Tuesday, September 13, 2011

she was a working girl north of england way, now she's hit the big time in the usa

I am currently so inspired by the swinging sixties fashions of the 1968 film Petulia, starring Julie Christie - fresh from her megastar-turning roles in Doctor Zhivago and Fahrenheit 451 - in the title role. Directed by Dick Lester (the kook genius behind both the Beatles' A Hard Day's Night and Help!), the film tells the story of a young San Franciscan socialite named Petulia who is unhappily married to an abusive man. At the start of the film, Christie's character announces, "My name's Petulia Danner. I've been married for six months and I haven't had an affair yet." Well, this fact quickly changes when Petulia becomes smitten with a doctor by the name of Archie Bollen, falling for him after she watched him treat an injured young boy. On their first formal evening together, Petulia tells him that they ought to get a hotel room and details for him her plans for their marriage. As luck would have it, Bollen has recently begun divorcing his wife and is able to begin a relationship with the beautiful Petulia as he seeks to sort out his now complicated relationships with his ex-wife (and her new boyfriend), his children, and friends. 
The film is a treat not just for it's fashions, but also for it's appearances by a Janis Joplin-led Big Brother & The Holding Co. and the Grateful Dead. Fourth down on the far left side of the collage is a photo of Petulia taken out of an apartment on a stretcher, and you can see members of the Dead as well as Janis among the hippie onlookers. 


I think this film is one of the most important films of the Swinging Sixties period in London - not just for its fashions (which are to die for - there were too many outfits for me to even include!) but for its daring plot, quirky take on romance and marriage, and it's cutting edge non-linear structure. 

Title: from "Honey Pie" (The Beatles)

2 comments:

Chrissie said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Lovely post! The movie looks amazing. I just saw the trailer and I can't wait to be able to see it. I love Julie Christie, who doesn't? ;) The clothes are really to die for. The Sixties seemed to have everything! The great clothes, the amazing music, etc. Anyways thanks for the post!

RetroBlonde said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

I'm a huge Julie Christie fan and I believe she was even more amazing in the 70s than she was in the 60s.

See Don't Look Now or Shampoo for timeless, iconic style.