Shelflife — Movie

Directed with a slow, careful eye by Barbet Schroeder (Barfly, Reversal of Fortune), this 1971 hippie film has cult classic written all over it.

Fueled by a melodic, stony soundtrack from Pink Floyd, the film was shot in the lush, colorful New Guinea jungles by Academy Award winning cinematographer Nestor Almendros (Days of Heaven) and tells the story of a French socialite who goes searching for a rare bird’s priceless feathers with a group of free-lovin’ Crocodile Dundee-type hippies. Together they experience a spiritual reawakening after encountering the indigenous Mapuga tribesman and absorbing their secret nectar (which, of course, makes any self-appreciating hippie see God and want to immediately start balling on the closest tree stump).

Spoken mostly in French with some sporadic English, the film holds up fairly well because it doesn’t seek to lampoon or parody the bohemian generation it depicts. But besides a sort of weird romp in the jungle with some classic ‘70s sex scenes, this picture is mainly notable for the gorgeous cinematography, brought to life on DVD with new digital transfer.