Based on Jon Savage’s book 1966: The Year the Decade Exploded, Arena marks the year pop music and popular culture ripped up the rule book in articulate, instinctive and radical new ways.
This was the year of Jonathan Miller’s Alice in Wonderland, Morgan – A Suitable Case for Treatment, and the year that Strawberry Fields Forever was recorded. Television was still in black and white, but the world outside was bursting with colour and controversy. In America, in London, in Amsterdam, in Paris, revolutionary ideas slow-cooking since the late 1950s reached boiling point. In popular culture and the mass media, 1966 was a year of restless experimentation and the search for new forms of expression – particularly in pop music.
Written by Savage and director Paul Tickell, Arena’s film takes viewers back to that moment in a vivid celebration of the music, films and TV that shaped the 1960s.