Posts Tagged ‘sex’

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This very French take on young love comes in at over three hours in length. The director was intransigent in his perfectionism and this is how he demanded the film be. At the end of the running we leaned that it was supposed to be divided into two chapters, but I don’t recall any actual chapter break / intermission on the DVD.

It’s probably best to break it after the first 90 minutes or so. The scenes are well acted and often very good, natural, but so many of them wouldn’t have made the cut in Hollywood. American audiences may not be so patient.

The film, of course, has extended raw sex scenes between the two girls. They may have ran a bit too long, but then so did the rest of the movie, and so proportionally they make sense.

 

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It’s a very recognizable coming of age story with a likeable French girl Adele, a kindergarten teacher, who doesn’t really fit into the eccentric art world of Emma, the blue-haired seductress. They make a go of it, hiding their relationship as needed, but human weakness and temptation throw their ship toward the rocks.

The style is claustrophobic, nearly every shot a close-up of Adele. It’s always right up against her cheek, and we see every side of her imaginable. The production ran way long, snatching up footage for months after the initial production schedule had expired. This was a very good idea, something Kubrick would do. Time is the crucial ingredient that allowed film to progress beyond the mundane, beyond the script and the production schedules that seek to limit the possibities.

Neither actress would ever work with director Kechiche again. The film, though, won the Palme d’Or and launched their careers in a way they could never have hoped for. We don’t see such raw, powerful performances very often. So credit is due.

4/5

 

 

 

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Here’s a free web show about some wacky NY lesbians (Facebook).  Good and funny with tight writing…

Be Here Nowish

 

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He left a video and a manifesto

 

My Twisted World
The Story of Elliot Rodger
By Elliot Rodger
Introduction
Humanity…
 All of my suffering on this world has been at the hands of humanity, particularly women.It has made me realize just how brutal and twisted humanity is as a species. All I ever wanted was to fitin and live a happy life amongst humanity, but I was cast out and rejected, forced to endure an existenceof loneliness and insignificance, all because the females of the human species were incapable of seeingthe value in me.

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SHOCKING PINK: ‘BACK ISSUES: THE HUSTLER MAGAZINE STORY’

 

 

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Dominique Strauss-Kahn to sue over Gérard Depardieu sex addiction film
Former IMF chief sues over Welcome to New York by Abel Ferrara, which features a sex addict who assaults a hotel maid

The former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn has instructed lawyers to sue the makers of a film in which Gérard Depardieu plays a sex addict who sexually assaults a hotel maid.

Welcome to New York by Abel Ferrara, which had a private screening on the sidelines of the Cannes film festival at the weekend and has been on pay-per-view in France, is billed as a piece of fiction and comes with a legal disclaimer.

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A film 50 years past its expiration date?

I got the feeling that this didn’t translate well, and that the main draw was in the poetic language of the prose. The characters are dismal and pointless for the most part. The plot is slim to none.

What the book is famous for is opening up new possibilities to the squares of the early 50s. It was a stifling time of conformity and blinkers. Kerouac is credited with going the opposite way and pushing the boundaries of what people expected America to be. Obsessed with jazz and inebriation, he made an homage to this counterculture in the form of a rambling poem/journal.

Kerouac was apparently smitten with his friend, a charismatic grifter type who felt no responsibility to anyone or anything, named Dean Moriarty. The story seems to take a perspective on Moriarty, painting him as an immature sociopath.

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Only, it’s not enough to keep this thing interesting. I may be jaded in the modern age where a lot of shit happens on screen. In that I’m not alone. This story was simply aimed at another time and another place. The revelations weren’t particularly shocking or poignant. The statements made weren’t particularly groundbreaking.

What’s more it felt episodic and repetitive. A lot of driving around the country, endless miles, but why? A pointless randomness guides these people, and that was once hailed as revolutionary or unique, but it seems more lame and wasteful now. I don’t mind the idea of going out exploring, but these characters don’t find anything, not anything noteworthy. Their little lives are sad perhaps, but not the stuff of legend.

So in the end it felt like much ado about nothing.

2/5

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The pacing and plot lacked.  Despite a beautiful and talented lead, and the talents of Heather Graham and James Franco, this melodrama didn’t really deliver especially, in terms of plot and story execution, anyway.

This slow character study is filmed gorgeously, but a lack of urgency or strong motivation leaves it a bit flat (no pun intended).

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On later reflection though, it has a method to its madness.  The theme involves the legitimacy or illegitimacy of stripping and of pornography.  It tries to locate where lines should be drawn and how society falls back on reactionary Puritanism, despite being impure itself.

Some obvious choices, and the expected character study beats.  It does get a bit interesting as it changes venues up to San Francisco.  The introduction of Heather Graham takes the story to new areas and considerations.

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I can’t help but think on how reactionary Puritanism is wielded like a bludgeon in the real world, by opportunists.  I can’t help but remember James Bamford’s (mostly obvious) revelations: NSA “exploiting” U.S. Citizens’ online porn viewingThis ties into blackmail, as revealed by NSA Satellite Analyst Russell Tice.  As NSA becomes more pervasive, targeting not just the powerful and noteworthy, but also lower and lower levels of unfriendlies (or even unfavored business competitors), the pornography card will be wielded against targeted individuals.

So back to About Cherry, the narrative seems to have been produced and supported by known name stars because of its underlying message: there are lines of course, but porn is decidedly a legitimate racket.

The film actually comes up a bit ambiguous on even that point, but the question remains and lingers.  The repercussions of this question, this avenue for blackmail and pressure to apply to people across the society, are serious.  Political leverage is always a serious business.  The nature of the Age of Surveillance itself is now metastasizing before us.  Now that’s not in the movie, and it came from my own experience and knowledge of these matters.  What came from the movie is whether our adult daughters should be photographing other adult daughters, if they want to do it?

And then what?

3/5

 

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“People get rich complaining about this shit.  Complaining is a respected industry.”

This is a mockumentary about the fashion industry, that’s rather edgy in its black comedy.  (A different film of the same title was released in 1999.)  A new top fashion model endures the depravity of the business, but not so well it turns out.  She dies right in the middle of her biggest photo shoot.

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With her death the centerpiece of the film, the nutty and exploitative cast of characters are confronted about what they do and why.  This is not a well-loved film, and yet it was far more interesting in concept than the Robert Altman fashion industry film Ready to Wear (Prêt-à-Porter).

Many issues are touched upon, including the nature of for-profit documentaries themselves.  Everyone has an angle to play, especially when the dead model is used to sell clothes, post-mortem.  Turns out that supermodels are worth more dead than alive.

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The blitzkrieg of artsy bullshit and rationalization which follows calls into question not just these industries, but the consumers who are ultimately responsible for them.  That includes the movie audience.  It’s discomforting by design, intended to disturb.  That’s probably why it remains under the radar…

 

UNDER

 

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I rent a lot of indie attempts.  This one takes on sex addiction, and it looked like it might have enough laughs to sustain it.  The trailer seemed tepid and slow, but I gave it a shot anyway.

It is definitely slow paced and lacking action.  Talk is the driving factor, and this does grate.  The opening is not going to appeal to generation ADHD.

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Good news is that it gets more interesting with the arrival of Pink and a couple complications.  More serious, with higher stakes, the story still meanders a bit, but at least it’s not a crawl.

This is a story for older people, and the actors involved are aging noticeably.  Tim Robbins has gone full grey, and Mark Ruffalo shows his wear and tear.

The writer/director is a first-timer.  He’s not such a visual wizard, but simply shoots the drama of the script.  It’s a passable film, but you might find better picks elsewhere.

3/5