Sunday, April 11, 2010

Help Me Make It Through the Night.

Our Kristofferson homage continues...and now that we've seen Cisco Pike in its entirety, we're even more convinced of the man's genius, if not his acting chops. Here's a short rundown of the film, if you dare: bisexual, pregnant Warhol Factory Girl Viva shoots dope in her father's mansion and instigates orgies; Harry Dean Stanton shoots speed, can't get it up, and tragically OD's, after playing the most convincing speed-freak in counter-culture cinema; Doug Sahm raps like a complete hillbilly lunatic, with rare shots of Sir Douglas Quintet playing live in the studio; Doug's "manager" is played by Allen Arbus, who the following year will go on to play Dr. Sidney Freedman on M*A*S*H*, and is just recently divorced from photographer Diane Arbus (who, perhaps not coincidentally, commits suicide the same year Cisco Pike is filmed); Gene Hackman plays a paranoid, corrupt, drug-dealing cop with serious health issues and a death wish; Wavy Gravy (Hugh Romney) wanders in playing a clueless dope connection who nearly gets busted (a theatrical stretch, no doubt); and Karen Black is, as always, beautifully clueless, yet stylish, as Cisco's long-suffering girlfriend...Cisco Pike is a trainwreck of amped-up 60's decadence crashing headlong into the miasma, anomie, and bum trips of the 70's, leaving everyone confused, empty, and depressed. And that was just me...nevermind the cast.

In a somewhat more mellow, er...vein, here's Kris Kristofferson & Rita Coolidge performing on The Old Grey Whistle Test (UK), 1972. They were married and had a kid the following year, and it's not too hard to see why: this is a 2 minute, 27 second-long PDA...utterly romantic and charming, if slightly uncomfortable, and played with tasteful restraint by the band (I'd love to know who's backing them up here).

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