66 posts categorized "Political Satire"

June 16, 2024

WORKING GIRLS — THE CRITERION COLLECTION

Welcome!

ColeSmithey.com

Groupthink doesn't live here, critical thought does. This ad-free website is dedicated to Agnès Varda and to Luis Buñuel. Punk heart still beating.

Get cool rewards when you click on the button to pledge your support through Patreon.

Thanks a lot acorns!

Your kind generosity keeps the reviews coming!

ColeSmithey.com

 

ColeSmithey.comLizzie Borden's third film, behind "Regrouping" (1979) and "Born In Flames" (1983), is a perfect chamber-piece of neo-realist social satire.

The film's feminist trappings of an '80s era Manhattan brothel provides the frame for a piercing commentary on the effects of American capitalism on women.

"Working Girls" could easily be adapted to be a modernday Broadway play.

ColeSmithey.com

It would be a sensation for its timeless qualities of social, sexual, and economic truth.

ColeSmithey.com

Molly (Louise Smith), a professional photographer, lives with her lesbian girlfriend when she isn't working as a sex worker in a Manhattan brothel run by a domineering madam.

ColeSmithey.com

"Have you ever heard of surplus value?"

That theme line shoots like a sharp political dart when a character speaks it.

ColeSmithey.com

“All workers create more value at work than they receive in wages. The extra surplus value goes into the boss’s pocket as profit.”

ColeSmithey.com

Surplus value is "the surplus produced over and above what is required to survive, which is translated into profit in capitalism. Since the capitalist pays a laborer for his/her labor, the capitalist claims to own the means of production, the worker's labor-power, and even the product that is thus produced."

Female hands hold cups of coffee, count money, and remove cum-filled condoms.

ColeSmithey.com

Everyone chisels; there is no place to hide.

Not Rated. 93 mins.

5 Stars

Cozy Cole

ColeSmithey.com

October 31, 2023

HOUSE — SHOCKTOBER!

ColeSmithey.comColeSmithey.comWelcome!

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 acorns!

Your kind generosity keeps the reviews coming!

ColeSmithey.com

ColeSmithey.comColeSmithey.com

ColeSmithey.comNobuhiko Obayashi’s 1977 surrealistic satire regarding the overwhelming aftermath of America’s atomic bomb attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, is a virtuosic fantasy horror movie unlike any other.

Of the atomic bombs’ 200,000 causalities, all of Nobuhiko Obayashi’s childhood friends were among the deceased.

Nobuhiko Obayashi was just eight years old at the time of the attacks. Clearly, he never lost sight of his pals, or his loss. Here, Obayashi throws a cinematic extravaganza party to celebrate the lost potential of a generation.

ColeSmithey.com

Extreme teenage Japanese punk power pop! You bet.

ColeSmithey.com

We’re way beyond “Rocky Horror” baby.

“House” takes the cake, the dining room table, the piano, and most certainly the title’s house of horrors that devours seven teenage girls via a very hungry piano.

ColeSmithey.com

Chomp, chomp, chomp.

“House” shows Obayashi’s encyclopedic mastery of state-of-the-art filmmaking, from a deeply personal approach to meeting the sugary commercial demands of the film’s producers.

ColeSmithey.com

This insanely ambitious movie puts George Lucas and Steven Spielberg to shame with pure inventiveness.

Obayashi received story ideas from his eleven-year-old daughter, Chigumi. A blood-spewing white cat piles on the film’s cartoonish tone of outrageous evil consuming every body that steps in its path.

ColeSmithey.com

Nobuhiko Obayashi uses every filmic technique at his disposal, in order to transmogrify the grief, pain, and sense of incalculable loss that he and so many others experienced. What results is a cinematic phantasmagoria overflowing with humor, expressions of love, and deep-seeded fear of the unknown.

ColeSmithey.com

Visually and viscerally stunning from start to finish, “House” is much more than a mere masterpiece.

Not Rated. 88 mins.

5 Stars THE BLOOD OF DRACULA THE BLOOD OF DRACULA ColeSmithey.com
THE BLOOD OF DRACULA
THE BLOOD OF DRACULA
Cozy Cole

ColeSmithey.com

October 28, 2023

FIGHT CLUB — SHOCKTOBER!

ColeSmithey.comColeSmithey.comWelcome!

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 acorns!

Your kind generosity keeps the reviews coming!

ColeSmithey.com

ColeSmithey.comColeSmithey.comLA GRANDE BOUFFE (THE BIG FEAST)For episode #64 Cole pulled out the big guns with FLYING DOG BREWERY'S DOUBLE DOG IPA to go along with our discussion of David Fincher's mind-blowing adaptation of Chuck Palahniuk's classic if prescient novel of post-modern satire. Pull a chair up to the banquet table and join us for one hell of a feast for one hell of a movie! 

ColeSmithey.com

Bon appétit Bouffers!ColeSmithey.com

Fincher Does Palahniuk
Blood, Sweat, and Emotional Bankruptcy Follow    
By Cole Smithey

ColeSmithey.comMisogynist, anti-capitalist, and class-conscious, novelist Chuck Palahniuk’s “Fight Club” takes a "Trainspotting" brand of glee in dismissing lifestyle mores and status quo materialist limitations of American social existence.

Here is a dystopic fever-dream premonition of 21st century America, from a 20th century point of view. You can feel the heat.

The black comedy plays like a boys-only video game where male audience members are encouraged to kick over the vending machine that ate their quarters.

ColeSmithey.com

For all of the controversy surrounding the movie for fear that young males will begin setting up fight clubs of their own all around the world, the theory is countered directly in the movie as Ed Norton's nameless character comes to view his dimwitted, class-conscious Fight Club cohorts as complete morons.

These are people who, in Lou Reed's words, "follow the first thing that comes along that allows them the right to be; you know it's called bad luck."

ColeSmithey.com

Indeed, the Fight Club cult that Norton's character sets up under the tutelage of his brutal disenfranchised alter ego/evil-twin, Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt), digresses into a flesh-chewing tombstone that gets dumped on the floor like so much bloody brain matter.

ColeSmithey.com

From David Fincher's hyper sci-fi juiced credit sequence  (underscored by searing music) to its pre-9/11 foreshadowing, the visionary filmmaker pulls out every stop in his arsenal of cinematic tricks to deliver walloping visual blows.

Fincher’s visual approach is aggressive, and packed to the surface with such a high sperm count that you can almost see the microscopic swimmers bursting to get free. There’s never a gesture, vocal quality, intention, or motivation from any character (with the exception of Meat Loaf's hormone challenged character Bob) that isn’t full-bore masculine.

ColeSmithey.com

If that means that more than a few tons of fury are coming along for the ride, so be it.

In Palahniuk’s ice-cold satire, if you’re a consumer then you’re a pussy.

ColeSmithey.com

The post-modern author presses you to see through the culture of housewife-behavior where free time is spent imagining and buying things to complete your vacuous identity.

Free time is supposed to be just that, free.

ColeSmithey.com

A greater social repercussion from "Fight Club" would be a trend where American males ceased spending money, and began hoarding every dime as if they were collecting names on a petition to embargo our snotty soul-crushing corporate run government.

ColeSmithey.com

However heavily "Fight Club" relies on extraneous voice-over narration from Norton's unreliable character, the grist of the story lies in his need to follow something. Even as it becomes glaringly clear over the course of the movie that he's pulling his own strings, rather than acting on the suggestions of Pitt’s rock-star-perfect persona, it’s the human inclination to be lead that troubles us.

ColeSmithey.com

Chuck Palahniuk seems to be saying that males have such a strong urge to follow another person’s lead that it’s only through pain that a man can fully realize his own responsibility to himself and to the world around him. It’s a coming-of-age stratagem that fits perfectly within Fincher’s previous films and taps into films like "Taxi Driver," "The Graduate," and "A Clockwork Orange."

ColeSmithey.com

Like the insomniac Travis Bickle in "Taxi Driver," Ed Norton gravitates to his true nature by exploring society in a heightened state of sleep-deprived accessibility. That Norton’s job as a car company recall analyst demands that he fly into different time zones in cities where he can buy all the same stuff, magnifies his disassociation to other people.

ColeSmithey.com

Just when he’s finally is able to quell his insomnia by crying at support groups for people with terminal ailments, he becomes stalked by a woman named Marla (Bonham Carter). Marla shows up at every meeting he goes to, and her very presence mocks his ability to find refuge in fringe social enclaves. Jammed, embarrassed, and exasperated, Norton’s character makes a self-enabling breakthrough.

ColeSmithey.com

By becoming free of all of his worldly possessions, and donning the badges of physical abuse, he attains a sainthood status that he can’t help but abuse by encouraging males around him to join his cult of social terrorists.

ColeSmithey.com

The performances, direction, and themes are thickly woven in scratchy narrative wool, and David Fincher never lets you forget what the social loom looks like. "Fight Club" is Fincher's cinematic Hail-Mary pass that the audience desperately wants to catch.

ColeSmithey.com

Chuck Palahniuk keeps good company with George Orwell and Philip K. Dick.

You've got to give up hope.

ColeSmithey.com

Rated R. 139 mins. 

5 Stars SF SHOCKTOBER!

Cozy Cole

ColeSmithey.com

Featured Video

SMART NEW MEDIA® Custom Videos

COLE SMITHEY’S MOVIE WEEK

COLE SMITHEY’S CLASSIC CINEMA

Throwback Thursday


Podcast Series