Directed by: Paul Verhoeven
Written By: Paul Verhoeven & David Birke

Cinematography: Jeanne LaPoirie
Editor: Job Terburg

Cast: Virginie Efira, Charlotte Rampling, Daphne Patakia, Lambert Wilson, Olivier Rabourdin, Louise Chevillotte, Herve Pierre, Clotilde Courau 

A 17th-century nun in Italy suffers from disturbing religious and erotic visions. She is assisted by a companion, and the relationship between the two women develops into a romantic love affair.

I used to hate period piece films for the most part.  Now I appreciate them for their artistry and attention to detail of the time.

That makes watching them feel so enriching if done well. 

The film does have an overreaching achievement of being and feeling like an epic even though the film takes place in a few locations and in small, close quarters. That no matter the subject matter manages to keep the audience enriched and paying attention. As this is definitely not your typical religious picture. 

This film reminds me of the films as a teenager you stayed up to watch late at night for the promise of sex and nudity, but you might get bored watching at first as you keep waiting for that to be shown and as soon as you are ready to quit you start to get glimpses. That’s films were usually foreign and some were bad. Though some you actually got into while waiting for what you came for. Especially as the characters involved in this relationship are very attractive. Where we see them without clothes often enough.

This is based on a true story and while there is plenty of religion throughout. There is also plenty of violence and while there is certainly exploitation in view. The film never quite feels as dirty or exploitative as director Verhoeven has done in the past. The violence he does show is graphic and suggested at times. 

Here while it is obvious it seems more refined. Even when it gets into the ridiculous it still feels like it is trying to stick to the story above all else. 

The film almost works in two halves as the first part seems to be more about watching the main character serve in servitude in the convent. While slowly being seduced by the wild young woman she convinces herself to be saved from her abusive father. 

The second half involves the main character supposedly having religious visions and Jesus speaking through her. As she starts to have stigmata scars. As she rises through the ranks to be thought of as a saint and believed to be one, the tragedy that befalls those who don’t believe. While also falls into supposed sin with her sexual relationship with the nun she saved.

Though both leads are eye-catching they also offer strong performances throughout 

Throughout the film it shows how power corrupts and leads us to believe that maybe Benedetta is telling the truth while offering evidence that she’s not also. 

The film at times does seem to want to be somewhat of a satire or have a sense of humor, not a strong one, but let’s see some of the far-fetched aspects throughout. 

Watching this nunsploitation epic, there is no doubt if director Paul Verhoeven had made his CRUSADE movie. It would have been a Classic and made Arnold Schwarzenegger a bigger icon.

As it is nice to see directors like Verhoeven do smaller-scale films. Where he is more impressive. As we know he can handle bigger budget movies with panache, but it feels like his smaller films are a lot more memorable and stronger.

Grade: B+

R100 (2013)

Directed By: Hitoshi Matsumoto
Written By: Hitoshi Matsumoto, Mitsuyoshi Takasu, Timoji Hasegawa, Koji Ema & Mitsuru Kuramoto

Cinematography: Kazunari Tanaka
Editor: Yoshitaka Honda

Cast: Nao Omori, Mao Daichi, Shinbu Terajima, Hari Katagri, Ai Tominaga, Eriko Sato, Naomi Watanabe, Lindsay Hayward

An ordinary man with an ordinary life joins a mysterious club. The membership lasts for one year only and there is one rule: no cancellation under any circumstance. The man enters into a whole new exciting world he never before experienced where crazy love goes wilder and crazier. Is it an illusion or is it real? Welcome to the world no one has dared to explore until now!

The first act of this film is interesting, yet quickly becomes infuriating. As it introduces and lays the groundwork but then there seem like long scenes of repetition, long takes, and boredom.

The dominatrix scenes at least offer up what looks like random one-sided action scenes. Where we watch the main character go through many types of torture from various Dominatrixes and they each have a different specialty. That they come off almost as action hero henchmen or villains themselves. 

The film from time to time offers commentary by the film audience seemingly verbalizing what the actual viewing audience watching the film is probably feeling or thinking or wanting to say and pointing out flaws. While also giving the film a meta element and thus another layer. 

Once we get to the second act the film picks up as it doubles down on the out-there elements. Where the film comes off where it was already supposed to be more comedic. 

Until we get to the over-the-top third act. Which involves more action, fantasy, and chases that feel more convenient while still keeping its odd quality about it.

I really tried to get into the film And it’s a ridiculous premise. I will admit it was a challenge and while I can certainly say it’s different. I can’t say it was very enjoyable.

The film tries to break down a lot in explications and randomness. What is supposed to be comedic introduces randomness that constantly makes the film non-coherent and fully self-contained. Yet the first half still feels a bit monotonous. Even as it constantly aims for absurdism. 

Even as the film’s title reveals an inside joke. You know that it has a constant sense of humor about itself. In Japan, R18 is a rating that means no one under 18 is allowed to see it . As they will not understand the film. So this film’s title being R100 means it’s so disturbing that no one or at least no one under the age of 100 should watch it. As they won’t understand it. Which one can see? 

Grade: C

IN THE CUT (2003)

Directed By: Jane Campion 
Written By: Jane Campion, Susanna Moore & Starvos Kazantzids
Based On The Novel By: Susanna Moore 
Cinematography: Dion Beebe 
Editor: Alexandre De Franceschi

Cast: Meg Ryan, Mark Ruffalo, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Kevin Bacon, Sharrief Pugh, Nick Damici, Heather Litteer, Arthur J. Nascarella, Patrice O’Neal 

A psychological thriller: a lonely New York woman discovers the darker side of passion after becoming involved with a tough homicide detective who is investigating a series of murders in her neighborhood.

This film seemed to be dismissed and quickly forgotten by audiences and critics at the time of its release. Seen more as a failure or embarrassment. When actually it is a film that is worth exploring for the rules it abides by and the many it doesn’t. 

It’s grimy ugly not all that sexy. You don’t want to be there but are kind of forced to. As the film starts off disorienting and claustrophobic, it constantly feels like it’s tightening a noose. It stays intense with barely any noticeable score. 

Not a pleasant experience but this film is worth exploring. 

It’s strange as it is Jane Campion making a movie that is more seen as the most mainstream for her at that point and you have America’s sweetheart who wants to challenge herself and be seen in a different more dramatic light. In other words, trying to be anti-mainstream 

So you have these two working together trying to tell a tale that seems mroe obsessed with sex and maintain interest in a murder mystery that seems to be in the background until it hits close to home 

It certainly doesn’t help that all the male characters seem to be creepy as hell. Though make up a long suspect list 

The violence is more told or shown in the aftermath. After a while, the film’s problem is that you wonder what this is all about and what we are waiting for as it gets a bit monotonous at times but stays interesting. As you never know quite where it is going to go next so it feels alive 

The film is certainly well-directed though the material might not be the best. It works as everyone seems ordinary and doesn’t feel like a glamorous Hollywood production. As it does get down and dirty 

So can’t say you like or really care about too many of the characters. Especially when every cop character seems to have an overworked New York accent 

Then throw Kevin bacon into all this madness as a psycho stalking ex. He usually wears red so he might as well be labeled a literal red herring. Where you wonder why Meg Ryan’s character slept with him in the first place. As he seems to be there as a recognizable face and kind of a waste of time.

As Meg Ryan plays a nerdy teacher who is brought into all of this erotic and sexual obsession. At first, she seems Miscast almost like this film is more an experiment for her watching one time America’s sweetheart in a down and dirty role that for some might come across as desperate but for others, it shows she is up for the challenge. Between this film and her other dramatic performances in COURAGE UNDER FIRE and WHEN A MAN LOVES A WOMAN. 

Mark Ruffalo gives the most convincing performance. As he comes across as a simple character with a lot of secrets and heMs not the type to talk about his feelings. More direct as he seems to inhabit the role than play it. Though will admit him, Nor most of the cast are the first you would think of or fantasize about seeing in an erotic thriller 

Though the film would have been easily welcomed and probably lauded had it come out in the ’70s or 80’s as it seems to agave that kind of grit and seriousness of those films even if it would have felt like more of the norm back then. Though it does show classic early 2000 New York 

It feels like a welcome daring film especially for the times that was just too gloomy for audiences of the time to really get into as it is far from enjoyable 

Doesn’t play into bigger-budgeted thrillers with plenty of tension but not as much suspense and lead up. The score is barely noticeable 

The film shows the violence that men do to women that isn’t always physical or sexual but mentally and emotionally. 

 No matter what you think you are going to get going into this film. Do you actually get, It’s A challenging film that has a mind of life or energy if it’s own. That isn’t quite like anything you might have seen before. Not for everybody 

The film is sexual and erotic but not sexy necessarily. When it comes to the more erotic scenes and nature of the film. In the cut is the first Hollywood movie where I have seen someone a man eat ass booty 

Even by the end of the film once the killer is revealed there are no real answers. It’s more left for the audience to put together from what they have seen. Not only when it comes to the murder mystery but even most of the characters’ motivations.

Grade: B- 


Directed By: Peter Sullivan 
Written By: Peter Sullivan & Rasheeda Garner
Story By: Peter Sullivan & Jeffrey Schneck
Cinematography: Eitan Almagor
Editor: Randy Carter 

Cast: Nia Long, Omar Epps, Stephen Bishop, Aubrey Cleland, Maya Stojan, KJ Smith, Estelle Swaray 

Ellie tries to mend her marriage with her husband Marcus after a brief encounter with an old friend, David, only to find that David is more dangerous and unstable than she’d realized.

This is supposed to be an erotic thriller Burt here are only glimpses of erotica maybe two scenes that seem to almost go there before cutting away. There is an opening sex scene where you barely see anything and might be the sole reason for this film Getting an R Rating. 

Sir of the film plays like a Lifetime television movie, one of the more sensationalistic and ridiculous ones. Where you can’t believe half of what is going on. Now mix that with usually these types of films that comes out towards the end of the summer African American cinema is a thriller that has an actress front and center with a recognizable supporting cast.

The film stars the beautiful and overly capable actress Nia Long and Omar Epps as the lead. Yet the film Feels 10 – 15 years too late for them or most of the audience to really get excited about their on-screen pairing.

Also, it already seems that he is obviously a psycho that the film barely holds any surprises. Especially when the film doesn’t.

Live up to the title. As there is no actual affair. There is almost one that ends up. It happens and sets this guy off. Not that he wasn’t crazy before that and worse as unhinged as he is. You would expect him to be more obvious to others.

Not to mention that her old college friends tell her how obsessed the guy was with her in college and the fact she never knew or recognized it seems a little hard to believe. Could see if she thought maybe he had changed or maybe if his psychosis was brought on by seeing her again and that was what triggered her would have been a stronger plot device. 

The fact that he is a tech expert just feels convenient to the story of course. Though when they keep saying his ex looks like Nia Long’s character. When we see her she definitely does not, so while it works story-wise when we see it with our own eyes it seems very far-fetched.

Just as the fact that her best friend would believe a guy she just started dating over her best friend of years.

The film tries to be a thriller but it just comes across as silly and fun and unintentionally funny. Worst of all it’s not even that sexy.

The characters who end up being killed are minor, not even really secondary. It seems like anyone who has less than 10 lines in this movie is fair game to end up murdered. 

Grade: F

MA MERE (2004)

Written & Directed By: Christophe Honore
Based On The Novel By: Goeroges Bastille
Cinematography By: Helene Louvart
Editor: Chantal Hymans

Cast: Isabelle Huppert, Louis Garrel, Emma de Caunes, Joana Preiss, Jean-Baptiste Montagut, Dominique Reymond

Pierre, a youth, comes from his grandmother’s in France to stay with his parents in the Canary Islands. His father talks oddly about his lost youth and leaves abruptly for France. Mom promises to take Pierre to a nightclub, remarking that people will think he’s her lover. He prays. His father dies in France, and his mother wants him to empty his father’s office; Pierre finds it full of pornography. His mother takes him in tow into a night world without morality, a world of sexual exploitation, exhibitionism, and wildness. What will Pierre make of this, and what, ultimately, will he make of his mother?

Rated NC-!7

Is it art or is it pornography? Hobos to say, but this is a bad film that the only reason to watch the film is to see the beautiful euro-trash females in the hide and in sex scenes that seem realistic.

I just can’t get into a film about a mother and son who feel sexual feelings for each other. But don’t act on them.

The film is certainly erotic and has plenty of fetishes for the characters to act on and live out. As we watch the characters on their increasingly ridiculous erotic adventures.

From here on are spoilers. As this film is one you would watch more as an x-rated porn film than an actual art film. At least in my opinion as the film seems like those that as a child I would watch on cable dubbed never really knowing or paying too close attention to the plot. Though knowing nudity was involved and just sitting through the sort to get to the sex and nudity. The rest of the film feeling like filler. Now as a teen that was great, but now as an adult while it brings back a certain nostalgia. If that is all the film is really about it is disappointing or should have advertised that fact originally. Especially with such major actors cast in the film.

The story is about a son who comes home from boarding school after the death of his father. His mother, now a widow starts hanging out with some Eurotrash women, and together, they go out at night, seduce and prostitute themselves. Then the Eurotrash friend seduces the sexually frustrated son. That the film lets us know is sexually Frustrated by showing him constantly masturbating to his father’s porn collection. Not only does she seduce him. She has sex with him in public, then participates in an orgy with him. Which his mother constantly watches him and her and then actually congratulates him after. Then his mother leaves him. So he and a new girl he has met at the orgy and his mother has left him with start To date and have more adventures.

Major spoilers

The rest of the film involves beating a man half to death with a riding crop in as an S & M game. A man masturbating to his mother’s corpse. The mother slicing her own throat while giving her son a hand job.

End major spoiler

I’m sorry I just really couldn’t get into this film. I just don’t want anyone to has to sit through this film expecting something that is never coming. It was more like porn with a plot that had to include every fetish to appeal to every market out there.

This movie is based on a book. Why would anyone want to make it into a film? Maybe it sounded better on paper than it is in live-action. I don’t have European sensibilities. I’m just an ignorant American. So I don’t have too much Of an opinion on it.

For those of you who insist on sitting through it. Just to see if you can make it to the en as some kind of endurance test, why? You paid to see this for some kind of entertainment or at least to e intrigued.

I can admit the women in this film are fetching, but be warned there are not really three women to look at.

One of the problems with reviews in foreign films at times is that since they are in another language, a language you don’t really speak. Is that it is harder to tell if the acting is really good or bad. You just assume they are doing a good job as they seem believable with the text on the bottom of the screen. Or you go by the way they are saying things and the physicality.

Half the time you are reading subtitles so you look up after and may have missed a subtlety or a shot.

I give Isabelle Huppert credit as he mashes I keep her head held high and comes out of the film unscathed.

If you are looking for what amounts to erotic porn rent it. If not skip it.

 Grade: D


Directed by: Alfonso Cuaron  Written by: Alfonso Cuaron & Carlos Cuaron Cinematography: Emmanuel Lubezki  Editor: Alfonso Cuaron & Luis Patlan 

Cast: Daniel Gimenez Cacho, Claudia Ramirez, Luis De Icaza, Astrid Hadad, Isabel Benet, Toshiro Hisaki, Dobrina Liubomirova, Ricardo Dalmacci 

A womanizer is falsely diagnosed with AIDS by a jealous lover and falls in love with a woman equally suicidal as he.

The film already feels outdated. The humor seems a bit lost in translation with the town being so dark. A misdiagnosed aids story played for laughs. As a kind of slapstick sexual comedy.

There seems to be so much in the slapstick situational first half of the movie. That it never feels quite enjoyable or cohesive.

There is plenty of sex yet the films never quite achieved becoming erotic. Instead, it feels crueler.

The last third of the film feels ridiculous as only one scene throughout the film truly feels actually funny.

Most of the film feels so far-fetched and then over-the-top romantic that it takes a lot to believe most of it. 

The thing the movie does have going for it. It is artistically directed by director Alfonso Cuaron making his feature film directorial debut for what ends up such a slightly heavily comedic premise. Which ends up coming off as soft and weak though. Ever seems to penetrate its own artifice.

The best friends are set up to be so over the top nerdy that they lend themselves to stereotypes.

The shocking part is that considering the subject matter you would expect more shocks but the film Is surprisingly bland.

Maybe looking back at the film through modern eyes. Makes what might have been cutting edge seem like an artifact that was of the time more of a fad and modern that fell out of fashion quickly. As it might have been looked at as In Bad taste.

It also seems like a film whose story was made to shock to get attention, for the rookie director to get noticed but ended up pretty lightweight 

Grade: C


Directed By: Amat Escalante 
Written By: Amat Escalante & Gibran Portela 
Cinematography: Manuel Alberto Claro
Editor: Fernanda De La Peza & Jacob Secger Schulsinger 

Cast: Ruth Ramos, Simone Bucio, Jesus Meza, Eden Villavicencio, Oscar Escalante, Bernarda Trueba 

It’s a film that has to be seen to be believed. Though you are impressed with what it pulls off.

The film is told more visually than through dialogue. Letting the images tell the story, makes it feel not only more cinematic but makes the material feel more enriched and an experience for the audience.

A story of connection and a kind of love rectangle.  As separate stories eventually converge. That is simple in its own way. Only enhances with a fantasy element.

That involves a dysfunctional family drama element. 

The film is highly erotic and very sexual. So much so that there is even a brief scene of an animal orgy (with other animals, no Beastiality) 

For instance, The opening scene is a sex scene that sets off the tale abs looks like it could have come from. Numerous hentai anime. As the film itself could be lazily described as live-action hentai porn with a plot. This film focuses more on characters in a domestic drama and the stories of how they end up meeting this monster more graphically.

As every character here has a secret though it comes across more like a fantasy, with the monster lurking inside that brings pleasure and pain. But don’t tell anyone about never revealing true selves. As the monster could easily be a physical manifestation of their secrets that are eating them up inside but brings momentary happiness but ultimately is destructive. Though at least by the end they all find and show their real selves. 

Some get by in life, some are a slave to their addictions and end up victims. Some of their strength at times of tragedy. 

It’s a little bizarre that there is not much of the monster. So if you come to this movie expecting that you will be disappointed. This is more like a science fiction novel where the stories come first. Usually are a parable that uses the science fiction element to make it grander. This is ultimately an empowerment story with a final girl of sorts. 

This isn’t a film you will easily forget. 

Grade: B

DEEP END (1970)

Directed By: Jerzy Skolimowski 
Written By: Jerzy Skolimowski & J. Gruza & B. Sulik 
Cinematography By: Charly Steinberger 
Editor: Barrie Vince 

Cast: Jane Asher, John Moulder-Brown, Karl Michael Vogler, Christopher Sanford, Diana Dors, Louise Martini 

15-year-old Mike takes a job at the local swimming baths, where he becomes obsessed with an attractive young woman, Susan, who works there as an attendant. Although Susan has a fiancé, Mike does his best to sabotage the relationship, to the extent of stalking both her and her fiancé. Mike becomes increasingly desperate to have Susan for himself, with tragic results.

This is a different color g of age tale that follows all the hallmarks of introducing the world through a kind of crush romance. But here it ends much more tragically and more than emotionally.

It involves the theory of being Careful what you wish for as you might just get it. As in the bed, the young man gets what he wants his crush finally does go from him and in the way that he wants even if he must first pay a price but it doesn’t go as he imagines and ends up failing himself but also she doesn’t react in the caring manner in which she has treated him before. As of now he has more or less become one of her victims or how she pretty much treats most of the men in her life by what they can actually give her. Before he was fun as she knew the power she had over him. Now that he has gotten what their want he feels more of ownership as he has An investment in her and now he isn’t fascinating or special to her anymore. Not to mention not valuable as a lover either.

So he strikes out accidentally and causes her death. Which he then decides to die with her by drowning himself in her body. As he caused it and to show he will always love her and there will never be another for him.

This film has the character as one of the few actual teenagers throughout whereas most of the time he is surrounded by adults. Who more or less immerse him in their own worlds.

There is even the ex-girlfriend his own age who rebuffed him when he wanted to go farther intimately who finally offers herself to him now, but he has already fallen for another and it’s too late

Watching this film you can see why he is so obsessed the woman of his dreams is beautiful and elegant to him yet down to earth. His teacher and playmate in many ways. She seems open to him and really to most males depending on what she can get from them. A seductress who seems open then cold. Who none the less encourages him. As throughout the film in the beginning he is more juvenile and silly as he slowly becomes obsessed. Though as the film goes on and his intensity for her increases it becomes scarier yet while he still is immature it does age him and make his actions seem more adult.

Jane Asher is so beautiful here absolute perfection as a crush and femme fatale who unfortunately becomes a victim.

There are obvious premonitions of the ending. With the constant use of red and just like any encounter, the film seems to be building up until it’s final climax which comes as partly shocking and just as their encounter short and seemingly underwhelming at first until the aftermath of it where it goes for more depth in the absence of feelings. Just as her constant insults that seem to just fuel him more and her destruction of his bike the only other thing we see him enjoy during the film. It seems with her destruction of it to hurt his chances of following her only intensifies his focuses.

Set in a more adult and dirty time. The film takes place all in a week mainly at the young man’s first job at a bathhouse during the days of swinging London.

It seems at first she is testing the limits by openly insulting his mother in front of him. To test for a reaction and when he gets upset but quickly seems to forgive her. She knows she has him.

We see her fiancé who is rather wimpish but can provide her with all the tickets and values she seeks. When it comes to the gym teacher he is more physical and can give her what she wants in that way. Not to mention is older and also will take care of her and gives her a bit of adventure by participating in this affair.

The movie theater scene is an interesting power play of her being victim forced to see this film she has no interest in. Then taking control as other members of the audience are attracted to her and then her allowing him to touch her and feel her up while watching a sexual film that is about frigidity and ways of heating yourself up sexually. Then complaining about his actions and having the fiancé get the cops to arrest him but making out with him beforehand and wanting to press charges but when the cops look for her to make a statement she disappears and seems to be having for. So that it becomes a strange comedic yet erotic scene.

This is a film about voyeurism for us watching the characters and one Character watching the other. This is truly a film of the birth of a stalker. Where we see what inspires and builds him up. The dangers of idealization and projection of fantasies. That while it comes off as innocent and maybe justified. At first, becomes dangerous and sickening. Especially when compared with current issues and how times have evolved. Also shows how times have changed. As the film is open to show the tragedy of the situation though can be seen as misogynistic easily with her constantly playing games with the teenager.

Though this film more or less could also try to show at the time the only power females might have had were more sexual ones.

The film also shows Mike being submissive at the beginning as in an early scene where a female customer uses and abuses him for her own pleasure. Practically wrestling him for her own pleasure. As she is older and physically bigger than him and he stays passive until the end where he becomes aggressive in all the wrong ways.

The film takes place in a location that is supposed to be about cleanliness. That we can see is showcasing it’s cracks and rot. As it ages showing it’s slow decay and it being corrupted. all the while the place is trying to be maintained and repurposed to be attractive with it being painted red, the color of passion and love. Here more represents seduction and corruption with a bit of madness.

This truly is more of a character study than most films as not much happens In The way of story or plot but much happens through the interaction and intentions of the characters what they are driven by their motivations and emotions. Which are not so much on display but more or less acted upon.

This is one of those films that eats at you more after it is finished. As you keep finding yourself thinking about it. What the meanings are and your interpretations of what you just watched. In it’s own way it’s powerful yet not necessary. One of those undiscovered gems you want to share though know it might not be for everyone. As it is a small story that is powerful if you stay until the end. Though you have to be observant and patient.

Sexuality using the constant fact of being objectified and using that for what it’s worth.

She losing her diamond in the snow after fighting with him and then bringing all the snow in to melt and hopefully find the diamond. Could represent her coldness to him melting and him finding it as both romantic and him paying her price to be able to be with her. After her little breakdown.

Strangely the film keeps the mood light so that in the surprise moments when it does become dark it’s jarring and surprising you

Grade: B

CANDY (1968)

Directed by: Christian Marquand 
Written by: Buck Henry 
Based on the Novel Written by: Terry Southern & Mason Offenberg 
Cinematography: Giuseppe Rotunno 
Editor: Giancarlo Cappelli 

Cast: Ewa Aulin, John Astin, James Coburn, Marlon Brando, Richard Burton, John Huston, Walter Matthau, Sugar Ray Robinson, Charles Aznavour, Ringo Starr, Anita Pallenberg, Elsa Martinelli, Lea Pedoucni, Judith Malina 

Governed by a mysterious and utterly delicious fate, the innocent high-school student, Candy, summons up the courage to embark on a life-changing journey of enlightenment, eager to discover the elusive meaning of life in the four corners of the world. Little by little, the open-minded girl unlocks the secrets of the world, as a seemingly endless parade of unusual characters–including an eccentric drunkard poet; a Mexican gardener; a chaste U.S. Army general; an overzealous surgeon from hell; a filmmaker, and a smug, all-knowing wandering guru–are more than willing to lend a hand. Will Candy’s scandalous journey of sexual awakening bear fruit? Is there a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow?

This film has gained cult status over the years as an adaptation of a controversial Terry Southern novel. That has buck Henry as the screenwriter but even he was challenged by this film.  The film went into production before he could finish the script. Had to keep adapting to avoid problems. 

Will admit never read the books. One can understand the allure of the film. It’s all-star cast making a comedy as most were more dramatic actors. Not to mention making a sex comedy of the new generation in 1968. But as usual when studios get ahold of something challenging and youthful. It seems they take all the cool factor out of it in trying to market it and figure it out and by the time they do make it. It all feels too late and like they are just off 

As exploration satire with little to no sex or nudity. Just implications of it and once there is sloppily edited so that you can barely tell what if anything happened.

The film is an all’s tar extravaganza which is truly it’s Calling card and the only reason why anyone would be interested In watching it. Even though Marlon Brando’s involvement in it as a favor to the director is what got the funding and other stars interested in the first place. Even as most would fully admit it was the worst film they made or appeared in.

The film is stylish and creatively filmed. It’s nice to look at.

The lead played by Ewa Aulin is given nothing to do but look attractive but it comes off as not understandable why she is so desired by all. As she seems to have the intelligence of a 10-year old in which the film seems to want to show innocence. So that throughout the film Offers so any other characters to be more interested in which might be by design. It might also offer how many evils there are in the world out to victimize those trusting innocents and how easy youth was at the time to influences without much research. How they discover just how corrupt and empty those influences are in the end and those who seem to be heroic icons are easily susceptible.

It also works against what the story might be trying to say by making the men who are powerful and yet misogynistic. It shows them as driven only by list as she offers nothing else but beauty to really keep them interested and short changes her as that seems to be the only quality she has even though she is kind of our hero.  

James Coburn gives one of the better performances. As well as John Astin In a dual role it’s obvious he is having fun and relishing the role. Richard Burton has the most entertaining scenes as his character has a constant air about him. As wind seems to always be blowing his hair and clothes like he has a personal wind machine.

The film ends up being Boring and dull as we watch respected actors embarrass themselves 

Personally felt more interested in some of the side characters who were more entertaining played by Anita Pallenberg and Elsa Martinelli. 

The whole motivation of the film was to show how powerful influential men. Who act above it all and are enlightened,  who have the same misogynistic attitude behind closed doors. Only one thing in mind that leads them to ruin or that she is that desirable that she makes men weak and lose it. As they know this certain woman has that power over them so they must conquer.

The material might have been shocking at the time. It’s rather tame now. Though definitely, a time capsule of it’s time. When Hollywood allowed psychedelic free-thinking movies made of climate and culture which was more freewheeling but shows Hollywood in trying to exploit didn’t quite get it and this film feels over the top and indulgent in it’s thinking. Like a bunch of older people trying to look hip. As the film tries to be profound but feels embarrassing and funny in an unintentional way. 

Remember when the film was released on DVD. As it seemed to be a film That was lost, again more a film that seems better remembered for some than experienced it better In Theory and legend rather than once you see it.

It seeks to be artistic and smart it what passed for it at the time. Though comes off as juvenile. 

What is more disturbing is that some of the actors are doing brown face and being culturally inappropriate that certainly is distasteful and raises eyebrows under a current lens. Where Ringo Starr plays a Mexican character and Marlon Brando plays middle eastern not in any way tasteful.

This feels like a case of catching a bunch of well-known actors with their pants down. Choosing to be I in this film for whatever reason, be it a paycheck, a chance to act amongst other big names, trying to appeal to youth, attracted to the star of the film, Whatever. Only here it’s not as funny or entertaining as you hoped, instead it’s just embarrassing.

The film ends like a Fellini film. As all characters come back for a surreal scene and a kid. If reveal that this is all a production 




Written, Edited & Directed By: Steven Soderbergh
Cinematography: Walt Lloyd
Music By: Cliff Martinez 

Cast: James Spader, Peter Gallagher, Laura San Giacomo, Andie McDowell

Ann is married to John, who is having an affair with her sister Cynthia. Ann’s a quiet type and unwilling to let herself go. When John’s old friend, Graham, shows up, all their lives change. Graham likes to videotape interviews with women.

Continue reading “SEX, LIES & VIDEOTAPE (1989)”