Privilege Part 1 (of 14)
I told you last August about Peter Watkins' 1967 film Privilege, lamenting the poor distribution status of this cult sci-fi film about the connections of pop music and fascism. Now one of those friendly YouTube pirates has brought this rare film online for everyone's watching pleasure, and this is what this person writes as accompaniment to the film:
"Privilege, a cruelly compelling, often brilliant film ... the real star ... is director Peter Watkins, only 31, who must get credit for this acidly anti-establishment film ... the quasi-documentary touches he mastered on BBC money are sharply and effectively in evidence. And in his first full-length film, he shows he can use color with startling success. No doubt about it: Watkins is on his way.' (Playboy)
'This is a bitter, uncompromising movie, and although it isn't quite successful it is fascinating and important. Watkins made a mistake in bringing the newsreel techniques of The War Game into a narrative film, where a director should be able to make his point with his story, the performances and the photography. Still the movie isn't a failure so much as an interesting episode in the career of a director who I think will eventually be ranked with Fellini and Bergman.' (Roger Ebert, Nov 1st, 1967)
The national cinema circuit in the UK, J. Arthur Rank, refused to show this "immoral and un-Christian picture which mocked the Church, defied authority and encouraged youth in lewd practices". Universal Pictures withdrew the film after brief screenings in a few countries, and the film has been rarely shown since - very occasionally on TV. Universal Pictures in Hollywood even refuse to let the director rent or buy a copy of this film, even on VHS.
For more information, visit the director's website: http://www.mnsi.net/~pwatkins/privilege.htm
For a nice essay on the film, see: http://www.brightlightsfilm.com/49/privilege.htm
(I apologize for the godawful picture quality, it's the only version of the film I got, since Universal still refuses to give this film a PROPER DVD-release... So please see this as a chance to watch this rare film!) ..."