Adolfas Mekas – Hallelujah the Hills (1963)


Variety Film Review:
Formerly this offbeat NY filmmaking group mainly made dramas. But this zesty unusual romp twits its subject with knowing insight and also packs in some inside film buff gags and allusions.

There is not much of a story. It is mainly a joyous rush of images by a new director who has assimilated his classics and regular run of films. Two clean-cut, adventurous young American stalwarts vie for the hand of a beauteous young girl only to have her snapped up by a bearded character. Small town life and the seasons pass in review as the two men camp out and take their turns at wooing the girl or trying to cope with outdoor life in the snow and sun.

Writer-director-editor Adolfas Mekas displays a flair for visual revelation, gags and shenanigans that manage to keep this stimulating throughout. The intimations of noted pix culminates with a bow to D. W. Griffith in showing the great ice flow rescue of Lillian Gish by Richard Barthlemess in Way Down East.

Mekas assimilates rather than imitates. The actors are all fresh, and cavort with grace and a lack of self-consciousness. Camerawork is clear with editing sharp and the music a counterpoint help. There are glimpses and incisive satiric shafts against war, courting habits, youthful shyness and self absorption in this madcap, bright pic.



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