John Boorman gets the Lesteroid element out of his system in the opening credits, and goes his own modernist away. (Wintry streets and blank-walled offices, thatís Swinging London here.) The direct allegory locates mod culture in a meat warehouse, where the Dave Clark Five are virtually indistinguishable from the "surrealist" carcasses hanging next to them. The kooky supermodel (Barbara Ferris) finally paints a mustache on her own billboard and absconds with Clark's "saturnine" stuntman, all grist to the mill of the corporate puppeteer (David de Keyser) after them. The elusive escape from the grip of commercialism, a string of disillusioning interludes: A dilapidated countryside commune suddenly in the midst of a military blitzkrieg (filmed with a flash of Les Carabiniers), the costume ball tumbling into Royal Crescent's waters, a dude ranch erected on the BrontŽsí moors. When the whole world is a market, where can the products run off to? At the center is a snippy pair of middle-aged "collectors" (Robin Bailey, Yootha Joyce) to embody the lecherous Old Guard, skewered ŗ la Losey but for a note of faded grace for the henpecked antiquarian with the scratchy phonograph. The "callous hopefulness" of youth versus the all-powerful advertisement agency -- itís no contest, everything already seems packaged and sticky with slogans. Boormanís camera bounces on trampolines, dives into swimming pools and swings from ropes, yet the forlorn mood continually underlines the limitations of faddish larkiness. (What starts out like A Hard Dayís Night bloopers gradually morphs into an uncredited remake of LíEclisse.) Winnerís Iíll Never Forget Whatísíisname is something of a sledgehammer relative, the heroineís dream of a secluded sanctuary for two becomes the tug-of-war island of Hell in the Pacific, naturally. With David Lodge, Clive Swift, and Ronald Lacey. In black and white.
--- Fernando F. Croce