Skip to main content

NO PICNIC

USA, 1986 (MIFF 1987)

Director: Philip Hartman

Philip Hartman, co-founder of the Great Jones Cafe, wrote and directed this story of turmoil and chaos in the life of Macabee Cohen, former rock musician, now supplier of records for jukeboxes. Like any self-respecting former underground musician and central character in an experimental 16mm debut feature, Mac lives in Manhattan's Lower East Side, his life is a mess and so is his neighbourhood. Hartman shows us an inner city area plagued by rent strikes and real estate development, populated by a succession of colourful characters that Mac encounters as he tries to get his life in order. His girlfriend has joined the US Air Force, his father has left his mother for a younger man, his neighbour, an illegal alien, wants Mac to marry her so that she can get her green card, and Mac's just trying to get on with his life.

The soundtrack features musicians like Ned Sublette, The Raunch Hands, Raw Youth and Richard Hell. Most of the film was shot without sound, and a voiceover narration propels the story along. Variety noted that Hartman owed a debt to the work of Jim Jarmusch.

See also...

The International Sweethearts of Rhythm: America's Greatest All Girl Band

The International Sweethearts of Rhythm was a multi-racial. all women's jazz band that toured the US in the 1940s. The film places the International Sweethearts in an historical context and explores ... More »

D.U.I.

DUI (Driving Under The Influence) originated as a benefit concert for a member of the Los Angeles band Severed Head In A Bag who was picked up by the Los Angeles Police Department for alcohol ... More »

JIMI PLAYS MONTEREY

In 1967, D. A. Pennebaker pioneered the rock documentary with Monterey Pop. The Monterey Festival, a precursor to Woodstock, introduced Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix to the American public. Hendrix ... More »

ALL AMERICAN HIGH

An uncritical documentary view of an All-American high school through the eyes of a Finnish exchange student. The film is not so much a cultural portrait as insight into the social rituals of the ... More »

THAT'S LIFE

Blake Edwards' That's Life is very much a 'family affair' with the director's family filling the various roles in this account of a family in crisis. The crisis is that of a successful architect ... More »

Shake - Otis at Monterey

The legendary performance by Otis Redding ('The King of Soul) from the famous Monterey International Pop Festival in 1967. ... More »

Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director