Andrew’s life has hit rock bottom. After being fired from his job and discovering that his girlfriend is having an affair, he hits the streets looking for work only to discover a non-stop series of sexual delights waiting for him at every turn.
When a country boy arrives in the Big City with nothing but starry eyes and dreams of making a success of himself, he finds that his best asset might just be the one between his legs.
Jon Martin stars as the naive young man, a guy whose sexual prowess ends up getting him anything he wants out of life. His job search initially lands him in the back of a restaurant, washing dishes even as the saucy siren who runs the joint is dabbling in lesbian hi jinx right there behind the counter!
Jon leaves that job soon enough, this time to try his luck at selling encyclopedias. Well, he doesn’t move many volumes, but he does end up in the clinch with a buxom beauty who prefers him to his reference books.
In the end, Jon finds himself working as an account executive for a publishing company — another job that he got thanks to some tireless trysting with just the right woman. Continue reading
A young woman, Janice, is living with her restrictive and conservative parents, who lead a dull working-class life, and consider their daughter to be “misbehaving” whenever she’s trying to find her own way in life. When she becomes pregnant, they force her into abortion, and hypocritically blame her for “upsetting them” when she is unable cope with the emotional and mental effect this has on her. The film is depressing and excruciatingly painful and hard to watch, as Janice is subjected to brain-washing and reproach by her parents and shockingly self-righteous and ignorant doctors (could this have been only 25 years ago???). A masterpiece, a stark and painful portrait of a hypocritical society. Continue reading
Margot, who lives in a comfortable middle class apartment, fears that she is losing her mind after having had her second child. Her husband Kurt, who is busy studying for an exam, does not understand her situation. Her mother-in-law and sister-in-law Lore are openly hostile to her. She resorts to valium and drink, and looks for sympathy, but to no avail. Continue reading
The drawbacks and difficulties of military life are explored in this film. Paolo Passeri (Michele Placido) is a college graduate, somewhat spoiled, somewhat effete, who finds himself in an officer training program under the stern martinet, Captain Asciutto (Franco Nero). He gradually becomes acclimated to the military mind-set, and when the Captain’s wife (Miou-Miou) decides to take a romantic interest in him, he does not report her dangerous peculiarities to anyone. Continue reading
Some films cry out to be made. Others whisper, and some just offer the tiniest, weariest shrug. ”Spoiled Children,” which opened yesterday at the Public Theater, is one of the latter. Its main character is a film director who rents an apartment in which he plans to create his latest screenplay. While living in the apartment, he joins the tenants’ committee, has a desultory affair with a woman much younger than he, pays visits to his wife that are even more desultory, and otherwise whiles away time.
This director, Bernard (Michel Piccoli), appears to be assembling material for his film with an arty randomness, selecting occasional snippets of his own experience and shaping his screenplay around them. He even has a collaborator, who chimes in ”It’s strange how the cemeteries in Berlin are colder than elsewhere.” The collaborator then proclaims the remark ”Great!” and wonders how he can wedge it into the film. Bertrand Tavernier, the film’s director, may have worked in much the same way. Continue reading
If Werner Herzog’s The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser is, as I contend, an exegesis on the human tendency to contextualize life through custom – not to mention, of course, the inculcative parallels through which both we and less domesticated species glean long-term behavioral patterns – then his 1976 work, Heart of Glass, is an admonishment on holding such traditions in too high of sentiment. Despite revolving ostensibly about an 18th century Bavarian village, the director appears to be simply employing this milieu as but a microcosm for any culture that’s extinction draws nigh, painting progress and evolution as more reliable entities than ritual and superstition. Heart of Glass’s diaphanous narrative is laden with hints to such contemplations, though in the end, none reads as poetically oblique as the opening sequence: A formal and spoken manifestation of death. Continue reading
For Come on Children, from 1972, King returns to the lives of troubled Toronto youths, but this time he creates the environment of study himself. After doing extensive interviews with local teenagers, King sent 10 of his subjects on a country retreat to a farmhouse where they could live collectively without the interference of adults, hierarchies, or rules. Each of the teens, ranging in age from 13 to 18, gets a musical introduction from one of the more charismatic subjects, a pimply ex-drug addict named John. His Dylan-esque folk narration gives Come on Children a reflexive identity, the best example his last lyric, “I’m not sure what the film’s about, but I hope the movie makes you feel that you wished you were here.” These kids understand the camera’s perspective, but that doesn’t stop them from unveiling a disturbing mixture of naiveté and hardnosed cynicism at the adult life waiting around the corner. Once again, King uses a collective set piece—a visit from everyone’s parents to the farmhouse—to show the dynamic drama breathing through the core of every conversation. If Come on Children is less successful at engaging the viewer’s sympathies, it’s because the Vietnam-era teens don’t see much to look forward to, an ideology King never sugarcoats. Continue reading