Sunday, February 09, 2014

Movies by year: 1971

(Warning: here be spoilers, but seriously come on, this movie's 43 years old now!)

Time for another movie! We're up to 1971, and there are plenty of excellent films we could discuss - The Andromeda Strain, Bananas, A Clockwork Orange, Harold and Maude, Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory - but instead I'm going to tell you about:

The Point


Okay, let's get this out of the way right away: Harry Nilsson was on acid when he came up with this. But don't let that stop you from enjoying it! It's the tale of Oblio, a little boy born in the Land of Point, where all things and all people are pointed... except for him. Oblio has no point on the top of his head, unlike all the people, houses, pets and everything else in the land. And most people were fine with that, but there are some who decide he has to go, and get him banished (with his faithful canine pal Arrow) to the Pointless Forest. The two of them encounter a lot of interesting characters in their exile (the Pointed Man, who points in all directions; the Rock Man, who oozes cool; the Leaf Man, who invests and plans for the future; the Three Fat Sisters, who just love to have fun), but they realize that they all had a point, despite being in a place called Pointless, and Oblio eventually comes to the very mature realization that everyone has a point, whether you can see it or not. Finally, they return home to share the good news.

When it aired on ABC (it was a TV movie) the narrating father was voiced by Dustin Hoffman, but for various reasons it was never him again - he was re-voiced by Alan Thicke and then Ringo Starr in later releases. And the soundtrack album (which I have always loved and was my favourite record as a child) dispenses with the father altogether and just has Harry Nilsson 'reading' to us between songs. And oh, the songs. They're just fantastic in that inimitable Nilsson way. 'Me And My Arrow' was a radio hit for him after this came out, but for me the best was 'Think About Your Troubles' - a song the exact length needed for our heroes to walk from the Land of Point to the Pointless Forest.

Have you ever seen The Point? What did you think? Are you a Harry Nilsson fan? Did you find the acid influence obvious?

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