LIONS LOVE (1969 USA / FRANCE)
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Agnes Varda directed this drama which combines formal dramatic structures with the openness of improvisational cinema verite. Independent filmmaker Shirley Clarke plays an avant-garde film director attempting to work with a major studio to finance her next project, in which she hopes to collaborate with James Rado and Jerome Ragni, creators of the musical Hair (who play themselves). She also wants to use Andy Warhol superstar Viva (who also appears as herself) as her leading lady. However, after much give and take between herself and the moneymen, the director learns that the plug has been pulled on her project, pushing her to the brink of suicide. Incorporating newsreel footage and excerpts from the work of poet and playwright Michael McClure into its narrative, Lions Love also features appearances by European screen tough guy Eddie Constantine and noted film writers Carlos Clarens and Peter Bogdanovich.