Hippie Hippie Shake – Review
I was lucky enough to attend a preview screening of the new Beeban Kidron film last Thursday, set to be released later this year called Hippie Hippie Shake.
The upcoming British film, from the Bridget Jones 2 director, follows the love story of Oz magazine editor Richard Neville and Louise Ferrier as Neville and his associates launch the London edition of satirical magazine Oz, the radical magazine that put them on trial for publishing sexually explicit content.
Set in 1960’s London, Hippie Hippie Shake, which has been in development since 1998, is a fascinating portrayal of the memoirs of Richard Neville.
Starring Cillian Murphy and Sienna Miller the film captures the time period effectively presenting both drama, sex and drugs against a setting of media scrutiny and restrictions. Oz sets out to do something different, to redefine the form and produce a radical magazine which will change the way people think. Appealing to the neglected youth and engaging them with the issues that matter to them. However as time progresses these intentions become blurred and the true agenda of the magazine questionable.
While the film is not going to appeal to the mass market, the story, which before seeing the film I was unaware of, is of particularly interest to those interested in journalism.
Not only does the film address issues of writing and publishing, as well as the hard graft of being a journalist, the later half of the film focuses heavily on censorship, morality and ethics. The court case scenes raise a number of issues which I have regularly come across as a trainee journalist.
Without spoiling the plot, Neville and co find themselves in court facing charges of indecency, particularly involving one case with Rupert the Bear. The trial of obscenity raised questions over government censorship and freedom of the press. The arguments presented from both sides equally stand but the conflict lies in a misunderstanding of the magazines intentions, the smut which is at face value has hidden meaning. However I won’t enter into details. See the movie.
Colourful, funny and dramatic this is not only a good film it is educational too. A good document of history that many journalists and non journalists will enjoy. Also look out for Germaine Greer.