“The president”. The reappropriation of the public space | Ignacio Grávalos – Patrizia Di Monte

“El presidente”. La reapropiación del espacio público o1
Wild in the Streets, 1968, Barry Shear

“The president” (Wild in the Streets), directed by Barry Shear, had the premiere in the convulsed May, 68. It belongs to a group of movies that will affect in the new power of an unincluded youth: Riot on Sunset Street, Dreyfuss, 1967; Privilege, Watkins, 1967; I love you, Alice B. Toklas, Averback, 1968; Alice’s Restaurant, Penn, 1969; Performance, Cammell y Roeg, 1970 or Taking Off, Miloš Forman, 1971.

“El presidente”. La reapropiación del espacio público o2
Wild in the Streets, 1968, Barry Shear

In a full electoral campaign, a political self-seeker with aspirations to the presidency of the United States, decides to include in his mítines to a media group of rock to catch the young vote. One of the promises of his electoral, conscious campaign of the incipient power of the youth, consists of reducing the age of vote at the age of 18. It is here when they begin the problems, since Max Frost, the leader of the musical group, irrumpe in scene requesting an unexpected reduction of age of vote at the age of 14. As measure of pressure, this message throws it accompanied of a call to occupying the streets on the part of the youth, which in this moment he has a silent majority.

“El presidente”. La reapropiación del espacio público o3
Wild in the Streets, 1968, Barry Shear

The urban space of Los Angeles, and especially Sunset Boulevard, starts being taken by thousands of young women who come to the summons, unleashing an expansive reconquest of the streets that is happening along the whole country. The awakening of the youth represents a phenomenon irruptivo, “a hidden weapon” affirms one of the young persons, whereas one of the reactionary prominent figures affirms:

El espacio urbano de Los Ángeles, y en especial Sunset Boulevard, empieza a ser tomado por millares de jóvenes que acuden a la convocatoria, desencadenando una reconquista expansiva de las calles que va sucediendo a lo largo de todo el país. El despertar de la juventud representa un fenómeno irruptivo, “un arma escondida” afirma uno de los jóvenes, mientras que uno de los personajes reaccionarios afirma:

“A pity that the youth has turned into a disease. A strange virus neither of that nor you themselves they will be able to recover”.

Already nothing will return to be like before.

“El presidente”. La reapropiación del espacio público o4
Wild in the Streets, 1968, Barry Shear

From here, and in a process that escapes from the political old woman of the hands, the leader of the group reaches the presidency of the United States. With him, there begins a series of surprising offers (retirement to the major ones of 25 years, elimination of the police, withdrawn from the army, distribution of food surpluses, etc). Surely the most powerful element is the suppression of the adult world of the scene (not only politics). To this end, they believe a few centers of internment (formally very similar to the concentration camps) in which the adults are imprisoned and agreements with LSD’s daily doses, subsumiéndolos in a condition of induced happiness. The psychotropic substances understood as an access to a new type of conscience for Huxley or Roszack, will have an omnipresent presence in all the areas of the company (included the Congressmembers). The LSD, rock and freedom will be elements vertebradores of the new social model. In this to pass of the time, the inevitable question develops, what will happen when the leader comes closer at the age of 25?

Wild in the Streets, 1968, Barry Shear
Wild in the Streets, 1968, Barry Shear

The movie in his moment generated incomprehension derived from diverse delirious situations put in scene, but that were undoubtedly a reflection of the obsessions of the youth of ends of the sixties. Nevertheless, diverse aspects can be rescued ensuing from an amazing current importance. The empowerment of the youth, the reconquest of the streets, the question of the classic parties and the resistance of the above mentioned to disappear of the political scene or the drowsiness on behalf of the company are elements that appeared in a history of fiction whom the reality, in occasions, has tried to imitate.

Wild in the Streets, 1968, Barry Shear
Wild in the Streets, 1968, Barry Shear

Ignacio Grávalos – Patrizia Di Monte. Architects (estonoesunsolar)
Zaragoza-Venezia. may 2017.

Filed under: captures, cinema, espacio publico, Ignacio Grávalos - Patrizia di Monte

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