Thursday, May 1, 2008

GLEAMING STEAMING FLAXEN WAXEN – An upate on the HAIR documentary, as promised

In a recent post (17 Feb 08) I mentioned I was going to track down that new documentary about the musical HAIR, and see if I could – as we used to say in the 60s – score a copy. Well, score I did. I found the website, placed an order, then and sat back and waited while the postal service did its thing. And after viewing it, I came to the immediate conclusion: My friends do not pass up an opportunity to see this film. In fact, go out of your way if you have to – it’s a real gem. If you are a fan of HAIR, or you are an ex-hippie, or if you still are a hippie, you will love this film. If you have an historical interest of any kind in the late 60s, the days of love, peace and protest, the anti-War movement, you will love this film.

At a mere 55 minutes, HAIR: Let the Sun Shine In does not require you to hit pause once or twice like so many feature current movies do, but it’s so jam-packed with wonderful insights and memories it has the feel of a longer view. As a documentary, its more than just an account of the (in)famous 60s musical, but a compelling mix of old and new footage of student protests, news clips and actual stage productions. There’s also some old TV footage from the Smothers Brothers and a hilarious spot of James Rado and Jerome Ragni on Johnny Carson. All of this is interspersed with interviews from cast members (Melba Moore, Ben Vereen, Tim Curry, Keith Carradine…) and the visionary creators and producers (Rado &Ragni, Galt MacDermot, Michael Butler), as well as people connected with the international cast.

This film is touching and timely. It puts the Hair experience of the 60s in a much larger context, not only creatively, but socially. It also includes some personal stories – triumphs and tragedies – of those involved. I can just about guarantee you’ll still be thinking about it for some time afterwards. I emailed one of the film’s producers, Pola Rapaport, about showings, and this is what she had to say:

HAIR : Let the Sun Shine In will be shown next internationally in Warsaw, Poland, at the Planete Doc Film Festival, on May 15 and 17th. The next US screenings will be at the Seattle International Film Festival on May 24th and 26th. It will also be shown at the Jerusalem International Film Festival in July.

We are looking for a US television premiere. It played on French/ German Arte a few months ago. Arte provided the basic funding for the film.

When I get more info on US or Canadian etc. showings, I will certainly post them, too. Meanwhile, here’s the website for Ms. Rapaport

And here's the sample video again
HAIR: Let the Sun Shine In (2007) – a film by Pola Rapaport and Wolfgang Held


Anonymous said...

Hey there - thanks for the review of this docu - I plan to buy it! Could you possibly tell me if the interviews with the cast (specifically Tim Curry) are new interviews of interviews from the time of Hair?

Thanks in advance!

Deborah Godin said...

Hi, happy to hear from another Hair fan! The interviews are a mix of past and present. I'd have to watch it again to see if Curry's interview (he's speaking in French with subtitles) has a date on it, but he's obviously younger.