Bob Rafelson

Director of Monkees TV shows who eventually made their movie with Jack Nicholson and continued to work with Nicholson in movies like Five Easy Pieces and the remake of The Postman Always Rings Twice.

Indifferent Head (1968) -- Apparently the Monkees didn't like not being taken seriously as musicians and artists, which makes about as much sense as Ted Danson getting upset that he wasn't taken seriously as a bartender, but there you are.  This movie is an attempt to show how non-commercial and "out there" the boys actually were (though it was really Rafelson and Jack Nicholson, the writers, doing most of the "art"), and so all the late 60s freak-outs you'd expect are here, tied together with a sort of dream logic that kinda works and kinda doesn't.  Monkee fans wouldn't have enjoyed it and non-Monkee fans wouldn't have wanted to see a Monkee movie, so it didn't really have an audience at the time, but it's become a cult favorite.  It's got some good moments, but overall it tends to be dull for me.

Like It Five Easy Pieces (1970) -- Jack Nicholson's first big movie, one that takes a little settling into before you begin to like it, especially since meandering is a major element.  The premise of an alienated guy stuck between a classical pianist family background and a blue collar culture he turned to is interesting, and there are very clever nods that clue you in on what this movie is all about: such as the characters watching You Can't Take It With You (which has a vaguely similar premise), but only a TV set with such horrible reception that you can barely tell what it is.  Plenty of little moments to enjoy, from Karen Black's explanation of chin clefts ("Go away...") to the ten minutes in which a hitchhiker talks about filth (the best part of the movie, actually).  It looks like a lot of things we're used to today, but back then American audiences weren't as used to this style of storytelling and no one was used to Jack.

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