Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Playboy of The Western World

So Roman Polanski finally got busted in Switzerland for fucking an underage female in California decades ago. Which reminds me what a hypocritical sham our politically correct “age of consent” rule really is. Should Polanski have done what he did? Absolutely not. But why is this transgression any more heinous than screwing all the equally mentally immature, just barely legal bombshells he did during his swinging Tinseltown days? In other words, why is his having sex with a barely illegal non-virgin a crime while banging a barely legal virgin (something that many men of Polanski’s stature do every night) met with a wink and a nod? And why do we view adolescent sexuality through a simplistic, cookie cutter lens when in fact consent is not dependent on age at all, but on each individual’s emotional maturity? I say if Polanski is forced to serve prison time then Hugh Hefner – and every other Lolita-loving mogul of his generation – should plead guilty as well.

Justice served.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Capitalism: A Love Story

The most interesting aspect of “Capitalism: A Love Story,” the latest doc from the once-radical Michael Moore, has nothing to do with the film's subject matter, a sprawling indictment of the economic culture that's led the country to become America, Inc. No, what's fascinating about this unfocused diatribe is that Mr. Moore, the liberal face of Middle America, has finally given up on the American audience.

To read the rest of my review visit Slant.

Banned from The Land Down Under: An Interview with "Matinée" director Jennifer Lyon Bell

I met Amsterdam-based director Jennifer Lyon Bell in person this past February at a Sunday brunch at Monkey Town, a performance space in Williamsburg, Brooklyn where we were both screening our CineKink Film Festival award winners. Her “Matinée” had just garnered a Best Narrative Short prize while “Un Piede di Roman Polanski,” the homage to Roman Polanski's foot fetish I co-directed with Roxanne Kapista, had taken Best Experimental Short. So when I received word last month that “Matinée” had just been banned from the Melbourne Underground Film Festival (yes, the irony of the acronym did not escape me either) by the Australian Film Commission the week before it was set to screen, I knew I had to get in touch with Jennifer and find out the 411 on getting the bum's rush in the land down under.

To read the interview visit my Sex Beat column at Carnal San Francisco.

Monday, September 7, 2009

The Bacchae: Sexless in New York

Summer in NYC is always the sexiest time of year, so to me it made hot and sweaty sense that following on the high heels of Shakespeare in the Park's Anne Hathaway Bard vehicle “Twelfth Night,” arrived “The Bacchae,” the Euripides tragedy directed by The Public Theater's former artistic director Joanne Akalaitis with an original score by her former husband Philip Glass. It starred miscast cutie pie Jonathan Groff (“Spring Awakening,” “Hair”) as the god Dionysus who whips his Theban female worshippers — a.k.a. The Bacchae, which has a better ring to it than Dionysus-heads — into a lustful frenzy. This in turn stokes the ire of the uptight king of Thebes, Pentheus, played by the usually nuanced Anthony Mackie, who instead chose to channel the god of bellowing Al Pacino. With a setup like this it's nearly a given that things take a turn for the worst both onstage and within the Greek drama.

To read the rest visit my Sex Beat column at Carnal San Francisco.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Cog in the Slot Machine: American Casino

Newbie filmmakers Leslie and Andrew Cockburn, the director/producer/writer and producer/writer, respectively, behind the doc “American Casino” — which attempts to uncover the heart of darkness lurking inside the subprime mortgage meltdown that’s made "foreclosure" a household word — have been in-the-trenches journalists for nearly three decades. The husband and wife team have resumes boasting investigative reporting for the likes of “Frontline” and “60 Minutes,” and it shows. I don’t mean that as a compliment. For while interviewing dictators and covert ops officers may make for great TV programming it does nothing to prepare one for the story sustainability required in long-form filmmaking.

To read the rest of my review visit The House Next Door.