Based on an aesthetic novel by Alessandro Baricco, Silk tells the 19th century story of a married silkworm trader who sneaks into the forbidden Japanese countryside to obtain undiseased silkworm eggs, which are no longer available in Europe. While in a remote Japanese village, he becomes obsessed with a beautiful woman who is the concubine of a local warlord. He spends the rest of his life balancing his genuine love for his beautiful French wife with his longing for a woman on the other side of the world, in a sense failing both women, to his eternal sorrow.

Silk is a study in contradictions, in high aspirations failed and achieved in equal measure. If you were to make up one of those top ten lists which seem ubiquitous on the internet, you might list this as one of the ten most beautifully filmed movies you have ever seen. You might also list it as one of the ten most boring. In either case, I would glance through your list and see nothing to dispute. Perhaps I would think you might have exaggerated a bit because you had recently seen the film and wanted to stress your point, but you would not have made an unreasonable claim in either case because it is a film which can never find the proper balance between aesthetics and narrative.

One example will illustrate. The trader makes a trip to Japan. He leaves his French villa in a stately carriage and rides past glorious farms and gardens. He rides interminably in a train car as spectacular vistas pass behind him. He rides a caravan through the Asian deserts in blistering orange heat, and another through the icy Russian steppes in shivering blue cold. He sails through magnificent Asian gorges on 19th century river craft. He stands on the prow of an old-fashioned ocean-going ship and casts a stalwart gaze forward as he proceeds in his final step from Asia to Japan. Then he treks through the forbidding and starkly beautiful Japanese countryside until he finds the picturesque snow-covered village he seeks hidden in a mysterious fog-shrouded valley. Then he returns, and we watch the same journey in reverse. Then he makes the same trip two more times, and the cinematographer repeats the travelogue.

I could cite more cases where the pace of the narrative was destroyed by the magnificent aesthetics: tea ceremonies where the camera follows the intricate rituals performed the concubine's delicate hands, for example, but I think I've made my point. The film is not only languid, but also unrelievedly melancholy. There is far too much narration, and it is done in a whispery, regretful tone. In fact, virtually every word uttered in the film seems formal and lacks passion, as if spoken in confession, even when those words are uttered by Japanese warlords ... even when uttered by Alfred Molina, who is normally a natural and boisterous performer. The entire film is accompanied by either painfully sad Japanese music or the incessant tinkling of languorous and melancholy piano chords.

I really like this director's other efforts, namely 32 Short Films about Glenn Gould and The Red Violin, which could easily have been renamed Several Short Films About the Same Violin. They are intelligent and aesthetic. The Red Violin is a lovely meditation on the nature of beauty, which elements of it are culturally inspired and which are constant across the human experience. It is one of the few "art films" that I endorse wholeheartedly. But there is a key difference between those films and this one. This one has no more plot than any of the vignettes in the earlier films, but drags out five times as long. Or maybe 32 times as long. Another key difference is that the titular violin in the previous film was owned by a variety of people in distinctly different cultures in different eras, thus allowing the filmmaker to weave a rich and piebald tapestry, with the different colors and fabrics provided by the contrasting temperaments of the instrument's owners as well as the diverse mores of the times and lands in which they lived. Silk, on the other hand, is monotonous, even though its settings range from a tiny French village to an isolated Japanese village, because everything seems to be accompanied by the same melancholy tone of music and narration. After what seems like an eternity of whining nancy-boy voice-over which leads nowhere, the film finally does slip in an unexpected plot twist right at the end, but by then most of the audience will have fallen asleep.

The film also has a problem with the conventions it employs. It is about French and Japanese people, but they are all speaking English. So when the Japanese warlord makes the surprising demonstration that he speaks Oxford English, I suppose he is actually speaking academic French, right? Huh? Improbable as it seems that the warlord of an isolated Japanese village can speak like Voltaire, it does not end the mystery of the film's linguistic conventions. The Frenchman speaks to a Dutch trader in English. Is that English representing French, or is it just English? If it is English representing French, then why does the Dutchman address him in French, and then ask him if he is French? If he didn't know that, then why would he be speaking French to him in the first place? This exchange would only make sense in English, right? I don't "get it." To make matters even more confusing, the director required all the English actors playing Frenchmen to speak English with a North American accent. Huh? Why didn't he just let Keira Knightley and Alfred Molina speak in their natural accents? Why does it make more sense for American English to represent French? Again, I didn't understand why the director chose this convention, and it probably hurt Keira's performance because the modern American accent made her seem younger and dumber, more like a 20th century American valley girl than a sensible 19th century schoolteacher. (It made no difference to Molina, who is so good with an American accent that most people think he is American, ala Christian Bale.

Bottom line: I can't recommend the film for most moviegoers, and most critics panned it, citing Michael Pitt's lead performance as especially problematic and disappointing. One can't help but wonder how the same story might have turned out if filmed by Ang Lee and performed by a French and Japanese cast in the proper languages. But I will tell you this: I will buy this film on Blu-Ray, and if the day should ever come when it is shown in IMAX, I will be the first in line that day. For all its flaws, it is a marvel to look at. Cinematographers of disappointing films rarely get enough credit for their work. They are the babies thrown out with the bathwater. (Perfect example: John Bailey's work on Forever Mine.) But the cinematography and locales in this film are so beautiful that I would sit through the entire tedious thing one more time to see these magnificent images. Silk may not be a great drama, but it's a helluva travelogue.


This photography is too dark to make good images from a 560x240 screener, and Keira didn't show much anyway, but I feel confident that Sei Ashina's full frontal nude scene will be one for the annual top twenty list when it is finally seen in high resolution.

Film clips

Sample captures

Keira Knightley

Sei Ashina






  • * Yellow asterisk: funny (maybe).

  • * White asterisk: expanded format.

  • * Blue asterisk: not mine.

  • No asterisk: it probably sucks.


Catch the deluxe version of Other Crap in real time, with all the bells and whistles, here.








Lake Placid 2


Lake Placid 2 was made for The Sci-Fi channel, and is a "nature run amok" monster film. Giant crocs are eating anyone who shows their tits, anyone obnoxious, anybody in the water, and anybody who gets near them and isn't a love interest in the two romantic sub-plots. Not a bad bit of script writing, that. Might as well make quick work of the tit-exposers, since they couldn't act anyway, and had already served their purpose. The obnoxious people are clearly expendable, and there are many fewer plot points to resolve when most of the characters have been eaten. The four left standing are the sheriff, his girlfriend, the local fish and game agent, his teenage son, and the girl that his son is sweet on. The body count includes EPA scientists, tit-exposers, big-game hunters, obnoxious teenagers, and Cloris Leachman, who deserved it not only for raising the crocs in the first place, but also for starring in "Phyllis."

The film doesn't look bad at all. It is entirely possible, perhaps even likely, that it was meant as a slick comedic spoof of bad movies. Unfortunately it employed a cast with no comedic ability, making it just a bad movie.

IMDb readers say 3.1. Males under 18 elevated it to 3.9, probably in deference to the six tits shown by Yana Marinova, Jasmina Toshkova and V.J. Kewl.

Yana Marinova


Jasmina Toshkova

V.J. Kewl









Death Wish 3


Star Trek babe Marina Sirtis is uncovered as the time machine goes back twenty years. Marina has her top ripped open as she is abducted by the baddies for a gang rape.

 Film clip.








Notes and collages


part 11 of many

Lisa Kudrow

Episode 219








My next group comes from a disk called Rachel's Angels, which was said to be written and directed by Rachel Elizabeth. Written? Really? No one says a mofoing word. Bunch of gals, most of them silicone sisters, get rid of their clothes and wriggle around a whole lot. So WTF did she write? Words of encouragement? The address of the plastic surgeon who did her boob job? A post-it note on the fridge they all used during the taping? I am confused.

So why did I bother with this thing? It has a mess of Hefmates. Got Audra Lynn and Divini Rae and Ava Fabian...all of whom have done a film or two...and Heather Carolin. And then there is Sheila Levell and Jamie Hammer, who've also did some acting of a sort.  Elizabeth Kelly and Rachel Elizabeth fill out the list of strippers and wigglers. Audra was impressive, Divini was divine and the underused Heather was yummy. The others I could have taken or left. Rachel had a couple of explicit gynocam views. Everyone else was restrained in that department.

Ava Fabian's appearance was unwise. She must have been 45 when this thing was filmed. Once upon a time, 20 years ago, she was a spectacular beauty and there are times in this disk you can still see the wonders of her face. And she has kept in great shape. But, boys, she is old by anyone's definition and the skin and the bod just aren't what they used to be. I kept thinking of Chris Rock's comment about Janet Jackson's Super Bowl malfunction - a 20-yr-old tittie? That's everybody's tittie. A 40yr-old tittie? That's just your man's tittie. Ava should keep hers under wraps except for her man.

This is the fourth Peach DVD I have capped and maybe it's time to draw some general conclusions. From the perspective of someone who goes through a disk frame by frame I can see three things go into making a first-rate DVD - 1) Lots of great looking gals; 2) Competent filmmaking skills. You know, lighting and framing and all that sorta stuff you learn in a film course at your local junior college; 3) DVD rendering that compresses the whole thing so that motion chatter and all that sorta mess is missing. In that context, Peach gets the first part dead right and the last two dead wrong. In disk after disk and scene after scene, the lighting sucks and the cinematographic skills are nonexistent. Must of us did a better job filming Christmas morning. And then all of us who try it do a way better job making DVDs than these bozos. They screw up so often and results in such an egregious result that you gotta figure the people at Peach just don't give a flying fuck. Don't care about the product, don't care about the audience.

Too bad. Because their disks could be contenders. Instead, they are just bums. Face it, Charlie, they're just bums.


Today's featured performer: Audra Lynn

Film clips














In "Prison of the Psychotic Damned: Terminal Remix" (2006) Canadian B-movie babe Melantha Blackthorne shows her superb rack. She's starring in the remake of the classic Death Race 2000 to be released this September.

She-Demons of the Black Sun is a (2006) DVD available from SVBELL.COM. Canadian Troma babe Isabelle Stephen is full frontal ...
... while Vicky Coupal slips a juicy nip in lesbian scene.
The Festival (2005) is a mockumentary starring Vic Morgenstein followed by The Business, also starring Vic. Sarah Carlsen is topless as a lesbian filmmaker.
In "The L Word" season 5

Episode "LGB Tease": Lindsay Maxwell shows boob and butt in the season 5 opener ...

Episode "Look Out, Here They Come!": In the wedding segment Alberta Mayne, Heartland's Michelle Morgan and Lynda Boyd are topless as bridal party who all have lesbian sex with Shane.  Here's Alberta Mayne ...
... Lynda Boyd ...
... and Michelle Morgan.

And in the WIP segment of that episode, Rachel Shelly and Pamela Diaz are topless in a prison shower while Lenore Zann and an unknown are full frontal. Here's Rachel Shelley ...

... Pamela Diaz ...
... Lenore Zann ...
... and the unknown.

Final addendum: The topless sunbather in the first episode of Godiva's "Begin it Now" is Simone Bailly. (Also seen in Good Luck Chuck)






Johnny Moronic has another new project: Peter Greenaway's latest, Nightwatching. JM's comments:

"Ah, you gotta love Peter Greenaway and his amazing ability to trick woman into getting naked in his films. I mean have you ever watched one of his films, man they are boring (although I did like The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover), but plenty of nudity. In Nightwatching, there's a fair chunk of it too. Apparently, there was more nudity in the cut that was shown at the Toronto Film Festival. There were supposed to be two topless scenes from Eva Birthistle that do not appear in this cut (and I checked three times). Also, the trailer shows more nudity that didn't make the final cut either. I must warn you the videos are taken from a Russian rip of the movie, so there's Russian dubbing over the soundtrack."

Film clips

Jodhi May
Emily Holmes
Nathalie Press

Some HD caps of Monica Belluci in Brotherhood of the Wolf. These are kinda disappointing for HD.

Jessica Sierra was a top ten finisher in a previous season of American Idol and also appeared on Celebrity Rehab. Now, like everyone else in the world except those who should, she has a sex tape.

Speaking of women who SHOULD have a sex tape but don't, here's the ever-resplendent Jessica Alba showing off the new baby boobs.

A film clip of beautiful Diane Kruger in L'Age Des Tenebres (sample right)
Two HD clips from Mallrats: Joey Lauren Adams and Priscilla Barnes