24 January 2010

constantine's sword / moon / pepi luci bom / labyrinth of passion

Constantine's Sword is a documentary about the relationship between the Christian churches and the Jews and between the church and the military. It's a really poorly done film about a worthy subject. Sort of. I mean, the stated subject of the film is interesting. The actual subject of the film is kind of silly and gross. Basically you have this guilty Catholic guy who basically crawled out from under a rock one day and was horrified to learn that all sorts of things happen in the world and now how was he going to cope with his guilt on account of being a Catholic with bushy, out of control eyebrows. Some of it gets really silly. I didn't finish it on account of sleep seemed preferable to watching the rest of it so maybe it got less glib and superficial and narcissistic as it went on. It would have been nice to see a better movie on the subject. Maybe this one could be edited to be a better film. D+

Moon seemed kind of like a low budget amalgam of familiar ideas. I feel kind of ambivalent about it. It's like, I wanted to like it but it didn't really seem to follow through for me and there seemed to be a couple of things that seemed illogical to me at the end. Although I was getting tired by that point so it's possible I missed something. I felt like I needed to watch it again but didn't really have the desire to. B-/C+

When I returned Moon to the video store I rented the four Pedro Almodovar movies I hadn't seen, on a whim when they were out of In the Loop. I watched them in chronological order so I started with his first (theatrically released) feature film Pepi, Luci, Bom.... It was kind of raw. I get the references to Paul Morrissey and John Waters and it really reminded me of German director Rosa von Praunheim. It's about these assorted women, though Carmen Maura seems to be the main protagonist. She's a drug dealer saving her virginity so she can sell it until she gets raped by a cop after she tempts him with her vagina when he's fixing to bust her for her pot plants. She seeks revenge and hooks up with the wife, a latent masochist, whom she hooks up with her 16 year old friend the punk singer. Hilarity ensues. It doesn't follow a conventional narrative path but it's relatively entertaining. B-

Next up was his second film, Labyrinth of Passion. It's kind of a patchwork of the demimonde of Madrid and it plays like an outsider screwball comedy. It has drug addicts, perverts, terrorists, new wave punk bands, even the director himself performing as a sort of new wave emcee. It's kind of long-winded but I found this one really entertaining and it reminded me even more of Rosa von Praunheim. B

still more to follow...

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