I guess it’s been fifteen years since I watched Gaspar Noé’s I Stand Alone on videotape and didn’t enjoy it, and his name keeps coming up, so as part of my Festifest Quest to become more familiar with the film-festival auteurs of these days, I thought it best to watch a 2d blu-ray of Noé’s 3d porno. And I didn’t enjoy it. Maybe he’s a big screen filmmaker and you need to experience the glory in a proper theater – not that his films ever show where I live – but more likely he is making uninteresting movies that I should avoid in the future.

Salo, hardcore The Defiance of Good, Flesh for Frankenstein:

Okay, I liked the editing a lot. I’m a sucker for good editing, and this thing’s got it. Well-composed shots (though most are horribly lit) and lots of sex, two more things I like. The list ends there. Murphy is a sadsack who hates his blonde wife Omi and his family and his stupid life, so he dreams in flashback of his ex-girlfriend Electra and his stupid life with her. He comes across as a total dick, but once you get to better understand his situation… he’s still a dick, which deflates the sex scenes and the drama.

M, Birth of a Nation:

So Murphy and Electra were together, did drugs and had sex and initiated a threesome with a cute neighbor in their building. Murph fights Electra’s ex-boyfriend art-dealer Noé, played by our director Noé, then the cop arresting Murph tells him about a sex club, where he goes with Electra. He wears one of those Fassbinder shirts in the style of the Metallica logo and tells everyone he’s a filmmaker, though we never see him work. First time his girlfriend’s out of town he cheats with the cute neighbor, condom breaks, bam, two years later he’s stuck with the cute neighbor and their kid (named Gaspar, of course) and Electra’s mom is calling saying she hasn’t heard from her daughter in months, and has anyone seen her, but no they haven’t.

Murphy keeps stereoscopic photos in his I Stand Alone VHS box – self-reference much?

Taxi Driver?

Freaks, Taxi Driver:

Katy saw a single frame of this movie, on pause, and said it “doesn’t look very nice.” Not as stylized as I expected, really an actor’s showcase (and they’re fine, but the English dialogue needs work), though there’s some cool fake-sounding mixing in a couple of club scenes. I dig the music choices – “Maggot Brain” over the threesome.

B. Williams in Cinema Scope:

For a myriad of technological and social reasons, this current 3D wave is the first that’s been sustained long enough for us to get a stereoscopic porno that we have the opportunity to take somewhat seriously. If last year, with Adieu au langage, we were finally able to see 3D’s voice crack, Love might best be taken as its first date: a dumb, awkward, unseasoned, and horny experience that is best forgotten in the long term but serves as a logical and necessary step for now.

“A compilation of erotic films intended to illuminate the points where art meets sexuality”

A real mixed bag. I sat down just to watch the Larry Clark segment (which turned out to be the best) and ended up watching the rest, because the transition from Impaled into The Triplets of Belleville would have been too awkward.

Impaled by Larry Clark
Casting couch for a porn film. Bunch of guys (one, a virgin, flew in from Utah) sit down and answer questions: why are they here, what experience do they have, what’s their history with pornography, and what would they like to do? Then each gets up and shows off his package to the camera. They pick a guy, then the girls come in one by one, but they guy stays in the room and gets to make his own choice. Picks a 40-yr-old mom who will do anal, maybe because she’s the cuddliest to him during the interviews. Awkward sex ensues, with the same lighting and angles as the audition. Strange, enlightening.

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Sync by Marco Brambilla
Surprisingly cool. Just two minutes of extreme editing from one porn image to the next, forming a pattern of similar shots and poses. Must have been awful to make this. Director made Excess Baggage and Demolition Man!! Must have been awful to make those too.

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We Fuck Alone by Gaspar Noé
Along with Catherine Breillat and Todd Solondz, I like to avoid Gaspar Noé whenever possible. Was dreading this one, but even though it wasn’t any good, it also turned out not to be overly traumatic. There’s some standard porn stuff on TV, and the same show is playing in two bedrooms. The girl is masturbating in her bedroom very gently and lovingly with cuddly fluffy teddy bears helping her. The boy is masturbating in his bedroom roughly, treating his blowup doll like a slave, finally sticking a gun in its mouth. Do you see the point we are trying to make here? Goes on for 15 minutes. Oh, with a strobe-light effect on the entire thing.

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Balkan Erotic Epic by Marina Abramovic
Bunch of weirdness involving the recreation of fake-sounding Balkan old wives’ tales. Group nudity out in the fields, men humping the ground, and women with baddd saggy boobs. Abramovic apparently has made a career of this, with her other works called Balkan Baroque and Making the Balkans Erotic.

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Death Valley by Sam Taylor Wood
Single shot of a guy jacking off in Death Valley – I didn’t get it. Katy said the backdrop looked fake. Director is a woman who does video work for the Pet Shop Boys.

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Hoist by Matthew Barney
Barney creates a tractor-machine with a spinning crankshaft in the center that looks like his trademark vasoline on a clay pottery wheel, then hoists it on a crane, while a guy within the tractor who has a turnip up his ass rubs his penis against the vasoline. High-concept I am sure.

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House Call by Richard Prince
As far as I can tell, this was just a short doctor-makes-house-call porn piece, filmed, worn, transferred to video, played on a TV and videorecorded. Third or fourth-gen porn with abnormal music and horrible color. I dunno, I got distracted at this point.

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