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2018 SLIFF – Double Bill: Hal and Shampoo
Although Hal Ashby directed a remarkable string of acclaimed, widely admired classics throughout the 1970s — “Harold and Maude,” “The Last Detail,” “Shampoo,” “Coming Home,” “Being There” — he’s often overlooked amid the crowd of luminaries from his generation. Amy Scott’s exuberant portrait — drawn from rare archival materials, interviews, personal letters, and audio recordings — explores that curious oversight, revealing a passionate, obsessive artist. Ashby’s films were guided by compassion and deep engagement with social justice, class, and race. “Hal” plays on a double bill with a restored version of “Shampoo,” one of the director’s finest works, which recounts an especially eventful day in the life of George (Warren Beatty), a Beverly Hills hairdresser and lothario who frantically runs around town on the eve of the 1968 presidential election trying to sort out his many financial and romantic entanglements.