segunda-feira, 3 de março de 2008

Camelot (1969)

This film is great but (don't misunderstand me) it took too long to be made... a small hit on Broadway in 1960 (it opened on dec.3rd 1960 and people expected a new "My fair lady") with Burton, Andrews and Goulet, it really did match a whole "concept" that was very actual at that time: the "perfect" America (it was JFK's favourite Broadway show), the perfect state… better marketing than that?
The world had changed quite a bit by 1968/69. Woodstock, Vietnam were happening, JFK and Bob had been shot, Janis Joplin was singing (terribly in fact) “Summertime” and a more realistic group of moviemakers was working on films like "Easy rider", "They shoot horses, don't they?" etc.

Was there still place for such dreams like the ones from Camelot?

Richard Harris is a great King Arthur, Vanessa Redgrave a beautiful Guenevere although her singing voice (or, better said, lack of) is far too inexpressive. I wonder how Andrews would have recreated her original role... Joshua Logan could not be persuaded to let her play Guenevere for lack of sex-appeal... the "von Trapp/Poppins image" would continue to haunt her for many years to come… quite a damaging thing to the career of this actress... Josh Logan even said sarcastically: Can you imagine two whole nations declaring war to each other because of Julie Andrews???? Franco Nero is great to look at, but seems to be crying all the time.

Vanessa who had just finished “Blow up” started a love affair with Franco Nero during filming of this picture. She got pregnant and “shocked” the world and the movie industry when she freely walked down the aisle during the Oscar ceremony, barefoot, quite pregnant and “out of wedlock”… My God, how times have changed. She was to play another “free woman” quite soon in “Isadora” (more about that some other time!), another film that, along with Camelot, influenced the hippie-fashion strongly!

Production was sumptuous etc. and although it became nowadays sort of a "museum piece", quite dusty in fact, it is still marvellous to watch... it has such magic!

Well, that is what Camelot was all about, isn’t it?

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