Tarantino’s new movie – hailed as a masterwork – is based in recent, grisly Hollywood history
LISTEN: You Must Remember This: Charles Manson’s Hollywood
What is it: A compelling, terrifying and impressively in-depth podcast
Why it’s great: If you only consume one thing related to the sordid Summer of 1969, it has to be this riveting 12 part podcast, originally broadcast in 2015 when Manson was still alive, albeit behind some very thick bars. Hosted and researched by Hollywood history queen Karina Longworth, it puts the Manson Family into compelling contrast with the end of the hippy era and fleshes out characters only hinted at in Once Upon A Time In Hollywood, like Beach Boy Dennis Wilson and Doris Day’s son Terry Melcher, who lived on Cielo Drive prior to Sharon Tate and Roman Polanski.
READ: Chaos: Charles Manson, the CIA and the Secret History of the Sixties – Tom O’Neill
What is it: A big new book that’s already been optioned for a six part Amazon drama
Why it’s great: Journalist Tom O’Neill has been writing this book for the past 20 years, so you better believe that it’s thorough. In it he dismisses previous writings on Manson and brings in his own research on the involvement of the FBI and CIA. Like a good conspiracy theory? Then hit up this hardback.
LISTEN: ‘Lie: The Love and Terror Cult’ – Charles Manson
What is it: The creepiest album you’ll ever hear
Why it’s great: Um, great isn’t quite the word for it, but if you want to truly submerge yourself in the sounds of the Manson clan, then may we direct you to Charles Manson’s debut album. The very definition of uneasy listening, the folksy likes of ‘Look At Your Game, Girl’ fit pretty well into the post-Dylan landscape of the 1960s, but there’s a definite strangeness to the more psychedelic Ego and for a man like Charles Manson to call one of his songs ‘People Say I’m No Good’ is just blatant trolling.
LISTEN: ‘The Family Jams’ – The Manson Family
What is it: Another album you won’t want to play when you’re home alone
Why it’s great: Recorded in 1970 at the Spahn Ranch, but only released in 1997, The Family Jams sees Manson’s unincarcerated associates – none of who can particularly hold a tune – bashing out some jangly covers of his songs. Weirdly, The Cribs were big fans of The Manson Family’s musical output, with Ryan Jarman singing the praises of the song ‘Get On Home’ to NME in 2015. “I’m still really obsessed with Charles Manson,” he explained. “What he’s perceived to have done is not something I’m saying that I look up to, but the way he and his Family were living in a counter-cultural way I am jealous of. They tapped into something that will never be tapped into again. They dedicated their life to searching for the art and the beauty in things and the music they made is absolutely brilliant.” Riiiight then.
LOOK: Vintage Los Angeles
What is it: An Instagram account full of old school Hollywood treats
Why it’s great: If Tarantino’s gorgeous and flawless recreation of 1960s Los Angeles had you in raptures then you’ll feel like you’ve just had two martinis at Mussos after a look at LA history buff Alison Martino’s impeccable Insta. With a feed full of pics of classic Hollywood, she was also first on the scene when swathes of the city were transformed as the film was being shot last year.
LISTEN: ‘Once Upon A Time In Hollywood: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack’ – Various artists
What is it: An album, of course
Why it’s great: Sure, we could tell you about all the incredible music that was around when Once Upon A Time in Hollywood was set, but Quentin Tarantino has already done such a good job we’ll just hand it over to him. Still the king of the crate-digging soundtrack, this one is full of good stuff you’ll already know (Simon and Garfunkel’s ‘Mrs Robinson’ and Deep Purple’s ‘Hush’) and even better stuff that you’ll don’t (Buchanan Brothers’ ‘Son of a Lovin’ Man’ and Buffy Sainte-Marie’s ‘The Circle Game’) cut up with vintage radio adverts.
WATCH: Los Angeles Plays Itself
What is it: A cut-and-paste documentary of monumental proportions
Why it’s great: At nearly three hours long this fascinating documentary breaks down the film industry’s own love affair with the city of Los Angeles, with plenty of familiar vistas. Assembled by film critic Thom Andersen using nothing but clips from other movies, it looks at why directors use Los Angeles as a location, what it means and what they want it to mean. It’s basically Pornhub for film students.
What is it: A 1975 Academy Award winning movie
Why it’s great: Set in Los Angeles 1968, Warren Beatty plays a seductive male hairdresser, rumoured to be based on Jay Sebring, Sharon Tate’s ex and fellow victim of the Manson Family. Like Once Upon A Time In Hollywood, Shampoo features a banging soundtrack – Jimi Hendrix, Buffalo Springfield and The Beach Boys – and some really, really good hairstyles too.
READ: I’m With The Band – Pamela Des Barres
What is it: One hell of a read
Why it’s great: For an insight into Los Angeles’ groovy scene – before everything got nasty – ‘groupie’ and nanny to Frank Zappa’s kids Pamela Des Barres’ autobiography is possibly the best rock’n’roll memoir ever written – and certainly the most fun. She was a regular at the Sunset Strip club Pandora’s Box, which features in the back of a Once Upon A Time In Hollywood scene. Nerds however will note that the club was demolished in 1967 and the film is set in 1969. But if you’ve already seen the film, you’ll know that Tarantino has no qualms about twisting the truth a little.
WATCH: The Fearless Vampire Killers
What is it: A Sharon Tate-starring, Roman Polanski-directed movie
Why it’s great: Once Upon A Time In Hollywood might use original clips from Tate’s film with Dean Martin, The Wrecking Crew, but 1967 horror comedy The Fearless Vampire Killers is of particular interest as it’s how Tate was introduced to her future husband, Polanksi. As is explained in Tarantino’s film, Tate had already left Sebring but this is definitely the work of a director infatuated with his star. Handily Polanski also plays her lover. Later he was keen to cast Tate in his hit Rosemary’s Baby, but the role went to Mia Farrow instead.
Straight from the NME
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