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Films from the Seventies and Eighties.

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Films from the Seventies and Eighties.

There are films from the Seventies and Eighties you might loosely label "art house." They break boundaries, are innovative, and out of the norm. Often produced on a budget and frequently with non-professional actors, these films can be interesting. At the same time, they demand you approach them with expectations somewhat reduced, these are not the same as you might usually expect from the cinema.

Anthony Aikman, an interesting person in himself, produced one such film in 1972, titled The Genesis Children. It premiered in August of that year in Los Angeles, but was withdrawn a few weeks later because It was deemed unacceptable by the public at large. It remained controversial due to lengthy scenes of full nudity showing teenage and preteen boys. It was felt to be "very benign" by the US ratings board and given an X rating.


The film expresses a mystical naturism and is a very earnest expression of naturist philosophy. The script is non-linear and a little difficult to follow. It is summarised here: The plot, such as it is, concerns eight American lads (ages about ten to sixteen) living in Rome, who are lured to a small Italian coastal town by a newspaper ad calling for boys `to act in a play.' Along the way, they encounter a man (played by Vincent Child) who appears to them in various guises: a priest; a teacher; a policeman; a politician. Directed by him to a secluded beach and finding themselves alone, they hang out for several days, swimming and sunbathing au natural. Indeed, this may be the ultimate skinnydipping movie. While there, they have some adventures. They explore a cave. They raise and repair a sunken rowboat, only to have it sink again. They attempt to steal food from a local farmer. They drive an abandoned van and end up wrecking it. Much of Genesis Children is Tom Sawyerish, but ends more like a milder `Lord of the Flies.'

On the surface, it's quite innocent except for an act of vandalism near the conclusion, which causes the boys to argue and breakup, some returning to civilisation and some choosing to stay. Also, there is a brief, ambiguous conversation between one of the younger kids and an older boy implying sexual activity.

On the downside, the production is rather amateurish and the acting a bit wooden. The cast is obviously made up of nonprofessionals.

On the upside, the color photography is outstanding with gorgeous shots of Rome and the Italian towns, countryside and coast. There is also a catchy musical score.

It must be said that Genesis Children is not intended for all audiences. Many would be offended by the extensive nudity parts of the film. I would think its appeal would mainly be for those interested in naturism and lovers of unconventional movie making.

The film can be viewed online for free using the link below. There is another site, but they require registration, so I haven't included it.


Link to Anthony Aikman: http://www.anthonyaikman.co.uk



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