The Knack... and How to Get It




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June 26, 2016 at 03:55 PM



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01 hr 24 min
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1.28 GB
01 hr 24 min
P/S 2 / 2

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Joel Benington 10 / 10

Great pacing, music

One of my 10 favorite films. An aimless, fantastical collection of site gags and non-sequiturs, punctuated by verbal graffiti in the comments of onlookers. What makes it so great is the charming spirit of youthful innocence throughout and the captivating soundtrack.

Reviewed by GeoffLeo 10 / 10

The Knack emerges as a serious contender as the film which best defines and captures the essence of the sixties.

The Knack emerges as a serious contender as the film which best defines and captures the essence of the sixties. As a product of its age, it convincingly portrays an image of 'swinging London' that so dominated the media at that time. It is an enduring image, which has long since seeped into our collective consciousness.

Today, The Knack appears, at best, to be an attempt at understanding the changing moral landscape that was being radically redrawn during this era. As a piece of contemporary film making, it manages to capture the spirit of that age perfectly. What it doesn't necessarily do is make sense of it all. The 1960s was, after all, a period of rapid social and political change - an age of cold war tension, supersonic invention and lunar landing pretensions, combined with increasing freedom for teenagers, both in terms of sex and spending power.

The quartet of principal actors, Crawford, Tushingham, Brooks & Donnelly all give bravura performances. Richard Lester's direction was exemplary; indeed, he has probably not made a better film since those heady days. The locations, featuring some rather dingy-looking parts of the capital, look all the more so thanks to the decision to film in monochrome. This was particular brave considering the colourful times the film was depicting. The one ingredient which most of all created the sense of playfulness indicative of the film was John Barry's wonderfully mischievous jazz-tinged pop score. One cannot imagine the film without it, which is the highest compliment one can pay to a film soundtrack.

There is no doubt that The Knack was and remains a stylish movie, albeit rooted in its time. No viewer can fail to date its origin correctly ... yet that's precisely what makes this celluloid time-capsule such a fascinating viewing experience. It exists as the archetypal mid-sixties art-house movie, which, like the decade in which it was written, took risks, dared to be different, and, if it didn't always succeed, sure as hell made an impression.

Reviewed by bobc-5 7 / 10

Misunderstood, Under-appreciated, and Overrated

A steady stream of very attractive and nearly identical manikins come to life and march starry-eyed around the block and up the stairs to a flat where they briefly meet the object of their desire before dutifully signing his guest book on the way out. The man they came to see is the suave Lothario who will try to mentor the socially awkward teacher living downstairs in the "knack" of seducing women. As so often happens in situations like this, they will eventually end up competing for the affections of the same intriguing ing?nue.

This may sound like an overused clich? likely to result in a formulaic romantic comedy, but director Richard Lester gives us something very different as he presents the story through a combination of exaggerated caricatures, fantasy sequences and zany metaphors. The result is that we are not so much interested in the details of the story as we are in the fun we have reaching the inevitable conclusion and the social commentary we encounter along the way.

Created in 1965, Lester makes a hefty contribution to the creation of a frenetic visual style of comedy which will be imitated with great commercial success throughout the rest of the decade (think "Laugh-In"). With its mod styling, rapid-fire editing, non sequiturs and wacky antics, Lester effectively uses this style to provide some wickedly clever parody of early 1960s sexism, conformity and consumerism.

The film is unfortunately not without some serious flaws. The comic style which may have seemed fresh and exciting at the time has not aged well. The good-natured mood of the film robs the social commentary of any punch or staying power, as does the failure to integrate it into a unifying framework. Also, the four main characters may be wonderfully portrayed with excellent comic acting, but only one of them is scripted such that he ever becomes human enough for us to care what happens to him, something which is essential in a story that is entirely about the relationships between the main characters.

One may find this to be a very enjoyable and memorable film in spite of these flaws, but it clearly requires that you recognize how to accept what it attempts to offer rather than criticizing it for what it doesn't deliver. I'd also think that it's a valuable film for anyone interested in the 1960s mass media image of a mostly mythical swinging London and in the trends influencing popular entertainment during that time period.

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