Tuesday, June 6, 2006

Was It Good For You?

"Sex. You has probably heard the word out there. And some of you probably know what it means. For those of you who don't, it means boning." -Ali G

Destricted [Abramovic, Barney, Brambilla, Clark, Noe, Prince, Taylor-Wood, UK/USA, 115 min.]

Anthology films are usually like a cheap box of chocolates. You get one or two tasty pieces, a couple of so-so ones and then the rest you kind of nibble over before tossing the whole thing in the bin. The first item we're presented with is Hoist by Matthew Barney. The film basically has three parts. In part one we see a close-up of Barney's dust covered member becoming tumescent as creaking noises are heard. This is kind of funny. In the second part we see a large tractor being hoisted into the air. In the third part we see Barney, covered in dirt and talc, suspended from the undercarriage of the tractor, rubbing his member against a vaseline encased section of the driveshaft. As Barney presses his jellysnake against the blobulant spindle a thought arises, what did the production liability form say? At least no flensing is involved.
The next piece is House Call by Richard Prince. It appears to be a scene from an 80's porn video in which a lady is visited by a doctor and sex ensues. Prince appears to have shot this off a monitor, zooming into the image so every pixel can be seen. This makes the whole thing kind of abstract and formalized in an interesting way, as the images flicker by to drony horror-type music. Then it gets kind of boring.
Larry Clark's Impaled follows. It's a documentary in which several college-aged boys are interviewed about their relationships to sex and pornography. For the most part they have little experience with the former and lot with the latter. The idea is that they are being auditioned to do a scene with a porn star of their choosing. Clark selects one of the more experienced boys as the winner, a young man who happens to have the American Apparel/Vice Magazine/Bike Messenger look Clark favors. The kid then holds his own audition, interviewing several adult entertainers about their background, how they got into the business, what they like about the sex industry and whether they'll do anal. The women speak forthrightly and disarmingly, often giving responses that disturb and deflate his expectations. Interestingly, the woman he picks is the oldest one of the group, adult entertainment/b-movie veteran Nancy Vee. Whether this strikes a blow for women in their 40's is debatable. However, Vee exhibits the most personality of the bunch and is the only one who comes onto him aggresively. We then see a heavily edited version of their scene, in which Clark emphasizes the realities of sex as much its pleasures and then, with a wipe of a paper towel, it's over. Vee cheerfully dresses and leaves and the boy lounges on the couch in dazed bemusement.
Next up is Marco Brambilla's Sync, a rapid slurry of people fucking. It's kind of like the Richard Prince piece, but faster and shorter. So it's better.
In Balkan Erotic Epic, Marina Ambramovic gives an illustrated disquisition on Balkan sexual folklore. Most of the time-honored practices seem hilariously fictional. At least, one hopes they are. If they aren't, never set foot in a Balkan village and if you do, be sure to make your own coffee.
Sam Taylor-Wood treats us to Onan: Death Valley in which another time honored practice gets its airing in the desert sun. However, for some unknown reason, the self-abuser in this scene is unable pop his cork as he flails away in mounting desperation. Perhaps this is a metaphor for something...
Speaking of wankery, in an endless succession of stroboscopic shots We Fuck Alone presents two solitary strokers, male and female. For some reason known to Noe alone, the girl is kind of cute, but the guy is repellent. Further intenstifying our discomfort, we get to spend way more time with the guy, as he plooks himself and then a rubber doll. Whether this indicates Noe's hatred for men or hatred for sex is unknown. What is known is that he hates everyone who has to sit through this headache inducing film.

1 comment:

  1. Actually, that wasn't Matthew Barney as the "Green Man", just some guy he hired to slather dirt and talc on. If Barney doesn't believe in his art strongly enough to risk getting his own penis caught in the machinery, then maybe he should be doing something else with his money. Sometimes I feel like I'd just like to beat him about the head and shoulders with the corpse of Jack Smith. And I wouldn't allow him to take pictures!