Entries Tagged as 'Mind-f^ck'

Rope (1948)

I’m watching Alfred Hitchcock’s Rope (1943)  this morning, and it’s odd how the lense of time has turned a lighthearted society thriller into an unlikely, Gay sitcom.

Rope is, of course based upon the Leopold and Loeb case in Chicago, during the ’20s of the last century. Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb were two precocious University of Chicago undergrads (both 19 y.o.), who had taken Nietzsche too close to heart, and decided that the best way to exercise their new, Randian philosophy was to murder a 14 y.o. neighbor-boy, Bobby Franks, if only to determine if they could get away with it.

Though the Loeb case took place in Chicago in 1924, Hitchcock relocated his story to New York City, presumably in the late ’40s. The shocking thing here is how Gay the Leopold and Loeb characters appear by 21st c. standards. The villains in Rope are less monstrous than the real Leopold and Loeb because the two teenagers killed a younger boy; all of the characters in the Hitchcock film were adults. [Read more →]

‘Appropriate Adult’ (2011)

'Appropriate Adult' 2011 Appropriate Adult (2011) is a two-part dramatization of the life of  Fred West (1941–1995) a rural. British serial killer that operated in the British Midlands for over 30 years.

The twist is that the filmmakers concentrate upon the relationship between West and his Social Worker, Janet Leach, when he she is brought in to assist West in the mid-90s.

In the UK, the term ‘Appropriate Adult’ has been given to the advocates of mentally deficient citizens and children, much like a Social Worker.

Fred West was a piece of work — blue collar, illiterate and mentally impaired. West had been brought up in an abusive household where he was likely the victim of the sexual predations of both his parents. West also suffered numerous non-fatal head injuries that may have contributed to his disposition. [Read more →]

‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’ (1961)

Dbreakfast at Tiffany's (1961) Has anyone ever appraised this films as anything but a sunny Audrey Hepburn vehicle? It’s one hour and 55 minutes of dissonance. Audrey Hepburn and George Peppard play two characters who are, by all appearances middle class yuppies living in Manhattan during the early ’60s. But this would be a mistake.

In the eponymous Truman Capote novella it is clear that Holly is a high-end call girl and Paul a gigolo. Blake Edwards’ film supresses the gauche details by making Peppard and Hepburn squeaky clean.

The juxtaposition between who these two characters appear to be and how they earn their money percolates in and out of focus as the story proceeds: [Read more →]

Case 39 (2010)

“This little girl heard her parents say that they were going to send her to hell.” — Emily Jenkins, Case 39

So begins Case 39 , a horror-thriller vehicle for Renee Zellweger that’s sat on a shelf for 4 years. Wikipedia says , that the film was completed in “late 2006″ and rescheduled three more times before landing on American screens, this Friday, October 1.

Case 39 is not a bad movie, but it is a movie we’ve seen many times before (see Orphan (2009) and  Joshua (2007)). RZ plays the hard-working, well-maening social worker, Emily Jenkins who prevails upon her to add one more child protective case to her already-overburdened caseload. Vocation turns into affection and Jenkins adopts the child and brings her into her home, and then… things start to go wrong. [Read more →]

‘The Notorious Bettie Page’ (2005)

 The Notorious Bettie Page' (2005) The Notorious Bettie Page is  good in an intellectually satisfying way, bringing order to the typically messy subject of art, pornography and when, where and how one crosses  into the other. Typically, a film like this would be done as a straight biopic, but what Mary Harron and Guinivere Turner have crafted here is no less complicated than Rashamon (1950). No, seriously.

Listen up — Turner and Harron have carefully constructed a four-dimensional portrait of a woman who was, initially, a rather innocent studio model. She was good at what she did, attractive and at ease with her body in a way that made nudity easy. She was many things to many people, even as those fantasies and figments overlapped and contradicted on another.The modelling was so easy, that distortions such as S&M, Fetishism and role-playing were a bit of a joke to her, even as she posed for pictures by the notorious Irving and Paula Klaw . [Read more →]

John Byrne’s ‘Next Men’ (1991)

Re-reading this right now. My memory could be awful or I could have missed an issue or two back in ’91-’93 (me:DC-Chicago-DC-Paris). But, WOW! Byrne’s been keeping me guessing here, down to the last 2 chapters: I have a notion about where it’ll end up, but things are proceeding in a good, unpredictable pace.

The series is only about 35 issues long (#0-#30, plus the graphic novel 2112 ), but Byrne does a very good job of turning it from a Clonus Horror tribute comic into a story that eats time-travel, holodeck incidents and alternate-reality tropes alive. In fact, it’s elegant in a way that I wish ‘Inception’ (2010) had been. [Read more →]

‘The Fifth Patient’ (2007)

While I watched The Fifth Patient , I couldn’t help but think that the gamesmanship of writer/director Amir Mann resembled that of  Memento (Christopher Nolan , 2000).  Both films use amnesia as a plot-point and in both films there’s a point at which overthinking gets in the way of understanding the movie.

Nick Chinlund is John Reilly (a ‘ Reilly, Ace of Spies ‘ reference?) involved in some double-agentry that the audience hasn’t been informed of, and the character goes through several changes about what he knows and what he may or may not know. Malheuresement , I feel that Amir Mann hasn’t done enough to win my sympathy for Reilly and his predicament.

Why has Mann chosen Africa as the site of Reilly’s imprisonment? The Middle East would have been a more timely place for the story to occur,  with the subtext of extraordinary rendition. Mann gave away currency and revelence when he chose to site his drama in Africa. [Read more →]