7 posts categorized "Exploitation"

April 26, 2022

BAD TIMING — THE CRITERION COLLECTION

COLE SMITHEY

Groupthink doesn't live here, critical thought does.

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ColeSmithey.comNicolas Roeg is at his most inventive in this suspenseful erotic psychological drama.

The visionary filmmaker behind “Performance,” “Walkabout,” “Don’t Look Now,” and “The Man Who Fell To Earth” reached his peak of cinematic daring with “Bad Timing: A Sensual Obsession.”

ColeSmithey

Art Garfunkel represents an unbalanced academic narcissist who exploits a romantic interlude with Milena, an ostensibly bi-polar adulterer (Theresa Russell) while visiting cold-war Vienna.

Jealousy and tortured distance are at the heart of the couple's dysfunctional relationship.

Screen Shot 2022-04-26 at 1.43.16 PM

Garfunkel's psychoanalyst Dr. Alex Linden would make an effective serial killer. Perhaps he's working up to it.

"Bad Timing" is twisted, in a good way.

Love, romance, and sex are overrated. 

Rated R. 123 mins.

5 StarsEpisode #92 — Brooklyn artist Valleire Trachsler came on the show to talk about one of Isabelle Huppert's favorite films included in the Criterion Collection, Nicolas Roeg's BAD TIMING: A SENSUAL OBSESSION. Bon appétit!

Bad-timing1

Cozy Cole

Cole Smithey on Patreon

October 20, 2018

LET THE CORPSES TAN

Les CadavresThe narrative is appropriately thin in this wildly inspired homage to European crime action movie tropes of the ’70 (think “Zabriskie Point”). As a result, “Let the Corpses Tan” plays better as a retro art instillation piece or as a film you could project on a giant party screen for revelers to get wasted as they engage in all types of sexual misconduct.

Nonetheless, Belgian writing/directing duo Helene Cattet and Bruno Forzani (“The Strange Color of You”) wring a lot of movie out of their “genre” (low budget) exploration.

Corpses tan

Although it sports one of the most incendiary film titles in recent memory, “Let the Corpses Tan” is too one-note to hold your interest for its 92 minutes regardless of how much fetishistic attention is paid to every gritty detail involving a stand-off between gangsters in a remote dusty seaside location.

Screen Shot 2022-03-26 at 12.12.04 AM

The filmmakers revel in playing tricks with your eyes as when, what seems to be, an overhead shot of the location’s compound is overrun with [seemingly giant] ants. Sure it’s all style with not much substance but that’s the point. If you’re in the mood for virtuosic visual panache involving machine guns, gold, cars, motorcycles, fire, smoke, and blood, then you’re in business.   

Corpses

Not Rated. 92 mins. Three Stars

COLE SMITHEY

Groupthink doesn't live here, critical thought does.

This ad-free website is dedicated to Agnès Varda and to Luis Buñuel.

Get cool rewards when you click on the button to pledge your support through Patreon. Thanks a lot pal! Your generosity helps keep the reviews coming!

Cole Smithey on Patreon

February 10, 2015

I STAND ALONE — CLASSIC FILM PICK

COLE SMITHEY

Groupthink doesn't live here, critical thought does.

This ad-free website is dedicated to Agnès Varda and to Luis Buñuel.

Get cool rewards when you click on the button to pledge your support through Patreon. Thanks a lot pal! Your generosity keeps the reviews coming!

Cole Smithey on Patreon

I Stand AloneDesolation of the human soul is the provocation for Gaspar Noé’s dead-end French antihero, a nameless, broke 50-something butcher (played by the commanding Philippe Nahon). Nahon’s insidiously repulsive narcissist carries all the marks of a card-carrying right-wing extremist. Self-loathing, racist, misogynistic, and shaking with pedophiliac desires, Noé’s existential everyman of moral depravity narrates his life story. It reads like a bad acid trip.    

Colesmithey

Growing up as an abandoned child during World War II leads to the adult butcher owning his own meat shop. His mute 13-year-old daughter appears with blood on her panties. Believing his daughter was raped, he chases the suspect with a knife, but accidentally stabs an innocent man. Several years in prison leave the butcher briefly ready to “reset the counter” on his life. It doesn’t take long for that fantasy to fade. The setting is France circa 1980. Our hateful man (with the metaphoric and literal occupation title that describes him) questions his morality while wandering Paris on the run after pummeling his pregnant girlfriend, thereby killing their baby. Noé’s dual-antagonist-protagonist earns no empathy from his audience.

Colesmithey

The Argentinian filmmaker uses simple but dynamic stylistic devices, such as a single gunshot sound effect, to emphasize sudden leaps in the butcher’s progressively offensive inner monologue of discontent and rage. Noé isn’t above using cheap gimmicks to toy with his audience, as when “ATTENTION” flashes across the screen before giving the audience “30 seconds to leave the screening of this film,” with only 20 minutes left. Rest assured any weak-kneed viewers would already have exited the cinema long before Noé’s tongue-in-cheek alert.

Seul-contre-tous

I Stand Alone” (Gaspar Noé’s feature debut) is as much a philosophical denunciation of humanity as it is a thought-provoking treatise on mental illness as a socially communicable disease. The suicidal butcher’s cynical philosophy has flashes of clarity amid bouts of violent actions and bloody fantasies. Love may be the only remedy for the butcher’s nagging death wish but even that comes as a sick travesty.

Colesmithey

Not Rated. 81 mins.

4 Stars

Cozy Cole

Cole Smithey on Patreon

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