Not Ready For Primetime – Double Feature
Brand X / Dynamite Chicken
Edgy, irreverent sketch comedy took television by storm in
the late 1970s and early 1980s with the likes of Saturday Night Live and SCTV.
For a generation raised on television and its abject commercialism, “the idiot
box” was ripe for satire. Two prime early examples of counterculture's
skewering of the medium are the films Brand X and Dynamite Chicken. With
pointed attacks on political corruption, racial tension and outdated sexual
mores, nothing is sacred and every “broadcast” is a chance to promote sex,
drugs and rock ‘n roll.
Wynn Chamberlain, US, 1970, 87 min.
Starring Taylor Mead, Tally Brown, Abbie Hoffman and Sally
Kirkland, Wynn Chamberlain’s Brand X
is “a raucous, choppy, political satire inspired by a day in the life of
American television, the film appropriates TV formats ranging from talk shows
and commercials to White House press conferences.” – Frieze Magazine
New restoration courtesy of Fondazione Cineteca di Bologna.
Ernie Pintoff, US, 1971, 35mm, 76 min.
Dynamite Chicken features Richard Pryor, Tuli Kupferberg of the Fugs and The Ace Trucking Company. The full title of the film is Dynamite Chicken: A Contemporary Probe and Commentary of the Mores and Maladies of Our Age … with Schtick, Bits, Pieces, Girls, Some Hamburger, a Little Hair, a Lady, Some Fellas, Some Religious Stuff, and a Lot of Other Things so don’t say we didn’t warn you.
Special thanks to Harry Guerro.