What does "Psycho" (1960) have in common with "The Sound of Music" (1965)?
Other than the fact that both movies came out of the same decade, obviously the operative word here is "change." You could go on juxtaposing images forever from the films featured in the new series, "The Sixties," opening this Friday at the American Film Institute.
Rather than trying to characterize either the decade or the movies, the people at AFI simply present their selections in chronological order. Early-'60s inanities like "Where the Boys Are" (1960) gradually dissolve into the late-'60s anguish of movies like "Medium Cool" (1969). Between the two extremes, the films in the series cover just about every political and sociological shift that was worth chronicling. It's the equivalent of a history course on the decade - and bound to be easier than living through it was.
Not all the movies of the '60s are so easily dated. Some, like "Psycho," are timeless, and Hitchcock's horror classic is also being featured in a retrospective of the director's work now at the Biograph. Twenty-one other Hitchockhcock films, ranging from his early British works to his most recent Holly-wood movie, "Family Plot," will be shown, starting this Friday and running through Oct. 11.