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Monday Movies Calls This the Executive Model. Because It’s Kind of Modern Art Deco.

Monday Movies didn’t watch a new feature this week, although we did get about 20 minutes into G. W. Pabst’s 1931 film of The Threepenny Opera before determining, thanks to Wikipedia, that for our purposes it would be better to listen to one of the Broadway soundtracks. “Our purposes” in this case refers to a musical improv class at the Upright Citizens Brigade, and we went with the 1976 version with Raul Julia as Mackie Messer, although the Tony Awards clips of Cyndi Lauper as Jenny the prostitute and Alan Cummings as Macheath are very good.

We did make it to a special event at the Cinefamily, a repertory theater over by the Judaica shops. Because it featured what the MPAA likes to call “adult themes, adult activity, [or] sexually-oriented nudity”, you’ll find more below the fold.

The event was Cinefamily’s 100 Most Outrageous Fucks! “This sold out a lot faster that our 100 Most Outrageous Kills,” said the host. “You guys must like sex a lot more than horror,” said the co-host. “Oh, there’s plenty of horror tonight.” It started out with a heroic orgasm sequence from Twentynine Palms, which you can download as an iPhone ringtone here (.zip file).

The various fucks came in clips from respectable fare like Jerry Maguire, big-budget exploitations like Showgirls, indie imports like the egg yolk scene in Tampopo, rare VHS trash like Chester N. Turner’s Black Devil Doll from Hell (“In my mind, he’s a bus driver who got a camcorder for Christmas”), and in only two instances, porn. Of the last, one clip was from a 70’s porn spoof in which a woman claimed to “give good ‘mind'” and then administered the business telekinetically. The other, which closed the show, was a Jeff Stryker infomercial for a penis pump. Jeff Stryker knows how to make love to the camera, and his blissful self-regard is shines through in every second, never more when he pronounces “cock” with an intonation both flatly Mid-Western and breathily portentous. (The linked clip is not the one we saw. The one we saw did not cut out Jeff Stryker’s explanation of why this one’s called the executive model.) I also confirmed that my coffee press does, in fact, resemble a penis pump.

Left to my own devices, I’m much more likely to watch movies in the Jerry Maguire category than anything else. I like what Quentin Tarantino does with his taste, but I don’t pretend to share it. So it was good to spend some time with wide-ranging trash. A movie like Jerry Maguire uses a moment like “don’t ever stop fucking me” to establish (and denigrate) the character of the woman saying it. And porn uses its moment to produce a fairly restricted number of effects. But a movie like Frank Henenlotter’s Bad Biology, in which a man whose penis leaves women suffering from unending orgasms meets a woman with seven clits, is something else altogether. In the clip we saw, the male character’s response to his victim is charmingly vulnerable — he’s embarrassed and doesn’t know what to do with her (and ends up sheepishly dragging her out to the street). A clip from an unnamed Japanese movie in which a character fingerbangs a watermelon half held between a woman’s legs, then eats the watermelon and wears the empty rind on his head while they copulate, is not exactly titillating nor is it an instantly legible gesture about character.

Trash never winks, because it’s more interested in asking new questions than confirming what you already know (or what it knows you want to do).

The most outrageous clip of the night merits report without excessive comment. Before he hit the awards circuit with Precious, Lee Daniels directed a movie called Shadowboxer, in which Cuba Gooding Jr and Helen Mirren have sex at least twice, the second time in a brightly lit pastoral setting that, our host pointed out, resembled a pharmaceutical advertisement. As CGJ pumps away, he pulls out a pistol with a silencer screwed on, and we cross-cut to a memory of his father beating him with a belt. He holds the gun to Helen Mirren’s head. In the memory–BANG!–his father’s blows are ended by a gunshot from behind — from a woman who I think is supposed to be young Helen Mirren. In the present, blood pours from Helen Mirren’s head. This is some glorious whiskey tango foxtrot right here.

So. What did you see?

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March 5, 2012 - Posted by | Monday Movies | , , , , , , , , , , ,

8 Comments

  1. Shadowboxer was the worst movie ever made.

    This weekend, we watched Out of the Past, a classic film noir that somehow failed to grab us. We also watched a shitty movie on Hulu called The Din-ner (Get it?), in which a serial killer’s victims persist in coming back as zombies. As The Girlfriend said, it was as though the director was the precocious student in your freshman film class — it was entertaining and inventive, just good enough for a quiet night at home after a hard week at work, but no better.

    Comment by Adam Kotsko | March 5, 2012

  2. a shitty movie on Hulu called The Din-ner (Get it?)

    I don’t get it.

    Comment by Josh K-sky | March 5, 2012

  3. Robert Mitchum is very disappointed in you, Adam. Grab THIS!!

    I finally got around to watching Le Samourai, which I enjoyed quite a bit. Rather wish its soundtrack was as good as Drive, though. I also caught the Black Power Mixtape, which I highly recommend to many of you here. Lots of good archival footage of Stokely Carmichael and a super-powerful interview with Angela Davis in jail.

    Comment by Brad Johnson | March 5, 2012

  4. Was the “(Get It?)” actually in the title? (Also, I don’t get it.)

    I think my week was movie-less. At least in the sense that I didn’t sit down and watch an entire movie. I’ve spoken before about how I have movies I’ll watch whenever I notice they’re on. My wife has these as well, and one of hers is The Holiday. This is the romantic comedy where Kate Winslet, a Brit, and Cameron Diaz, a Hollywood-er, swap homes for their respective vacations.

    One of the movie’s great failures is in the scenes that are (I assume) supposed to make us like the central characters more. These include scenes with both Winslet and Diaz (separately) playing air guitar. Jack Black playing a game where he sings famous soundtracks in a video store. They are, almost without exception, simply embarrassing to everybody. The actors. The writer. The viewer.

    Comment by mattintoledo | March 5, 2012

  5. Serial killers, zombies and unfathomable word jokes. Add in trolls, vampires and a golden sixties theme and it is a must see’nt. Gladiators optional.

    Comment by Guido Nius | March 5, 2012

  6. […] cautious interest of taste with little effort, so this week’s Monday Movies will remain at The Weblog. Trust us on this, you don’t want the search engine […]

    Pingback by Monday Movies Calls This the Executive Model. Because It’s Kind of Modern Art Deco. « An und für sich | March 5, 2012

  7. It’s a diner where you die. And yes, the (Get it?) was in the title.

    Comment by Adam Kotsko | March 6, 2012

  8. Perhaps while you’re dying you make a terrible din.

    Comment by Josh K-sky | March 6, 2012


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