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All you need is war: The Beatles vs Hitler in the most fucked-up movie ever made
05.07.2012
10:44 pm

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History
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If you thought the movie version of “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” was bad, here’s something that will really curl the toes of your Beatle boots.

All This And World War ll mashes up archival WW2 film footage with gung-ho Hollywood war epics and then tosses in a weird mix of rock stars covering Beatle tunes for its soundtrack. It’s a hit or miss affair that manages to achieve a soul-deflating awfulness while occasionally allowing little wormike glimmerings of brilliance to ooze through the sprocket holes. Had it not been produced by 20th Century Fox, it might be mistaken for a long lost underground film directed by dadaist acidheads with a lot of rock and roll musicians for friends.

When it was released to theaters in 1976, ATAWW2 lasted a couple of weeks (critics hated it, audiences stayed away) before being pulled by Fox and buried forever. It has never appeared on VHS or DVD. Rumor had it that Fox had destroyed every existing print and negative of the movie (not true). Even bootleggers found it close to impossible to unearth a copy.

Thanks to YouTube, it is now possible to see this extravagantly misguided experiment as it lands on your monitor screen with a sickening thud. An experiment that proves that if you put enough monkeys in an editing room and give them enough time and film footage they will create something that approximates a movie even if it’s no more than the cinematic equivalent of throwing shit against the wall to see what sticks.

I’m sure we can all argue which juxtapositions of song to images work, which ones are silly in the extreme or just plain irredeemably bad ... or all of the above. Helen Reddy singing “Fool On The Hill” as clips of Hitler unspool on the screen gets my vote for the movie’s maddest moment. Or is it Rod Stewart singing “Get Back” to footage of masses of goosestepping Nazis? Or The Bee Gees singing “Golden Slumbers” as bombs drop on London and buildings explode in a maelstrom of smoke and fire. I don’t know. The film offers so many choices that my bad taste meter never left the red zone. And that alone is enough for me to recommend this anal wart of a movie.

For a completely different take on ATAWW2, check out Phil Hall’s rather wonderful review at Film Threat.

So here it is: the rarely seen All This And World War ll.

Soundtrack songs:

“Magical Mystery Tour”—Ambrosia
“Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds”—Elton John (includes an uncredited John Lennon on lead guitar and backing vocals)
“Golden Slumbers/Carry That Weight”—The Bee Gees
“I Am The Walrus”—Leo Sayer
“She’s Leaving Home”—Bryan Ferry
“Lovely Rita”—Roy Wood
“When I’m Sixty-Four”—Keith Moon
“Get Back”—Rod Stewart
“Let It Be”—Leo Sayer
“Yesterday”—David Essex
“With a Little Help from My Friends/Nowhere Man”—Jeff Lynne
“Because”—Lynsey De Paul
“She Came In Through The Bathroom Window”—The Bee Gees
“Michelle”—Richard Cocciante
“We Can Work It Out”—The Four Seasons
“The Fool On The Hill”—Helen Reddy
“Maxwell’s Silver Hammer”—Frankie Laine
“Hey Jude”—The Brothers Johnson
“Polythene Pam”—Roy Wood
“Sun King”—The Bee Gees
“Getting Better”—Status Quo
“The Long and Winding Road”—Leo Sayer
“Help!”—Henry Gross
“Strawberry Fields Forever”—Peter Gabriel
“A Day in the Life”—Frankie Valli
“Come Together”—Tina Turner
“You Never Give Me Your Money”—Will Malone & Lou Reizner
“The End”—The London Symphony Orchestra

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
Natty dread in the echo chamber: Documentary on dub music
05.07.2012
03:12 pm

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Movies
Music
Reggae

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I and I can leap tall buildings.
 
The documentary Dub Echoes explores Jamaican dub and its influence on electronic music and hip hop via interviews with some of the music’s leading practitioners.

Directed by Bruno Natal and featuring reggae legends and dub pioneers King Jammy, Sly and Robbie, U-Roy and Lee “Scratch” Perry, as well as beat experimentalists like Bill Laswell, DJ Spooky, Mad Professor and Basement Jaxx, Dub Echoes gets deep into the groove and takes you inside the echo chamber.
 

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
Suffering in Style: ‘The Mark of Cain’
05.07.2012
02:25 pm

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Art
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Now over a decade old, Alix Lambert’s The Mark of Cain remains far and away the best prison documentary that I’ve ever seen. Examining Russian inmates and their tattooing traditions, it is a brutal, yet very beautiful, film that brings to mind Dostoevsky’s assertion in The House of the Dead that many of the individuals encountered in the course of his own Siberian stint were among his nation’s most gifted and intelligent. Somehow, in spite of the starvation, overcrowding and violence, an almost perverse atmosphere of high culture pervades this documentary – Tarkovsky’s shadow, for example, is as inescapable as Dostoevsky’s, due not least to the chilling phrase inmates use to refer to prison: The Zone.

Early on we meet Semyon Dyachenko, an otherwise reasonable seeming fellow (and mean tap dancer) imprisoned for decapitating three gypsies who had robbed his mother’s grave.“I have my own laws,” he mumbles through an epic moustache, “if you don’t encroach on what is holy I’ll leave you among the living” (Lambert’s entire cast, by the way, are apparently incapable of uttering a sentence devoid of lyricism). Semyon gestures to a Janus-faced creation tattooed beneath his ribs – half woman, half snarling beast: “It’s called, ‘People are Animals to Each Other,’” he says, unwittingly (?) invoking Man is Wolf to Man, the classic memoir of Soviet brutality by the (now I come to think of it) eerily named Janusz Bardach…

Perhaps the film’s most memorable individual is the young inmate named Aleksandr Borisov, a sublime tattooist who executes his work with a wind-up contraption made out of a razorblade, a ballpoint pen, and a sharpened guitar string (the makeshift ink is derived from a mixture of soot and urine). “This machine, you could say, is my ticket to some kind of life here,” muses dour Aleksandr, before shrugging off his talent in characteristic style: “Leonardo Da Vinci had a special gift… but he didn’t see it, right? A person is a person. I don’t see anything special about me.”

Even the more popular prison tattoos have interesting meanings– the jagged stars on knees symbolise the refusal to kneel down before authority; sailing ships commemorate a roaming life – and the tattooed sentiments tend again to be outright poetic (‘Let all I have lived be as if it were a dream’; ‘A slave to fate but no lackey to the law’). The stunning churches that stretch across torsos and backs, meanwhile, with each cupola standing for a conviction, must be the most laughably Russian phenomenon of all time. As another typically erudite inmate puts it (throwing in a Martin Esslin reference for good measure): “The Zone is a kind of model of the state, only all the relations between people are exaggerated. It resembles the theatre of the absurd.”
 

Posted by Thomas McGrath | Leave a comment
Mindblowingly beautiful film on anatomical art
05.07.2012
01:25 pm

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Animation
Art
Movies
Science/Tech

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In addition to being an illustrator for Disney, painter Frank Armitage is also known for his stunning medical art. In this 1970 educational film on anatomy, Armitage guides us through the human body in beautifully rendered paintings.

When I first watched this, I was reminded of the murals of Diego Rivera. I later discovered that Rivera was a big influence on Armitage. He also won an Academy Award for his set designs for the movie The Fantastic Voyage and that movie’s visual sensibility is clearly apparent in this amazing short film, which Armitage also narrates.
 

 

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
A Day In The Life: MCA is Nathanial Hornblower
05.06.2012
09:01 am

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Heroes
Hip-hop
Movies
Music
R.I.P.

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It’s still sinking in here that MCA-aka Adam Yauch- has died, and that, in effect, the Beastie Boys are no more. What a fucking bummer.

It’s an inescapable fact that the Beastie Boys are one of the bands that define my generation. If you were a child at any point from the mid 80s up until the late 90s you cannot have escaped their influence. And I’m not just talking about their music; their aesthetic reached everywhere, from film and music videos to magazine publishing and clothes lines.

I feel like my generation (and I use that term loosely) don’t have a singular iconic figure they can point too, like a Prince or a Bowie. You know, that one person that unites an entire age group through sheer talent and poise. Well, the Beasties may not have had the incredible album-a-year productivity rate of Prince or Bowie at their prime (in fact they were legendarily slow at making music,) but their extra-musicular activites more than made up for that, and meant that when their albums did drop it was a major event.

More than just the music on its own, more than the Grande Royale magazine and record label, more than fantastic the art work or the trend-setting X-Large clothing range, it was the Beastie Boys incredible videos that set them apart, and brought their diverse fan base together. They really knew how to work in different media while retaining their core identity, making them some of the first and most successful rap music entrepreneurs, and this placed them right at the centre of the 90s golden age of both hip-hop and music videos. And there steering the helm of most of those awesome Beastie Boys promo clips was Yauch himself, often in the guise of Swiss director Nathanial Hornblower.
 

Nathanial Hornblower cartoon by Evil Design
 

My God, looking back now it’s startling to think of how these videos have influenced my life and my addiction to (and perception of) pop culture.

I caught the raunchy video for ‘She’s On It” on TV when I was about 8 years old and the image of Mike D sliding an ice cube down a bikini-clad model’s back has been seared into my brain ever since. I didn’t quite understand what was going on in that shot at the time (hey, I was too young and too sheltered) but there was naked flesh and it was naughty and exciting. I still remember that tingly feeling of not wanting my parents to walk in and see me watching the video. Even though that’s a feeling that returned often in my teenage years, I guess I can say that seeing “She’s On It” was one of my first childhood sexual experiences. 

When I was 13 the promo for Check Your Head‘s opening track “Jimmy James” was a staple on late night European cable music channels, the kind I would creep downstairs and watch on low volume while my parents were asleep. It was hard to keep the volume on this one down, and the visuals themselves were a hypnotic template for everything I thought rocked in the world at the time - New York subways, vintage go-go strippers, dope looking rappers filmed in fish-eye lenses, burning 8mm film, Jimi fucking Hendrix. At this point the Beastie Boys were a bit of an unknown quantity in the UK press, as their reputation stemmed largely from the License To Ill “frat” period (Paul’s Boutique was still being seen as a costly, if interesting, flop.) Still, “Jimmy James” (and “So Watcha Want”) was THE SHIT, and helped spread the word of mouth amongst listeners and the journos alike about how great Check Your Head was. 

Early 1994 saw the release of “Sabotage”. Sure, the clip was directed by Spike Jonze, but Yauch’s fingerprints were all over it. I don’t think I need to write much about this video, only to say that it really was a cultural milestone for people my age. Almost single handedly it ushered in a new era. Out went heroin-chic and woe-is-me grunge, and in came a new sense of fun (with a healthy dose of irony.)  Here was an appreciation of pop-culture’s bargain bin that tied in nicely with Tarantino, some new looks that were equal parts vintage and street, and most importantly of all an incredibly broad musical palate where anything went.

Beyond the stone cold classic video, “Sabotage” pushed boundaries musically. Yeah, so it may be a straight forward punk song, but how many ‘rap groups’ had ever done something like that? In fact, me and my friends didn’t really perceive the Beasties as strictly a ‘rap group’ per se, even though (obviously) they rapped. They were more than that. Presumably because they were white and played actual instruments on occasion, they weren’t talked about in the same hallowed tones as Cypress Hill or Public Enemy. But they were very much a gateway to those bands, and the more commercial hip-hop that followed, and their blessing of the above mentioned acts with tours and remixes made it feel ok for middle-class white kids to define themselves as “rap fans.”

Last year’s video for “Make Some Noise” brought the band back in to the limelight, not least for the starry cast list: what other modern act would be able to convince Seth Rogen, Danny McBride and Elijah Wood to play them in a clip AND THEN rope in Ted Danson, Kirstin Dunst and Will Ferrell for additional cameos? But the real fan treat was the clip for “Don’t Play No Game That I Can’t Win”, which featured G.I.Joe-style puppet versions of the band doing battle underwater, on ice, and even at a music festival. 

Adam Yauch was a visionary, and should be remembered for his film work just as much as his music. In fact, he brought music and film together better than anyone else up to that point, and for that has to be counted as a huge influence and inspiration on the artistic endeavours of myself and my peers. I probably wouldn’t do what I do now if it weren’t for him.

And he did it while wearing a ginger wig and lederhosen. Here’s a strange (and strangely touching) short film of Yauch David Cross [? - what’s going on here?] as Hornblower, shooting the shit on a NY Street and engaging in a game of chess with a labrador:
 

 
Adam Yauch, aka MCA, aka Nathanial Hornblower (August 5, 1964 – May 4, 2012.)

Rest In Peace. 

After the jump, videos for the above mentioned Beastie Boys songs, and a 1992 interview with the band featuring Yauch (yes, definitely Yauch this time) in full Hornblower attire…

Posted by Niall O'Conghaile | Leave a comment
May the 4th be with you: Watch a fine documentary on ‘Star Wars’
05.04.2012
07:12 pm

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Movies
Pop Culture

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May 4th is Star Wars Day. I’m not sure what people do on Star Wars Day, but I’m keeping an eye out for random light saber attacks and stashing a bottle of air freshener in my pocket just in case.

I’ve always been more interested in the Star Wars phenomenon than the films themselves. The passions and obsessions that the movies generate among their fans is truly mindboggling to me. But I understand the need within the human psyche to dream and fantasize and the power of movie myth to give our world some order and a sense of good and evil, while all the while letting us escape from our own gravity.

From ‘Star Wars’ to ‘Jedi’: The Making of a Saga
is a nicely done documentary written and produced by film critic Richard Schickel in 1983. A fascinating behind-the-scenes look at George Lucas’s alternative realities.
 

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
Device allows you to store your life in Darth Maul’s head
05.04.2012
06:42 pm

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Design
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Science/Tech

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Dangerous Minds’ friend and fan Clint Weilor from Music Video Distributors sent us this timely press release.

This geekily cool Darth Maul flash drive went on sale today (May 4) in a limited edition of 504 copies (get it? 5/4).

I’m no fan of the George Lucas space operas, but if you are and want one these, visit Mimoco here. They’re only 20 bucks for the 8 gig version.

Available in 8GB to 64GB capacities, Hooded Darth Maul MIMOBOT® lets you channel your emotions, (even the dark ones), as you store and transport all your digital music, pics, documents, and more.  And with exclusive preloaded digital extras that include Star Wars-themed icons, avatars, screensavers, wallpapers, and the mimoByte™ sound software that plays authentic Star Wars audio clips when MIMOBOT is inserted or ejected from your computer, your limited edition Hooded Darth Maul MIMOBOT will make this May the 4th the best Star Wars Day ever!”

As far as these things go, this is kind of badass.
 

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
Jesus tries to cheer up Paul McCartney with a Lamb Chop sock puppet
05.04.2012
11:57 am

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Amusing
Art
Belief
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There’s so much going on in this painting, titled “Jesus Broke Out the Lambchop Puppet and Hired an Angel to Try and Cheer Up a Clinically Depressed Paul McCartney,” by Kata Billups, that I just had to share.

Instead of breaking this puppy down for you, I zoomed in and took a few detailed screen shots so you can figure out what the hell is going on here on your own.

It’s deep.

From the artist:

This scenario from my imagination shows Jesus visiting a clinically depressed Paul McCartney. He is sitting on Paul’s right side and slides a Lamb chop Puppet in to Paul’s peripheral field of vision. Paul hasn’t bothered to get out of his robe. His white socks dangle off the ends of his toes. He is depressed and disheveled. On the wall behind him is the cause of his plight… Yoko…

Who is the happy, house-cleaning angel supposed to represent, I wonder?

The painting is currently on eBay and has a “Buy It Now” for $177,000.000.


 

 

 
Via Christian Nightmares

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Lindsay Kemp is on the phone: Scenes from his life from Genet to Bowie
05.03.2012
07:33 pm

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Pop Culture
Queer

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lindsay_kemp
 
Opening Scene:

Curtain up on a starry night. Comets fire across the sky. Center stage, one star shines more brightly than the rest, its spotlight points towards a globe of the earth as it spins form a thread. Glitter falls, as a white screen rises, the lights glow brighter filling the stage.

Blackout.

Single spot tight on a woman’s face

We are unsure if she is in pain or ecstasy. No movement until, at last, she exhales, then pants quickly, rhythmically. Her face glistens. The spot widens, revealing 2 nurses, dressed in starched whites, symmetrically dabbing her face.

The woman is Mrs. Kemp, and she is about to give birth. 3 mid-wives are guided by house lights through the audience to her bedside. Each carries a different gift: towels, a basin of hot water, and swaddling.

It’s May 3rd 1938, and Lindsay Kemp is about to be born.

Blackout.

Though this maybe a fiction, it is all too believable, for nothing is unbelievable when it comes to Lindsay Kemp.

Lindsay Kemp has agreed to give a telephone interview. He is to be called at his home in Italy, by Paul Gallagher from Dangerous Minds, who is based in Scotland. We never hear the interviewer’s questions, only Kemp’s answers and see his facial expressions as he listens to questions.

Photographs of Kemp’s career appear on screens. We hear a recording of his voice.

Lindsay Kemp:

I began dancing the same as everybody does, at birth. The only difference was, unlike many other people, I never stopped. In other words, you know, I love movement. Movement gave me such a great pleasure, such a great joy.

Dance is really my life. I’ve always said for me ‘Dance is Life, Dance is Living, Dance is Life and Life is Dance’. I’ve never really differentiated between the two of them. It’s always been a way of life, a kind of celebration of living.

Kemp is an exquisite dancer, a fantastic artist, and a brilliant visual poet. No hyperbole can truly capture the scale of his talents.

In the 1960s and 1970s, his dance group revolutionized theater with its productions of Jean Genet’s The Maids, Flowers and Oscar Wilde’s Salome.

He shocked critics by working with non-dancers. At the Traverse Theater in Edinburgh, he often cast his productions by picking-up good-looking, young men in Princes Street Gardens - good looks, an open mind and passion for life were more important than learned techniques, or a classical training. His most famous collaborator was the blind dancer, Jack Birkett, aka The Great Orlando – perhaps now best known for his role as Borgia Ginz in Derek Jarman’s Jubilee.

Kemp was the catalyst who inspired David Bowie towards cabaret and Ziggy Stardust. He taught him mime, and directed and performed in Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from mars. He also taught Kate Bush, and choreographed her shows.

As an actor, he gave outrageous and scene-stealing performances in Jarman’s Sebastiane, Ken Russell’s Savage Messiah and Robin Hardy’s The Wicker Man.

“I’ve never really differentiated between dance and mime and acting and singing. I’ve always loved all aspects of performing, though I still can’t play the trumpet, but I’d like too. Well, it’s never too late to learn.”

He has performed across the world, from department stores in Bradford, through the Edinburgh Festival, the streets and cafes of Italy, to London’s West End and Broadway.

Kemp is a poetic story-teller, and his performances engage and seduce as much as the words that spill from tell such incredible tales. His voice moves from Dame Edith Evans (“A handbag!”) to a lover sharing intimacies under the covers.

A house in Livorno. A desk with a telephone. A chaise longue. A deck chair and assorted items close at hand. Posters and photographs of Kemp in various productions are back-projected onto gauze screens.

Kemp makes his entrance via a trap door.

The phone rings once. Kemp looks at it.

Rings twice. Kemp considers it.

Rings three times. He answers it.

Lindsay Kemp is on the ‘phone.

Lindsay Kemp:

Hello. (Pause.) Where are you in Scotland?

(Longer Pause.)

My grandparents are from Glasgow. I always pretend to be Scottish because I was born accidentally in Liverpool when my Mother was saying bye-bye to my Father, who was a sailor, and he was off to sea from Liverpool’s port, you see.

(Longer Pause.)

Well, I don’t quite know where that came from, unless I said it one drunken night, maybe when I chose to be more romantic than Birkenhead, where I was in fact born. I was born in Birkenhead on May the 3rd, 1938, but my family hailed form Scotland, between Glasgow and Edinburgh, and for many years I lived in Edinburgh, when I returned there for the first performance of Flowers, that show that put me on the map, you know.
 
Lindsay Kemp> debuts his new production Histoire du Soldat (‘A Soldier’s Tale’) by Stravinsky on 5th May, in Bari, Italy. You can buy tickets for the World Premiere here.

Lindsay Kemp – The Last Dance is a film currently being made by Producer / Director Nendie Pinto-Duschinsky – check here for more information.
 

 
Previously on Dangerous Minds

Lindsay Kemp and David Bowie’s rarely seen production ‘Pierrot in Turquoise’ from 1968


 
The full interview with Lindsay Kemp, after the jump…
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
A Moment of Lost Elegance: Radley Metzger’s ‘Naked Came the Stranger’
05.03.2012
07:31 pm

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Art
Books
Literature
Movies

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nakecamethestrangerposter
 
There are eighty thousand topics under the sun that can inspire great filmmaking. Out of that ocean of inspiration, the world of literary hoaxes, is not the first thing that comes to mind. But a handful films have come out of this weird wellspring, including Radley Metzger’s Naked Came the Stranger. (Directed under the cinematic equivalent to a purple-prose pseudonym, Henry Paris.)  Originally crafted as a sarcastic response to the lurid and highly popular works of bestselling writers like Harold Robbins and Jacqueline Susann, the book, “Naked Came the Stranger,” featured twenty four writers coming together to create one tawdry tale of marital infidelity in late 60’s America.

Now, leave it to a maestro like Radley Metzger to take this lovely bit of salacious NY Times chart topping pulp and turn it into a funny, sexy and whimsical film. A din of television noise begins the proceedings, all set in a bedroom riot of early 70s florals and crayola colors. A well executed shot reveals a slow sweep of the room, as an announcer intones “Immortal film classics to fall asleep by!” Speaking of which, an old fashioned alarm clock, with its face displaying a photo of legendary cinematic goddess, Marlene Dietrich, goes off, waking up Gilly (pronounced J-i-l-l-y and played by the woefully unsung Darby Lloyd Rains). Slipping off her sleep mask, she tries to rouse her hubby, Billy (Levi Richards) up with some well intentioned hanky panky before being stopped in her tracks as he calls out the name “Phyllis” in his sleep. Yes, something is afoul in marital Denmark, which is all too apparent to Gilly, from her husband’s bad bluffing about his dream to the comically flirty looks Phyllis (Mary Stuart) keeps shooting his way while the couple prepare for another installment of their radio morning show.

Phyllis and Billy, our two illicit lovebirds, carry on their affair with all the subtlety of a meat hammer, with Gilly finding solid evidence after she follows him down to his mistress’s (nice) NYC apartment. Hanging out on the stairwell, she listens in on their dirty talk, which is undoubtedly the worst kind of its stripe. I’m not talking Barry White, Big Daddy Kane or even Black Oak Arkansas, here, I’m talking the dreaded cutesy baby talk. They literally refer to each other as “love bunny,” much to Gilly’s horror, though it doesn’t stop her from having some manual fun.

This incident ends up being a catalyst for Gilly, feeling that to better understand her husband, she must depart on a series of her own little affairs. No love bunny nonsense here, just a grown woman exploring herself through the willing partners in her life, ranging from a high-strung “ineffectual creep” who is momentarily transformed by Gilly’s transgressive gift to a beautifully shot “silent film” encounter with one suave friend. (How suave? The man invites her to “capture a moment of lost elegance.” Bryan Ferry just swooned.) But the real question remains-will our heroine be able to better understand her husband or realize the grass is greener and move on? (Seriously, “love bunny”??? Grounds for divorce RIGHT THERE.)

Naked Came the Stranger is a perfectly polished and funny film. It’s definitely one of the more whimsical efforts of Radley Metzger, with the tone being very light and cheeky. Taking a book that was critically maligned and making a legitimately good movie out of it is a borderline alchemical move, but one that, in the hands of a master like Metzger, feels like a piece of cake.

The cast is terrific, with Rains taking the lead as the plucky and adventurous Gilly. She brings a likability and a strong sense of confident femininity to her role. This is a great contrast to the girlishness of Stuart’s Phyllis. Rains is alternately very funny, beautiful and sexy. The image of her in top hat and tails, Ala Marlene, is a striking one. Darby Lloyd Rains has the kind of powerful gravitas to pull it off without seeming like she is aping Dietrich. Stuart is also good as the cute but love happy annoyance mistress, making this a 180 from her role in Gerard Damiano’s masterful Memories Within Miss Aggie. All of the male actors are good too, but this is really the ladies’ show. (Though, Marc Stevens’ cameo during the costume party sequence is a huge highlight.)

With being a Metzger film, everything looks good. Paul Glickman, who was also responsible for the cinematography for Private Afternoons of Pamela Mann, did an equally wonderful job here, with even the urban jungle of NYC looking a bit dewy and pretty. There is also an assortment of fun touches throughout, including a reference to Metzger’s serious Camille 2000, with the film playing on the television, prompting Billy to remark, “Why don’t they show the Garbo version?” There is also a brief mirror shot, as you see the reflection of Gilly gently remove a wig off of Phyllis. Mirrors and reflection itself tend to be a trait of Metzger’s work, whether it is his softcore work with Camille 2000 and The Lickerish Quartet or his latter works, like Pamela Mann. This all gives further proof that you can have depth with beauty.

Distribpix has once again done right by both Radley Metzger’s work and the viewer by presenting this film in a gorgeous restoration of the original 35mm print. Artists like Metzger deserve to have their work preserved with the level of detail and love that companies like Distribpix provide. In addition to the restoration, there is also a bounty of extras, including a Director’s commentary from Metzger himself, a split-screen featurette comparing the “hot” and “cool” versions of the film, a “film facts” subtitle track, deleted scenes, trailers, ephemera gallery and much, much more. There’s also a photo card and a 40 page booklet, detailing the origins of the book, the movie and even the soundtrack. It does not get much spiffier than this.

Naked Came the Stranger is a fun and sweet-natured film featuring good visuals and a pitch-perfect performance from Darby Lloyd Rains. It would make a fun, couples-stepping-out double bill with the previous year’s Private Afternoons of Pamela Mann.

Posted by Heather Drain | Leave a comment
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