Private Collections (1979)
Private Collections is an anthology movie consisting of several
erotic short stories. The director most closely associated with that format is
Walerian Borowczyk, who did two such movies, Immoral Tales and Immoral Women.
Borowczyk is again represented in Private Collections, but this time he created
only one of the three tales, sharing the billing with two other masters of
erotica, Just Jaecklin (Emmanuelle) and Shuji Terayama (Fruits of Passion).
Severin has done a magnificent job at digging up these rare and
forgotten treasures of soft-core erotica and re-mastering them digitally. For
years, we really had no access to this film at all (as with many others in the
Severin collection), and now we have an uncut and uncensored widescreen DVD for
fans to admire. There's even a short featurette about the making of the Just
Jaecklin segment, with commentary by Jaecklin himself in good English.
The DVD will be available next Tuesday. The Rare DVD site is
again running a 2-for-1 sale for us on this item, so click on the link below to
see if you like the package he's put together.
Terayama's Kusa-Meiku is the most beautifully rendered of the
three stories, and has the best sex scene, but is also the most opaque. The
essence of the story is that a young man cannot resist the siren call of the
local madwoman, who keeps summoning to her bad. The call is so powerful that he
has to follow the Ulysses tactic of having himself lashed down. He's not at at
sea, so a tree pinch hits for the obligatory siren-thwarting mast.
That story, mythological though it is, could have been told
without a dense narrative, but Terayama decided to take it into in dreamscape
territory. It's filled with all sorts of symbolic scenes of surreal beauty. For
example, a beautiful bolt of red and gold cloth is laid across a vast tract of
sand dunes, and a stark naked Ulysses-san escapes the madwoman's horny clutches by
staying on the cloth, ala the Yellow Brick Road. By the way, I'm only
guessing that the scene was symbolic. It seems that it was meant to be, but I
guess I really don't know what the hell it could have symbolized. It did
look really cool, so maybe it was just an "ars gratia artis" indulgence in
imaginative beauty. There are other scenes which also seem to have been chosen
simply for their physical beauty. A beautifully decorated parasol is turned upside
down and left in the rain - that sort of thing. It's the kind of material that
leaves you awed by its visual splendor and scratching your head to decipher the
Anyway, if you'd like to see what Salvador Dali might have
accomplished as a Japanese filmmaker, this is the segment for you!
L'Armoire is the segment directed by the esteemed Mr. Borowczyk.
He has created a period costume drama adapted from a
de Maupassant story (the link is in French) about the seamy underbelly of Paris in the time of the
great impressionists. The visual presentation of the
clubs and back allies of the late 19th century is highly stylized and many individual frames could be
mistaken for paintings by Renoir or his contemporaries (look at the first
capture of the two dancers for a good example.). The film stock and
filters have been carefully chosen to give off the same feel as the familiar
paintings of that era.
Unfortunately, the look is all this one has. There's not even
any worthwhile erotica. The Japanese story reviewed above has both a gorgeous look and some fairly hot sex, but this one has
very little sex and nudity in the main story. A prostitute played by
Marie-Catherine Conti briefly exposes her breasts before sex, but this segues
into a lethargic sex scene which is performed man-on-top with a blanket over
their lower bodies. There is so little erotic content within the exchange that
the director felt obligated to add a completely gratuitous scene with some
unidentified lesbian can-can girls in a naked embrace!
Oh, that rascal de Maupassant - the Howard Stern of his own day!
To make matters worse, the story isn't told very well. De Maupassant
wrote a surprise ending to a story about a prostitute and her john who hear
noises in her apartment. What are those noises? The film delivers the narrative
with no real suspense, so that the eventual surprise ends up as a "so what?"
moment rather than a release of tension.
|various backstage fillies
L'île aux sirènes
L'île aux sirènes is the name of the segment directed by Just
Jaecklin and starring one of Jaecklin's favorite stars, Laura Gemser, the
beautiful Indonesian woman commonly called "Black Emmanuelle."
A flabby, bald, sloppy-looking sailor is marooned on what
appears to be a deserted island.
The good news is that the island is actually
inhabited by four beautiful women who seem to love it when they have sex with Paul Giamatti-lookin' dudes.
The only thing they like better than the sex is serving him any way possible.
The bad news is that "How to Serve Men" is a cookbook.
Also Soylent Green is people. PEE- PUL!!!
And Kyser Soze is ...
But I digress.
This section doesn't compare to the other two segments
artistically, and it has a lame cop-out ending, but it has one very strong point
- four beautiful women topless at all times, one of whom is the spectacular Ms.
|Gemser and the other three women (identified on the collages)
The entire project? I call a C on our scale. I
didn't like this one as much as Severin's Immoral Women DVD. The stories aren't
as good, the DVD isn't mastered as well, and the nudity is a bit light overall -
it's basically just toplessness, and two of the segments don't even have very
much of that. The only flashes of pubic hair come from from two anonymous chorus
girls in the Folies Bergere segment and a very brief flash from the madwoman in
the Japanese section. There
is no segment in this collection which is as totally satisfying as the best ones
in the two all-Borowczyk collections, but there are great moments and great
images scattered throughout the three segments. If you're a collector
you're still going to want to see this long-lost anthology.
Here are both offers, for your consideration. (Clickable)
Catch the deluxe version of Other Crap in real time, with all the bells and whistles, here.
Yellow asterisk: funny (maybe). White asterisk: expanded format. Blue asterisk: not mine. No asterisk: it probably sucks.
Vital Signs (1990)
Vital Signs (1990) was dissed by many reviewers as a formulaic soap opera,
or a remake of Young Doctors in Love with the humor surgically removed.
However, a handful of comments at IMDb from people who actually attended
medical school praise it is the most accurate portrayal of 3rd year medical
school every committed to film. I think that is what drew me in. I have gotten
to know doctors far better than I ever had any desire to the last several
years with my succession of medical problems. I found this study of how they
got there fascinating. It didn't hurt that I liked most of the characters, and
the couple I didn't like at first eventually came around.
3rd year medical school is the first year where the students are out of the
classroom and actually see patients. In this film, they were actually acting
as doctors including surgery, which is less than accurate, but they did
capture the stress, long hours and competition that is a major part of the
third year. The love story, which provided breast exposure from Diane Lane,
was worked in to set up a final conflict.
In the end, I think what left me very happy with the film was one of the
main things I liked about An Officer and a Gentleman. In that film, basic
training worked as intended, and actually turned Gere's character into "an
officer and gentleman." In Vital Signs, medical school actually provides the
impetus required for these bright and hard-working kids to overcome natural
weaknesses. Again, it shows training that worked. My own experience with
education and training says that is often not the case. I can, however, point
to several medical professionals who have very much impressed me, both as
physicians and as human beings, so it would seem training sometimes gets it
IMDb says 5.0. There is not a single positive review at IMDb. I liked it
very much, finding it a quick watch which developed characters I liked feeling
emotions I could relate to. The proper score is C-. Nobody said it was bad,
just nothing special. A few like me will take away something from watching it.
The Scandinavian baton has been passed from Dalton to Marvin for these clips and
captures of Ane Dahl Torp.
Marvin writes: "I've made three clips from the Norwegian movie 'Gymnaslærer
Pedersen' from 2006. This movie is about a high school teacher who gets involved
in the Maoist 'Worker's Communist Party' during the seventies. The
significance of this tiny movement has been overrated in Norway, both by its
supporters, and even more so by its critics. The movie is rather lame, but there
is at least some nudity from Ane Dahl Torp, who plays the leading female role. "
(Two of the clips and collages are in today's edition. The third will follow)
Ane Dahl Torp (zipped
Episode "The Swords"
Musidora (Amanda Ryan), a girl who does a unique nightclub act in
which a sword is pushed through her abdomen without drawing blood or
hurting her, gets involved with a young man, James Chandler (Balthazar
Notes and collages
...a change of pace from my supernatural series; this woman is a joy to
the eyes. I am collaging her film by film.
Pat's comments in yellow...
BESTIALITY MOVIE PRAISED
Is That A Bear Or Robin Williams? - The most talked-about movie at the
Sundance Film Festival is a documentary called "Zoo," about bestiality.
Seattle director Robinson Devor said he was inspired by the news story about
the man who died having sex with a horse and wanted to examine it beyond the
tabloid surface and combine the "beauty of nature" with an examination of
"this completely strange mindset." Critics called it "strangely beautiful,"
as it combines interviews with men who have sex with animals and non-graphic,
poetic recreations that "conjure up the mood and spirit" of the act. Devor
said, "I aestheticized the sleaze right out of it."
* He has a background in making political commercials.
* He doesn't show any graphic sex with animals...just heavy petting.
* He wants to help people understand that to a horse,
whips and spurs aren't kinky at all.
* There's a disclaimer: "No animals were harmed in the making of this movie,
HOOKER FASHION SHOW
Typical Day In Rio - Rio de Janeiro's glitzy fashion show took place over the
weekend, but the real show was in the red light district. Davida, a group
that defends prostitutes' rights, showed off their collection of prostitute
fashions, inspired by artists who were inspired by hookers, from Toulouse
Lautrec to Madonna. A spokeswoman blasted the big fashion show for its lack
of social responsibility for not inviting them, but they continued on their
own, with hired models and actual prostitutes strutting down a makeshift
catwalk in an alley, showing off colorful prints and miniskirts and tossing
condoms to the crowd.
* It was exactly like the other fashion show, only the
clothes were less slutty.
* The models were just a lot of coke-addicted whores, so it was pretty much
like every other fashion show.
MUSICAL CONDOMS FOR VALENTINES (CAREFUL! NOTE SUBJECT!)
My Funny Valentine - Ondo Creation of Hong Kong unveiled a new product for
Valentine's Day: iDom musical condoms. The condoms don't actually play music
like iPods: instead, you get a set of six condoms in mint, chocolate,
strawberry and banana flavors, plus a CD of romantic mood music that starts
slowly, gradually gets faster, then slows down at the end. Asked why the CD
is only 18 minutes long, spokesman Jack Wong said, "Whether this is long
enough or not, really depends on the individual."
* Same warning they put on the condoms.
Pfizer pharamaceuticals, creator of Viagra, plans to cut 10,000 jobs to
counteract flat sales due to generic competition and the failure to introduce
any significant new drugs
* First sales were up, then
they were down, and now they're just limp.
Richard Dean Anderson of "MacGyver" turns 57 today.
* But he's working on a way to reverse the aging
process using two bobby pins and a toilet paper core.