• film

Not Ready For Primetime – Double Feature

Brand X / Dynamite Chicken

Edgy, irreverent sketch comedy took television by storm in the late 1970s and early 1980s with the likes of Saturday Night Live and SCTV. For a generation raised on television and its abject commercialism, “the idiot box” was ripe for satire. Two prime early examples of counterculture's skewering of the medium are the films Brand X and Dynamite Chicken. With pointed attacks on political corruption, racial tension and outdated sexual mores, nothing is sacred and every “broadcast” is a chance to promote sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll.

Brand X

Wynn Chamberlain, US, 1970, 87 min.

Starring Taylor Mead, Tally Brown, Abbie Hoffman and Sally Kirkland, Wynn Chamberlain’s Brand X is “a raucous, choppy, political satire inspired by a day in the life of American television, the film appropriates TV formats ranging from talk shows and commercials to White House press conferences.” – Frieze Magazine

New restoration courtesy of Fondazione Cineteca di Bologna.

Followed by:

Dynamite Chicken

Ernie Pintoff, US, 1971, 35mm, 76 min.

Dynamite Chicken features Richard Pryor, Tuli Kupferberg of the Fugs and The Ace Trucking Company. The full title of the film is Dynamite Chicken: A Contemporary Probe and Commentary of the Mores and Maladies of Our Age … with Schtick, Bits, Pieces, Girls, Some Hamburger, a Little Hair, a Lady, Some Fellas, Some Religious Stuff, and a Lot of Other Things so don’t say we didn’t warn you.

Special thanks to Harry Guerro.