© 1970 Lion's Gate Films

Brewster McCloud (1970)

One of the nice things about living in Tokyo is that I get the chance to see movies on the big screen that are difficult to see elsewhere in any format. A theater in Tokyo is about to launch a series celebrating the “New Hollywood” renaissance of the late ’60s and ’70s. The first film in the rarely seen Robert Altman film Brewster McCloud.

There is now denying that Brewster McCloud is a strange film. The basic plot of a young man who wants to build a flying machine and who quickly disposes anyone who stands in his way is unconventional to say the least. Add to this Altman’s trademark ensemble cast (Sally Kellerman, Shelly Duvall and Jennifer Salt as the women who help Brewster, and Stacy Keech as a Howard Hughes-esque recluse and Margaret Hamilton as some of his victims) as well as quick-fire editing, and you have a pretty weird movie. It is also a wonderful movie that evokes the feeling of freedom and release that Brewster equates to flying. Altman also pulls off the feat of taking the cliche action movie car chase and turning it into something funny.

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