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Summary: In England, the times are a changing: it's mods and rockers. On the day Nancy gets off the London train, cases in hand, looking for the YWCA, Colin has had enough of missing out on the sexual revolution. He begs his smooth (and misogynistic) pal Tolen to teach him 'the knack' - how to score with women. (imdb)
It's a stylistic mess, but that's kind of the point, and that's why this film's rollicking, free-form environment is so much fun. It just feels like everyone is running around doing crazy shit and it's a blast.
A movie very much set in what was then a contemporary time and place - swinging' sixties London. Good use of editing and a brilliant jazzy score don't quite make up for some reprehensible characters and misogyny that barely masquerades as satire. Attempts to moralize at the end with unflattering results - was the rampant sexism OK in an age of sexual freedom because eventually, a woman stays with a singular partner? The film seems to think so. Funny and imaginative at points but also unpleasant.
It's hard to see why this chaotic farce walked away with the Palme d'Or at Cannes; the script is filled with incoherent lines and bad jokes that pile up on top of each other, while Antony Gibbs' editing merely makes the thin story confusing. To be fair, Richard Lester pulls off some intriguing visuals (and a few funny bits), while the acting is mostly acceptable; Rita Tushingham is quite appealing, even when stuck with a drawn-out comic riff on the word "rape". Mainly a curiosity item.
Curious mix of French and British New Wave. It plays out as nonsense, but understandable nonsense with some fun characters and a good use of style to comment on the generational shifts of the time. Not everything works, I found some of the way the film treats women to be rather crass, but perhaps that's still worthwhile as a relic of the times.