Monday, August 9, 2010

Top 10: Cinema Perverts

Paul Verhoeven.
We all remember where we were September 22nd, 1995.  The world would never be the same.  Dutch director Paul Verhoeven dropped a bomb on our puritanical asses, and all of us suddenly new what 'camp' meant. There are so many gem scenes from the stripper version of "All About Eve" (1950), that it's hard to pick just one. I would say my personal favorite is during Nomi's first rehearsal for the 'Goddess' show and her director keeps yelling at her to "Thrust it!" and now, I exercise like that all the time. From the bottom of my heart, Thank you Paul, and yes, I'm still waiting for the sequel.

Jack Smith.
"Flaming Creatures" (1965). Nuff said. But just to say a bit more, the legend who brought the absurd, the perverse, and the deliciously naughty to film, back at a time of conformity and censorpship, he was a true original whom directors emulate to this day. With his partner in crime, Mario Montez (who later worked regularly with Warhol) Smith brought what was at that time an underground culture into well...underground cinema, but he definitely left one hell of an impression on cinema and how we define sexual discourse. Cheers!

Todd Solondz.
The man who made us rethink about moving to the suburbs, Solondz has  been giving us an element of heart and sincerity with the unusual sexual encounters in white middle-class Anytown, USA. As we journey with Dawn Weiner through some of the most awkward experiences of sexual awakening in "Welcome to the Dollhouse" 1996, pictured above, we are probably all secretly thanking our lucky stars that our own experiences would never be interesting enough for Solondz to direct.

Alejandro Jodorowsky.
If you like your films with orgies, human sacrifices, cultish rituals and copious amounts of full frontal nudity, definitely put Jodorowsky in you Netflix Queue. Really any of his films would suffice, i personally recommend "The Holy Mountain" (1973), just picture a classier, sardonic version of "Caligula" (1979), but even more absurd. It's really quite an amazing experience. 

Christophe Honoré.
Ahh, a pick from the increasingly ridiculous New French Extremity movement, this director seems to shock for the sake of shocking and do not much more than that. One hell of a Freudian nightmare, "Ma mère" 2004 (pictured above) really takes it to new levels of fucked up shit. The poster proclaims it to be 'powerful...explicit and shocking', I agree with the last two adjectives, as for being powerful, I suppose it might be, as most of us aren't used to seeing Louis Garrell masturbate over his mother's corpse. 

Erich von Stroheim.
Though we all remember him as the creepy butler from "Sunset Blvd." 1950, in his directing days back in the 20's and 30's, he was quite the misogynist, usually incorporating themes of female foolishness and naivete into the subtext, and never shying away from innuendo or erotic symbolism. Some scenes probably made the censors take a closer look, as they were pretty suggestive, but apparently they let it slide, particularly in "Greed" (1922).

Andy Warhol.
Honestly, what would this list be without Warhol's voyeuristic experiments? The formula is basic really; make you interested in the attractive naked people involved, and have them engage in acts that would otherwise not include you. You and the camera eye become one. Simple. Its the quintessential definition for peeping toms.

Ken Russell.
Peter Townsend once told the media that his reason for choosing Russell to direct the film version of his magnum opus "Tommy", was because the director was 'English and nuts!' Indeed he is, in the best ways imaginable. He never fails to send us to new levels of sexual confusion, whether it's Tony Perkins use of a vibrator as a lethal weapon in "Crimes of Passion" 1984, or Ann Margaret orgasmically bathing in baked beans in "Tommy" 1975 (pictured above).

John Waters.
 He is the undisputed pope of filth. Even the seemingly PG "Hairspray" 1988, has its sexual inside jokes.  Planting the trash flag on cinema's dreary landscape way back when with "Pink Flamingos" 1972, this best friend we all wish we had doesn't show any signs of taking it down or cleaning it up, and we hope he never does.

Kirby Dick.
Kirby Dick established a reputation of going where no doc has gone before. This includes behind closed doors at the sessions of a sex surrogate, in "Private Practices: The Story of a Sex Surrogate" (1986), and the private toy collection of Bob Flanagan in "Sick: The Life and Death of Bob Flanagan, Supermasochist" 1997 (pictured above), Kirby Dick never shies away from the obscene, perverse, and absurd. More power to him.

1 comment:

Fredrik said...

I think Stockholm's International film festival would have been your best friend had you been living there. Paul Verhoeven! Usually misunderstood. What about Bruce LaBruce?