Friday, May 08, 2015

The Yin and the Yang of Mr. Go

1970, UK/Canada (?), directed by Burgess Meredith

Without a doubt, one of the oddest films I've ever seen, I'm not sure that I have the appropriate vocabulary to capture this viewing experience. A Bad Film on the obvious level of construction, pacing, coherence, acting but absolutely fascinating in terms of its rather prestigious cast and for the unanswerable "what were they thinking?" and "what were they trying to do?" questions. On one level, you could posit the film as an example of the results when you plunk down a bunch of actors and a lot of money in an exotic location, but I do think that Meredith was going for a certain absurdist effect even if he didn't quite pull it off -- the plot is certainly the least of his concerns, though it was hard to decide to what extent some of the humour was intended or not. It sounds as though the producers took things into their own hands when they saw what they had paid for, hence the inexplicable framing appearance of Broderick Crawford, who clearly wasn't filming in the same locations. The very young Jeff Bridges' monologue outlining the various oddball plot points serves as a fitting summation of the film, complete with vaguely stoned look. 

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Boston, Massachusetts, United States