So, I’ve just finished watching my copy of the 1979 film adaptation of the stage musical Hair; and I must say, I’d forgotten what a fab musical this is. I’ve watched it a few times now, however the last time was probably about two years ago.
The basic story line is that a clean-cut midwestern kid named Claude, fresh off the bus from Oklahoma and eager to do service in the military, comes to New York and ends up sidetracked by a nomadic tribe of hippies in Central Park. The group is vibrantly led by Berger. Claude is eventually assimilated into this family of protesters and falls in love with Sheila, a girl from a wealthy family. Their happiness is cut short when Claude has to report for duty in the Vietnam War. The plot hangs in the balance when Berger poses as Claude to buy Claude a little more time in the name of love.
Although several changes to the original stage musical were made to the film version in terms of plot, I really do think that those changes were made for the better. I am always dabbing my eyes by the end of the film and I find that the bits of the film that I especially like are the ‘new’ bits that were added in for the film release.
It can take a bit of time to get into the film, for me due to the whole hippie thing which I am rather unacquainted with (though this provides for some excellent imagery/metaphors in the music and in the choreography/staging of the numbers). I also learnt a few bits and pieces from the film and it gave me food for thought on the whole hippie movement and on society back in the day/today.
Give this film adaptation a go… I reckon you’ll love it 😀
Here’s some of my favourite numbers (chances are you’ll have already heard of a few of these already – they’re very popular on adverts – such as the ones for Múller yoghurts – along with several being chart hits, including Nina Simone’s “Ain’t Got No / I Got Life” and Milk & Sugar’s dance version of “Let The Sun Shine“)…
The Age Of Aquarius – perhaps one of the best cinematographic openings of any film in my opinion. Just you try and resist the urge to cavort your body along to the music – especially when they pan sweep around the fantastic lead singer!
I Got Life
Hare Krishna – perhaps the wierdest part of the entire musical – Claude is tripping on LSD, which although hell for him, provides us with some fun images! Don’t try to understand; just watch in disbelief at how mad everything becomes hehe.
Good Morning Starshine
SPOILER ALERT – do not watch the above clip unless you wish to know the horribly ironic twist and how the film version ends! (and why I get tearful sometimes heh!)
Let The Sun Shine – a wonderfully hedonistic song! Absolutely amazing.