February 1, 2011


Spy Vibe celebrates composer John Barry (1933-2011) this week: The Knack... And How To Get It (1965). The film, directed by Richard Lester, is an interesting time capsule of Mod youth grappling with independence and sexual awakening. The cast includes Rita Tushingham, Ray Brooks, Michael Crawford (How I Won the War), and uncredited appearances by Jacqueline Bisset (Casino Royale, Bullitt) and Barry's second wife, Jane Birkin. The film captures some of Lester's own 'knack' for mid-1960s UK surreal humor and visuals, as well as some groovy organ music from Barry! The two also collaborated on Petulia and Robin and Marion. This particular trailer has been cut in Jean Luc Godard fashion -with a repetition of cues and, well... groping- that highlights the overall sexual tension in the story. Fans of The Monkees will recognize a familiar scene of a bed being rolled down the street- a bit of borrowed, surrealist Lester? I encourage Spy Vibers to seek out the complete score and film for the full experience. And if you're looking to add to your collection of organ grooves for cruising, this one is a classic! Additional Spy Vibe posts on the surrealism boom here and here. Spy Vibe's John Barry obituary here.

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