Ozarks Satyricon: “Futz” (1969)

futz5       Tom O’Horgan brings his Total Theater blend of contortionism, tongue poking and vocal gargling in his film of Rochelle Owens’ “Futz”, a play which he previously directed off-Broadway and here attempts to lift the immersive environmental elements of the theatrical experience and transfer them as verbatim as possible into a medium which by its very nature only distances the material further from the viewer; a situation not helped by the inability of O’Horgan to recognize that shots and camera moves are selected for purposes other than visual grandstanding. There is a constant shift between the cast presenting the hillbilly Passion Play on a squared wooden stage surrounded by a bored and futzgif1confused rural audience (also a part of the cast) and the same scenes then enacted in a realistic setting but performed in the same ritualistic, rigidly cadenced  delivery of dialogue in voices ranging from primal shrieking to caterwauling, generally accompanied by flecks of foam on the lips and bugged out eyes. Featuring members of the La Mama Repertory Troupe with whom O’Horgan regularly worked and who performed in the theatrical incarnation, the film is an unceasing parade of extreme Felliniesque grotesquery in which every actor, no matter their normal appearance, squash their faces into displays of Basil Wolverton-like masks of ludicrously distended physiognomy while blurting out pretentious gibberish meant to express Great Themes from the minds of cretins indistinguishable from whom James Dickey succinctly referred to as “the nine-fingered people”.

To read the complete review, click the following link to:  https://chandlerswainreviews.wordpress.com/remembrance-of-films-forgotten/

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About chandlerswainreviews

I've been a puppet, a pirate, a pauper, a poet, a pawn and a king, not necessarily in that order. My first major movie memory was being at the drive-in at about 1 1/2 yrs. old seeing "Sayonara" so I suppose an interest in film was inevitable. (For those scoring at home- good for you- I wasn't driving that evening, so no need to alert authorities.)Writer, critic and confessed spoiler of women, as I have a tendency to forget to put them back in the refrigerator. My apologies.
This entry was posted in Film, Film Reviews, movie reviews, Movies, Reviews, theater and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Ozarks Satyricon: “Futz” (1969)

  1. Sounds fascinating and like the fodder for many bad dreams. I adore James Dickey, so that comparison intrigues me

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