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Critics reviews
Car Wash
Michael Schultz United States, 1976
Every decade or so, Hollywood produces a movie that is not only entertaining but also raises the question just what is entertainment. . . . A movie in which mass media, specifically radio, exerts a powerful influence on its characters’ lives, “Car Wash” is an energetic, vulgar, socially conscious farce.
January 25, 2019
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The tiny kindnesses and cruelties accumulate through the myriad goofs and visual gags until its ending becomes unexpectedly affecting. Schultz’s camera whip pans from a bickering couple in an azure roadster to George Carlin… yelling from beneath a newsie’s cap. The movie’s like an older, looser cousin to Sean Baker’s TANGERINE. Its first genesis was as a possible musical, and this shows in the thematic counterpoint provided by the film’s soundtrack—a radio DJ and a cascade of disco hits.
June 23, 2017
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Schumacher packed his script with types, some of which are an awkward fit to the material. It’s a tribute to Schultz’s directorial skills that he was able to take what could have been little more than a potentially offensive sitcom and bring to life a small, specific world instead.
May 09, 2017
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…It must be admitted that, as isolated units, the script and music of Car Wash are in the main unexceptional. Yet thanks to the overall brilliance of the direction and performances, these factors operate more as challenges successfully met than as obtrusive obstacles. The exhilarating synchronizing of car-washing, dancing, editing and mise en scène to the title tune; the inspired delivery of insults and comebacks…
February 01, 1977
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