I just watched this as a restored BFI DVD and I'm glad someone took the trouble to bring this film back to public attention. It has the look of being docu-drama, with nothing glossy, as it tracks a young woman coming to London to join her friend in the big smoke. Dressed in duffel coat and thoroughly unschooled in life, she finds her friend not the perfect protector, though friendly and helpful. Her friend holds, and guards, the coveted position of band-leader's girlfriend amongst a gaggle of groupies and is well ensconced in the life of swinging London. There are drugs and sex, all of it mundane and unglamourous. People use the drugs to check their feelings and avoid the hurt and fears they all want to be too cool to have. There is living on the streets and the drudgery of a band constantly packing up its Ford Transit and moving from one cheap hotel to the next. But the director uses a great device to imbue scenes with tension and momentum, sneaking us little flash-forwards in the lives of the characters, silent clips of where they will soon be - whether it's having sex on a toilet or dead. Along the way we see the band playing, and have their music on the soundtrack giving a great authentic feel. The film isn't about the band though, it's about the women who follow them. What looks like it is starting out as a moralistic tale about women getting abused by callous men in their naiveté, develops into something much more powerful. The men are pushed into the background and hardly show any initiative. They are pretty much 2-dimensional, unobtrusive and show little in the way of being predators. One guy is painted that way, but is not ruthless and far from the centre of focus and actually does display more to his character. I have a friend who went to an all-girls school and assures me that, as a man, I would never know how brutal a female pecking order can be. In films, we see it all the time with the core cliché of the beautiful girls who get usurped by the plainer girl who wins the heart of the hero. But it's usually there to show the underdog winning through despite the machinations of the beautiful stereotypes. I feel this film does something quite rare. It makes women and their relationships the subject of the film, and attempts to make it authentic as well - even rarer.
Suzy arrives in London with nowhere to stay and meets Fiona, a group who has settled into a relationship with Lee, a singer/bassist in a rock band.
May 11, 2020