Tuesday, 7 August 2012
Joseph Losey's Secret Ceremony is a fraught, twisted melodrama bedecked with the talents of Liz Taylor, Robert Mitchum & Mia Farrow. Grieving the loss of her daughter, Taylor's whore befriends a recently orphaned teenager after an encounter on the bus and the pair develop an unnerving, fantastical relationship, each playing the 'role' of their lost loved who they happen to resemble. Cooped up together in the plush manor Farrow inherited, their intense bond is further complicated with the arrival of a predatory Robert Mitchum. This is a dark, wordy film about the dirty interpersonal webs we weave, tear at, then reweave and it's three leads, even Taylor, put in exceptional performances.
Otto Preminger's Skidoo is a big studio attempt to cater to 1968's acid crowd but mostly falls flat on it's face in a similar fashion to say, I Love You Alice B Toklas. An aging mobster, played by Jackie Gleason, is forced out of retirement to deal with an errant mobster by God, his eccentric kingpin and a mildly entertaining, faintly psychedelic caper ensues. Sporting a veritable panoply of stars including Groucho Marx, Slim Pickens & Burgess Meredith the comedy is inconsistent, plotting half baked and the LSD trip sequences so cliched and trite that it's immediately obvious that no-one involved had ever had a taste of the good stuff. A spectacular, craptastic failure.