Coffee House Rendezvous (film #343 on Prelinger Archive). [Category: Sleaze & Outsider]

It's the 60s, man, and coffee houses are all the rage. Cool. Except it's the late 60s and the coffee houses have been fully accepted by the Establishment as wholesome alternatives for youth to blowing their minds and blowing up the student union. So organizations like churches and school districts and the YMCA and even parents encourage kids to form coffee houses in any spare basements or vacant storefronts that they can find. This, of course, spells the end of the coffee house as a bastion of cooldom. Still, this is a fun, innocent film, full of enthusiastic geeky teenagers drinking percolated coffee from styrofoam cups and grooving to various homegrown forms of folk, rock & roll, or jazz music which varies in quality from not bad to someone-needs-to-teach-them-how-to-tune-their-guitars. It's full of the bright, hopeful we-can-change-the-world attitude that typified the 60s and would be rudely crushed by the 70s. Of course, I'm a closet folkie myself, so I can't help but enjoy this film very much. It reminds me of all the cool stuff I saw the teens doing when I was a kid during the 60s that I was too young to participate in, and which would all be over by the time I reached my teens in the 70s. Watch another film if you want to know about places like Haight-Ashbury, but this is what the 60s was really like down home in places like Racine, Wisconsin. Sponsored by the Coffee Information Service, which had to wait until the rise of Starbucks to really get going.

Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: ****. Weirdness: ***. Historical Interest: *****. Overall Rating: *****.

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