2003 Milk Plus Droogies

Best Picture
Kill Bill Vol. I

Best Director
Quentin Tarantino, Kill Bill Vol. I

Best Actor (tie)
Johnny Depp, Pirates of the Caribbean

Best Actor (tie)
Bill Murray, Lost in Translation

Best Actress
Uma Thurman, Kill Bill Vol. I

Best Supporting Actor
David Hyde Pierce, Down With Love

Best Supporting Actress
Miranda Richardson, Spider

Best Screenplay
Sofia Coppola, Lost in Translation

Best Foreign Film

Best Cinematography
Harris Savides, Gerry

Members' Marquees

Critical Contacts

Lobby Reading

The Video Store

Reel Resources

The Blog Bijou

-Admit One
-Artistic Delusions
-Belligerent Bunny's Bad Movie Shrine
-Beware of Blog
-The Brain Drain
Biancolo Notes
-The Big Ticket
-Bitter Cinema
-Black & White World
-Bull Durham's Hot Corner
-Brewed Fresh Daily
-Camille's Film Journal
-The Chutry Experiment
-Cineblog (II)
-Cine Club
-Cinegraphic.Net: The Avante-Garde Film and Video Blog
-Cinema 24
-Cinema News
-Il Cinema Secondo (Italian)
-Cineaste (Russian)
-Cinema Toast
-Concentrated Nonsense
-Confessions of an Indie Filmmaker
-Cult Movies I Dare You to Watch
-Cutting to the Chase
-Cynthia Rockwell's Waiting Room
-The Daily Despair
-The Daily Digest
-Day for Night
-Delta Sierra Arts
-Dinky's Docket
-Distorting the Medium
-Donald Melanson On Movies
-Electric Movies
-Fade In: Blog
-Feeling Listless
-Filmfilter (German)
-Filmtagebuch (German)
-Film Talk
-Five Easy Pieces
-Frank Booth
-A Girl and A Gun
-Glazed Donuts
-GreenCine Daily
-Harlequin Knights
-He Loved Him Some Movies
-The Hobo Reviews
-Hot Buttered Death
-Iggy's Movie Review Weblog
-Iguano Film Blog
-In Development
-Japanese Films' Journal
-Joe Sixpack's Film Blog
-Joe's Weblog & Film Project News
-Junk for Code
-Kumari's Movie Blog
-Lights Out Films
-Like Anna Karina's Sweater (Filmbrain)
-Listen Missy
-Magnolia Girl
-Marley's Ghost
-Media Yenta
-Michael I. Trent
-Moov Goog
-Motime Like the Present
-Movie Boy
-Movie Criticism For the Retarded
-A Movie Diary
-The Movie Generation
-The Movie Marketing Blog
-Movie Retard
-The Movie Review
-Moving Pictures
-Nando's Blog
-Netflix Fan
-Or Kill Me
-Out of Ambit
-Out of Focus
-Paolo - Cinema's Radio Weblog (Italian)
-Pigs and Battleships
-Plot Kicks In
-Pop Culture Junkies
-The Projector
-Qwipster's Movie Reviews
-Reel Reviews (Podcast)
-Reviews, Reviews, Reviews
-The Screening Room
-Screen Watcher
-Short and Sweet
-The Silver Screen
-Stinky Cinema
-Sunset Blvd
-Tagline: A Movie Weblog
Talking Pictures
Tea for One
-Tom Vick's Asian Cinema Blog
-Trailer Park
-Truly Bad Films
Waste of Tape
-Wayne's Movie Blog
Whippin Picadilly
Wittgenstein's Bunnies
-Yay! Movies!
McBain Recommends
-Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
-Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
-Kill Bill vol 2
Shroom Recommends
-Top 20 List
-Head On
Joker Recommends
-Top 20 List
-House of Flying Daggers
-The Aviator
-Bad Education
Yun-Fat Recommends
-Eight Diagram Pole Fighter
-Los Muertos
-Tropical Malady
Allyn Recommends
-Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
-Songs from the Second Floor
Phyrephox Recommends
-Top 20 List
-Design for Living (Lubitsch, 1933)
-War of the Worlds
-Howl's Moving Castle
Melisb Recommends
-Top 20 List
-The Return
-Spirited Away
-Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter...And Spring
Wardpet Recommends
-Finding Nemo
-Man on the Train
-28 Days Later
Lorne Recommends
-21 Grams
-Cold Mountain
-Lost in Translation
Merlot Recommends
-Top 20 List
-The Man on the Train
-Safe Conduct
-The Statement
Whitney Recommends
-Femme Fatale
-Gangs of New York
-Grand Illusion
Sydhe Recommends
-In America
-Looney Tunes: Back In Action
-Whale Rider
Copywright Recommends
Top 20 List
-Flowers of Shanghai
-Road to Perdition
Stennie Recommends
Top 20 List
-A Matter of Life and Death
Rodney Recommends
Top 20 List
-The Pianist
-Talk to Her
Jeff Recommends
-Dial M for Murder
-The Game
-Star Wars Saga
Lady Wakasa Recommends
-Dracula: Page from a Virgin's Diary
-Dr. Mabuse, Der Spieler
-The Last Laugh
Steve Recommends
-Top 20 List
-Princess Raccoon
-Princess Raccoon
-Princess Raccoon
Jenny Recommends
-Mean Girls
-Super Size Me
-The Warriors
Jason Recommends
Top 20 List
-Old Boy
-Million Dollar Baby
-Head On
Lons Recommends
-Before Sunset
-The Incredibles

Powered by Blogger Pro™

links open windows

(c)2002 Design by Blogscapes.com

The Blog:
Tuesday, July 06, 2004

The Joy(lessness) of Sex

Well, I just got back from a screening of Bruno Dumont’s Twentynine Palms (Steve, I now get what you mean about this film), and it got me thinking about some ideas that have been kicking around in my head since I saw Young Adam last weekend. Is it just me, or do the directors of NC-17 film (and for those who opt out of the bankrupt MPAA rating system, the unrated equivalents) which prominently feature graphic sex seek to punish the viewer for actually watching graphic depiction of sexuality? I’m no prude, and I’m all for honest and realistic expressions of sexuality (hell, I don’t even have a problem with most pornography), but the continuing trend in contemporary “art-porn” is just getting depressing, and this is coming from someone who likes many of these films (Crash, Eyes Wide Shut, The Piano Teacher, Trouble Every Day and Fat Girl all come to mind).

Well, I guess that’s the point, since sex in these films is an example of exploitation; a calculated provocation against censorship; a signifier of alienation, either from oneself, others, or the outside world; and/or the site of a power struggle between men and women (most of them are all four), instead of something as common place as “just sex”. This even applies to films where the characters actually seem to enjoy the sexual acts they are participating in, such as The Dreamers, In the Realm of the Senses and Twentynine Palms. In the first film and second film, the characters are so self-involved with their little sex games, they are oblivious to the historical events going on around them, whereas in the latter film there’s something off about the depiction of the sexual/romantic relationship (Phyrephox’s review does a good job of describing the way the image and performance serve to alienate the characters), for instance, there is little difference between the “climatic” sound design of the fucking, sodomy, or killing. The more I think about , the more I think I’m seeing the aftereffects of high modernism’s distrust of both the body, and more importantly, pleasure (which was regarded as politically reactionary).

In many ways, this art-house depiction of sexuality has become a complete counter cliché to the normal Hollywood depiction of sexuality with its ridiculously perfect bodies, soft lighting, elaborate choreography, cheesy musical scoring, and adherence to the puritanism of the MPAA. Most of the arthouse examples (despite the fact that in many instances, these films actually star attractive people) seek to do exactly the opposite, which is fine to a point, just like the Hollywood equivalent.

But I’m forced to ask, where is the full range of human experience? Or to put it another way, why can’t fucking be fun? Can’t sex by sexy or erotic without looking like a fashion shoot or music video? I’ve actually struggled to come up with films that fit into what I would regard as a more complex middle ground. Off the top of my head, I was able to come up with Vendredi soir, Late Marriage, Secretary, Sex and Lucia, American Pie (in a more comedic vein), and Unfaithful (which I think is the one film that is closest to the Hollywood mode of depiction, but Copy’s response to the film convinced me to include it here). In these films, sex can be awkward, painful, and full of negative consequences, but its also fun, funny, sexy, and pleasurable. To me, that’s real, and often more interesting.

Well, enough of my soapbox. What do you think?