Privilege (1967)

PETER WATKINS

Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBB

United Kingdom, 1967.  John Heyman/Peter Watkins Production, World Film Services, Memorial Enterprises.  Story by , Screenplay by , additional scenes and dialogue by Peter Watkins.  Cinematography by .  Produced by , .  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  

Peter Watkins got endless amounts of flack for this bitter-tasting satire of mass media; it probably made no sense when it was first released but now seems quite precise and to the point. It tells the story of a popular singer whose fame is so strong that there is no way in which the government hasn’t marketed him in order to keep control over the country’s youth. Appearing in films, magazines, and on concert stages, he is also used for product promotion and manufactured until his phenomenon doesn’t in any way resemble his humanity. co-stars as his shallow love interest. Watkins does a great job of skewering the world of controlled media, but no matter how intelligent the film is, it’s never quite entertaining enough; its message is a good one but it hits you over the head with the subtlety of an anvil.

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