Monthly Archives: December 2007

Great films vs. small films

Little Children, the pervert

The pervert in Little Children

“Sarah reminded herself to think like an anthropologist”

I watched Little Children yesterday evening. Little Children = Madame Bovary + suburban postmodernism, it is an attempt to create the “Great American Film” (see Great American Novel) in a tradition which started with American Beauty and Magnolia; ultimately the film is pretentious but proficient.

Kate Winslet shines as Emma Bovary and the “new Paul Newman” is as useless as the worst of Emma’s lovers. Given the choice between the Great American Film and the “Small American Film” (think Fast Food, Fast Women and Denise Calls Up), I’ll choose the latter.

Nonetheless, this is the best film adaptation of Madame Bovary since Chabrol‘s literal interpretation starring Isabelle Huppert, and I was amused with the book clubbers debating the sexual practices described in Madame Bovary (specifically, whether a vague reference to a “shameful” sexual act implies that she has anal sex). The sex scenes are as hot and steamy as The Postman Always Rings Twice. The film is recommended but I’m not going to count it as a World Cinema Classic.

Before and after

Serge Voronoff 2

Serge Voronoff

Fellow blogger Nurse Myra and I share an interest in weird science. Nurse Myra writes of herself in the third person singular. Norman Mailer used to do that too. Sometimes I feel I’d like to experiment with it. Jahsonic quotes from Nurse’s post on Serge Voronoff (the scientist responsible for the experiments depicted above and who came to his attention by stumbling on American “anthropologica” publisher Falstaff Press):

“One of nursemyra’s guilty secrets is that she is attracted to simian men. if they’re strong, silent, hairy chested, single minded, testosterone fueled and stinking of pheromones I’m a good chance to be shedding my uniform and peeling their bananas before the day is out. “

I reported on “women attracted to apes” here.

Unrelated blog candy is Pony Express, check orgy of the dead.

World cinema classics #28


El Topo (1970) – Alejandro Jodorowsky

El Topo is not a Western, it goes further than any Western … El Topo is not a religious film, it contains all religions … This film is bloody… El Topo is miraculous and terrible … El Topo is monstrous and cruel”

This slightly overrated curio premiered exactly 37 years today at the Elgin, New York.

Previous “World Cinema Classics” and in the Wiki format here.

World cinema classics #27


Miami Blues (1990) – George Armitage

“With only bottles of spaghetti sauce…”

The main character, Fred Frenger, played by Alec Baldwin, fits the profile of a psychopath. His girlfriend is Jennifer Jason Leigh. Very violent and terribly funny. Based on the novel of the same name by Charles Willeford.

The song in the background is “Spirit in the Sky.” Listen to it here.

Previous “World Cinema Classics” and in the Wiki format here.

World music classics #16


“Girl You Need A Change Of Mind” (1973) Eddie Kendricks

It would  have been Eddie’s 68th birthday today had he not died 15 years ago. “Girl You Need A Change Of Mind” is an example of what I would call proto-disco.

Proto-disco = disco before the twelve inch, disco avant la lettre.

See previous entries in this series.

Gratuitous nudity #5

Il Merlo Maschio

My previous “gratuitous nudity” (#4) post featured images of an Italian seventies film on frotteurism. Today, we will explore candaulism and introduce you to one of the most beautiful Italian actresses: Laura Antonelli, here in a film by Pasquale Festa Campanile (The Libertine) , a filmmaker who has celebrated sexuality throughout his work, but especially in the 1970s (see Psychopathia Sexualis in Italian Sinema). The film is called Il merlo maschio [1] in Italian and Secret Fantasy in the USA. Check Laura, she is simply splendid.

Please note the Man Ray themed woman-as-violin on the poster.

If you like this film, you may also enjoy Femina Ridens.

Previous entries in this series.

World music classics #15


Juxtapoem: Sylvester James‘s “You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)” and Pierre Janet‘s reality principle. An interesting side effect of the common mental illness known as falling in love is the feeling of recapturing a sense of reality.

Nineteen years ago today, Sylvester died aged 40 of complications from AIDS.

See previous entries in this series.

Vico and disco



I’m currently very much taken by the quality of thought in Giambattista Vico‘s extensive quotes on marriage in Adultery in the Novel, a book I recently acquired at Het Ivoren Aapje, the Brussels equivalent of Antwerp’s Antiquariaat Demian. The link with the above Youtube clip is oblique but can be constructed as follows: “Law of the Land = Universal law or verum factum“. This juxtapoem brings together Afro-American psychedelic soul group The Temptations and Italian Counter-Enlightenment, self-publisher philosopher Giambattista Vico.

Elsewhere #6

Esotika on Philippe Grandrieux ‘s Sombre [1] and Lemateurdart on Vito Acconci [2] [3] and a seriously amusing piece on the war of the sexes by Gu Dexin [4].

I’ve been checking the British MP3 blog 20 Jazz Funk Greats (Throbbing Gristle album namesake) off and on for the last couple of years, but I’ve never properly introduced it. Its recent post on 80’s Groove “More Nostalgia for the better remembered 80s” provides me with an excellent opportunity to do so. I advise to listen to the quaaludy “Coyote- Too Hard (Aeroplane Remix)” by Tim Sure.