Alien Encounters (1979; James T. Flocker)

I actually saw part of this film on late night television in 1983... I think. (I mentioned the following in the late-night issue of ESR.) All I remember is one scene where a man and a teenager sit for what seems like an eternity on the side of a mountain waiting for a UFO to pass by. During this time, the kid mentions he's like any other teenager who's into sex, drugs and hard rock. Finally, the UFO does arrive, but because the movie is so slow, it's rather anti-climatic. Although I only caught a snippet of this picture, for years it had bugged me as to what I had seen, and only last summer did I finally get a clue thanks to a discussion the IMDB.

This movie was one of many low-budget UFO films made back in the day, capitalizing on the decade's fascination with strange phenomena. I have seen other micro-budgeted genre films by director James Flocker, but this one remains the missing link. If anything, I would appreciate the film more today, because with its lack of stars (thusly using everyday people in its cast) and slow pace (which makes the daily grind of research all the more draining and sometimes disappointing), would actually make it more true-to-life than other films which inject phenomena into reality. However, I won't know for sure until I can finally track down a copy.


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There are many, many others, but I don't want to shoot the bundle in the first post. More next week....

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