Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Cool Culture of the 60s

Blow-up (1966) is an interesting film because it displays cool not through the main character, but the people that surround him. Thomas is a photographer that runs around all over London with out ever accomplishing much. The film allows us to see the changes occuring in culture at that time period that make the 60s so cool. For example, one evening while Thomas is wandering about he walks into a Yardbirds concert. There was a complete change in style of music during the 60s as well as fashion (also shown in the movie) and various other aspects of culture. Although the movie takes place in London, a very important city for the 60s, the same changes were occuring in many other places during this time period.

The changes that took place in the 60s covered all areas of art, especially music. The most notable and also British form of cool new music in the 60s has to be the Beatles. The Beatles were trendsetters throughout the sixties from their first album Please Please Me in 1963 until their last album Let It Be in 1970. The group started out with a rock and roll style, but experiemented with and mixed various genres together. As the Beatles career progressed, their style evolved. They continued to create new sounds and unconventional effects that would forever change the music industry. In Blow-up, the group of anarchist mimes represent the 60s sentiment that it was necessary to break outside the box to find beauty. Although the mimes were not trying to be cool, they were the coolest people in the movies because they were doing whatever they desired.

The 60s cultural changes first began in the arts such as fashion and music, but then developed into changes in thought and ideals. This movement can be summed up by one word: hippie. The hippies embraced the importance of peace and love. Peace and love are abstract concepts, but hippies still symbolize them. The number of movies and tv shows that reference the movements of the 60s in London and the United States are endless. Blow-up accurately shows that these cultural changes of the 60s were cool and that culture and cultural changes in general are cool.


  1. I definitely agree with you! The mimes were the coolest people in the movie in my opinion! I like how you noted how Thomas wasn't actually cool but the culture and people around him were cool.

  2. If Thomas stopped running around so much do you think that he could ever be cool?