Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Monday, March 30, 2009
Friday, March 27, 2009
- Link to the person who tagged you [check!]
- Post the rules on your blog [check!]
- Write six random things about yourself [no check--nothing is random in the Empire]
- Tag six people at the end of your post and link to them [no check--I always feel like I am imposing, so I will graciously suggest that if you follow this meme you let me know so I can get a sick voyeuristic kick out of reading about your life]
- Let each person know they've been tagged and leave a comment on his or her blog [see above]
- Let the tagger know when your entry is up [check!]
- Sometimes, if I'm thinking about nothing at all, I will start thinking about a chimpanzee riding on a Segway. Now you can think about it, too:
- I am a member of Phi Beta Kappa, which pretty much means you have to defer to my opinions as A RECOGNIZED SCHOLAR. And yes, I have thought about attaching the key to a body piercing.
- I love taking photographs of street art, especially when monsters are involved. Which leads me to wonder, do skeletons count as monsters? I'm coming down on "yes," due to early exposure to "Jason and the Argonauts" and "The 7th Voyage of Sinbad." Here are a few of my pictures (Baron XIII included for scale):
- Illegitimate Sports are the only sports I care for. Please to see: lumberjack competitions, the World's Strongest Man, and Ninja Warrior. I have never been to a live or televised sporting event ever in my entire life, although Women's Beach Volleyball in the Olympics has some things to recommend it.
- I don't play video games that are more complicated than Brick Breaker and Solitaire. I figure if I'm going to learn complicated software, there better be a direct financial payoff for me.
- I'm pretty clueless when it comes to music and I rely on my friends to keep me in the loop. That having been said, I know I'm late to the party, but I think I'm hopelessly in love with Amanda Palmer.
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
It is a TRUE FACT that I can't turn down an invitation from the estimable Duke of DVD and the equally-estimable Vicar of VHS at Mad Mad Mad Mad Movies, so when they announced that they were preparing a tag-team review (not as dirty as it sounds, or exactly as dirty as it sounds, depending on what you read into that) of one of the finest entries into the nunsploitation subgenre and wanted me to lend my expertise to their discourse, the only answer I could offer was "But Of Course, Gentlemen." Apparently this is a doozy of a review, so the boys have divided it up into three segments to be posted this week. Here are my thoughts on the film, and follow the link at the bottom of the page to be magically transported to a wonderland of filth.
Walerian Borowczyk’s 1978 film, “Behind Convent Walls,” walks a tightrope between earthy farce and tragedy that might seem more at home on a Sixteenth Century stage than captured on film. Unlike other titles in the nunsploitation canon, Borowczyk’s take on the Women In God’s Prison theme is a bawdy romp that is free from the depictions of Satanism and torture that texture other similar flicks. This is still a scathing indictment of the Catholic Church, but Borowczyk’s approach is to strip out the dark fantasy elements and force the viewer to confront the potential tragedy that results from the suppression of natural human sexual impulses. This vision is in contrast to the densely symbolic and dream-like world of a director like Jean Rollin, or the compulsive camera-eye of a Jess Franco.
Borowczyk’s literality infuses every aspect of the film. The cinematography by Luciano Tovoli (veteran of Dario Argento’s “Suspiria” and “Tenebre”) combines a hand-held camera with sensual soft-focus that creates haloes of light around the faces of the nuns. A restrained color palette provides a sense of visual unity—as the title suggests, the film takes place entirely in one nunnery, and the colors are almost entirely limited to white, black, red and a woody neutral. It’s a stunning film to look at that emphasizes the beauty of its main players—the experience of watching this film is like seeing a fabulously naughty image painted by Vermeer and then brought to life.
But back to those “natural human sexual impulses” that are the focus of this tale. This movie brims with sex and all natures of couplings are explored, sometimes in graphic detail. Softcore hetero and lesbian scenes abound, from furtive girl-on-girl breast-groping in a confessional (bonus points for the fourth-wall-busting “oh no we’re too shy” response of the ladies to the voyeuristic camera’s gaze) to a passionate outdoor deflowering to a rough-and-tumble quickie over a crate of chickens. A surprisingly explicit close-up scene of a nun masturbating with a homemade wooden dildo rounds out the “something for everyone” on-screen sex report. There’s an effort to make the sex in this film look real and erotic without verging onto the territory of plastickey pornography or a fetish fulfillment checklist. Elements like the hand-painted erotica that one nun uses to trade for forbidden food or the very sexual crush that another nun has developed on Jesus himself add a innocence and even sweetness to the proceedings.
This isn’t so much a work of the fantastique as it is one of magical realism. The story takes place in the real world, but there are inexplicable quirks throughout that one must accept rather than struggle to explain. It serves to reflect conditions and issues that exist in reality rather than to represent them directly.
In keeping with the bawdy nature of this film, I think it’s best if I get out from behind the lectern and turn this over to two gentlemen who can guide you through some of the weird and wonderful details of what goes on “Behind Convent Walls.” Duke and Vicar—have at!
Click here to read Part One of the Duke and the Vicar's take on "Behind Convent Walls." These dudes love the Meat Man (I am refraining from inserting any If You Know What I Mean content here--you're welcome).
And the GRAND FINALE - Part Three of the Duke and the Vicar on "Behind Convent Walls" (wherein they lament the lack of Paul Naschy--yeah, I know, you lay a feast in front of these guys and all they want is beefy pectorals).
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
I'd like to think that we can all learn lessons from the generations that preceded us. Sure, we're in what looks to be pretty dire economic straits, but cheer up, friends! This is far from unprecedented. Let's take a lesson from the Weimar Republic and start making some kinky lemonade out of all those sour citrusy fruits that are piling up on our collective doorstep.
Friday, March 20, 2009
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Monday, March 16, 2009
Friday, March 13, 2009
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Friday, March 6, 2009
You know what I love about Oui Magazine? It's so much more than a skin mag--it's a user's guide to Swinging Seventies Eurotrash Sex Culture compiled by people who seem to have a vague and very American concept of Swinging Seventies Eurotrash Sex Culture. Its efforts to portray groovy, ultra-modern-at-the-time, and quite possibly drug-addled sexual mores come across as naive and sometimes more than a bit creepy. I like to think of a member of the target audience for Oui sitting at home, a potent haze of cologne lingering in the air, teasing out a fierce perm and pouting in such a manner as to make "Do Ya Think I'm Sexy" into a rallying cry and perhaps a soul-deep personal mantra.