excerpt from “Senses of Cinema” on Catherine Breillat:
“But it was with the release of Romance in 1999 that Breillat would face censorship internationally, when the film was either banned altogether in some countries, or given an X rating. It was a situation Breillat spoke out about when she declared that, “censorship was a male preoccupation, and that the X certificate was linked to the X chromosome.” Breillat’s statement was echoed in the French poster for the film, which features a naked woman with her hand between her legs. A large red X is printed across the image, thus revealing the source of the trouble: a woman in touch with her own sense of sexual pleasure. Continue reading
Two actors performing in Strindberg’s “Inferno” as God and Lucifer, find themselves competing in real life as well. One of them, Henrique, has spiritual obsession with John Wayne and his way of walking. He and de Dieu, his fellow actor who plays Lucifer and also directs the Strindberg play, engage in a philosophical and spiritual tug-of-war, especially when they meet an author named God, who has plans for another drama to feature both actors. Continue reading
From The Director Of Survey Map Ofia Paradise Lost And Love-Zero=Infinity
Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, the sledgehammer style of Hisayasu Sato helped redefine Japanese erotic cinema with carefully constructed characters that would walk the fine line between decadence and innocence. Known for his guerrilla techniques, using a style born out of constricted budgets, Sato’s raw camerawork accurately depicts the reality of modern life.
Rafureshia, or as it is also known, Wife in Heat: While Husband Is Away, is the darkly humorous story of three very different women and their search through their sexuality into the freedom that lies beyond it. Continue reading
The Player is a 1992 satirical film directed by Robert Altman from a screenplay by Michael Tolkin based on his own novel of the same name. It is the story of Griffin Mill (Tim Robbins), a Hollywood studio executive who gets away with murdering a wannabe screenwriter who Mill believes is sending him death threats.
The film, loaded with movie references and Hollywood insider jokes, is a critique of the Hollywood movie business, which treats artists poorly and sacrifices quality for commercial success. It might seem surprising that around sixty big Hollywood names agreed to play cameos as themselves in the film, but Altman himself admits that “it is a very mild satire” and it offended no one. Continue reading
Multi award-winning film, starring Maggie Cheung, Leon Lai and Eric Tsang. The film also features a role by renowned cinematographer Christopher Doyle (who has shot many of Wong Karwai’s films, and also shot films by Chen Kaige and Zhang Yimou).
The film’s Chinese title (Tian Mi Mi) is the name of a song by Teresa Teng which plays throughout the film. It translates as “Sweet Honey”, but also implies a close loving relationship. (Leon Lai sings the title song for the ending credits.) The film shows the love that Chinese people have for the famous singer, who died the year before the film was released; the film is considered a love poem in memory of Teresa Teng. Continue reading
Pierfrancesco Campanella’s first giallo (also his directorial debut). The plot is about a series of murders among homosexuals, but the erotic element is mostly represented in heterosexual couplings, so no worries there. Starring the always excellent Tomas Arana, with Alida Vali, Gioia Scola, Lorenzo Flaherty, Natasha Hovey and Barbara Scoppa. Continue reading
After recently watching Bertrand Tavernier’s “In the Electric Mist”, that film made me miss “L.627” all the more. While “In the Electric Mist” isn’t a complete failure, it’s mixture of Southern gothic, hard boiled detective novels and clunky exposition doesn’t seem to represent the best of Tavernier’s senses. A French filmmaker not afraid to put himself on the line and film a quintessential “American” story (see “Round Midnight”, even though it documents the musician’s exploits in France), Tavernier’s 1992 film “L.627” is his masterpiece…. and still not available for digestion on region 1 DVD. Continue reading