Wild in the Streets

In his book The Dream Life, J. Hoberman identifies a group of renegade protagonists, archetypal "outlaws" as he calls them, that rose out of late–sixties cinema. How these "chimerical and hybrid" figures found expression through what have now become cult films will be the theme of his talk tonight. (30 min lecture precedes screening)

Drive–in studio American–International Pictures (AIP) imagined a Jim Morrison–like pop–star president who puts everyone over thirty in psychedelic concentration camps. Based on Robert Thom's Esquire story, "The Day It All Happened Baby!," this insolent satire addressed the fears of a movie industry that calculated 52 percent of its audience to be under twenty–five years of age. But, released during the 1968 primary season, it also served to prophesy and allegorize everything from Yippie fantasies and Wallace nightmares to student uprisings at Columbia and in Paris, the Chinese Red Guards, the McCarthy and Kennedy campaigns, and the chaos of the Democratic Convention in Chicago. While the New York Times hailed Wild in the Streets as a comic analog to The Battle of Algiers, The Nation feared it might inspire an epidemic of hippie–lynching.

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