5 posts categorized "Porn"

February 10, 2016

THE DUKE OF BURGUNDY

Duke of BurgundyWriter/director Peter Strickland (“Berberian Sound Studio”) explores the power dynamics involved in a lesbian sadomasochistic relationship that exists in a utopian atmosphere of rural isolation. This is an erotic drama for adults. Leave “50 Shades of Grey” to the kiddies. This nuanced sexual tale of erotic BDSM topping from the bottom is tantalizing, titillating, and dirty in a way that only the human imagination can explore with such deviant romantic sophistication on the big screen without going full porn. Mistress/Slave. Yummy.

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Danish actress Sidse Babett Knudsen plays Cynthia, a butterfly expert who resides alone in a lush country mansion somewhere in Europe. Cynthia’s full-time maid Evelyn (wantonly played by Chiara D’Anna) seems to take payment for her frequently spotty work, in staged punishments that her mistress Cynthia doles out with stern deportment and appropriately black fetish attire. Formal costume precision is required. So too is a proper attitude of distant attraction.

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Evelyn may be marginal in performing her house chores, but she makes up for it in the bathroom, at the service of her full-bladdered mistress. A purposely-unwashed pair of Cynthia’s soiled panties gives cause for a human-toilet golden shower session behind closed doors that leaves Evelyn hungry for more, more, more, more toilet action in the future.

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Strickland’s sensual visual touches of stylistic homage to softcore masters such as Jess Franco give the film a sustained sense of lush erotic and dramatic tension, but he allows the racy narrative to go flat. Evelyn’s outré desire for humiliation drives a lesbian relationship centered on fulfilling the couple's fetishistic desires.

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Evelyn's submissive coquettish character gains more pleasure than her older dom Cynthia does from their scripted BDSM sessions together. Equality is not all it's cracked up to be.

Duke of Burgundy

The film’s hook rests with the couple’s bottom-topping paradigm, which proves to be the key to the women's complex sensual connection. Evelyn leaves specific handwritten instructions for Cynthia to fulfill. The submissive is calling the shots. Perhaps this is the secret to the recipe. This self-scripted method for Evelyn to achieve her desired fetishistic scenarios has intrinsic limits that Cynthia isn't able to fulfill, at least not yet.

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Although it’s clear that Evelyn is working up to serving as a full-duty (#1 & #2 — shocking, I know) human-toilet to her more mature mistress, the filmmaker inexplicably reneges on the dirty motivation. What could have given the film a truly shocking aspect evaporates when romance deposes the fetishistic elements of the women’s unique bond. Rather than the specially designed toilet chair she requests, Evelyn has to settle for a trunk where she is imprisoned overnight at the end of her mistress's bed.  

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“The Duke of Burgundy,” with its perfectly disguised title, could serve as a compass-marker for other (more daring) filmmakers to follow in the footsteps of. Mainstream cinema and pornography continue to overlap. Where are the daring, transgressive filmmakers of the 21st century? No modern-day John Waters? What is wrong with the world?

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Neither entirely frustrating nor satisfying, here is an enjoyable erotic film populated with only female characters. As such, "The Duke of Burgundy" affords the audience a much-needed break from Cinema's predominance of male influence, albeit from the director himself. It would be interesting to see how a more daring [female] filmmaker would follow the story’s fetishized elements toward their logical trajectories. Perhaps then Evelyn could achieve the transformation into a human-toilet that she desires. What then?

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Not Rated. 104 mins. (B-) Three Stars

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May 21, 2015

LOVE — CANNES 2015

Love

The pornographic  “Love” is a 3D sexploitation movie made by a filmmaker unaware of the genre that he’s working in. Noe, the genius behind such groundbreaking examples of provocative social satire as “I Stand Alone” and “Irreversible,” has made a film so sophomoric that it boggles the mind.

It is amazing that this dross came from the same person who created “Enter the Void,” one of the most visually and viscerally challenging films of the last 20 years. (That movie is currently streaming on Netflix.)



Marketed as Noe’s supposed dream project since his days in film school, the "semi-autobiographical" “Love” is meant to display the reality of “sentimental sensuality” via “blood, tears, and cum.”

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Semen is by far the most plentiful of the three fluids shown on, and off-screen, when you consider the graphic bit in which Noe takes obvious advantage of the 3D process to break the proscenium window with a load of gooey spunk. I get it: this single image is enough provocation to elevate “Love” to cult status out of the gate. So be it. 

Real Sex Mainstream Gaspar Noés Love Deutschlandstart | CLOUDY GIRL PICS

Featureless no-name actor Karl Glusman plays the director’s younger alter ego Murphy, an always-horny American studying filmmaking in Paris. Murphy (yes, "Murphy's law” is the trite allusion that Noe is compelled to spell out in block letters) is a miserable soul whose passion for cinema means that he wears an olive-green Army jacket just like the one Robert De Niro wore as Travis Bickle in “Taxi Driver.” Posters from such divisive films as Pier Paolo Pasolini's “Salo” and “Andy Warhol’s Frankenstein” adorn Murphy’s small Parisian pad, which he shares with Omi (Klara Kristin), the mother of his son Gaspar (yes, really), courtesy of a broken condom.

Love: All the Graphic Nude Scenes - Nude Scene Compilation at Mr. Skin

Not only is there not a single empathetic character in the movie, but the ostensibly character-defining, formally explicit sex acts that Noe films (primarily from above in a pictorial framing style), illuminate fewer aspects of personality traits than you would find in a typical sample of homemade porn.

Springboard: Karl Glusman on the Fear and Freedom of Shooting Gaspar Noé's  3D 'Love' Sex Scenes | IndieWire

“Love” premiered at Cannes (2015), a festival certain to include at least one salacious picture per year. In 2003, Vincent Gallo’s “The Brown Bunny” sent critics groaning over its gratuitous oral sex scene between Chloe Sevigny and Gallo. “Brown Bunny” certainly isn’t any better than “Love,” but it was mercifully shorter at 93 minutes.

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“Love’s” arduous running time is 130 interminable minutes. Another difference is that no one expected much from Vincent Gallo as a filmmaker, who had only made one film (“Buffalo 66”) before “Brown Bunny.” The situation is considerably different for Noe, who is likely to discover that even his staunchest supporters will find little to admire, much less love, in a film that feels more like a student film project than a movie by an experienced filmmaker. “Love” represents the one of the biggest examples of regression for any filmmaker in recent history. What a mess.

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Not Rated. 130 mins. 

Zero Stars

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November 18, 2013

BETTIE PAGE REVEALS ALL!

Bettie Page Reveals AllBettie Page’s remarkable life and cultural influence is exhaustively explored, commented upon, and celebrated in a documentary that serves as the end all and be all on the subject thanks to the famous pin-up girl’s own retelling of her life-story.

Documentarian Mark Mori leaves no stone unturned in providing a treasure-trove of archive photos and clips from Bettie’s photo-shoots and movies, along with other era-appropriate footage and illustrations, to underscore Bettie’s late-life narration — culled from a series of audio interviews she gave the filmmaker before her death in 2008.

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Bettie’s trademark bangs and naughty-but-nice modeling style is illustrated and discussed in the context of America’s repressive sexual mores and violent times of the ‘50s when she started posing for private camera clubs. By the time she posed for Hugh Hefner as a Playboy playmate in 1955, Bettie was already famous as the Queen of the Pinups.

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Perhaps the film’s greatest gift is that Mori never shows Bettie Page in her time-ravaged older incarnation, but rather allows her charismatic leathery voice to give candid descriptions of the events before, during, and after her becoming famous as a fetishized bondage model. Bettie Page’s illustrious career and legacy lives on. “Bettie Page Reveals All!” contributes heartily to her rich tradition as a feminist rebel with a cause. Many will continue to copy and emulate her liberated attitude and style, but there will always only ever be one Bettie Page.

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Rated R. 101 mins. (A) (Five Stars - out of five/no halves)

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