Communicator (communicator) wrote,
Communicator
communicator

Three films

I saw three excellent films in the last couple of days, two old favourites and one new. They were all, coincidentally, sexy in overlapping and disturbing ways. Mildly spoilery reviews after the cut.


Ravenous

If I completed one of those 'guilty pleasures' memes this might be my guilty pleasure. It's a 1999 film directed by Antonia Bird, a director I always enjoy. It's a very bloody comedy/horror film about the myth that in eating human flesh you take on the powers of the person consumed. It is set in the mid-19th century Sierra Nevada, and based loosely on the legend of the cannibalistic Donner Party. The big deal in this is that Bird really plays up the sexual tension between the two eaters: Robert Carlyle as an unashamed devourer ('I do experience a certain... virility.') and Guy Pearce as a softer, more feminine, foil ('You disgust me!') IMHO it's a very sexy film, if you aren't put off by quite a lot of murder. Anyway, I think this film is a hoot and I recommend it to anyone with a fairly robust sensibility.

eXistenZ

This is also a powerful film, this time directed by David Cronenburg. It's about a group of people who are testing out a virtual reality game, in which there is a plot about virtual reality game, in which there is a... and so on. They pass up and down the layers of reality, without ever really touching base. And as the layers go down the game gets more organic and fleshy. Meat intrudes. You can see the overlap with Ravenous. Jude Law is in it, as usual doing his best, bless him, and a gorgeous as ever. Two physical scenes in this are two of my favourite ever in film. For a film about false reality this film gives you a strong impression of sensory presence. Again, recommended.

Young Adam

I haven't quite finished this one, because my kids came back before it was finished, and I couldn't watch it with them around. It's set in a canal boat in 1950s Scotland. Ewan MacGregor is a young man who has mistreated a lovely young lass, and now gets his come-uppance at the hands of Tilda Swinton, as a female bargee. The interesting and erotic aspect of this film is down to Swinton, who is a vengeful goddess in three forms - a beautiful seductress, a loving and practical mother, and a haggard crone. It is incredible to see her switching between these three forms, and between sadism and masochism, just by changing her posture and expression. A change of the light and she is beautiful, then horrifyingly ugly, then vulnerable, then frightening. I don't know how I'll feel about this film when I've seen the whole thing, I think Ewan beats his girlfriend, and I don't fancy watching that. However the sex scenes between him and Swinton are very powerful. And nice to see a woman who isn't pandering to Hollywood notions - she hasn't even shaved her legs, which you don't see often in a film these days.
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