Hallelujah the Hills

Written and directed by Adolfas Mekas.
Starring Peter H. Beard, Sheila Finn, Martin Greenbaum, Peggy Steffans.
1963.



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“A highpoint from the ‘innocent’ years of American underground cinema, and something of an enduring delight for real film buffs. Mekas’ comedy starts from an enthusiastic parody of French ‘new wave’ concepts like using two actresses to play one character, and manages to go on to incorporate references (part satire, part homage) to what seems like every other branch of cinema extant. It ranges from samurai movies to Chaplinesque slapstick, and it hits the intended tone between love and scepticism far more often than you’d have thought possible. The main thing is that it’s recklessly enthusiastic about itself and about cinema in general — and the enthusiasm is infectious.” — Time Out Film Guide

“All hail Adolfas Mekas, an impecunious director who in his first feature film has produced a far-out and very funny farce, the first cubistic comedy of the new world cinema. The weirdest, wooziest, wackiest comedy of the year. A gloriously fresh experience in the cinema.” — Time Magazine

“The wildest and wittiest comedy of the season — an outrageous lark.” — The New York Times

“The revelation of the festival [Cannes] was Hallelujah the Hills. It has irresistible drolleries; it is a slice of joie de vivre which lacks the most elemental gravity, but nevertheless reveals a spontaneous poetry, a genuine freshness of feeling. It is a work which captures, in a marvelous way, a certain natural exuberance of America. It has spirit and enthusiasm and a sense of the unexpected. Its refreshing fantasy and hilarious humor are all integral part of the film.” — France Observateur

“Probably the most American film ever made.” — Ben Schaffer

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Available on NTSC VHS. $29.

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