Toomorrow (1970) (part 5 of 10)

Some guy with Doug Henning’s hair comes into the classroom with news that Benny’s long-awaited phone call has finally come. It turns out to be confirmation that they have a slot in the Generic Unnamed Festival. He agrees they can do eight minutes—”we have enough material for eight days! Okay, eight minutes.” Also, he says that there are four of them, and one of them is a girl. “No, nobody’s in drag! It’s a real girl!” Because having a chick in a pop group was unheard of in 1970, but having a dude in drag in your pop group happened all the time. Boy George really stood on the shoulders of giants.

Benny hangs up, whoops with joy, and actually spins the returning Doris Bell around, which is surely the most action she’s gotten lately, before he runs off to tell the guys. And the girl. We watch him run through the halls for a long time before the four meet up in long shot. He tells them, and now they’re all jumping and skipping down the hall. Except Vic. Whipped guys have it rough. Especially when their friends are all Bohemian free spirits.

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Cut to an auditorium, where some tall guy named Matthew (played by Carl Rigg) is talking stridently to a big mass of students about how their demands for PARTICIPATION IN ADMINISTRATION were rejected by the mugwumps, muckamucks, and powers that be. In response, the assembled students start shouting unintelligibly (I think they’re shouting “Sit in!” but it’s hopelessly garbled and I really can’t tell). In the midst of all the students inarticulately chanting and screaming and venting their anger, Olivia turns to the girl next to her and coos, “Isn’t he lovely?” I guess there really is one in every crowd.

The students vote by show of hands to go ahead and GARBLEBARBLE!, and Matthew’s parting words are that they must counter any accusations that they’re being anarchic, by showing the public that they’re not. So remember everyone: No assassinating President McKinley!

Caption contributed by Mark

Okay, the cast of Lost is getting way out of hand.

Matthew goes down to grab Olivia and kiss her neck. It may be that they’re dating, or he might have just noticed her in the crowd and decided to seize her. It’s not clear. After more banter, Matthew gives Olivia a proper kiss before returning to organizing the GARBLEBARBLE!, but the lilac-shirted dip from class was watching goggle-eyed during the kiss and, as soon as boyfriend Matthew clears off, jumps in to try it for himself [?]. Because, hey, monkey see, monkey do, right? And it’s not like girls have feelings like we humans do. They’re just there for us to have fun with! This dip, by the way, is uncredited, but IMDb says it’s some guy named John Dommett. The only reason I’m mentioning it is that his next role is in a movie called The Bit Part as Man #1, which is just so meta I love it.

Vic, meanwhile, is working around to suggesting to All-About-Ballet Amy that maybe he might take her somewhere else tonight, but Olivia pulls him away to help unload the band’s gear for their rehearsal. I’m sensing more Amy/ballet hijinks yet to come! Benny collects Karl, who’s hitting on a (currently dressed) nude study model he’d scoped out earlier.

Caption contributed by Mark

Onion headline: Ballet Student Thinks of Nothing But Murder All Day

As the band prepares for rehearsal, a reporter goes around filming clips of students arriving for the sit-in. He asks one shapely lass unloading a pillow and blankets from her car what her opinions are on the conflict, but she says she has none. When the reporter responds she seems prepared for a long night, she says, “Oh, I’m prepared for anything!” Another student is bringing in a box of supplies. When the reporter sees the box contains a roll of toilet paper, he tells the cameraman to wait and pulls the T.P. out, then lets him film. Okay, that was actually amusing.

Finally, the reporter gets to the band, but Vic and Benny each tell him to talk to the next guy, until the reporter’s asking Karl about the sit-in.

Reporter: Is it a good thing or a bad thing?
Karl: It’s a groovy thing.
Reporter: [baffled] Is that a good thing or a bad thing?
Karl: Groovy is always a good thing.

Haha, those reporters are always such squares. So I think we can go back and do our personality trait revision now: (e) Karl: groovy. Fantastic.

In the student commons, Smart Girl is using the pretext of lending Benny a Palestrina manuscript (uh huh) to whisper to him that their date for tonight is off, thanks to an emergency meeting of the staff. Benny lets on he’d have had to break it anyway, because of their berth in the Generic Untitled Festival. Smart Girl, sotto voce, warmly wishes him lots of luck, then, fortissimo, reminds him to return the Palestrina paper promptly. Yep, everybody’s so fooled. Benny, by the way, has now degenerated to calling her Sue. By the end of the movie, it’ll be just a hissing sound. Hey, Ssss, c’mere! I’ve got some heavy lovin’ for you. When he calls out her name during sex, she’ll think he’s having a stroke.

Caption contributed by Mark

”Say, I just had a great idea for a movie! It’s about these aliens who need to kidnap a bubblegum pop band because—why are you looking at me like that?”

They’ve set up their equipment in the bustling student commons, but Vic doesn’t want to wait for lunch to rehearse because Amy’s expecting him. So the solution is to rehearse now. Whew! I was worried about the whole lunch with Amy thing there for a second. Karl asks if any of the “cats” minds a “groove,” and they yell, “no!” because, hey, they’re extras who were hired to sit there and groove. This is their big moment.

The band launches into “Taking Our Own Sweet Time”, and we see that Olivia, with no instrument to play, has run off and fetched a stool, which she proceeds to hump for the first verse of this number. No, I’m not kidding.

You know, I dimly remember Roy Dotrice was in this movie. Something about green mud. But it was all so long ago. Oh wait, there he is! He’s back in the movie! Good for him.

Here are the world-changing lyrics to “Taking Our Own Sweet Time”:

”Taking Our Own Sweet Time”
Written by:
Mark Barkan & Ritchie Adams
Performed by: Toomorrow

Taking our own sweet time
Love, it comes easy
Nothing better to do
Baby, just me and you
Taking our own sweet time
People forget that they’re young

Everything’s old pat
‘Cause they don’t know where it’s at
We got the secret of life in the palm of our hand
We don’t bury our heads in the sand
And we don’t make any plans
Taking our own sweet time
Living is breezy
If you know how to slow down
And take a look around
Brothers and sisters

Why run around like a chicken without a head
When you can relax in your bed
Why should we go by the clock each and every day
Just let your heart lead the way
And think of the games we can play

So… Toomorrow’s solution to the state the world is in is to lie in bed and play games and not make plans, because that way living is breezy. Well, it could work. It’s a well-known fact that all the wars and corruption in the world are caused by headless chickens with Day-Timers. What’s ironic about this is that they’re performing this song at a student activist demonstration, which is pretty much the opposite of lying in bed and being breezy. But hey, as long as it’s groovy.

Mark "Scooter" Wilson

Mark is a history guy, a graphics guy, a guy for whom wryly cynical assessments of popular culture are the scallion cream cheese on the toasted everything bagel of life. He spends his time teaching modern history at Brooklyn College, pondering the ancient Romans at the CUNY Graduate Center, and conjuring maps and illustrations for ungrateful bankers at various Manhattan monoliths. Readers are welcome to guess at reasons why he’s nicknamed Scooter, with the proviso that all such submissions are guaranteed to be rather more interesting than the truth. Mark lives in the Midwood section of Brooklyn with a happy-go-lucky, flop-eared dog named Chiyo who is probably, at this very moment, waiting patiently for her walkies.

Multi-Part Article: Toomorrow (1970)

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