Supervixens – B movies part 2

What the hell is wrong with you women?!

Ten years after MotorpsychoRuss Meyer kept the same spirit in his semi-pornographic movie Supervixens. His hero Clint (Charles Pitts), is going through hard times. After a big fight with his woman, SuperAngel (Shari Eubank), he goes for a drink (or two, or three…), and during this time, she’s killed. Turns out, he’s the most likely to be accused of her murder, therefore, he found himself running away.

That thing being said, if you’re planning on watching what’s coming next, you’d better abide to Russ Meyer’s crazy mind. Indeed, Clint is sexually harassed by three women, during his run away. Three women, with prominent breasts, nymphomaniac and nudist traits and pretty tough personalities. One bold american, a wild ostrich nymph, and a black nudist but certainly, the most wise of all three. Are there critics towards the europeans migrating to the USA, and about stereotypes towards native black people? Is Russ Meyer criticizing the americans despise the blacks more than the europeans immigrates? Could that be gone that far? Social aspects, implicitly approached through sexual feature? No idea.

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However, Clint, naturally, pisses off every men, and hitchhikes until he finds a gas station, just like the one he used to work in, managed by a woman, SuperVixen (Shari Eubank again). Myteriously, he doesn’t notice the obvious resemblance between his past SuperAngel and this woman, with who he falls in love.
Until then, he had always found a way to get away from all men that wanted him dead, all but one, the murderer.

There’s not much to say about that movie, except the fact that it might be the greatest work of the genre, with somehow some suspense! A whole new world full of pheromones, and women on fire, spread out in the desert, is created by the director. He gave birth to a unique atmosphere, with madness, and sexuality sweating from all his characters. A desert that is waiting to be fill up with something.
Nonetheless, one element can’t be denied; the grotesques but obvious similarities with Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner, the cartoon, where Clint is the Road Runner and the murderer the Coyote. One is running, the other trying to blow him off.

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Explosions, sex, women and… cartoons. A B movie and a sexploitation bursting into a wild semi-arthouse, part of the Golden Age of exploitation and the exploitation boom, but with surely a smaller impact, compared to Motorpsycho wearing the crown.

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Sound of Noise – When music becomes a crime

I never thought of playing music as a crime, I never thought of art in general as illegal. On the contrary, I always believed that art was a peaceful weapon.

I was advised to watch this swedish movie, Sound of Noise, directed by Ola Simonsson and Johannes Stjärme Nilson. I found that the concept was horribly original and intelligent; mixing, criminal case and music was genius. Therefore, it was raising a very specific question: to which extent music becomes illegal?

The story, in a nutshell, is about a detective, Amadeus (notice the affiliation to Mozart) Warnebring (played by Bengt Nilsson) born and raised among musicians, but who experienced this counter-effect of hating music.
One day, a patient in a hospital was musically attacked, that is to say, used as an instrument, in a surgery room by a bunch of people. That event, was the intro, prelude, of a mad symphony, orchestrated by unknown percussionists, seeking sounds by bringing them out of objects or even humans in that case.

But it is only when reaching the final, after hard efforts to catch the noisy demented musicians, that Amadeus, finally understood the fact that, to be able to put a hand on them, he had to abide to music. He had to turn into a bandmaster, leading the last part of the symphony.

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Now, it is often said, that the beautifulest melodies, the most amazing piece of art music, and the most extraordinary sounds we could hear, were coming from nature, environment and Earth themselves. And I couldn’t help it, but thinking of, a musician named Amon Tobin, who once was leaving next to a industrial firm, hearing the machines working, the mechanisms interacting with each others, and producing noises that the DJ, had decided to use in his music. So basically, it is about catching the right note with random objects, and producing a melody.
And what the band in the movie is doing, and especially in the scene of the hospital, is just so catchy, breathtaking and hypnotizing. Passion is palpable.
An other important aspect of the movie, would be that, even though Amadeus doesn’t love music, we humans, have in ourselves, a gene, a musical gene, allowing us to intercept, and hear music, at a different levels. Thus, even though he totally withdraws music, he still hears it, he still has to hear it.

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The movie is well structured, mixing a lot of genres, including the musical genre, the criminal genre and a sparkle of comedy. It might be the first detective movie, including those types of crimes, but however raising the controversy of defining the actions orchestrated by the band, in the movie, as felonies.

Music is everywhere, so why are we stuck with just few instruments, specially defined and conceived following norms? Why aren’t we using the infinite instruments offered all around us, and expanding music into reaching a highest point in the Musical History?

Motorpsycho – B movies part 1

In 2008, I was 13, and started paying attention (or should I said, be dazzled?) to (by) Quentin Tarantino‘s work with Death Proof, and Robert Rodriguez‘s one with Planet Terror. I learned that something called Grindhouse had been created by the two crazy filmmakers, a year before, and regrouping both of those movie because of this same weird genre I liked so much. And I also learned about the B movies, belonging to a specific type of film, gathering features like, low budget, poor special effects, violence, gore, sex, shooting etc. Thus, I took a pen, a piece of paper, and started looking in every website, book, magazine, for B movies titles. I have now a pretty long list, and Motorpsycho was the first I wrote down.

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Directed by Russ Meyer, Motorpsycho was released on a symbolic year; 1965. I insist on this, because, it is often said that the B movies reigned between 1960 and 1970. Therefore, Motorpsycho is emblematic of this genre.
The film deals with three bikers, keeping on running into beautiful, sexy and a little whory women, encounters from which they took the bad habit of raping them. As they succeeded in neutralizing 2 out of 3 men trying to rescue their girls, the one left, Cory Maddox (Alex Rocco), full of revenge, decided to haunt and kill them one by one after discovering what they have done to his wife. On his way he meets Ruby (Haji), injured, near her dead husband, and the three abandoned bikes. Together, they found themselves following the gang.

The movie’s worth a glance, partly because of the way it is structured, and partly because of the music; really sticking and catchy melodies.
A true western, where Cory is the cow boy wearing a hat and taking care of animals, and where the three boys are the indians, considering the fact that the leader is wearing a vest with feathers. Not exactly a rape and revenge thing, but a misogynistic movie where women are represented and treated like horny objects, putting themselves into complex and dangerous situation, hiding a pathetic need to be saved by men. It is nonetheless, a great B movie, having an interesting story development and a great filming procedure.

Second degree is more than necessary while watching and enjoying a film like this, not to forget that sexual tensions existing between men and women must be acknowledge.

In a nutshell, Russ Meyer is one of a hell B movies icon!

The Fly – A perfectly remastered end of the 50’s movie

In 1958, a weird movie, named The Fly, was introduced by Kurt Neumann about a crazy experience, which led to a mad physical transformation, involving fly characteristics. Twenty-eight years later, David Cronenberg, of whom I am a fervent fan, decided to remake the insectophilic film of the latest 50’s, and adapt it to trendy genre of the middle 80’s, where sic-fi rose.

What I really appreciate in most of Cronenberg’s work, is his obsession with science, surgery, wounds, physical transformations, etc. He has this incredible, ability, to fluently turn something repulsive, disturbing, or even grotesque, into a pure form of art. And in The Fly, he once again succeeded in doing that.
Jeff Goldblum is embodying a scientist, Seth Brundle, who, seduced by a young journalist, Veronica Quaife (an interesting Geena Davis), decided to share with her, regardless of her job, his last inventions. Innovatives, future-changing machines allowing teleportation. He called them Telepods, and you could teleport an object from one telepod to the other. However, he had to improve them, to be able to pass the next level, and teleport flesh.

Is this all about a science-fiction, fantastic, gore movie, caricaturing the first progressive work in that genre? No, it is astonishingly about love. Seth and Veronica, finally came into having a relationship, and he allowed her to follow him into his work, and taking notes of all the discoveries and improvements he made on the telepods. Until, that very day, when, drunk, he decided to teleport himself, neglecting a little tiny flying detail. See, the telepods, can only teleport one body, or one object, not two, because it would trigger a fusion and not a teleportation of the two. And unfortunately for Seth, a fly entered his telepod, thus they merged, and little by little, he began to develop creepy, outstanding skills and physical transformations. Indeed, he obtained flies characteristics, such as walking on the walls, or sugar addiction. And this transformation, began to affect his relationship with Veronica.

As he continued to be more and more excited about his invention, and really become obsessed about his work, believing it has made him a new man, more energetic, he became wanting to teleport other people, and among them, Veronica. This one started to worry, but, this is also where, a surprising human sprinkle was added to the frame. Indeed, even though she was getting more and more scarred about this men, turning into God knows what, she also had less and less strength to leave him to this terrible fate, and the love she was bearing, never diminished. Yes, she got confused, and was wrapped into a strong despair not knowing what to do, and assisting to the awful transformation her lover was going through, but she never stopped loving him. And he neither, even though his love has turned into the need to merge also with her, as she turned to be carrying his baby. He wanted to created this ultimate stage where a family becomes one entity.

And that was the problem; the insect was taking over the man. Therefore you understand that the story is about how strong a relationship can be, and to how far a couple can go. And the fantastic aspect of the movie, could have been, Seth falling into drugs, alcoholism, or madness. Its a large issue, but held in the movie using a specific, unique and fictional case. And the film made me cry.

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Cronenberg with his poignant and brilliant cast, gave birth to a masterly handled remake, captivating, and as disturbingly monstrous as human. Is science leading us to a dystopian transformation of our relationships and daily lives in general? Almost twenty-eight years later now, we could answer yes, but this could still be a relatively modern movie dealing with pretty much the same issues of robotization, including the rise of technology and research. And it is indisputable, that our relationships have changed because of technology, and we are all addicted to it, to our cellphones, computers, tablets, everything allowing us to connect ourselves to the internet, to merge with it, and parties can now be spent with everybody on their smartphones.

Truth.

Pi – Mathematical Paranoïa

Belief: Darren Aronofsky possesses a superior mind.

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This director never disappointed me, always surprised me. He find the slightest vulnerability of the human being, and expand on it, turning the failing element into a psychological-harmful obsession.
In Pi, his first movie, Aronofsky, focuses on a men, named Max Cohen (Sean Gullette), who’s, due to a childhood accident, developed a higher intelligence. And as a genius, he’s neither happy, nor social. Mathematician, he became little by little obsessed with numbers, trying to find patterns everywhere.
He’s then approached by both, Wall Street spies trying to extort from him the existence and meaning of a potential financial glitch and a jewish corporation, believing the true name of God, is in the Torah and possesses 216 words.
Coincidence or not, 216 has been a known number for Max, who ran on it while he was working on computerize stuff. A bug? A holy number? Madness took him, and his obsession began.
Suffering from odd crisis, triggered by over-work, and pressure, Max, had been hallucinating, and developing a sort of tumor. Nevertheless, he continued to try to find the meaning of this number, a number which haunted his life, soon resumed to this only thing.

Persecuted by both organizations, he suffered from strong paranoia and experienced blurred memories recalling. Thus, Darren Aronofsky, didn’t only torture his character, but also his spectators, victims of Max’s craziness, and the consequences of his defective mind. Filmed in black and white, the glaucous, oppressive, even claustrophobic, atmosphere, just got heavier with this color choice. We are trapped into an intern point of view, and therefore, the main character’s brain, where we’re looking desperately a way to escape, but are not finding it, and deeply, don’t really want to find it. And all the power of the hypnotic movie, is this sort of technological cage representation, which is itself, constituted of patterns we are trying to understand, and not escape. Just like Max is trying to understand what’s been around him, and not trying to runway from it. Alas, it will lead him to dementia and psychedelic physical and mental crisis.

Capitalization, power, money, Israeli-Palestinian conflict or just illness? What is it really about?  The director, is giving this freedom to the spectator to interpret Pi, as he wants. However, it stays a stylish hallucinatory thriller, captivating and stifling.

Once Upon A Time In The West – Western’s Fairytale

Sergio Leone‘s masterpiece.

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Revenge is about patience, and agility. Harmonica, (a mysterious Charles Bronson) is looking for Frank (a breathtaking Henry Fonda), and determined to achieve a, so far, blurry goal.
Stories, within stories, meant to to converge at one point, and characters that will experience a life change. The italian director mastered all the elements, and details of his movie, preventing us to get confused, and arousing out excitement, and curiousness.

Once Upon A Time In The West is not like every other western, its bold, not prude, and rough. Morals aren’t. Shoot-out, murders, robberies, those are part of a quotidian, of the population’s daily lives. An eye for an eye. Money is the first interest of desperadoes, and gunslingers, nothing else. If you have money, you’ll sure risk to die very soon.
The movie deals with an important aspect of this ancient life: trivialization of immoral acts. Therefore, Claudia Cardinale plays the role of a prostitute from New Orleans, coming into the West to marry a rich men, and forget about her past life. However, things gets spicy, and she will find herself, having to use her physical assets, and work skills, to stay alive. There’s no place for mercy. It’s a manly world, violent and unforgivable. Indeed, despite Jill (Cardinal’s character), the only women showed in the movie, dies during the first minutes of the movie. Misogynistic? Not a place for a woman to be? After all, westerns are meant for boys; women are just like money, trophies, but here again, Leone, is revisiting the genre.

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He gave birth to a timeless movie, living his landmark in The History of Cinema. He gave his interpretation of what could be a Western’s fairytale, and succeeded in convincing his audience, of the authenticity of his work and story, through the outstanding performances of his actors.
The slow rhythm hypnotizing, pushed us to hold out breath, and wait for what will happen next. Everything is about, be prepared to danger, having an eye everywhere, be careful to the slightest noise, or observing the slightest movement. And this tension, is gripping, and taking us hostages of the unpredictable following.

I believe, Sergio Leone, did an amazing work, bewitching the youngest and oldest ones. Westerns’ll never die, and that’s a comfortable belief.

The Heat – Sandra Bullock’s year

Misogynist, funny, dumb, those three adjectives could qualify The Heat, the last film of Paul Feig. If Bridesmaids was really appreciated among spectators, The Heat would disappoint a little, but would anyway trigger some laughs.

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Sandra Bullock did quite a good job in picking her films lately, and her performance in this film was pretty great. Not to mention her destabilizing fun duo with Melissa McCarthy, who seems to have some kind of power; whenever she opens her mouth, people laugh (great rhyme isn’t it?).

The Heat, is dealing with two cops, single women, with a particular temper, hated by every men in their department, who however are the best at what they do. Therefore, they’re bought to work together in a delicate case, and sparkles will emerge from that team.
Even if their personalities, are joining at some point, they are two extremes meeting. Indeed, one is boyish, tough, and the other is prude, and classy, but both are lonely, and giving 100% dedication of their tome into their work. Workaholic, obsessed with justice, and there’s something interesting to see; their two minds competing, two similar intelligence, two cops thinking the same way, with a strong penchant for observation of details. An indestructible solidarity, and shy friendship will be sewed throughout the movie.

After all its a basic comedy, not very original, but really amusing, and enjoyable. And the duo’s chemistry is providing the only element, interesting and teasing our curiosity, and that is really making the movie laughable and pleasant.
Nevertheless, Sandra Bullock is very astonishing, and not disappointing at all, in her dumbest role.

It is obvious that the director likes to paint women relationship, which are not always about concurrence and jealousy, but also often, about solidarity and a heavy feeling of friendship. Not afraid of the ridicule, his actresses make the big jump in his movies.

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