Sunday, May 22
Directed by Robert Downey, Sr.
(1972) Allan Arbus as the zoot-suited Jesse parachutes into a Western desert town ruled by perpetually constipated Albert Henderson’s Greaser, and proceeds to raise the dead, cure the sick (“If ya feel, ya heal.” “I can crawl, I can crawl!”) in… is it a Christian allegory? But then he really just wants to get to Jerusalem to make it as a song-and-dance man. Blessed with an actual million dollar [?!] budget by a benefactor, this was “Downey’s Cleopatra, his Mutiny on the Bounty.” (Vincent Canby, New York Times). DCP. Approx. 91 mins.
“A WILD CAREER! When he was starting out in the 1960s, [Downey] shot on the fly and screened his work in tiny theaters, often to small, half-baked audiences. But his experimental films now stand as signature works of American underground cinema, as do his breakthrough advertising satire, Putney Swope — about a black executive who is accidentally put in charge of a big-time firm and completely upends the industry — and the playfully bizarre Jesus-western Greaser’s Palace.”
– Bilge Ebiri, The Village Voice