Stay Hungry (Bob Rafelson, 1976)

Someday, future generations will take a gander at films like this and slap their knees in admiration. Sure, they’ll recognize a loose-fitting outfit, cut from an ideologically-suspect “disaffected rich gadabout finds self, calling, among unwashed masses” burlap, but they’ll surely find the true bespoke suit elsewhere, in its eccentric characters, quirky details, and languorous and loping Southern-fried narrative. For a film whose opening scenes invoke the death of a family and a way of life, and the threat of its replacement by oily capitalists, there are two or three sequences of utter joy that shine through this initial mournful tone.

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