Let's imagine Tony Soprano in one of his 3 am near-comas. Rich food and stress is keeping him awake, as the rest of his family sleeps soundly in their Jersey mini-mansion. Having just loaded an extra-extra large hot fudge sundae into his gut, he's half-awake on the sofa, watching television. This is a scene that happened repeatedly during The Sopranos, when Tony would sometimes see an old movie that would cut him to the quick, or else plant a seed of doubt in him, tipping him off to some unsuspected treachery in his world. Tonight's screening is a weird, weird film from 1968...so damned weird that the next day, Tony wouldn't be sure if he didn't doze off during it, adding plot details from his own dream-life.

Skidoo by Otto Preminger--a resounding, loathed failure in its time--has a cult, like almost all failures do. It includes the first appearance by the reliable character actor and acting teacher Austin Pendleton. Also making her debut was the famed pioneer African-American model and Warhol star Donyale Luna (memorable from this photograph you've seen in every beauty salon, in which Luna's leanness and sinew is visually contrasted with a line of elephants). (here's a famous photo of her) Unique casting compliments a really one-of-a-kind musical/satire that shows how beyond "good" and "bad" some films are.

categories Features, Cinematical