Friday, June 28, 2013

Head Film Script Analysis: Some of the Corpses Are Amusing

In case you are not aware,  there is a great group called "Some of the Corpses Are Amusing" (SOTCAA).  Lots of wacky things, not the least of which is a gradually revealed scene-by-scene reverse-engineering of the "Head" film script.

Yes, you heard me. The Script.


it gets better!

They fully dissect the shooting script, comparing it fully to the final version. If you are a Script Supervising nerd like me (or just an obsessive fan, like me), this is great literature.  Or at least, incredibly compelling.

Even the screen grabs from various video/dvd releases are useful.  Like a full analysis of the bathroom scene, including a complement to the German voice over actor who perfectly imitates Peter's whistle of "Strawberry Fields Forever".  This is like reading a graduate thesis, playing a multimedia video game, and Shakespeare's footnotes.  An archivist's dream!

The script, even the pages that didn't make it into the final film are addressed and tangents are fully explored. These people are British ("faecal matter" !! when discussing the finer points of having a toilet flush sound )  and totally obsessive (who else would bring in Janet Leigh?)  And there is a copacetic Monkee sense of humor.  Even Nez would giggle. (Direct stolen quote below)

The business with the MAN flushing the toilet and emerging from the cubicle was dropped by the time of the shoot. It's worth remembering that the first sight of a toilet flush in mainstream cinema had only occurred only eight years previously (in Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho (1960) - and Janet Leigh wasn't even using it for its intended purpose back then). It might be fair to assume that even scenes of 'implied' disposal of urine or faecal matter would have been regarded as questionable at the time, especially in a film the studios intended to aim at America's youth.
The toilet in question is heard flushing and gurgling (entirely of its own volition) a bit later - when the Cop checks the cubicle is empty before performing his burlesque dance - but even there there's no implication that anyone's recently sat down on it.
We did ask Mike Nesmith for his views on the above important issue, but he insisted he'd never even heard of a toilet in 1968...

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