|Title:||The Sex Cycle|
Other Movies Seen By This Director (0)
|07.18.13||Marchesa|| Huh! I spent the whole movie wondering if I'd seen this before and it turns out I had!|
Anyway, Lars programmed this as the second in his Auteur Obscure series for AFS. It's a mid-60s sex film but with an arty psychological bent involving empowering earrings and topless ladies in masks. It's pretty rough construction, loose editing, amateur performances, and a really strange habit of buttoning scenes with a drum hit, but it also had plenty of weird charm to offer. I thought most of the women were beautiful in a natural way. This movie seemed to land post-nose job, pre-boob job so all the skinny girls had suitable busts which is kind of refreshing considering what passes for nudie movies today.
But really, I wish Sarno had a little more confidence in his writing so he didn't have to put so many drum hits in. That said, it's a vital lesson I will keep in my toolbox: if your people don't realize the scene is ending, throw a drum hit in there.
The screening itself was cool because I got to catch up with Sonja a little bit who I haven't seen in a while and Lars was kind of nervous in his lecture and someone farted in the middle of the movie. I mean I was sitting pretty far off to one side and I think it came somewhere from the center so the whole theater probably heard it. I don't know if the guy was betting on the seat having more padding or maybe he got the angle wrong or something but it was loud during a quiet part of the movie and we all heard it, guy.
|03.01.06||Weird Wednesday|| My first exposure to Joe Sarno. According to Lars he's on the level of Jess Franco: a real director of integrity working in a medium that allows him to make lots of movies albeit succumbing to certain commercial restrictions (i.e. lots of boobies). Judging from this movie I just about buy that. The major vibe I got from this is that everything was deliberate except for the acting. As if Sarno said to himself "well, I can only get these non-actors to fill the roles because they are the only people willing to take their clothes off... and they HAVE to take their clothes off so... oh well." The photography was pretty good (in a minimal almost noir fashion, totally driven by budget rather than any stylistic choice I bet, but still... it's good), the plot is pretty wacked out and crazy, and there were a few setups and transitions, small tricks with the lighting and things of that nature, that struck me as way above expectations for a movie like this. of course, it's all balanced out by Lars' professed love of this movie and great intro... but in the end I found myself quite enjoy'd. I think two factors helped out with that a lot: 1) it was short. Like 70 minutes short. I think it was a short movie to begin with and the second reel had a lot of splices (unless all those jump cuts were intentional) so it was even shorter. This kept the eerie stilted tone manageable. I'm not sure if i would like the unexpurgated 135-minute extended edition quite so much. 2) I saw it at the Alamo. Of course the Alamo is the best but I think any theater really would be of help. I'm not sure that I would've given this movie 100% attention had I rented it and watched it at home. There seems to be so many more distractions here when a movie isn't 100% engrossing 100% of the time. I find myself wandering, checking email, etc., when I watch movies here... even for movies that i really love. The theater is nice and insulating, keeping my focus... focused for the entire movie. I think if i was paying half attention to this I would've missed a lot of the nuance and charm of this movie. It's making me wonder if my dvd of Vampyros Lesbos might be worth another viewing where I tie myself down and force myself not to pause it or answer the phone once while watching.|
so, a few things that really made this movie interesting: Many of the female characters never looked directly at anyone that they're talking to. At first I just thought the girl was reading her lines off-camera but she kept doing it and others did it to so I have to think it's intentional. Lars says it's to signify the alienation of the characters. OK. It's also just weird.
The other thing was the great 60s soundtrack. These little drum roll hits to end scenes cracked everybody up, but I generally liked the drum solo score interspersed with the vaguely surfer-rock make-out tunes. It made me think of Wes Anderson's tendency to pair a particularly frenetic moment with a rousing drum solo, but this movie used it for all occasions, even just to end a random dialogue scene, which was fun.