Goodbye Gemini – The Death of Hippy – Reviewed on ZANI

Written by Matteo Sedazzari
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In the mid-sixties, the world saw the birth of hippies. A counterculture which questioned so much about society, and was not afraid to suggest an alternative lifestyle to the norm. A spectacular movement, with colourful clothes, magnificent music in the guise of The Grateful Dead, Jimi Hendrix and many more, with mind-bending drugs and free love. An ethos that went way beyond being a bored teenager and got the entire world thinking.
Yet with the murder of eighteen-year-old of Meredith Hunter Altamont, December 6, 1969, at the infamous Rolling Stones free concert and the arrest of Charles Manson and his family following the gruesome murders of Gary Hinman, Sharon Tate, The LaBianca family and the victims’ friends, families and associates. It seemed that a decade which started with optimism ended with conflict and struggle. The Age of Aquarius- love, light and humanity was dead.

Goodbye Gemini (1970) is a film that certainly captures the culture, philosophy and pitfalls of the decade. The start is optimistic, with gleeful and youthful twins Jacki (Judy Geeson) and Julian (Martin Potter) aboard a coach on route to London. The soulful Hammond organ sound of ‘Tell the World We're Not In' performed by The Peddlers being the opening soundtrack. The tone is set perfectly for change and escape.

You could be forgiven for thinking that Jacki and Julian are naïve, and their innocence will make them victims in the old smoke. However not all is what it seems. It soon transpires that Jacki and Julian are L'Enfant Terrible, rebellious, mischievous and thoroughly capable of murder.

Bored with their landlady and her authoritative ways in their new and affluent abode in London SW3. Jacki and Julian decide to get rid of her, by placing a trap for her on the stairs. Causing her to fall, and to be taken away in an ambulance. Now they have total freedom, and the fun begins. There is a strong element of Jacki and Julian still being children, as they both turn to Jacki’s teddy bear for comfort and consolation.

Being so young and attractive, it does not take long before Jacki and Julian descend into Swinging London, and meet like-minded youngster Clive Landseer (Alexis Kanner) in a smoke-filled pub. From this meeting, Jacki and Julian become part of the beautiful sect of London, as they party into the early hours on a boat filled with hip and happening people, and even the odd dodgy Politician (nothing changes!) Life seems to be good for the hip twins, and their bond becomes stronger, a bond they are willing to kill for.

Goodbye Gemini is a testament to a bygone era and the values of being young and free. Shot entirely on location in London, around SW1 the film captures the beauty and bleakness of the city from thirty years ago so perfectly with a funky soundtrack which enhances the imagery further.

Directed by Alan Gibson, aged just thirty-two at the time; Gibson would go on to direct the two final Dracula films in the Hammer Films’ franchise, and Tales of The Unexpected. Due to Gibson’s and the majority of the cast's age, the film has the strong element of the uncertainty of youth, at times lapsing into a Modern day Fairy-tale-the revenge of Hansel and Gretel maybe? Goodbye Gemini is certainly worthy viewing, for people that love London, music, funky clothes, and the odd thriller, most definitely a forgotten gem.

Check out Matteo Sedazzari's Novel Here - A Crafty Cigarette - Tales of a Teenage Mod - Foreword by John Cooper Clarke 

Read 3507 times Last modified on Wednesday, 28 February 2018 17:26
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Matteo Sedazzari

Matteo Sedazzari

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