Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Chart Song Cinema: The Strawberry Statement (1970)

The Strawberry Statement, starring Bruce Davison, Kim Darby, and Bud Cort, reimagined (and relocated) the 1968 Columbia University student riots, telling the story of a freshman named Simon who stumbles into campus protest culture and eventually gets his clock cleaned by riot police. It's yet another of the era's bummer movies and it shares thematic similarities with (yesterday's subject) Nicholas and Alexandra: political struggle and befuddlement, idealism shattered, and a sadistic focus on the short lifespan of youth and innocence.

The numerous rock soundtrack songs, as I've complained about elsewhere, add value to the viewing experience while getting cheapened in return by attaching themselves to specific visual images. Two songs bubbled under the Billboard Hot 100, thanks to their appearance in the film:

Buffy Sainte-Marie - "The Circle Game" (Billboard #109, entered 8/15/70)
Thunderclap Newman - "Something in the Air" (Billboard #120, re-entered 10/24/70)

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