SOME CALL IT LOVING (1973)
aka Sleeping Beauty
Article 5120 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by James B. Harris
Featuring Zalman King, Carol White, Tisa Farrow
What it is: Modern re-imagining of a fairy tale
A jazz musician purchases a “sleeping beauty” act (with an authentic sleeping beauty) from a carnival. He awakens her, but as a result, finds himself taken on an unexpected emotional journey.
According to IMDB, this movie was a sensation in Europe, but died a quick death in the U.S. due to poor critical reception and poor distribution. And, truth to tell, it is an art film and not one that easily gives up its secrets. The reviews on IMDB do seem to indicate that the movie is often disliked and dismissed, and the small number of them also indicates that few people have really seen it. Me, I have to admit to being entranced and fascinated by it; though it often made me think of other movies I’ve seen (both NIGHT TIDE and LAST YEAR AT MARIENBAD come to mind), it carves out a special niche for itself. I think the main theme of the movie may be the concept of control; the main character longs both for control and loss of control, but the latter is also something he fears. Once I realized this, the existence of Richard Pryor’s character here as the musician’s best friend who appears to be an addled junkie, while initially seeming out of place, actually makes a great deal of sense; his total lack of control makes him the perfect alter ego to the musician. I ended up being quite moved by the movie, but I can also fully understand those who might be put off by it. Incidentally, the fantastic content is the “fairy dust” that surrounds the “sleeping beauty” concept, but, in its own way, the movie does feel like a fantasy.