Sunday, May 04, 2008

The Titicut Follies (1967) directed by Frederick Wiseman

This is a nasty little movie.
But an important one, it holds a mirror up to the casual cruelty and indifference of the staff at the Bridgewater State Mental Hospital circa 1966.
Hell it did too good a job, a judge slapped a gag order on the film citing patient privacy a concern that also prevent most of the citizenry of Massachusetts from seeing what sort of crude lowlifes had infiltrated the hospital's guards and orderlies.
We are talking about a cruel bunch of oafs here, paunchy, balding, ill-educated, prone to gruesomely teasing the inmates complete with the beady gaze one associates instantly with a patronage pay-triot.
if you want to see what a state senator's cousin or nephew looks likein his natural habitat, see this movie.
Local film critic Paul Sherman deserves maxi-kudos for reviving this film down at the MFA this weekend.
As part of the self generated publicity for his new book "Big Screen Boston" Sherman is also screening various Boston-centric films around town during May and June.
The stand out of the lot is "The Friends of Eddie Coyle" a local crime noir classic starring Robert Mitchum that has yet to be released on DVD or VHS for that matter. It is playing at the Coolidge Corner June fifth, and is well worth the effort....I strongly recommend attendance and buying Paul's new book for that matter it is a very well researched work.

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