Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Day three, early evening

We got our official credentials and all that other stuff which will prove indespensable in the upcoming week and a half. So far everything is going as planned, and without further ado, here's our second batch of reviews:


Directed by
Clément Virgo

Imagine the scandal! Some news organization discovers that the National Endowment for the Arts has financed a pornographic film in association with HBO, Showtime and Bravo and that it would have it’s world premier at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC.

The Republicans would be furious!!! Tom DeLay and Pat Robertson would be demanding that everyone in that organization not only be fired, but spend a few months in the pokey to boot! Right?

But Canada isn’t the United States and apparently, this sort of thing happens without anyone seeming to have noticed all that much. Well maybe it’s because this is a watered-down version of a very hard-core book.

But still, soft-core porn is porn.

Leila(Lauren Lee Smith) is an aging club kid living with her parents in a large house in one of the more expensive neighborhoods in Toronto. She likes to get laid, and sex is what’s almost always on her mind. She’s at one such club when she meets David(Eric Balfour)
Who’s already taken. So she gets someone else, takes him out to the club’s parking lot, and starts getting it on. David and his lady friend head out to his car, where they do much the same thing while watching Leila’s little show.

Next day, L&D meet again. He chases her into a playground and they start to do it in the jungle jim. They move in with each other, they fuck. Then they fuck some more. We see it all. Porn.

Sure there are some other plotlines, but so what? This is porn, plain and simple, the narration is about sex, most of the action is about sex, they watch hard-core porn on the telly…if you’re going to watch porn, go ahead, watch. But don’t go around saying that it’s art. That went out with the Johnson administration


Written and Directed
by Pasquale Scimeca

In the year 1492, The Catholic Monarchs of what was to become Spain did three things for which they would be remembered forever. First: They overthrew the last remaining Moslem kingdom on the peninsula. Second: They sent Columbus to discover the western route to the Indies, and Third: they kicked out the Jews.

This film is about that third tragedy.

We begin some twenty years before the event, when Ferd and Bella’s Jewish minister Don Isaac(Toni Bertorelli) arrives at a humble synagogue to meet an old friend, who’s wife Sarah is at that moment giving birth to a son. When the blessed event occurs, Don Isaac begins to prophesy. The child is the King Messiah, who will lead the Jewish people back to the promised land.

Cut to 1492, and Joshua(Leonardo Cesare Abude) is now a brilliant scholar, and with the Isabella’s damnable decree signed, sealed and delivered, all Don Isaac can do is invite our hero, his sister widowed mother to the kingdom of Naples where it’s safe.

This is a sumptuous movie, the costumes!, the sets! They cross towering mountains and cross the vast Mediterranean. All the while we wonder exactly where this thing is going.

Apparently, the Italians to the famously anti-Semitic passion play every Easter, and Josh manages to get cast as Jesus, and the evil priests decide to make the play a bit more realistic than usual.

It’s entertaining in parts, Abude is really good as our hero, but for the most part is rather useless film leading to a real downer ending.

Oh well, can’t have everything.


Way back in the middle 1980s, Tamra Davis filmed a long interview with
with legendary artist Jean Michel Basquiat, who was famous as a bisexual homeless guy who was adopted by Andy Worhol and his crowd.

The work shown isn’t all that good, and if Biasquait wasn’t dead, his work would have been a flash in the pan. Unless you’re a fan of the guy, this is entirely uninteresting.


Written and Directed
by Thomas Allen Harris

In 1960, some student members of the African National Congress decided to escape apartheid South Africa to work for the regime’s overthrow. Harris’ stepfather was one of these men, and Harris uses interviews, still photos and dramatic reconstructions to tell the story of these young freedom fighters, and how they interacted with is life.

It’s one of those things you would see on the History channel,and maybe it will. Harris has a future with this medium.


Directed by
Stuart Samuels

The thesis of this TV documentary is that there were six films which changed everything. In 1970, the people at the Elgin theater in New York City began playing a film called “El Topo” every night at midnight, and sparked a phenomenon known as the midnight movie.

There are five others mentioned here: ”Night of the Living Dead,” “The Harder They Come,” “ Pink Flamingoes,” “Rocky Horror” and “Eraserhead.” The makers of each of these films comes out of retirement, or wherever they’re hiding [Okay, George Romero and John Waters is still out there making films, but still….] and discuss how these films managed to become what they eventually came. It’s all rather interesting.

Even if you’re not a fan of these films, it’s worth a look, even though they do show Divine eating poodle shit. (IK) Maybe it’ll wind up on cable in the ‘States sometime soon.

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