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"Saint Jack" (1979)

Peter Bogdanovich got his start with Roger Corman, and made three successful films in a row. He became sought after in Hollywood, and made three flops in a row. All three were projects that he cared deeply about, and he decided to stop making films until he could figure out how he had lost the knack. After three years, he decided to get back to basics -- the basics he had learned from Roger Corman, and get as far away from Hollywood, both geographically and artistically as he could. He was aware of the book "Saint Jack" by Paul Theroux. As luck would have it, the bunnymag people owned the rights to the book, just as Bogdanovich and his significant other, Sybill Shepherd, were suing PEI over an unrelated issue. They were given production rights to the book as part of the settlement, on the condition that PEI get a production credit. Shepherd's company also wanted a credit, but it was Roger Corman who funded the film and provided all of the support. Shepherd wrote the initial draft of the script.

The story, Saint Jack, is about Jack Flowers (Ben Gazara), a pimp in Singapore in the early 70's. He treated everyone, prostitute, customer and competitor alike with respect, and was well liked. He realizes his dream of opening his own house against his friend's advice (the Chinese wanted 100% of that business). When some gangsters trash his business and run off all of the girls, he goes to work for a sleazy CIA agent (played by Bogdanovich) running an R&R center (US Government funded whorehouse for GIs)). He is no longer living the life he wants, and when he is asked to get compromising photos of a gay democratic senator so the administration can blackmail him, he is tempted, and goes as far as to take the photos, then decides to do the moral thing, and throws the photos into the canal. While the book is about pimps and prostitutes, there were almost none in the book, and in the initial versions of the script. They were folded in later.

The Singapore government banned the book Saint Jack, as they had a revisionist view of the American whorehouse part of their history. Bogdanovich wrote a 30 page treatment called Jack of Hearts to show the folks in Singapore. It wasn't until after the film was in the can that the government found out what they really shot. Bogdanovich is not allowed into Singapore to this day. This was the first film ever shot in Singapore, was done in 6 weeks of shooting, and made full use of the local scenery. 100% of the film is shot on location. Most of the roles were played by local amateurs. Bogdanovich feels that he made exactly the film he wanted to make. Worldwide, movie goers agreed with him. Critics everywhere love it. It was not popular with mainstream US viewers.

This character driven drama is low key, and has almost no exposition. What seems at first like a slow pace and thin plot is really rich in subtleties, political overtones, and fascinating characters. The scenics in Singapore are exotic and appealing. Unfortunately, nearly every location used in this film has now given way to high rises and "progress." If you don't mind thinking when you watch a film, this gem is a must see.

  • Thumbnails

  • Brigit & Lily Ang (1, 2, 3)
  • Brigit Ang (1, 2, 3)
  • Lily Ang (1, 2, 3)

    "El Callejón de los milagros" (1995)

    El Callejón de los milagros (1995) (Midaq Alley) is the most decorated film in the history of Mexico, having won 49 International awards. 225 IMDB readers have it at 8.1/10. My vote will raise that. For the I hate subtitles, give me action anytime, where is the skin readers, see image 1 for brief breast exposure from Salma Hayek.

    For the rest, this is a wonderful film about life in Mexico City. It centers on the story of three people, each told seperately and sequnetially, who all live and interact in Callejón de los milagros. We have a bar owner with a wife he has grown tired of and abuses, a son he doesn't approve of, and two daughters he never sees. He has suddenly started an affair with a young man in a nearby shop. The second character is an old mid in search of a man. The third is a young virgin (Salma Hayek) who feels abandoned when her true love leaves for the US to make enough money to marry her. She ends up a call girl, and addicted to drugs. This film is not as dark as the above makes it sound. There is much humor along the way, and wonderful characters shown in the act of being human. The cinemaphotography is superb, where every single frame is suitable for hanging on your wall, hence the 5 extra images without exposure.

    There is a dearth of English language reviews for this film. The DVD transfer is very good. If this is your sort of genre, see this film.

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  • Salma Hayek (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
  • Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy)
    I looked at The Watcher, (no nudity). Most weeks I wouldn't have bothered, but it was the only major new release of the week. In the first forty minutes I was thinking - "hey, this is a pretty cool movie, why did everybody think it stunk?". Then I found out, since the last hour was just one big chase scene. I don't know about you guys, but there's nothing I love more than guys chasing each other on rooftops in the dark. (The exception being when there's no gravity, ala Crouching Tiger)

    I also looked at Out of Sight, one of the coolest movies I've ever seen, but that's not important right now. The big question is did J-Lo actually give up any goodies while she was in that trunk with Clooney in the deleted scenes? I still don't know, but here's the evidence. (By the way, they shot that scene 45 times)

    • J-Lo (1, 2)

    I went through the entire Sports Illustrated Online Swimsuit Issue, and found very little real nudity. Of the following, only the second one of Shakarah represents real nudity (a clear see-through). The other three are just hints.

  • Shakarah, first one hint of aureola, second one more-or-less topless (1, 2)
  • Michelle Behennah, buns in a thong
  • Josie Maran, semi-transparent

    And here are all the links (2001, 2000, 1999, 1998, 1997, 1996)

    Check out the most popular choices for Oscars at the IMDB here. (Last I looked it was a real close battle for Best Foreign language film, as Crouching Tiger had 83% of the votes and something else was a strong second with 5%). If these trends are reflective of the Academy, Oscar night will end up a two-way love feast for Crouching Tiger and Gladiator, with Soderbergh left in the wings. (Although expect acting Oscars for Julia Roberts and Benicio del Toro)

  • Graphic Response
  • Rebecca DeMornay, scenes from a modern classic, 1983's "Risky Business"

  • News and Stuff

    Great Pair Of Lungs! - The Romanian edition of Playboy is bragging that it's the first in the world to persuade an opera star to pose nude. Angela Tibrea, 32, who has sung with Andrea Bocelli, posed in a classical setting with a grand piano. She said, "I want to show married women that even after having two children, you can still look attractive."

    Today we have the usual stuff. Beautiful women. Most of 'em with their clothes off. How predictable. How boring.

    Daniela Urzi has her clothes on.. barely. One bit of advice to the guy whose arm is in the picture: Pull harder, jackass! (1, 2)

    Marina La Rosa has her clothes off. A word of thanks from us to her. (1, 2, 3)

    Simona Cavallari has her pants on... and some beads... and a funny looking hat. Good news: no shirt.

    Page 3 babe Toni White without a single, solitary stitch of clothing. All you other babes: take note. (1, 2)

    German actress Doreen Jacobi wearing only a few daubs o' paint.

    Starlet/flavor of the month Julia Stiles in clothes but with pokies. Make that Major Pokies.

    Kate Hudson showing very little for once. You would think that with such a tiny body and a blouse so wide open there would be something to see. But noooo.

    So how shall we end this day's journey? How about with Jennifer Connelly? Again with the predictable and the boring. But here she is with some clothes on. Too many clothes if'n you ask me, but not enough to hide all of what Jen has to offer. You know, Junior, I figure every nanosecond of public nekkidness ever spent by Miss Connelly is stored somewhere on this site of yours. Way to go, boy! (1, 2)

    A big hello to the trinity of celeb nudity, aka. Scoop, Jr. and Tuna !

    First I would like to submit to you some nude pictures of singer Anastacia. At least I hope it's her. I think I saw them once on the net but some people think they could be fakes. I scanned these as they are from the pages of two different French magazines : "Entrevue" from November 2000 and "mad" # 8 from January 2001. Can anyone confirm or deny their authenticity?

  • Anastacia? (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
  • One more of Anastacia by RVF

    Then we have Anna Thomson in "Sue". (1, 2) This 1997 film takes place in New York and if it were a film about real people, boy would this one offend against rule # 1 of "The Scoopian Unities". This flick deals with the story of Sue, a woman in her late 30's trying to find a job but in the end she doesn't succeed because she is unable to change her ways and probably dies on park bench in NY. I found this film to be 90 minutes of sheer boredom. On the technical side this thing was awfull too. Some scenes like where she shows her breasts to a man for a drink, were IMHO underexposed. Not one scene seems to have enough light. First I thought this was done to highlight the morosity of Sue's life but I don't think so. During the five minutes Sue does have a job in this movie the light stays as dim. Lack of money or a power shortage in NY in 1997, who knows. The only decent acting performances came from Anna Thomson and Tahnee Welch. There's also a guy from Minnesota but he speaks with an accent from New York with a southern twist sometimes, but I can be wrong here since I am no expert in American dialects. In the IMDb the movie has a few reviews, all of them positive. Here Scoopian rule # 14 applies I guess. I'd like to add that that all reviews were done by people from Europe who probably consider this film an example of what they consider "the uncaring American society" can do to someone and how happy they are to live in Europe with its sometimes overprotective social system. An example ? Sue can't pay the rent and is evicted in a couple of days. Try that in Belgium. Here you have to go to court, it takes you a couple of months to get the tenant out and the judge and the system still see it as the evil capitalist landlord against a poor exploited tenant. As always the right way is probably somewhere in between. What's more the film never explains why Sue is in that precarious situation and why she screws everything up. At the end of the film you're not any wiser than at the beginning. I found it a total waste of time. If someone is still interested in seeing this movie, there is only a region 2 DVD available from

    And now I have another fine example of a badly made TV-series. I'm talking about the Flemish made "De makelaar" ( the real estate agent ). A story that spreads in all kind of directions with so many subplots that the writers themselves don't seem to know where they're heading. And the lighting and contrast ! It's obviously shot with a video camera and some parts are totally overexposed with almost disappearing backgrounds, other parts are practically completely black. The contrast is much too high with oversaturated colors and in outdoors scenes the white balance is completely out of balance. Can't they simply put it on "auto" ? What school did the director of photography attend ? Or isn't there a DP on the set ? Anyway, here is Annick Christiaens from that terrible series, some 16 years after her first nude appearance in the movie "Wildschut". Those images can be found in the encyclopedia.

    From the series "Wittekerke" I present you Sandrine André, daughter of a respected stage actor. But look where they put the opening credits ! There should be a law against this. Maybe the guy who has to take care of the credits is gay and took very good care not to hide any part of the guy in the picture.

    And to end I'll throw in a few caps of Mireille Leveque that were still in my hard drive. They're from last year's hospital series "Spoed".

    And finally a raw vidcap from the Hong Kong movie "Body Weapon". A couple gets murdered but the bad guys still do something else to the girl before they murder her. Consider this your first lesson in HK English :-)

    That's it for now, Enjoy!

    Jr. Here...I recently picked up a few Hong Movies myself and they crack me up with the translations! In one movie, the cult favorite "The Naked Killer", the phrase "break my/your tits" is often used. So I guess this is the second lesson in Hong Kong English. My question is this...Didn't the British have a little bit of a presence over there until 1999? I would imagine that a hundred or so years of the Queens English would rub off a little. I guess not.

  • Dann
    Lucy Liu

    Dana Barron

    Assorted implants

    3 new collages by Dann from "City of Industry". The Lucy Liu 'caps are familiar, but the other two offer some new to me images from the 1997 Harvey Keitel movie.

    and ...
    Cat Deeley
    (1, 2)

    Chalk up another nip slip to the paparazzi. Here are a couple of different versions of the British TV presenter's public appearance. #1 by Whyscan. #2 also features a bit of computer zoom lens action, by Skease

    Sharon Leal Cleavage and pokies from Monday night's episode of "Boston Public". Vidcaps by Akira.

    Eiko Matsuda Vidcaps from the sexually explicit, and controversial movie "The Realm of the Senses" (1976). These 'caps by Scanman definitely fall into the explicit category, as we witness a food sex game that makes anything from "9 1/2 Weeks" look more like a picnic in the Alps with the Von Trapp family. Fair warning, these may not be everyone's cup of tea.

    Luisa Corna
    (1, 2)

    Posing nude in the March issue of the Italian GQ.

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