GREETINGS was Brian De Palma's first great cinematic statement. It appeared on the eve of this country's most turbulent decade since the American Civil War, and in advance of an ostensibly "new" Hollywood rendering the boundless energies of the counterculture into commodity form. Throughout this film, De Palma searches for an attitude, for a style appropriate to the strangeness and violence of his moment. He openly samples from the French New Wave and American undergrounders such as Andy Warhol, but also makes ample use of the particular resources available to him: the seedy streets and characters of late-'60s Manhattan — with its infinite list of internal contradictions — to the charisma and range of young, then-unknown actor Robert De Niro. Ultimately, it is toward comedy that GREETINGS aspires. Even beyond its heady politics, its film-historical fluency and its sharp-eyed critique of American society, GREETINGS invites its audience to laugh. (Note courtesy of George Eastman House.) DIR/SCR Brian De Palma; SCR/PROD Charles Hirsch. U.S., 1968, color, 88 min. RATED R
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