Less a straight documentary than a freeform essay film, Robert Carl Cohen's Mondo Hollywood entertains its audience by profiling a series of "mod" L.A.-area individuals in the late '60s. The film flows freely and loosely from one subject into another and thus emerges as a series of vignettes on colorful lifestyles in Southern California. The individuals profiled in this film include: Dr. Richard Alpert, a professor booted from Harvard in 1963 for his work with Timothy Leary on the Psilocybin Project, which involved studying the effects of LSD; Rudi Gernreich, the gay rights activist and fashion designer notorious for bringing bare breasts <I>en vogue</I> with his topless bikinis; Jay Sebring, the phenomenally successful celebrity hairstylist/salon entrepreneur and onetime boyfriend of Sharon Tate, who was butchered two years later (along with Tate) by members of the Manson family; avant-garde music composer Bobby Beausoleil, the Kenneth Anger artistic collaborator imprisoned for decades because of his onetime involvement with Charles Manson; sculptress Valerie Porter; sex symbol and screen siren Jayne Mansfield; and the wickedly funny rocker Frank Zappa. The film takes its title from the series of <i>Mondo</i> shockumentaries that director Gualtiero Jacopetti began in the early '60s with Mondo Cane. Mike Curb compiled the psychedelic soundtrack.
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