putney swope (robert downey sr., 1969)
Monday, May 02, 2022
This is the thirty-third (AND FINAL!) film I have watched in "My Letterboxd Season Challenge 2021-22", "A 33 week long challenge where the goal each week is to watch a previously unseen feature length film from a specified category." This is the 7th annual challenge, and my third time participating (my first year can be found at "My Letterboxd Season Challenge 2019-20", and last year's at "My Letterboxd Season Challenge 2020-21"). Week 33 is called "Past Hosts Week":
A classic category that has been in every Season in one shape or another since the beginning. Simply put, we pay our respects to our hosts of the past while also inflating my own ego a little.
This week's challenge is to watch a previously unseen film from either Monsieur Flynn's Movies to See Before Your End Credits list, kurt k's Personal Cannon list, or my own A Hundred or So of My Favorites list.
My last film from the 2021-22 Challenge, and I wish it had been better. I'm a bit surprised I'd never seen it. It's from a time when you'd think I saw it (I can remember ads for it at the time), but if I didn't see it, it disappeared from my view, and I've rarely thought about it in the intervening 50+ years. Robert Downey (there is no "Sr." attached to his name in the credits ... Jr. was only 4 years old at the time and not yet a big star) writes and directs, and he revels in poking us in the eye with what would later be called politically incorrect humor. Problem is, it's not very humorous, and the humor itself is sophomoric the way that men got away with more in those days. If it was a song, the lyrics would be by Frank Zappa, and I don't mean that as a compliment.
It's off beat, sure. It doesn't lack for creativity. And it's only 84 minutes. But it plays like something out of a time capsule, and if you want to see the kinds of movies that were being made in 1969, there are better movies than this one. (Here are a few right here.)
This ends my third year doing the Letterboxd Season Challenge, meaning I've seen 99 movies under the Challenge format. I like doing the Challenge; although I don't always end up seeing great movies, I see things I hadn't seen before from a variety of genres, and hey, it's only once a week. My favorites were:
- My Winnipeg, Week 2, Northern Exposure: Guy Maddin Week
- Beyond the Hills, Week 4, Romanian New Wave Week
- Shadow, Week 11, LSC Five Years On: Fifth Generation Week
- Time, Week 14, "I've Been Meaning to Get to it..." Week
- The Cloud-Capped Star, Week 17, Parallel Cinema & New Indian Cinema Week
- Elena, Week 23, Essentially Brazilian Week
It's no contest which was the worst movie I saw in the Challenge: Manos: The Hands of Fate, Week 18, One-and-Done Week.