Early Preview Screening: Hippie Hippie Shake

This is my first film post over at Row Three, a group film blog that I’m going to be writing for now. I’ll still do stuff here, don’t worry. Not like I was currently doing a lot anyway. And when I post stuff over there, I’ll link it from here.

Hippie Hippie Shake cast on location

Oz magazine was a leading publication of the 1960s countercultural underground press, using satirical humor, psychedelic art, and scathing anti-establishment political articles to critique the status quo of the time, first in Australia and then in London. Its envelope-pushing content and endorsement of the expression of free love in pretty much any form landed its editors in obscenity trials in both countries. After being acquitted upon appeal in the Australia trial (1964), main editor Richard Neville and editor/artist Martin Sharp headed to London in 1966 to recreate the magazine in the center of the countercultural movement. They were joined there by Neville’s girlfriend Louise and other contributors, notably Germaine Greer, who would later become very well-known for her feminist literary critical work The Female Eunuch. By 1970, Oz’s editors again found themselves indicted for obscenity and intent to corrupt minors.

The upcoming film Hippie Hippie Shake, adapted from Neville’s memoir, focuses on London Oz from its inception (Neville and Sharp’s arrival in London) through the obscenity trial. I saw the film at a work-in-progress preview, so it wouldn’t be fair to give a definitive review on it at this point, but I’d like to at least give some impressions of the film as it is now. Most of the issues I had with the film were pacing and narrative issues – I’m interested to see if director Beeban Kidron (Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason) will be able to iron those out before the film is released (it currently has no release date set).

Read the rest at Row Three (and please make any comments about the film or review over there, too – thanks!)