It may come as a shock to Generations X, Y and Z, but there existed in antediluvian times another demographic cohort with its own movies, music, film, what-have-you.
At 85, Michael Caine is a little old to be a true Baby Boomer, but he clearly identifies with that crowd, and spends the 85 minutes of My Generation as its elder statesman, explaining the times to anyone who may not be aware of mini-skirts, the Beatles or the Pill.
Directed by documentary filmmaker David Batty, My Generation is a name-dropping affair, referencing and interviewing (both in old film clips and new audio) such Boomer icons as Paul McCartney, Marianne Faithfull, Roger Daltrey, and Twiggy. We also get clips of Caine in movies of the era; everything from Alfie to Zulu.
But there’s precious little introspection or scuttlebutt here – and honestly, I’d take either. Caine, born Maurice Micklewhite, tells the well-oiled story of how he chose his stage name when he saw The Caine Mutiny on a marquee. “If I’d been in front of a different theatre, I’d have been Michael 101 Dalmatians,” he concludes, conveniently ignoring the fact that the two films came out seven years apart.
Mr. Almost Dalmatians also offers off such spot-on platitudes as: “Whenever the old guard told us what we couldn’t do, we always found a way to do it!” But when it comes to his self-proclaimed role as air-traffic controller in a shared flat, herding “birds” in and out of bedrooms as in some kind of Billy Wilder farce – well, he chooses not to drop any names here.
The final chapter, “All Was Not As It Seemed,” lets us know that all the sex, drugs and rock ’n’ roll came at a price; e.g., the death of Brian Jones. So we’re left with the moral: Don’t try this at home, kids. And when you’re 85, “kids” is almost everyone.
My Generation opens Sept. 7 in Edmonton and Calgary; Sept. 10 in Vancouver; Sept. 14 in Saskatoon; Sept. 21 in Victoria; Sept. 28 in Toronto; and Oct. 1 in Ottawa.