Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Paul Jones, Jean Shrimpton
Director: Peter Watkins
Genres: Indie & Art House, Comedy, Drama, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Coporations, church, and state use pop star Steven Shorter as a tool to manipulate the masses.
The Privilege Cult
Mrs. J. C. Glennie | UK | 08/18/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"When I was fourteen, growing up in Auckland, New Zealand, I saw this film, and was immediately smitten. Since then I have made strenuous attemps to view it again - only when I contacted the British Film Institute did I find that the film had not been released in the UK. I arranged to view the copy held by the BFI, under not-ideal circs, changing the reels myself. Badly.
Now, thanks to Amazon's world-wide reach, I have had the luxury of viewing this film under proper circumstances and with additional, helpful material; it has lost nothing in the forty-year period, and is still a very powerful piece of journalism. Thanks, Amazon."
+1/2 -- Dark story of the star-making machine
hyperbolium | Earth, USA | 07/28/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Privilege, released in 1967 and starring Manfred Mann lead-vocalist Paul Jones, is a compelling look at stardom and media manipulation. Jones plays Steven Shorter, a sullen, withdrawn, brooding and childlike rock star who turns out to be a puppet front man for a business he doesn't control. His choices of music, message, performance, clothes and endorsements have been usurped by the media machine that created him; he's a ghost within his own life story. Shorter is lent to whoever will pay for his services, whether it's an advertisement for apples or a Christian crusade.
The film is structured as a quasi-documentary with a dispassionate narrator and interview clips. There's also an air of behind-the-scenes authoritarianism that parallels the tone of Patrick McGoohan's The Prisoner. Shorter is trapped by his totalitarian masters, and his manufactured popularity is used to influence and control the masses via media manipulation. Shorter himself turns out to be just another cog in the mass, as he emotes through a cynical rock take on "Onward Christian Brothers" and finds himself posed as a faith-healing messiah for a Nazi-styled Christian rally. He's a scripted prophet whose awakening from ambivalence is his final undoing.
Superb art design, staging and photography complement by a tartly cynical script that would play well with other media critiques such as Ace in the Hole and A Face in the Crowd. This edition includes the film's original trailer and a 1961 short, Lonely Boy, that offers a behind-the-scenes look at the career of Paul Anka. Director Peter Watkins apparently drew from the short's style, particularly the narrator's tone and the use of voiceovers, first deploying them in 1965's The War Game and again here. The DVD offers subtitles, but unfortunately, no commentary track. 4-1/2 stars, if allowed fractional ratings. [©2009 hyperbolium dot com]"
Finally the chance to enjoy this.
Dennis Campion | Seattle, WA USA | 11/20/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"And enjoyable it is. Its dry wit runs throughout (you'll have to purchase to see how that is visually accomplished). Some of the scenes that were improvised are hilarious, the detached and caustic comment that the funding for an abortion was taken out of petty cash and the apple commercial with its director's delusional talk-over work the best. An iconic image must remain the three extras dressed as chewed apples and the comment about the director being out of his mind. To which director was he referring? "His songs were so bad they had to be rewritten before they could be thrown away". Beyond the (now) timely importance of the message the opportunity to see Jean Shrimpton speak and move as opposed to just being a still image is a joy. Paul Jones is rather carefully reserved (he is only a "puppet"). The direction in many scenes is visually striking and occasionally comparable to some of Kubrick's (especially A Clockwork Orange), as has been previously pointed out. If you also enjoy Lindsay Anderson films you will enjoy this. Get it before it goes out of print. It is a gem."
We will conform, Peter Watkins' first and only foray into ma
Joseph P. Ulibas | Sacramento, CA, USA | 01/31/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Privilege is about the career of a pop star who is controlled by the media to placate the masses with his music. He enjoys this privilege until one day he meets a woman who changes his outlook on life. But the stress of being the most loved person in Britain becomes a bit too much. About time this movie was made available for purchase.