Conjured by o~ SeMeN SPeRmS ~o on May 13, 2014
Mondo Hollywood is a documentary “mondo movie” by Robert Carl Cohen, released in 1967. Filmed over the preceding two years, it was described by Variety as a “flippy, trippy psychedelic guide to Hollywood”.
Long considered a cult classic, “Mondo Hollywood” captures the underside of Hollywood by documenting a moment in time (1965-67), when an inquisitive trust in the unknown was paramount, hope for the future was tangible and life was worth living on the fringe. An interior monologue narrative approach is used throughout the film, where each principal person shown not only decided on what they wanted to be filmed doing, but also narrated their own scenes. The film opens with Gypsy Boots (the original hippie vegan – desert hopping blender salesman), and stripper Jennie Lee, working out ‘Watusi-style’ beneath the ‘Hollywood’ sign — leading into the ‘sustainable community’ insight of Lewis Beach Marvin III, the S&H Green Stamp heir, who lived in a $10 a month garage while owning a mountain retreat in Malibu.
Conjured by o~ SeMeN SPeRmS ~o on March 28, 2013
James Moffat (1922 in Canada – 8 November 1993 in England), was a Canadian born British author who wrote under several pen names.
He produced many pulp novels for the United Kingdom publishing house New English Library during the 1970s. Moffat’s pen names included Richard Allen, Etienne Aubin (The Terror of the Seven Crypts) and Trudi Maxwell (Diary of A Female Wrestler). Moffat’s pulp novels mostly focused on youth subcultures of the late 1960s and 1970s, such as skinheads, hippies and bikers. In particular Moffat wrote a series of popular and commercially successful books featuring what came to be known as his most famous protagonist, the skinhead antihero Joe Hawkins. Moffat often expressed admiration for his subject matter and commented on social issues, mostly from a right wing perspective.
The collected works of Richard Allen were reissued in a six volume set by ST Publishing in the 1990s. A BBC TV documentary about his life, Skinhead Farewell, aired in 1996. Allen’s formulaic and sensationalist writing style has been imitated by Neoist writer Stewart Home. Mark Sargeant wrote a feature in Scootering Magazine titled The Richard Allen Legacy. An interview titled The Return of Joe Hawkins with publisher George Marshall was in issue seven of Skinhead Times (1992).
Moffat also published books under his own name; including the movie tie-in Queen Kong, based on the low-budget 1976 movie.
Conjured by o~ SeMeN SPeRmS ~o on March 17, 2013
Halbstark – The story of the first rocker Switzerland, who staid in the fifties Years as a derogatory yobs were called.
Switzerland 2004, directed by Adrian Winkler, Editor: Oliver Wüst
Duration: 40 min
Halbstarke (“beatnik”, literally “half-strongs”) is a German term describing a postwar-period subculture of adolescents – mostly male and of working class parents – that appeared in public in an aggressive and provocative way during the 1950s in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Later, the term sometimes described youths in general. While in German, it is still in use today for young, aggressive, mostly male adolescents, it has mostly fallen out of active usage in English.
The word itself literally means “the half-strong”. Its origins can be traced back to a manufacturing technology named Walken (= to tumble/ mill/ full), via the word’s synonym Halbgewalkte– “half tumbleds”. Seen that way, the word is a defamation, because it can be associated with “unformed” and “premature” (in German, there also are a few other slight verbal slanders containing “halb”: e.g. Halbschlaue (literally: half-smart) and halbe Portion (literally: half dish / half portion, used for children or adolescents that appear weak). But it is likely that the defamation wasn’t as defamatory to the subculture itself, because its members began calling themselves “Halbstarke”, too. In German, both terms also have an adjective-form (halbstark / halbgewalkt).
These Halbstarken had found prototypes for their fashion and style in American movies, e.g. James Dean in Rebel Without a Cause (German title: …denn sie wissen nicht, was sie tun) and Marlon Brando, as well as the stars of rock ‘n’ roll, that was gaining popularity then. In 1956 Karin Baal and Horst Buchholz became idols thanks to the movie Die Halbstarken. That same year Bill Hayley & His Comets’ song Rock Around The Clock reached #1 in the German Pop charts. Often, the Halbstarken wore a quiff, jeans, checked shirts and leather jackets. Their look separated them from the other, more widespread, German youth culture. Mopeds and motorbikes were very popular and used for riding in ‘gangs’ (as seen in American movies). Because there weren’t a lot of alternatives, the Halbstarken often spent their leisure time outdoors. Their cliques met at corners of the road, in parks or at other public places. This behaviour wasn’t appreciated by elder citizens and so they described it as “bumming around” (gammeln). Rock ‘n’ roll offered tunes and rhythms that were revolutionary and a catalyzer for the youths’ emotions and fears, unlike the then-popular but shallow genre Schlager. The effect of this was probably maximized by the new music being rejected by wide parts of the population. During the 1950s, more or less 5% of youth could be referred to as Halbstarke.
The first Halbstarken riots happened after concerts or cinema screenings, which usually were preceded later uprisings as well. On December 30, 1956 about 4000 juveniles walked through Dortmund’s city, affronting passers-by, rampaging and having battles with the police, after a cinema show of Rock Around the Clock with Bill Haley) Big riots occurred especially from 1956 to 1958. Often, the furniture of cinemas and concert halls was totally destroyed. These riots started severe discussions in media and politics. The seeming sense- and directionlessness of the riots wasn’t comprehensible. Often, the American popular culture was considered guilty. Nowadays, the riots and all of the Halbstarken-phenomenon is seen as a protest against society and its authorities which seemed draconic and bleak. But the protest was neither organized nor politically motivated.(
Photos of the Halbstarke culture by Karlheinz Weinberger
Conjured by o~ SeMeN SPeRmS ~o on March 1, 2012