“We must, of necessity, subdue the critical elements in the country’s youth.”
In a dystopic “near-future”, Britain’s coalition government uses rock star Steve Shorter (Paul Jones) to manipulate public opinion.
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
- Media Spectacle
- Naive Public
- Rise and Fall
- Rock ‘n Roll
Response to Peary’s Review:
As Peary notes, this somewhat dated Big Brother flick is mostly notable as a glimpse at “controversial” films of the late 1960s. While filmed in quasi-documentary style, the movie lacks the deliberate humor of recent mockumentaries; it’s more akin to the deadpan political satire of Tim Robbins’s Bob Roberts (1992) or Warren Beatty’s Bulworth (1998). The film’s unusual story arc doesn’t chronicle the typical “rise and fall” of a superstar, but rather begins at the tipping point of Shorter’s fame. Thus, we never see any of the arrogance or cockiness that this nation-wide phenomenon must surely have possessed at some point; we are simply witness to his growing discomfort and despair. Storyline aside, Privilege is primarily energized whenever Paul Jones hits the stage. He has a truly haunting voice, and the ballads he sings aren’t half-bad. He’s a surprisingly decent actor, too.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
- Effectively Big Brother-ish sets
- The opening “Theatre of Cruelty” musical act
- An excellent rock soundtrack
Yes. It holds a place in film history, and thus will most likely be of interest to true film fanatics.