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This project features loud music with undecipherable lip-synced lyrics, topless and full frontal nudity from a large breasted woman for more than half of its running length, a great deal of simulated sex, and it has a very simple story line. Is it:

a) A soft core porn
b) A European rock video
c) An obscure Russian opera
d) A late-70s sexploitation film
e) None of the above

The correct answer is "c." Lady Macbeth von Mzensk (1992) is a German production of a Shostakovich opera written in 1934. It enjoyed 180 performances in its first year and a half, then Joseph Stalin went to see it, and banned it forever (Could Stalin be the prototype for the MPAA?). Shostakovich was in so much hot water that he decided to pass on his revolutionary 4th symphony, and released his more traditional 5th instead. It is possible that Stalin's actions ended Shostakovich's innovation.

Like most operas, the plot (libretto) is very simple. A hot-blooded young woman (Katerina) is unhappy in an arranged marriage to a merchant farmer. Not only must she put up with a cold-fish husband, but she also had to wait on her overbearing father-in-law. Her main problem was boredom and horniness. When her husband had to supervise the repair of a distant dam, she solved half of her problems in the arms of an attractive hired hand. Her father-in-law caught her lover sneaking out of her bedroom window, and flogged him. He then started berating her, and demanded food.

She cooked up a gourmet mushroom and rat poison dish, and solved problem number two. When her husband returned, her lover solved problem three by strangling the husband, whom they hid in the cellar. The two married. At their wedding feast, a drunken guest broke into the cellar looking for more vodka, and found the decaying remains of the husband. He summoned the police, who arrested the two lovers. Sentenced to exile in Siberia, they are made to walk with a group of prisoners suffering a similar fate, and the lover decides that she ruined his life, and he wants no part of her. He sweet-talks her out of her warm woolen stockings using a feigned leg injury as an excuse, then trades them for sex with another female exile.

When the exile has the nerve to thank Katerina, Katerina jumps her on a bridge, and the two drown in the fast moving river.

Katerina is played by Markéta Hrubesová, whom you probably remember as the redhead in Delta of Venus. I wish I could say that I discovered this rare bit of exposure, but obscure Russian opera is not anywhere near the top of my list when looking through new releases. I got it based on the suggestion of one of the Funhouse members. There is nearly nothing about it on line. I found the music overbearing and heavy-handed, and it committed the cardinal sin of an opera for me -- there is not one tune worth humming. Hrubesová's strong suit is not lip-syncing, but she was very hot in the sex scenes, and her acting was wonderful. All of the other players gave solid performances. The film was stylishly set and beautifully photographed. The DVD transfer is fair, but "standard" aspect ratio, and could have really used some special features, although the material on the packaging was very helpful. For those that can put up with the libretto and Shostakovich, the eroticism is well worth seeing.

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  • Markéta Hrubesová
    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40)
  • Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy)
    Today's stuff: I looked at two new-to-me DVD's.

    Children of a Lesser God, the sensitive adapted screenplay that won Marlee Matlin the Best Actress Oscar in her screen debut in this movie about a deaf-hearing romance.

    Raw Nerve the equally sensitive Mario van Peebles kills and maims a bunch of guys as an excuse for Nicolette Sheridan to take of her clothes. As if any excuse was needed.

    The Smut....

  • Marlee Matlin, "Children of a Lesser God" (1, 2, 3)
  • Nicolette Sheridan, "Raw Nerve" (1, 2, 3)
  • Monica Trombetta, "Raw Nerve" (1, 2)
  • Graphic Response
  • Pam Grier frontal, full bodied backside, and huge disco hair from the 1972 blaxploitation version of "Get Cater" called "Hit Man".
  • Brainscan
    Comments by Brainscan: I made a wager with PETScan that I could take the least expensive scanner in the shop (an Epson Expression 800) and find magazines currently on the shelf that 1) I'd not scanned before; 2) cost an aggregate of $10 or less, and come up with a 1mB post in less than a hour. Got ahold of the Nov 2000 Detour and the Fall Raygun and found these.

    Amy Smart

    Katie Holmes

    Mia Maestro

    Erika Christensen

    From Detour we have gen Y actresses Amy Smart, Katie Holmes (hers in my favorite of the scans), Argentine babe Mia Maestro (and yes, I am sure she could teach us all a thing or two) and Erika Christensen.

    Anna Faris
    (1, 2)

    Nina Gordon

    From Raygun there is Anna Faris (star of Scary Movie) and Nina Gordon, former lead singer of the "indie rock band" Veruca Salt (the quote marks indicate I am taking the word of the Raygun writer on this one since Aaron Copeland is about as avant garde as I get). I know neither Anna Faris scan shows a darn thing but this is a sure-enough cutie who deserves a lot more exposure.

    I have to admit cheating on Nina's can since she was wearing a tight weave shirt that left the Epson gasping for air. When I cleaned up the noise, I cleaned up the weave. Good news is that made the pokies more prominent.

    (1, 2)

    And there is a pair of scans of a model named Libby... or at least that's what I got from the title of the photo set. Anyone know who she is? Finally, the back cover of Raygun has this kickass ad, which PETScan allowed as a submission even though we have no idea who the model is.

    Very Cool!
    Ana Claudia Michels
    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)
    This is just too cool! From Arena Magazine, here is Ana Claudia in a set of pics depicting the life of the famous porn star Savannah. The photographer David La Chappelle gets full points for doing something very original with this shoot, and Ana of course gets bonus points for some of her #5 in particular! Great stuff!

    Emma Balfour

    Naomi Campbell

    Two babes, both wearing see-thru mesh tops.

    Comments by Sisyphus:

    I have this huge folder, the manilla type, filled with torn out pages of pics of models that I've collected through the years and they have two things in common...First, all of them had that certain quality that grabbed me by my honey pouch and made me take notice, and secondly I haven't a clue as to their identity! I've started a new series of these, and hopefully folks out there will not only approve of the scans, but maybe even help ID a few for me.

    Here are the scans, the first of the "Who the F is she" series. I could probably guess, but what the hell do I know? I once did a scan of Jill Goodacre and thought she was Virginia Madsen!

  • Who the F is she (1, 2, 3, 4)
  • and ...
    Amy Smart
    (1, 2)

    More of the young actress going topless in "Road Trip". Vidcaps by The Night.

    Amanda Ryan
    (1, 2)

    Looks like everything is visible in these scenes from the Brit movie "Metroland", by Watty.

    Elsa Zylberstein Brief topless nudity from the French actress in scenes from "Tenue correcte exigée"

    Susannah York From Demon...topless 'caps from 1978's "The Shout". Fun House readers will most likely recognize her from the '83 comedy classic and Scoopy Family favorite..."Yellowbeard"!

    (1, 2)
    #1 is a semi-see-thru of semi-cleavage. #2 has a ton of cleavage from one of her videos I think.

    Jennifer Connelly
    (1, 2, 3, 4)
    These are really more for my quest...I will prove Margolis wrong! One click at a time!

    #1 is from "Waking the Dead" by Akira
    #2 is also from "Waking the Dead", by Dann
    #3 is from "Inventing the Abbotts", by Maelstrom's Eye
    #4 is from "Mulholland Falls"

    Maria A great salute to the Page 3 babe.

    Izabella Scorupco A fantastic scan of the Polish actress/model/singer from the latest MAXIM, by TAG. She can currently be seen in American theatres in the movie "Vertical Limit".

    Leatitia Casta Seriously, do I need to say more?

    Click Here!