The Best Old Movies On a Big Screen This Week: January 28-February 3

01/28/2015 11:34 AM |

end of the road-avakian

End of the Road (1970)
Directed by Aram Avakian
John Barth’s 1955-written nihilism comedy is the awkward pogoing-off point for Avakian and co-writer Terry Southern’s scattershot countercultural riffing on the violent events of the late 60s and their toll on Stacy Keach’s everyman academic’s psyche. Grooving on a prominent anti-establishment strain in Barth, much of the film indulges Avakian’s weakness for shock-montage (footage and slides of atrocities, Hitler, Nixon, napalming, etc.). And yet somehow it works, as the kind of mad mélange of 1970 anger-confusion J. Hoberman might call a “whatsit,” similar in spirit to William Klein, Robert Downey, Sr., and Melvin Van Peebles. DP Gordon Willis’s first credit, it may be, per Kael, “camp paranoia,” but it’s a thought-provoking eyeful. Justin Stewart (Jan 31, 3pm at the Museum of the Moving Image’s “See It Big! Gordon Willis”)