The Kitchen Sink Movement

by Randy Fuller Feb 08, 2023

Pairing‌ ‌wine‌ ‌with‌ ‌movies!‌  ‌See‌ ‌the‌ ‌trailers‌ ‌and‌ ‌hear‌ ‌the‌ ‌fascinating‌ ‌commentary‌ ‌for‌ ‌these‌ ‌movies‌ ‌and‌ ‌many‌ ‌more‌ ‌at‌ ‌Trailers‌ ‌From‌ ‌Hell.‌ This week, three movies from  the early 1960s which make a close examination of some harsh realities. We have wine pairings for each, to take the edge off.

The Kitchen Sink Movement came about in British arts in the late 1950s. It was an antidote to the prim, fussy attitudes of plays and movies at the time, giving viewers a super-realistic look at life from the seedy underbelly of UK society, whether they wanted it or not.

In 1962’s The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner, the British version of reform school gets a long look. Tom Courtenay takes the lead in his Borstal training and discovers that the lead is something he can choose to give up. Courtenay’s character finds out that there is little else to do while running long distances than obsess over the poor life choices that put him under lock and key. Dead dad? Tough. Caught stealing? Too bad. Legs feel tired? C’mon, lad.

In their Ooh La La album, the Faces made Borstal life sound more like an adventure than the penitential slap in the face it was. “We’re up here boy, and you’re down there, and don’t you forget it.” Maybe a good long run will help him forget. Or, maybe not. Forgetting isn’t easy.

Ghostrunner makes only one blend – Cab and Petite Sirah from the Central Coast. But, no matter how far you run – there you are. Drink up, but allow a half hour before undertaking a 5k.

In 1963, Tom Courtenay took the lead again in Billy Liar. His character has a sort of Thurberesque way of dealing with the unpleasantness of his mundane life. He imagines himself to be a hero in some more consequential scenario. Imagining is the extent of his bravado, however, which is underscored when he falls for a gal who seems to have the gumption to actually reach for the fruit that is higher up in the tree.

Does Billy Liar have what it takes to bring himself into full sociopathic bloom? No. He daydreams when he could think, shrugs when he could act. Even when presented with the prospect of the marvelous Julie Christie. He’s doomed to live his life in the shadows of what he imagines himself to be. And that’s probably good for all concerned if Alex from A Clockwork Orange is seen as the result of his natural evolution.

Red 55 Winery has White Liar Chardonnay available for less than $20. The song of that name was a big hit for Miranda Lambert in 2009, in case you had forgotten. Red 55 is run by the family of that Texas songstress. If it makes you feel any better about purchasing from a celebrity winery which features Valentine’s Day party packs, a wine called Crazy Ex-Girlfriend and an Electric Pink White Zinfandel, it was named after Miranda’s first pickup truck, a red ‘55 stepside.

Sidney Furie’s The Leather Boys is about a gay biker in London’s rocker subculture. The film was pretty steamy for its time and has been hailed as a watershed moment in queer cinema. Everybody seems to be sleeping with everybody else, and no one is really all that happy about it. Ah, life in the south London suburbs – all the grit, at no extra charge.

There is an unhappy marriage, a fake pregnancy, a motorcycle race, a homosexual encounter and a dream of a better life in America dashed on the rocks by the gay pub.

I was tempted to pair a wine from the southern Rhône Valley with this film, due to the hint of leather one would expect on the nose. Then I found this Paso Robles Zinfandel from Four Vines, The Biker. The label shows a young lady biker who has limited the leather to her head and feet, opting for lace elsewhere.

Randy Fuller
NowAnd Zin Wine –
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