Author: Amandus Mallory

Canada’s Erotic 80s: Paradise

MV5BMjNhZDAwMTItYzY2Yi00NTZmLTgzZTItYTI1YjRiNmM4ZjkwL2ltYWdlXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNzc5MjA3OA@@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,664,1000_AL_Paradise (Stuart Gillard, 1982) was the Canadian rip-off of The Blue Lagoon. The latter film was pretty universally panned as softcore garbage. The reception for Paradise was not any better. If anything, it was worse. Cinema Canada’s trashing of the film is one of the more generous:

The second major problem of the film is its sex. In The Blue Lagoon (forgive me, I am about to compare The Blue Lagoon favourably to another movie), one could see the growing sexuality of its heroes because they were marooned as children. The socialization process was not nearly complete. With adolescents (19th century remember?) the taboos are locked in place, so it is thoroughly unlikely that the sexual curiosity displayed by Sarah and the elaborate sexual techniques shared by them are even vaguely appropriate. In this sense. Paradise is sort of a pre-Victorian Porky’s. (Cinema Canada June 1982, 26)

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The Blue Lagoon (Randal Kleiser, 1980) has almost no plot but lots of allegory. Sometimes it tries to be funny, but most of the time it is a mix of nature documentary and 60s style male fitness magazines. In spite of starring Brooke Shields, it’s one of the most homoerotic films made in Hollywood. Paradise has an almost deliberately ridiculous plot. It’s allegorical aspects hardly hide the basically exploitational thrust of the film. It mocks any sense of pathos. Its male lead is a dork and Phoebe Cates acts like she’s in a Disney film about a naive lingerie model. Though shot on location, it has a soundstage quality to it that seems to suit its high school theatrics. (more…)

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The Decay of Lying

Akron_Cover_small (Large)“Certainly we are a degraded race, and have sold our birthright for a mess of facts.” (25)

Art allows one to see the defects of nature, its lack of order. It reveals how boring Nature is; the notion that it has infinite variety is pure myth. (8) Variety is a product of cultivated blindness. Without the egotism produced by relying on an indoor life, a lifestyle produced by the repulsion toward nature, there would be no art or dignity. The outside is ‘abstract and impersonal’. (9) Nature is indifferent, opposed to the mind. “Thinking is the most unhealthy thing in the world, and people die of it just as they die of any other disease.” (9)

Lying is not simply misrepresentation. That’s a racket for politicians. Instead, lying is “that which is its own evidence” and the liar doesn’t condescend to argue or prove it. Contemporary writers have no ideas of their own so they turn to life, even going so far as researching it. But lying requires ‘disinterested devotion’ like any proper art. Without exaggeration and an aversion to accuracy, Art becomes sterile. The value of art, and the test of its value, is in its capacity to be re-read. Otherwise, it’s pointless. (25) (more…)

Francis Bacon on art and society

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FB Well, I have often manipulated things so that they
should come to my rescue. 1 think I’m one of those people
who have a gift for always getting by somehow. Even if it’s a
case of stealing or something like that, I don’t feel any moral
thing against it. I suppose that’s an extremely egocentric
attitude. It would be a nuisance to be caught and put in
prison, but I don’t have any feeling about stealing. Now that
I earn money, it would be a kind of stupid luxury to go out
and steal. But when I had no money, I think I often used to
take what I could get.

DS I have the impression that following one’s impulses and
accepting the consequences and ignoring security isn’t just
the way you yourself behave; it’s also a prejudice that
governs your view of society. I mean that you talk as if the
concept of the welfare state, with its guarantee of certain
kinds of security, seems to you a sort of perversion of life.

FB Well, I think that being nursed by the state from the
cradle to the grave would bring such a boredom to life. But
in saying that, it may be something to do with that have
never had the morality of poverty. And therefore I can’t
think of anything more boring than that everything was
looked after for you from your birth to your death. But
people seem to expect that and think it is their right. I think
that, if people have that attitude to life, it curtails – I believe
this, I cannot prove it – the creative instinct. It would be
difficult to understand why. But I never believe one should
have any security and never expect to keep any. (more…)

Cuore di mamma (1969)

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In Salvator Samperi‘s Cuore Di Mamma the children are psychotic. Their mute and divorced mother is a zombie watching TV all day, stacking books and failing to react to her children terrorizing their caregivers. At random, she stalks a young man, following him to a group of other young people. They are extreme Left wing terrorists with vague ideas, clearly parodies of the Situationist types. It’s a less sentimental version of what Godard did to Maoists in La chinoise (1967) and the speechifying gives way to clown-theatre and bad, awkward folk singing. After a few challenges they accept her and she goes with them, blowing things up. They clearly mirror her psychotic children, who also mouth endless political rants (the children are more coherent and lucid than the adult revolutionaries). (more…)