Gustav Wiklund – Exponerad aka Exposed aka The Depraved (1971)

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With periodic flashbacks and fantasy sequences, Exposed, in terms of its narrative structure at least, is a bit more complicated than your average sexploitation picture. While on the surface Lena is a typical, if flawed, central character the film lets us get into her head enough that even if we don’t completely see her as an innocent, we can at least feel for her. Her plight with Helge and his blackmailing ways is a sticky situation to be sure and while his coercion into the world of kinky sex allows for many titillating sequences, you can’t help but feel sorry for Lena. That said, she uses her sexuality to put herself in rather precarious situations and at times you almost wonder if she subconsciously wants the dysfunction that seems to follow her around. Consider this alongside the way that she’s treated by most of the men in the film, whose eyes linger on her quite voraciously, and you’re left trying to figure out how much of her dire situation she’s put herself in, rather than found herself in. Continue reading

Lindsay Anderson – If…. (1968)

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“A modern classic in which Anderson minutely captures both the particular ethos of a public school and the general flavour of any structured community, thus achieving a clear allegorical force without sacrificing a whit of his exploration of an essentially British institution. The impeccable logic of the conclusion is in no way diminished by having been lifted from Vigo’s Zéro de Conduite, made thirty-five years earlier.” – Time Out London Continue reading

Serge Gainsbourg – Je t’aime moi non plus AKA I Love You, I Don’t (1976)

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The petite waitress Johnny works and lives in a truck-stop, where she’s lonely and longs for love. She develops a crush on the garbage truck driver Krassky, although her sleazy boss Boris warns her that he’s gay. Maybe because of her boyish looks, Krassky likes her too. Both don’t notice the growing jealousy of Krassky’s boyfriend Padovan – until an escalation. Continue reading

Gualtiero Jacopetti – Addio zio Tom aka Goodbye Uncle Tom (1971)

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Mark Deming, All Movie Guide

Gualtiero Jacopetti and Franco E. Prosperi, best-known for the groundbreaking shockumentary Mondo Cane, directed this bizarre and shocking look at slavery in America. Set in the deep South prior to the Civil War, Zio Tom finds Jacopetti and Prosperi travelling back in time aboard a helicopter to investigate the nuts and bolts of slavery as it happened in the United States prior to abolition. Along the way, the filmmakers go aboard a slave ship as frightened Africans are brought to America under inhuman conditions; they witness the dangerous and degrading process by which slaves were made ready for market; and they visit a “breeding farm” for slaves after laws prohibit the importation of slaves from abroad. Also included is a sermon from a preacher who argues for the moral and spiritual necessity of slavery (while another man speaks out against it strictly on grounds of economics and practicality); the contrasting thoughts of men and women on the matter of miscegenation; and an interview with an educated slave who feels his circumstances are better for him than conventional employment. Also shown is the brutal torture and punishment of slaves for any number of real or imagined grievances. Re-creating both the opulence and the ugliness of the Old South on a grand scale, Zio Tom concludes with present-day African-Americans reading The Confession of Nat Turner and contemplating violent overthrow of the white-dominated culture. Understandably controversial, Zio Tom received a very brief theatrical release in the United States under the title Farewell Uncle Tom, where it received an X rating from the MPAA despite being trimmed by approximately 20 minutes from its original Italian running time. Continue reading

Andy Warhol – Lonesome Cowboys (1968)

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An outrageously funny spoof on the Western film, Lonesome Cowboys is a synthesis of Warhol’s sorties into the New York underworld, but much more humorous and with closer adherence to a nonsensical plot. The film was photographed in Arizona, in a ghost town where (somehow) two of Warhol’s superstars are discovered. The incongruous montebanks happen to be Viva, as chic and sarcastic as she was in Bike Boy and resembling a displaced model for Hound and Horn, and Taylor Mead. Mr. Mead is the zany of our time, and when five mysterious cowhands saunter into town, the hilarity commences. The cowboys are an odd assortment, a bit androgynous and city-wise, and they interact with the two in varying attitudes of lust and indifference in set-pieces of inspired film comedy. Often, Lonesome Cowboys reaches the ultimate in surrealist imagery: cowboy-deputy Mead performing the Lupe Velez Twist, his own choreographic distortion; or one of the cowboys performing ballet exercises at the hitching post. Viva’s langorous seduction of the most innocent-looking among the cowboys is actually a satirical comment on sexual artifice. This erotic, sagebrush comedy has its cruel edge, and one feels that Andy Warhol attempts to make some statement about the nature of brotherly love and the impossibility of virtue rewarded in these times of fallen idols. Select just about any Warhol film from the mid-sixties and you’ll find a scandal tucked away. Lonesome Cowboys’s most notable run-in with the law was in Atlanta where it was seized after replacing Gone with the Wind in a mall theater. Continue reading