3 things about Shirley Clarke’s THE COOL WORLD

The Cool World [1963]

1. Pairs of shoes standing side by side on the sidewalk; and on the curb, a portable record player spinning a 45.
2. He gazes across the sand at the beach and says, “Look at all those people tryin’ to get black.”
3. As the police car speeds away, a radio report details Congressional funding for a space mission to bury a copy of the Constitution on the moon.

After reading about this film for upwards of 20 years I was finally able to see it last night, courtesy of Black Cinema House. Amazing. It’s as raw and startling as any movie being made today. He must have his reasons, but I do wish that Fredrick Wiseman (who owns the rights) would allow it to be more widely seen. It’s better than John Cassevetes’ Shadows, from the same period, and a fascinating precursor to everything from Charles Burnett’s Killer of Sheep to Larry Clark’s Kids.

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One Response to 3 things about Shirley Clarke’s THE COOL WORLD

  1. I wonder if there is something about the film that connects to something b if that happened to somebody or a group back in the 60s. I bet it would make for a great conspiracy theory on why it is not widely released, if it isn’t already one.

    Like

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