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"CENTER OF THE WORLD"
A film review by Larry Getlen for filmcritic.com
At a time when filmed eroticism between intelligent, complex adults is
at something of a nadir, Wayne Wang comes along with the sexiest film in
quite some time. Center of the World deals with themes of loneliness
and sexuality, and how the two are (or are not) intertwined.
Peter Sarsgaard plays Richard, a typical (almost stereotypical)
techo-geek who made a million dollars the year prior and is about to
make a lot more through an IPO. We are introduced to him and Florence
(Molly Parker) as they check into a hotel suite in Las Vegas. Through a
series of flashbacks, we learn that Richard recently met Florence, a
freckled stunner, at the strip club where she works. Within five
minutes, Wang sets the film's tone by having Parker perform an act that
eliminates any chance for an R rating -- a shocking act for a lead
actress in a mainstream film, and one that suggests that freedom of
sexuality is a major issue here (and that Parker is an actress with few
Richard is fascinated. He buys her time for a lap dance, tries to get
to know her better, and ultimately offers her $10,000 to accompany him
to Vegas for the weekend. All the while, we see them in Vegas -- her
clearly bored, him thoroughly content just to be in her presence. They
go shopping and barely speak. She has a separate room. Through the
flashbacks, we learn that she has agreed to come on certain conditions
-- no talking about feelings, no mouth kissing, no penetration, and
party time is from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. He agrees without hesitation. It
is apparent that money means nothing to him; $10,000 for three nights
with a beautiful woman, even without completion, is a bargain.
Once nighttime arrives, the film's erotic charge takes hold. Center of
the World was shot on digital video, much of it hand-held, and the muted
colors give Richard and Florence's universe the aura of a seedy strip
joint -- which, for these characters at this moment, it is.
A few minutes before ten o'clock, Richard pulls up a chair to her closed
door, just staring at it, passing time, a child with an adult's patience
waiting for his present at Christmas. Meanwhile, she prepares, putting
on makeup, curling her eyebrows, getting ready for work.
She emerges a few minutes after ten, and the fun begins. Wang takes his
time; the experience for Richard is a rare erotic pleasure, and Wang
spares the audience none of this emotion. Parker and Sarsgaard are
beautifully cast. She's all steam and fire and he's all appreciation
and glee. The film lingers on close-ups of Sarsgaard enjoying her
breasts, she slowly removing his shirt, caressing his chest, letting
their cheeks touch. She finishes him off by hand, but for him it's like
a honeymoon or first love -- penetration is irrelevant.
Eventually the game gets shaken up. She's here for the money, but might
other factors be in play? What happens if she lets herself be taken to
another level? The answers are never made quite clear, nor are they
taken as far as most Hollywood movies would go. Wang's film illustrates
that everyone has different parameters of what constitutes acceptable
and unacceptable behavior, what is degradation and what is just, and
that the extent that these differences are even relevant is an
Perhaps Wang's greatest achievement in this erotic wonderment is the
avoidance of easy answers to complex personalities (and, for the matter,
the avoidance of unnecessarily complicating simple ones). In a
cinematic climate where most movie sex is being had by faux teens and
inexperienced adults too young to master the moment, Center of the World
is a bold, aggressive, and intelligent erotic presence in an
increasingly frightened and overcautious landscape.
RATING: **** (our of 5)
"The Leading Man" (1996)
The Leading Man (1996) was directed by John Duigan, who arguably directed the best cappers movie of all time, Sirens. It was written by his wife, and is a backstage story of the London theater. Playwrite Felix Webb (Lambert Wilson) has written a new play called The Hit Man, and manages to have his mistress, Thandie Newton, cast in the female lead opposite American actor Robin Grange (Jon Bon Jovi). His wife knows of his affair, and is increasingly vocal about it. Bon Jovi agrees to seduce the wife, as a favor, to give the playwrite some breathing room. Bon Jovi's seduction of Newton is just for fun. That is really all there is to the plot, but the film is more fun than it sounds. Everyone, including Bon Jovi, was good in their part, and the behind-the-scenes look at the theater was interesting. The soundtrack had me humming along several times.
Maltin and Ebert both award 3 stars. IMDB readers are a little less enthusiastic at 6.5/10, or roughly 2 1/2 stars. I tend to agree with the IMDB readers. The film was well done, but not special enough to watch often. I give is a C.
|Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy)
I looked at Boxing Helena. David Lynch, meet Zalman King. (Sherilyn Fenn has worked for both of them as well as for the director of this film, who is Lynch's daughter.) It really isn't much of a movie, but the photography isn't bad, and there is nudity. I think you'll find the commentary fairly informative, and the Sherilyn Fenn collages are especially nice.
Charlie's site is updated. Charlie also wrote in to say that the sex scene in Pola X, which is in nearly complete darkness to begin with, is not Yekaterina Golubsova, but Depardieu's girlfriend, who agreed to be the body double.
I looked at the new Celebrity Skin. I didn't see much new to us, but I like this see-through picture of our official home girl
Joanna Pacula, Breast exposure, and full dorsal nudity in scenes from "Every Breath" (1993).
Senta Berger The former bunnyperson in topless scenes from "De Sade" (1969).
||Fantastic nudity from the waist up in these scenes from "Tightrope" (1984).
||Very nice topless exposure, plus a close up bare bum frame, from "Un assassin qui passe".
||More breast exposure from ""Un assassin qui passe".
||And yes, still more skin from "Un assassin qui passe".
||Topless, plus a little something for the leg men. Scenes from "Subspecies".
| and ...
|In case you haven't seen enough of these paparazzi pics, here are a few more versions. #3 is a larger edit by ZonononZor. and #2 is a thong pic that is making it's Fun House debut.
|The former rabbit-mate going topless and showing a bare bum in these sex scenes from HBO's "Dream On". Yes, that is Body by Jake gettin' it on with Heidi.
|Vidcaps by Scanman from "Passion's Desire". Mostly these images show off her small, but nice boobs. #2 also features a simulated "diver down" sequence.
|From "Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2". Brief nude scenes showing the 3 B's boobs, bush, and bum. Not all at the same time though, and not the most clear exposure, but still a great job by Snowblind.
Here is the breakdown
Link #1 clear topless
Links #2, #3, and #4 frontal views of Erica only wearing panties, but breasts are covered
Link #5 full frontal nudity, but a tad on the blurry side
Link #6 fully nude again, looks like one nipple is visible, and maybe some pubes
Link #7 bare bum
|The beautiful Sonja showing off her body in a variety of movies, by a variety of artists.
Link #1 fully nude but nothing to be seen down below. Vidcaps by Freakie from "Lemon Popsicle 7"
Link #2 excellent breast exposure while in the tub. Scenes from "Melody of Passion", by Mongoose
Link #3 very clear topless scene from "Lemon Popsicle 4", by Scanman
Link #4 topless, full frontal, and rear nudity from "Lemon Popsicle 7", thanks to UC99
||Topless in the Prince 'classic', "Purple Rain".
I see in the IMDb that she's in a new movie with another 80's wash-out, Philip Michael Thomas (of "Miami Vice" fame. The movie is "Vampirates", directed by horror movie make-up legend Tom Savini (best known by many as "Sex Machine" in "From Dusk Till Dawn".)
||An almost fully exposed breast (yes, there is nipple) from the stinker, "Under Suspicion". Look for Monica in "The Matrix 2".
|The Best of Brainscan
Many readers may already know that Brainscan has a fondness for finely crafted posteriors...or "killer arses" as he might say. I went back through some of his recent submissions and found few that I think fit the bill quite well. Not too worry. If you enjoy other body parts, not to worry, they are almost equally represented.
Rowanne Brewer in 'caps from "Round Trip to Heaven"
One more of Rowanne Brewer
Ava Cadell in the Sidaris classic, Do or Die"
Two more of Ava
Ann-Margret bare bum from "Carnal Knowledge"
Ava Martinez absolutely no bum exposure in this one, but it's too great of a scan to pass up>