Friday, June 24, 2011

Painted Angels; An Uncompromising Reflection..Or Just Bitching.

If you are one of the 5 people that enjoys gloomy period pieces from the 90's filmed on a shoe string budget in the frozen tundra of Canada that make about a little more than the price of used Honda Accord, have I got the perfect movie for you. I was randomly searching Netflix Instant for something to watch other than the Discovery Channel's The Universe which keeps reminding me that one day the world will completely end, the sun will explode into a black hole and devour everything in its presence and the Earth will dry out after a cosmic explosion of sorts...something about anti-matter, but anyway, that was starting to hurt my brain. (Thanks for Nothing Columbia) 
So I chanced on this film called Painted Angels (1997) directed by Jon Sanders, starring the most forgettable oscar winner of all time; Brenda Fricker and Kelly McGillis. (You might remember her from Top Gun or as I do, harken back to that Family Guy episode where god leaves the iron on Ellen Barkin's face too long and puts her in the van with Kelly McGillis saying that they are going to the 80's, where they will be considered hot and Kelly has the face of a mule and shrieks 'Next stop Hollywood...Yaaahaww!~) Had to be there I guess...
So anyway, Brenda is the madam at a whorehouse in the Wild West and one of her ladies of the night gets shot in the head while daintily applying make-up (that's never eventually explained) this really upsets the other whores, including really amazing actress and perhaps only good part of this film, Bronagh Gallagher and they slowly realize that hey perhaps prostitution is not such a fun gig after all. 
It had plenty of potential but was disappointingly one of those films that focused too much on costume and production design instead of the actual plot, but if you are interested in 19th century abortion procedures, metal home-made douches and a lot of scenery chewing than by all means indulge yourself in this pseudo-porn. 
The cinematography is very Sven Nykvist, but that is perhaps the only tolerable thing about this film. Everything looks very authentic and 'in period', but the whole atmosphere wreaks of a low-self-esteem first-directorial attempt at cinematic reflection of sexual degradation. The men are all of course greasy, perverted, crass, and look like they probably don't smell very good, as if to accentuate the idea that these poor women have no right to their own bodies taped up in ill-fitting corsets and covered in gross amounts of powder rouge. 
After I finished watching this, I reflected on all of the things we contemporary women now have at our disposal, (the pill, midol, deodorant, venus razors, self-worth and filtered cigarettes) and I felt very lucky. I suppose this film stands to remind us all that if and when we do decide to start hustling, there were whores that really paved the way and made it much easier for us. Cheers girls. 
Then...I turned on Princesas (Fernando León de Aranoa) 2005...I don't know what's wrong with me. 

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