Synopsis by Nathan Southern
Less a straight documentary than a freeform essay film, Robert Carl Cohen's Mondo Hollywood entertains its audience by profiling a series of "mod" L.A.-area individuals in the late '60s. The film flows freely and loosely from one subject into another and thus emerges as a series of vignettes on colorful lifestyles in Southern California. The individuals profiled in this film include: Dr. Richard Alpert, a professor booted from Harvard in 1963 for his work with Timothy Leary on the Psilocybin Project, which involved studying the effects of LSD; Rudi Gernreich, the gay rights activist and fashion designer notorious for bringing bare breasts en vogue with his topless bikinis; Jay Sebring, the phenomenally successful celebrity hairstylist/salon entrepreneur and onetime boyfriend of Sharon Tate, who was butchered two years later (along with Tate) by members of the Manson family; avant-garde music composer Bobby Beausoleil, the Kenneth Anger artistic collaborator imprisoned for decades because of his onetime involvement with Charles Manson; sculptress Valerie Porter; sex symbol and screen siren Jayne Mansfield; and the wickedly funny rocker Frank Zappa. The film takes its title from the series of Mondo shockumentaries that director Gualtiero Jacopetti began in the early '60s with Mondo Cane. Mike Curb compiled the psychedelic soundtrack.
artist, Hollywood, LSD