Posts Tagged ‘sexy’

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MIND-BOGGLING IMAGES FROM THE ‘WORLD BODYPAINTING FESTIVAL’ IN AUSTRIA

 

5 Reasons Pornstars Hate 50 Shades Of Grey

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

 

 

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I indulge some guilty pleasures, stuff from Showtime and HBO, as many do.  It’s usually more engrossing than the network TV universe, with naked people and bad behaviors.  I’ve gone in for the L-Word, The Tudors, Weeds and recently gave a shot to Californication, starring David Duchovny and Natascha McElhone.

This hyper-real often silly show spouts dialogue that is so over the top and accelerated that no one really talks that way.  Stuffed with sarcasm, allusions, metaphors and anger, the show combines the ridiculous with a deeply flawed and dramatic main character arc.   People like watching others self-destruct, and David Duchovny makes a sport of it.

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I had to keep watching because Hank Moody’s family struck a relevant chord with my own experiences.  Not the steady stream of sex and alcohol, unfortunately, but the female members of his on-screen family unit.  Moody’s situation is one of an exceptional and often estranged middle-aged father trying to keep his family together as their teenaged daughter matures and drifts away.  His relationship with his wife Karen is epically strained, and no woman in her right mind would ever return to Moody.

That’s one of the weaknesses of the show.  Karen is pulled around like a puppet, constantly.  She lacks the agency needed for this to be taken seriously.  They try to put Karen in the driver’s seat, but it’s always a response to Moody’s crass infidelities.  Duchovny’s voodoo hold over womankind is taken to laughable extremes.  He’s a philanderer, an arrogant loudmouth and a drunk.  His excesses push farther than viewers might expect.

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I think Californication is a bell-wether of our nihilistic, self-absorbed age.  As in Wolf of Wall Street it’s our culture, and it’s real enough.  We are the new Romans drowning mindlessly in our excess and depravity.  There isn’t much to redeem these characters.  Human, yes.  Heroes?  Not on your life.

 

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No spoilers.

Amazing, nothing short of amazing.  Dicaprio’s tour de force performance helps lay bare the moral depravity of Wall Street better than Michael Moore could dream of doing.

Wolf of Wall Street is a black comedy about an anti-hero who represents the ultimate ugly American.  He’s the cornerstone of an ugly empire, in this case a Wall Street trading firm that does what Wall Street trading firms do: take money from suckers and put it into their own pockets.

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As an up and comer, a nobody, not born to the manor, Dicaprio’s guy might just be fair game, a sacrificial lamb to draw attention away from the rest.  In its totality, Wolf is a smart, meaningful, sexy, groundbreaking piece of American cinema that lays bare the obscenity of Wall Street rape and pillage.  Scorsese tops Wall Street films that have come before and goes balls out, full bore.

I’m really glad we made it to the opening day of Wolf.  Some scenes had me laughing my ass off — and not everyone at the packed house got it.  Some stunned faces, some grumbling.   Great movie.

Continued:

Wolf: Scorsese’s Best Film?

 

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This is the stuff that will keep em flocking to Hollywood, looking for stardom.

It got the NC-17:

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by Joe Giambrone

Spoilers may follow.

Recently watching Deception (2008), I was disappointed with the story, and then got to thinking about Bad Influence (1990) which is the same kind of story – done better.  A mousy, shy guy is introduced to the wild life of debauchery, but there are ulterior motives.  I had wanted to post on Bad Influence already and call it a Cult Classic.  So then I got to thinking about a lot of other psychological thrillers that use the allure of sex as bait to hook the audience as well as the lead character, play with their desires and manipulate their perceptions of unfolding events.

Femme fatales are as old as Blue Angel (1930), and probably predate her.  Some of the more memorable ones that stick in my mind are The Last Seduction (1994), Basic Instinct (1992) and Wild Things (1998).

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These types of films often lose their way by the end, either in plotting or in their moral compass.  The B list is littered with innumerable misfires that fell short somewhere along the path.  It is very difficult to spin new twists that we haven’t seen before and have them remain plausible, meaningful, and keep to a theme that resonates.

My problems with Deception, besides its slow dragging pace, are mostly with its ending.  Ewan McGregor has been played by a couple of grifters, and he’s framed for the murder of a blonde he’d fallen for, sorta.  The body in the morgue isn’t hers but a look-alike.  The real blonde is supposedly held hostage unless McGregor steals millions from his client and wires it to an account in Spain.

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McGregor then realizes that his blonde is in on it too, a femme fatale.  He sneakily arranges it that a partner’s signature be required to withdraw funds from the Spanish bank.  McGregor shows up in Spain to claim half the money, going into partnership with the murderous grifter (Hugh Jackman) who framed him.  There are two endings that can follow, the theatrical one and the deleted one on the dvd.  Neither works.

In the deleted ending, McGregor takes half the money and rides off into the sunset.  He’s basically given the murderous thug who framed him $10M, given up on the girl, and decided to disappear into wealthy obscurity.  He’s certainly lost his moral compass and become one of them, to a degree.  Was this the intended resolution of a story that had him battling to save a girl held hostage for so long?  It’s a disconnected resolution, and was rejected by the studio.

The theatrical ending goes over the top.  McGregor and Hugh Jackman stand outside the Spanish bank holding $10M each in suitcases.  McGregor offers $5M for the location of the blonde who betrayed him – he’s still in love.  Jackman says he’ll deal.  They walk to the park.  Jackman pulls out a pistol to kill McGregor.  From nowhere, the blonde shoots Jackman dead.  The blonde apologizes and runs off.  McGregor leaves $20M lying there in the park by the dead guy and runs off to find the blonde.  She says she can’t be with him and leaves.  McGregor, no money, no identity ends up in a city plaza, and the blonde just happens to be in the same plaza at the same time.  A smile.  The end.  Really?

Allowing that getting a fake passport that actually works these days is a tall order, especially in one day for a guy who knows nothing about crime, the girl also managed to get herself a firearm in Spain, secretly track the men and take out the armed and dangerous Jackman without the slightest hitch.  It seems totally out of the blonde ingenue’s character and beyond belief.  Then they just leave $20M for the cops.  This was supposedly “dirty money” in the first place and no one is looking for it.  Okay, McGregor chooses love over money, but the blonde isn’t really all that lovable, and she knows it.  He doesn’t fight for her, and just lets her go, which is where a plausible end should have been.  But then he miraculously stumbles upon her again while trekking through Europe?  It’s easy to blow the finish, and studio pressures for happy endings can really mess up any sense of direction a film may have built up.

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The draws in Deception and Bad Influence are wild sex encounters with strangers.  Deception uses an elite call list to arrange hook ups.  These are played quickly and coldly, lacking passion and rather voyeuristically.  Bad Influence uses traveling one-night only rave styled sex parties.  In both films, the devil’s salesman recruits the curious man to expand his horizons, edging him out of his cocoon.

I prefer Bad Influence over Deception for several reasons.  Here, James Spader is a mid-level corporate shlub, and he comes upon Rob Lowe, who has the keys to Lucifer’s kingdom.  The events are raw and faster paced.  Lowe reveals himself as a sociopath by degrees.  When Lowe murders a girl in Spader’s apartment his psychosis is delivered with shock, setting up a clear moral battle.  Spader is outgunned and outwitted, and there is no grey area about who he is or what he’s doing.  He’s not in it for the money, and he’s not playing games, as the evidence to frame him for murder is in Lowe’s hands.  Definitely a more satisfying film with more passionate actors who really disappeared into their roles.

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Ladies whose voices can send chills down my spine…

PATTY GRIFFITH

POE (ANN DANIELEWSKI)

MARGO TIMMINS

TINA DICO

SARA MCLACHLAN

NEKO CASE

AMBROSIA PARSLEY

IMOGEN HEEP

ALISON GOLDFRAPP

BETH GIBBONS

Good a topic for a post as any.  Strength and vulnerability interplaying.  Of course getting up in front of a mob to sing them a song takes intrinsic guts and strength that isn’t usually acknowledged.

Got more to add?  Post below.