Arts The Day the Sixties Began
posted by June 8 at 14:31 PMon
I’m going over quota here, and stepping on my co-guest-sloggers’ film mandate.
The scene early in John Schlesinger’s Billy Liar, made in England in 1963, where Julie Christie steps into the world to the sound of some flutey jazz, is the moment the 1960s began. Not the Beatles, not JFK: Julie Christie.
I wish I could rip it and YouTube it, but I am too dumb.
Later, Christie again shows why she shone brighter than a thousand other, supposedly prettier, girls (only Rita Tushingham can match her) in this scene with the great Tom Courtenay:
LIZ: I want to marry you, Billy.
BILLY: Ah, I think I get engaged a bit too often.
LIZ: Oh, I don’t want to get engaged, I want to get married.
BILLY: Well, uh—we will one day.
LIZ: Yes. “One day.”
LIZ: You know—you know what you wanted me to do that night, when we were walking through the park? And I said, “another night.”
LIZ: Well it’s another night tonight, isn’t it?
BILLY: Are you sure?
BILLY: Uh…. [they kiss]
LIZ: You know there have been others, don’t you?
BILLY: Well, uh, somehow I imagined that there might have been.
LIZ: Shall I tell you about them?
BILLY: No, no—
BILLY: Well, then, go on, tell me about it.
LIZ: No, not now.
BILLY: Go on, tell me about it.
LIZ: You think that’s why I’m always going away, don’t you?
BILLY: I don’t know!
LIZ: Oh, it’s not that.
LIZ: Sometimes I want to go away. It’s not you, Billy. It’s this town, it’s the people we know. I—I don’t like knowing everybody, I don’t like becoming a part of things—d’you know what I mean?
BILLY: Yes, I do, Liz, I do—
LIZ: What I’d like to be is invisible. I’d like to be able to move around with having to explain anything.
And then the world changed. What light.