Brian De Palma's breezy, Godardian first feature distills the heady atmosphere of Greenwich Village in an era of countercultural experimentation and anti-war protest. Irrepressibly libidinous Paul (Jonathan Warden) receives a draft notice and schemes to avoid induction with the aid of
Lloyd (Gerrit Graham), a trendy paranoiac who's obsessed with the Kennedy assassination, and Jon (Robert De Niro), a De Palma alter ego who channels his voyeurism through filmmaking. Shot in two weeks on a budget of $43,000, the film took in over a million dollars, bringing its 28-year-old
director to the attention of Hollywood. Like much of De Palma's later work, GREETINGS is primarily concerned with the process, conventions, and political meanings of cinema. Nevertheless, it's funny, vulgar, and outrageously politically incorrect--as when Jon, ostensibly documenting the Vietnam
War, allows his obsessions to get the better of him and implores a Vietnamese woman to strip for the camera.
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