Wildly multilayered movie, both in its ideas and plot elements and its visuals, with great use of dissolves and multiple exposures. Clark says the look was inspired by jazz record covers. Fantastic color (fades to red or blue instead of black) and clarity, using Japanese 16mm film stock. Jazz music guides the plot and the film’s own style. Some of the story elements don’t come together perfectly, but there are so many ideas that the movie feels revolutionary, so being a slave to plot wasn’t Clark’s top concern.

Warmack gets out of jail, hitches a ride home from Maya, a disillusioned designer who soon quits her job and hangs out with Warmack instead. He returns to his friends in a jazz group but can’t find his mentor Pops, tries to track him down. I had a hard time telling which characters were blood relatives and which were close friends or surrogate families. If Pops is the grandfather of Warmack, why does Warmack only find out about his death and funeral from a tarot card reader?

Warmack finds the music industry even more hopelessly corrupt than when he left it. His buddies are happy scraping by with the money the label boss gives them while he gets filthy rich selling their music. One guy snitches for the boss, another gets hooked on drugs and overdoses. Warmack was originally locked up for killing a dude who blinded bandmate Skeeter, later kills the label boss and his toughs for killing Skeeter. Poor Skeeter. Maya goes full-on revolutionary, helps with the murder revenge plot. Movie is interested in purity of expression, the black experience, the Attica riot and other recent events, and Africa and its leaders.

Cowriter Ted Lang became a TV director and Love Boat actor. Pops was played by Hollywood veteran Clarence Muse. Julie Dash did sound, Charles Burnett was a cameraman, and Pat O’Neill provided optical effects. Legend goes the film was studied by future Spike Lee cinematographers Arthur Jafa and Ernest Dickerson until they wore out their university’s print.

“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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