Night Music: The Beatles, “Dear Prudence”

We had a couple of families gather together for movie night. TONIGHT. There was a lot of discussion about what we should watch, but we watched Rosemary’s Baby.

Rosemary’s Baby is a perfectly structured movie, exquisitely executed by a stellar cast blending their overactive acting skills with an overactive narrative, herded by one of cinema’s great directors, Roman Polanski.

But not overactive in terms of too many plot points. The movie is overactive reinforcing the main line of the narrative, and actually proceeds with ancient decorum. Which is brilliant, because the story is… hmmm. That would spoil it all.

My point is that Polanski doesn’t seem to care that the secret is revealed in the first third, because he knows dramatically we’re still going to want to tie all the pieces together in the “very satisfying” end. At least for Beelzebub.

But Rosemary’s Baby has had a much broader impact on the culture. I could rehash it all, but it is better fobbed off to this story at Dangerous Minds.

And the beautiful and dangerous part of this part of the story is that Mia Farrow and her sister (Prudence) visited Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and meet up with the Beatles, who wrote the song whose title Charles Manson’s associates scrawled on the wall (Helter Skelter) during their murderous spree, during which they killed Sharon Tate, Roman Polanski’s wife, in the same house (probably) that the Beatles did acid with Terry Melcher, who was for a bit Charles Manson’s producer, years before.

That is your lattice of coincidence, or a spiral of corruption. But the song of tonight is Lennon’s beautiful and challenging song directed to Prudence Farrow.

[Edited 5/24 to fix the error claiming John Lennon wrote the song “Helter Skelter” (Paul McCartney did) and implying that it was an inspiration for the Manson clan’s murders.]

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