Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Taking Off.

What a great poster!

Czech director Milos Forman’s most famous film was 1975’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest; it won a record 5 Oscars. The film he made when he first arrived in America was Taking Off, which won the Grand Prix at the 1971 Cannes Film Festival, rarely seen since but now released on DVD/Blu-ray for the first time. This satire of American middle class family life at the close of the sixties tells the story of a group of parents whose children have run away from home. The family at the centre of the story are Lynn and Larry Tyne (Lynn Carling and Buck Henry) and they daughter Jeannie who leaves home for the East Village to take part in a musical audition but neglects to inform her parents.  While she’s away Lynn and Larry and two of their close friends join the Society for Parents of Fugitive Children, which consists of other ‘respectable’ parents who have children missing. Its at one of there black-tie fund raising dinner’s that one of the funniest satirical scenes occurs when a Tiny Tim look alike teaches a group of conservative parents how to smoke marijuana turning- on the complete gathering.

Evening classes.
This very enjoyable film is full of sly humour and certainly gives the impression that the parents, who are supposed to be worrying about their kids, are making up for lost time, smoking dope, drinking, attending a rock concert and being discovered by Jeannie, when she returns of her own accord, playing strip poker!!!  Foreman’s film is a series of episodes that are broken up by a returning visits to the musical auditions where if you look closely you will see a young Carly Simon and a then unknown Kathy Bates. Also making an appearance in the film is the Ike Turner Review along with his wife at that time, Tina Turner.  This rather unusual take on American life by the Czech director is well worth a DVD release. Check it out before it disappears again.

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