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May 14, 2010



"Stylistically he is about as subtle as a bugle call at three in the morning, and when given a large enough budget his baroque fantasies are allowed free reign in the form of drunkenly hypnotic camerawork, decadent stage design, wild overacting and hallucinatory dream sequences that combine the best elements of fashion photography, Artaudian cruelty and American vaudeville into an extraordinary Gesamtkunstwerk of the senses."
Is "Gesamtkunstwerk" anything like Fahrvergnügen?


Have a go at Huxley's historical narrative 'The Devils of Loudon' sometime. Kind of long winded and hammers you over the head about sexual repression, but it is as frightening and transgressive as anything by Bataille, Kathy Acker, Burroughs or whetev.


I know it is way uncool to rain on other parades, but readers, think twice before spending too much money hunting this down. So some specific opinion-shaped raindrops:

"The Devils" has been a repertory perennial for four decades, was already too long, and I can't imagine how some restoration of cut scenes is going to make it better.

"The Devils" is lousy enough to have me rooting for the Counter-Reformation.

See the genuinely shocking/crazy/bad "Sweet Movie" for the sorts of effects claimed in the article. Or, I hear, Pasolini's "Salo," which I'm scared to watch.

Ken Russell is like all the other English decadent director satirists (Lindsay Anderson, Joseph McGrath, Peter Medak, Peter Greenaway - respect, though, to Derek Jarman!). One lazy lousy satiric layup after another.

Despite the snide reference, Russ Meyers at his best ("Faster Pussycat", "Vixen", "Common Law Cabin", "Good Morning and Goodbye" and the Ebert co-scripted "Beyond The Valley of the Dolls") has all these guys beat. Off.

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Every man's work, whether it be literature of music of pictures or architecture of anything else, is always a portrait of himself.Do you understand?

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