Tag Archives: one man

Naked (1993)

Director: Mike Leigh.
Starring. David Thewlis, Lesley Sharp, Katrin Cartlidge, Peter Wright, Ewen Bremner, Gina McKee, Greg Cruttwell. UK. 2h 12m.

It’s hard to talk about this brilliant, tres controversial, sour drama without describing it as a poignant thought provoking and slightly disturbing nocturnal odyssey, it’s the darkest journey throughout London by an unemployed Mancunian on the run after attempting to rape his date. But Johnny (Thewlis) is an infection character, he manages to draw people to him almost like a guardian angel at first, talking a language which they begin to understand, with his unique charm and eloquence but eventually he begins to erupt like a volcano of theories and rude personal attacks, and then he’s hot on the trail for the next conquest like a devil scavenging in the dark. Continue reading Naked (1993)

A Thought of Ecstasy

Director: Rolf Peter Kahl,
Starring: Rolf Peter Kahl, Ava Verne, Deborah Kara Unger, Lena Morris. Germany/USA. 1h 30m

This gentle murmur of a movie is half waking dream and half private investigation but the apparent nightmare that runs throughout its winding narrative is hidden behind a psychosexual noir.

A majority of the movie follows a bemused love sick German trailing around the American desert, in search for his estranged lover. With long sun bleached shots of the desert where naked bodies writhe together, mixed with elaborate sexual encounters set to pounding electronic soundtracks, the movie feels like a series of naughty dreams, but it’s easily missed quirk, is that the movie is strangely set in the near future, in an America going through a unusual heat wave and kind of political turmoil, this erotic thriller is science fiction as much as it’s art house, but the blend, while unusual is pretty captivating.

After finding a random book that reminds him of a heated love affair he had 20 years previous with a woman named Marie, Frank (Kahl) is spurred on by the reminder of their dark sexy fuelled romps, and immediately heads out to the USA to investigate the author. Her literary agent Liz (Unger) confirms the author is the same Marie, but has no contact details for her. Frank hangs around and meets a sex worker named Nina who sets up sophisticated scenarios with her colleague ?? and the pair record the sessions, Frank can’t help notice the similarity of Nina in both the women and becomes their cameraman in order to be closer to them, as he continues to read the book/journal about the mysterious Marie who he thought he knew but is only now discovering.

This is one of those movies where the journey is the movie, the destination is something you work out after the film had ended and that’s pretty unusual, but there’s a beautiful meandering sequence of sets and encounters to experience instead of gripping hold of a solid narrative and trying to mentally rip it apart, A Thought of Ecstasy forces it’s audience to sit back and feel and experience the delirium along with Frank.

Love is immortal. Seduction is Inevitable. Revenge is irresistible.

In-between scenes of Frank driving around the desert, reading Marie’s book, which runs like a journal of her time in the desert, his time alone is pretty dry, but once he’s with Nina and co, while she is a sex worker the movie slides into soft core porn, there’s plenty of nudity and sex, which I a lot of people were willing to trash it because of this, but accepting that it’s part of adult life the movie’s ability to shift totally is really impressive. Time seems to slow down, movements become like chorographical dance, is washed out sunny USA becomes soft and luxurious and very dark both in lighting and mood, this nightlife is very different and very seductive. You can see why Frank wants to be there, but the nagging feeling is that someone wants Frank to want to be there, and this is the big mystery which slowly unfolds to it’s resolute climax.

Rolf Peter Kahl, is the holy trinity of this project, director, writer and star, so while this is his all about him, you can only assume that the film is a perfect rendition of his original concept. It’s pretty easy to sit back and enjoy what’s put before you, it’s also impossible to just ignore that there is a bigger picture within a narrative that’s filled with naked bodies to move your attention away from the nitty gritty, or at least that’s how I felt about it.

On the surface it’s an attractive movie, but underneath all the softcore it’s a well of dark desires, death, a very distressing ending which is somewhat glazed over, but once you get it, it’s bloody brilliant if you can get through all the tits and art house it’s fully rewarding.

Rating 6/10

R: Amer (2009)
L: Desert Trip

Post Discussion

Vanishing Point (1971)

Director: Richard C. Sarafian.
Starring. Barry Newman, Cleavon Little, Dean Jagger USA. 1h 38m.

I have some vague recollections of watching this film as a kid, which prompted me to revisit many years ago and I totally fell in love with Kowalski his amphetamine fueled ride through the desert, in one of my all time favourite cars, a gorgeous Dodge Challenger RT 440 Magnum; taking grindhouse to the brink with some strong biblical and mythical undertones, accompanied over the radio by a blind messiah and awesome rock music, for me it’s the perfect combination. Most movie lovers will cite Steve McQueens Bullit (1968) as being one of the best car chase movies, and while I can’t disagree I think this film is brilliant contender for the top spot.

Everything about the film is under the surface, but on the face of things, it’s just a guy who’s hired to get a car from point a to point b in the quickest possible time, after visiting his dealer, he fills up on Benzedrine pills and makes a bet to be there a day sooner, hops in a Dodge and heads out on a daring adventure filled with pretty unusual characters. Continue reading Vanishing Point (1971)

Halley (2012)

Halley 2012

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I found this movie by total accident, I dunno what drew me to it, the decaying body on the cover or the name!? I love space and shit and what’s not to love about the Halley’s comet!? But what’s the connection!?

Well the film tells the fragile tale about Beto (Alberto Trujilo) a security guard working in a mexico city gym, who’s shy and reserved due to his  body being consumed by a mysterious sickness that seems to isolate him further from humanity. The illness? Well in a similar way to Thanatomorphose (2012) and the cheap rehash Contracted (2013), both dealing with people who are slowly decaying from some unknown disease. The actual contraction isn’t noted in the film, similar to Thanatomorphose (2012) Something just happens, although Beto gets more time to deal with his disease he injects himself with embalming fluids, and is a medical genius, keeping his wounds clean and removing maggots from his flesh. It’s incredibly slow at times, but the interactions between the few people he encounters are brilliant, a morgue assistant, his boss, who treats him to an amazing night out and details the astonishing Halley’s comet to him using a flashlight in a power cut darkened room. In Between these scenes are similar to those long drawn out cuts in Hunger (2008).

This film deal with a unknown and morbid disease and one incredibly lonely person who is coming to terms with his Frankenstein existence.

I really loved the atmosphere of the film, the character was totally isolated and the reflection of that was spot on. There is also a lot to be said about his quiet fragile life verses the lives of all the big healthy bodies in the gym that he looks after.

Not a film that will gain a lot of popularity, mostly due to it not being in English and there are some slow scenes and that seems unpopular with the masses, but an instant favourite for me, with a very loose tie in with Frankenstein, the film is so very graphic in it’s depiction of the rot that you can almost smell it’s acrid bitterness  and despite it being quite uneasy it’s what I love about cinema that causes a reaction in me… i’ll explain in the full review.

10/10