On 14 February, 7 pm, Kaunas Artists’ House presents the screening of “The Telephone Book” (1971) (R 18+). This event marks the third instalment in the series of independent film screenings initiated by “The Other Cinema” educational platform.
“The Telephone Book” is an important, although slightly forgotten piece of New York underground cinema from the 1970’s. The story in Nelson Lyon’s comedy revolves around Alice, a young, sexually explicit hippie, who falls in love with the world’s best phone sex operator, John Smith, and begins a search for him. During her search, Alice meets a pornographic film director, a manipulative psychiatrist, a homosexual housewife and other eccentric figures.
The film was created at the dawn of the Sexual Revolution – after the end of strict film censorship in Hollywood and just before the beginning of the golden age of porn movies. It was during this period that artists such as Andy Warhol and Robert Downey Senior appeared. For these reasons, “The Telephone Book” shows several artists who, at the time, worked with Andy Warhol, whereas the story’s satire resembles Robert Downey’s comedies. Overall, the film has become a kind of time capsule, evident of the Sexual Liberation movement.
The “Telephone Book” is an impudent black-and-white experiment that features the traditions of sexploitation cinema, social satire and surrealism. Although the film is being redefined today, it suffered a complete failure after the initial release. While it contains vulgar humour and nudity, it is only a surface of this witty and unique film, designed not only for casual cinema lovers, but also for picky cinephiles.
The film will be screened in English.
“The Other Cinema” is an educational platform that introduces and overviews obscure films and their stories and personalities. The goal of this platform is to rescue unwittingly abandoned films from obscurity and review the most interesting manifestations of contemporary independent cinema, as well as to promote people’s interest in alternative cinema history and allow them to develop not only good but also bad taste.