Category Archives: Film

“THE TRIP”— A PSYCHEDELIC ODYSSEY

the trip

“The Trip”

A Psychedelic Odyssey

Amos Lassen

“The Trip” takes us back to an era when psychedelic drugs boosted the emerging counterculture into the spiritual stratosphere, transformed curious college kids into yogis and religious mystics, literally overnight very quickly and before LSD was abused by the underage and unprepared. The drug brought about a national hysteria and was classified as a dangerous narcotic. Since then, mainstream American culture has denied the validity of psychedelic experience despite clinical findings. reminders this was not always so.

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The film brought Peter Fonda, Dennis Hopper, and Jack Nicholson together for the first time.Commercial director Paul Groves (Peter Fonda) is depressed by his upcoming divorce from Sally (Susan Strasberg). He meets psychologist friend John (Bruce Dern) and goes off with him to a Hollywood hills retreat to drop acid under controlled conditions. John monitors his charge through several unstable stages of the experience, but Paul wanders away when he hallucinates that John has been killed. Wandering on Sunset Boulevard, he has a number of strange encounters before being taken by a pickup, Glenn (Salli Sachse) to her Malibu house.

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We get a lot of pre-enlightened sex ideas. Fonda and his friends refer to women as ‘chicks’ and we see that there are no unattractive women in the drug culture. The whole point of experiencing life when high is to either hallucinate sex or really do it … Paul isn’t always sure which is which. On his first trio, Paul has visions of sex, death, strobe lights, flowers, dancing girls, witches, hooded riders, a torture chamber, and a dwarf. When he panics but John tells him to “go with it, man.”

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The film is director Roger Corman’s take on the era and of course there will be more bad trips than good, more flesh and more weirdness.

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The Trip” is a full-blown psychedelic odyssey that many accused of being a “user’s manual” even with the anti-drug disclaimer at the beginning. The screenplay was based on a Jack Nicholson script about an ambiguous journey through sensual wonderment and abstract horrors. There are some very racy sex scenes and light effects but I found it to be a bit problematic when insight is blurred by camp even though the viewing experience is quite unique.

“RON TAYLOR: DR. BASEBALL”— Changing His Life

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“Ron Taylor: Dr. Baseball”

Changing His Life

Amos Lassen

  “Ron Taylor: Dr. Baseball” is the story of an 11-year major League pitcher, who after winning two world championships with the 1964 St. Louis Cardinals and the 1969 Miracle Mets, went on a USO tour through Vietnam that would change his life. After visiting field hospitals, Ron Taylor devoted the rest of his life to medicine, enrolling in Medical School at 35 and eventually becoming the team physician for the Toronto Blue Jays. Through interviews with former teammates and friends, his two sons Drew and Matthew uncover the course of their father’s life.

There are interviews with five baseball greats—Joe Torre, Bob Gibson, Lou Brock, Ferguson Jenkins, and Pat Gillick (all of whom are in the Baseball Hall of Fame) as well as others including MLB All-Stars Joe Carter, Tim McCarver, Art Shamsky and Cito Gaston. We also see historical footage of Ron Taylor’s performances in the ’64 and ’69 World Series when he pitched pitching against Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris and other greats. His sons share they were raised on their father’s stories and that is why they wanted to make this movie; to share and honor their father with the world and to introduce him to those who did not know him.

In effect, this film is a biography of Taylor that follows him from his childhood through today. We see him as an unassuming, retired medical doctor from midtown Toronto who has a degree in engineering and four World Series rings and became Dr. Baseball. Taylor signed as an amateur free agent with the Cleveland Indians when he was still just a teenager, and soon refused to attend spring training. He wanted to finish school, to earn an engineering degree from the University of Toronto. He told the Indians he would only pitch for the organization in the summer, and the organization relented.

He made his big-league debut with the Indians in 1962, but was shipped to the St. Louis Cardinals that winter. He won the World Series with the Cardinals two years later, and he won his second with the New York Mets in 1969 — and he would finish his career without allowing a single run over 10 innings in six post-season appearances. However, we see here that after becoming a doctor, he saw the suffering of men and this changed his life. In only 20 minutes we learn all of this and more. For me, seeing Taylor as a “mensch” is what this film is all about.

DVD Extras: Playable Soundtrack • Recording the Soundtrack: Behind the Scenes with a 16 Piece Big Band • Festival Q&As • Photo Gallery

ww.youtube.com/watch?v=i0IkSC7hM4s

“INVISIBLE SCARS”— Hope, Healing and Resistance

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“Invisible Scars”

Hope, Healing and Resistance

Amos Lassen

Johnna is a mother, wife, student, and friend who seems to be strong and confident. In “Invisible Scars” she shares the struggles she has faced from the events of child abuse that have affected her since childhood. She has met and meets dedicated scholars and leading experts who discuss the topic and she comes face to face with other people who were also sexually abused. With the perspective of others, she understands how her experiences have negatively impacted her life choices, self-image, and interpersonal relationships. As she learns this, Johnna is forced to face her past and learn to live in the present. Now that she is more aware, she can do careful exploration of what is presently available in order to overcome the effects of Childhood Sexual Abuse.

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Statistics show that childhood sexual abuse is rampant in our society: one in four girls and one in six boys will be sexually abused by the age of 18. There are currently around 40 million adult survivors of CSA and we can pretty safely say that everyone knows someone who suffered this abuse. Those who have been abused have emotional scars for their entire lives. It is difficult for people to talk about; it causes fear, shame, and anxiety, all of which promote silence. Sexual predators rely on the silence to be undetected and perpetrate their abuse while at the same time impose a lifetime of suffering on their innocent victims. We see in this documentary that the first step in the fight against CSA is to raise awareness of the terrible and traumatic impacts that it has on its victims. This film, we hope, will open up a dialogue.

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“I am Johnna Janis and ‘Invisible Scars’ is based on my life as a survivor of child sexual abuse. Many years ago someone shared their personal story of abuse, and urged me to begin focusing on healing from my past. Years later, this gave me strength and courage to begin my own healing journey.” – Johnna Janis, Filmmaker

 

“Invisible Scars” explores Child Sexual Abuse (“CSA”) through the eyes of Johnna Janis, a woman, mother, wife, and friend. She is candid about the life-long struggles she has faced. The film educates and helps us to understand CSA and challenges us to support efforts to help prevent other children from becoming victims. Sergio Myers directed and Johnna Janis is the producer.

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“This will be a great tool for people to see firsthand what happens to someone who has experienced trauma, and what steps can be taken to move towards healing. Great insight, excellent experts, and above all….room for prevention and education.”

“SCARY LITTLE FUCKERS: (A CHRISTMAS MOVIE)”— A Christmas Gift

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“Scary Little Fuckers: (A Christmas Movie)”

A Christmas Gift

Amos Lassen

On a Christmas eve a father who has had too much to drink brings his son a special present that he hopes will mend their relationship that has not been too good lately.

Saul (Rich Tretheway) and his son, Kyle (Josh Fontaine have never had a good relationship and part of that is due to Saul’s drinking. Then there is the fact that Kyle’s mother took her own life and Kyle blames his father for that. Then there is the fact that Kyle is fifteen-years-old and adolescence is the time that some kids resent their parents for whatever reasons. Saul wants to be close to his son but does not know how to do so and like many of us, he things a gift would be a good start. He decides to give Kyle two “fookahs” (small animals) who must be kept apart because they breed quickly. Both Kyle and his girlfriend Peggy (Anna Rizzo) are impressed with Saul’s gift and she persuades him (by letting him touch her breasts) to put them together in one cage and before they know it, there are many little fookahs running around. To make matters worse, fookahs are flesh eaters.

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This certainly brings father and son together (along with Peggy) because now they have to find a way to get rid of the disgusting little animals. Yet there are still issues to be dealt with and now that is an added issue in that Peggy and Saul start to begun something.

What I find so interesting here is that this short film manages to be both a horror and a comedy film and it is not easy to have a film work in both genres simultaneously but it certainly does here. I love the way the actors took on their roles and I must say that the fookers are also characters with their cute little Furby visual similarities. Fookahs are entities unto themselves and putting them against our human leads is genius here. I believe I smiled the entire time I watched the film.

Another brilliant stroke from the director had me wondering with which character I should empathize with. Surely I felt badly for Saul because I believe he really wanted to be a father and a friend to his son but then I also felt badly for Josh with his immaturity and pain that his father has pushed on him (at least, that is how he feels). Saul might be an alcoholic but he still is able to function and for that reason, I have hope that everything will work out for him and for Kyle. You do not want to miss this one.

“THE OTHER SIDE”— A World That is Upside Down and Inside Out

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“The Other Side”

A World That is Upside Down and Inside Out

Amos Lassen

Documentarian Roberto Minervini gives us an intimate portrait of poverty, drug use, racial tensions and pent-up aggression in a community where there is a fragile line between violence, vulnerability, depravity and tenderness.   Minervini puts his focus on the invisible territories at the margins of society in Louisiana. His characters, “bastard stepchildren of the American Dream,” as noted by Variety, respond to a threat of abandonment by political institutions by encasing themselves in anarchy. Minervini’s looks at the disenfranchised world of drug addicts, directionless young women and soldiers still at war with the world. The reactions we see include militarization, xenophobia and depraved sexuality.

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I understand that “The Other Side” was one of the more explicit films at the Cannes Film Festival this year outside of Gaspar Noé’s “Love,” (reviewed elsewhere here). The film opens with a full-frontal shot of a naked man, passed out on the side of the road. It is a relatively normal scene for the documentary, which focuses on the citizens of a rural Louisiana town and features rampant nudity, sex, and drug use. The film zeroes in on a marginalized community to present an unadulterated and poetically tragic portrait of small-town America.

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It’s a community filled with people like Mark (Mark Kelley) and Lisa (Lisa Allen), who spend much of their time drinking, smoking weed, or using methamphetamine. When Mark is not doing meth, he is cooking small amounts of it in a dark, cramped trailer and selling it to everyone from his sister to a pregnant woman. There are several moments during which audience members may walk out: Mark helping Lisa shoot up using veins on her breasts, Christmas dinners dominated by criticism of President Obama and liberal use of the N-word, and even the aforementioned pregnant woman doing meth before doing her shift at a strip club. As a person who grew up in Louisiana, I did not see much new here but for those who do not know the South, there will be plenty of surprises.

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Minervini portrays this squalor from a cool, detached perspective (which is a fascinating technique) even when Mark criticizes Obama’s economic policies or a toothless veteran rambles on about Hillary Clinton, Minervini does not pass judgment. His goal seems to be to highlight the unseen tragedy behind the town’s unabashed hedonism, in moments such as one when Mark and Lisa contemplate voluntarily going to jail for three months to kick their drug dependency.

The characters are in no way likeable but we do see their vulnerability and we try to be empathetic as difficult it is to do so. We see wet T-shirt contests and hear discussions about the rights guaranteed by the second amendment and we realize that the people that we see here are desolate with no real place in society. Even when the film focuses on a tightly knit militaristic group of Libertarians, we see the bitter irony of their existence; that until the collapse of society into total anarchy, they will be forever irrelevant and on the fringe. Once we get past the shock value of the film’s brutally honest portrayals of debauchery, we get a chance to see a part of society that most people will never see.

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By immersing himself among drug addicts, anti-government zealots and various other extreme personalities, Minervini has captured a troubling side of the country’s identity that locals prefer to ignore. Living in Louisiana, we knew that this existed but it was never spoken about. I see how people can be put off by this documentary but I think that it is an important part of education to be aware that there are people who live like this.

 “The Other Side” is shocking in its portrayal. One moment, we see a pregnant woman mainlining heroin in a bar bathroom, and the next, she’s spreading her legs for dollar tips on the strip-club stage. These things do happen, but can they be considered representative of the microcosm under scrutiny? What is so sad is that even as exploitative as this film is, those in the film (none of whom are actors) allow themselves to be filmed showing their depraved way of life. Though the characters never directly acknowledge that they’re being observed, a number of scenes feel constructed especially for the camera’s benefit, lending a certain illusion of narrative, when what we’re actually seeing is a collection of repeated actions — a depressing pattern of behavior.

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Minervini’s main character, Mark, is a skinny small-time drug dealer with more tattoos than teeth, who passes his days doing odd jobs, getting high with his girlfriend Lisa and breaking into empty buildings. Mark makes a few bucks here and there doing honest work, but does better selling heroin to friends and family. He is a criminal who’s deferred his prison sentence until his elderly mother passes away, he’s lost the right to vote and to bear arms thus putting him on “the other side” from those allowed to defend themselves from a greedy government. The movie doesn’t delineate particularly well between these two sides, but the idea seems to be that rural Louisiana is made up two groups: those who either shoot up targets at the gun range, or those who shoot up heroin in the privacy of their homes (or smoking crack, drinking beer, etc. to erase the burden of real life). This is a far from a city like New Orleans where we have a little bit of everything except this degree of depravity. Many of these folk do not know that New Orleans even exists and if they go to a city, they go to Beaumont because it is closer.

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“Uncle Jim,” who never once appears sober in the film is like all of the people Minervini decided to include. He’s an inherently pitiful figure and a walking ghost in one of the country’s most poverty-challenged communities, overlooked by a system he considers to be more interested in propping up Wall Street than supporting the so-called “common folk” but what we realize is that if Jim and his peers are common, then the United States has bigger problems than it’s willing to admit. 

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For the first half of the movie, “The Other Side” observes Mark and Lisa’s unconventional relationship. They show disdain for wardrobe just as they do for the law. We see graphic depictions of sex and drug use alternating with long scenes in which barely lucid characters spew racist and otherwise disrespectful rhetoric about President Obama.

All of this is mild compared to the militia group that becomes the film’s primary focus once Mark mysteriously exits frame. These guys have more money, lots of firepower and a downright frightening agenda. They’re convinced that Obama plans to declare martial law any day in Louisiana, and they retaliate by taking their machine guns out to the range and blasting away at effigies of the president. I don’t believe that Minervini wanted us to be ashamed of other Americans but this is how it came across.

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There is scene where Jim, his eyes filled with tears, he reads a poem stuck to his fridge: “To all those who feel worthless,” it begins. That may as well be the film’s own dedication line as it somehow managed to find some beauty in desperation and squalor. There are moments when it’s ultimately hard to tell if the movie is trying to render its subjects with some humanity or otherwise if it’s taking advantage of all these poor, beautiful losers.

“THE IGNORANCE OF BLOOD”— One Man, Two Different Cases

the ignorance of blood

“The Ignorance of Blood” (“La ignorancia de la sangre”)

Two Different Cases

Amos Lassen

Javier Falcon (Juan Diego Botto) is the Chief of the Homicide Division of the police in Seville and he finds himself having to solve must solve two different cases in a short period of time. An old friend (Alberto San Juan) who has managed to infiltrate an Islamic terrorist cell in Seville and whose son is now being aggressively recruited for their cause, has come to him for help. At the same time, the Russian mafia that he’s been investigating has kidnapped a girl (Paz Vega)and the ransom they are demanding is very, very high. As these cases intersect, Falcon must decide who he can trust and how he can protect those he loves most before time runs out.

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Just by reading that paragraph you should feel the tension in this film. The Russian mafia is also demanding money for something else but you will have to see the movie to understand what that is.

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The movie is firmly directed and has its own great style.. A war is raging between two clans in the Russian Mafia and when an important mobster tries to defect, he gets killed in a car crash. The police arrive quickly and find an encrypted USB stick with highly explosive information. Then the son of Falcon’s girlfriend Consuelo is kidnapped. They are contacted by both Mafia clans claiming that they have the kid and wanting to get their hands on the information. And both say they will kill him if Falcon doesn’t give them the stick.

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The Ignorance of Blood is the adaptation of the final novel of Robert Wilson’s popular Javier Falcon series and was written and directed by Manuel Gomez Pereira and filmed in Seville, the Canary Islands, Morocco and Madrid. It skillfully weaves its intricate plot strands together to give us a tense, gripping and exciting thriller as Falcon faces “the Russian mafia, Islamic terrorists, multinational businessmen up to no good, bureaucratic bumbling at the higher levels of his own organization, the morally ambiguous interventions of a CIA operative, the cranky, unhelpful presence of MI5 functionaries in London and, most significantly, a deadly threat that tears at his own heart”.

“WOUNDED LAND”— Terror Attack

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“Wounded Land”

Terror Attack

Amos Lassen

“Wounded Land” is a new Israeli film that has won three Israeli Academy Awards including Best Director and Best Actor. It is about a brutal terror attack when a suicide bomber sets off a bomb in the hear of Haifa on a Saturday night. (To really understand what a Saturday night in Israel, you must experience it). The bomber was not successful committing suicide and it badly injured. He, along with some of the victims are taken to a local hospital.

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The event leads to a chain of events and very strong emotions for many of the characters as we can well imagine. We meet the four police officers responsible for securing the attacker at the hospital, the doctor who happened to be on duty that night, the nurse working beside him, the group of injured people hospitalized in such close proximity to the terrorist and their family members who are naturally caught in the deep turmoil of it all.  

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One of the characters is Kobi Amar; a 37 year-old policeman, who is the father of two and married to Tamar. He is faced with increasing familial and professional obstacles while commanding over three other policemen the night of the attack and guarding the injured terrorist who must undergo a series of difficult surgeries. Kobi finds himself caught between maintaining the security of the terrorist and being consumed with worry for his son who has not yet returned home. He is torn between household duties and his role as a cop.

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Kobi Amar and his Region Commander Yehuda Neumann have been partners at the Haifa police force for years, but now, they face a critical turning point in their relationship and those of their families when one is forced to turn against the other. More so, the t events of the night place Kobi and Neumann’s moral and professional values at stake, as well as their long dedicated friendship.

The film stars Maisa Abd Elhadi, Moshe Ashkenazi and Roy Assaf. To say anymore would ruin your chance to see an outstanding but depressing film.

“THE LURE”— Exploited Mermaids and a Grim Fairy Tale

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“The Lure”

Exploited Mermaids and a Grim Fairy Tale

Amos Lassen

Polish director Agnieszka Smoczynska has made an astonishing debut feature. His horror musical, “The Lure” is set in the 1980s and is about two mermaid sisters who allow themselves. On a dark night, a family of musicians meets a pair of singing mermaids as they carouse on the shore. They cannot come to land unless they are invited to do so and they beg Bass player (Jakub Gierszal) and his Drummer dad (Andrzej Konopka) to help them out of the water even though their mother (Kinga Preis) tells them that this will bring trouble. The sisters, Silver (Marta Mazurek) and Golden (Michalina Olszanska) go the nightclub with the musicians and are immediately signed as new musical act by the club’s owner (Zygmunt Malanowicz). But no one seems to realize the sisters might bring trouble as they become a new sensation known as “The Lure.” Golden fall in loves with the bass player and even though the girls are surrounded with an aura of uneasiness and they stay longer than first planned.

We don’t know why they’ve chosen this current location. Silver begins to feed off of the locals and while we do not really know what happens to those who fall in love with them, we can guess that something vampire-like is going on. Also very few of the characters have names and this surely suggests something sinister. Now known as ”The Lure”, we see how quickly townspeople are willing to give them cash to watch them transform.

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The musical sequences are fun even though most of us have no idea what the songs mean. When Silver starts to attract the erotic attention of who is now, essentially, her brother, Golden responds with a passive-aggressive jealousy that slides into a murderous rage. Bodies begin to pile up all over town, and the police are hot on her tail and Golden feels an urgency to swim to America with her sister – but she needs to rid Silver of the spell that love has cast upon her.

We get the feeling that Silver and Golden do not what they do and that they are really quite feral and most certainly not human. What keeps them together is their lust for blood especially when we see the way their new adopted family treats them.

I am fairly certain that this is a movie that is not meant to be taken seriously. It is really an escape from the world of reality that is just fun to watch. The director uses campy tropes, bawdy humor and there are many absurdist issues.

We learn nothing about the mermaids’ past and they are characterized by their sexuality and bestial strangeness. The film is a strangely disconnected musical number and is an adult fairy tale that would make the Brothers Grimm turn red but we can bet that t they’d be secretly proud as well.

“DANGEROUS MEN”— “The Holy Grail of Holy Fucking Shit”

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“Dangerous Men”

“The Holy Grail of Holy Fucking Shit”

Amos Lassen

John Rad’s Dangerous Men has been called by many “The Holy Grail of Holy Fucking Shit” and right from the get-go, we can tell what kind of film this is. In the credits we see that it all John Rad. The same name appears over and over again and we sense that this is not only going to be an ego trip but one of the silliest movies ever made. We have “murderous bikers, robbers, vigilantes, rapists, and various other degenerates crossing paths in the most violent ways imaginable”. After the death of her fiancé, Mina (Melody Wiggins) sets out to get revenge by cleansing the streets of all sexual predators and craziness ensues. What is really crazy is that Rad and the cast lack any sense of human emotion and this results in some of the most unintentionally hilarious characters to ever be on the screen. Not one person has any sense of rationality and none behave behaves rationally, realistically, or even humanly. They go from untamable rage to complete solace in a matter of seconds. the cast is inept is an understatement. unbelievably inept. Every actor appears to be reading off of a teleprompter, and their physical performances are even worse.

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The horrible sound mixing gets progressively worse as the film goes on and on and on and some of the most astoundingly terrible noise is heard in the final act. As much as I hate to give a pan review, I must say that this is one of the worst movies I have ever seen both technically and acting wise. However, to be honest, I love lousy movies.

Because there is nothing redeeming in this movie, it is total entertainment. We never know what will happen next or where the action is going. There is a seemingly constant stream of characters that are ridiculously over-the-top so that it is impossible to be bored.

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John S. Rad was an Iranian filmmaker (born Jahangir Salehi Yeganehrad) who said that it took 26 years to complete “Dangerous Men” and I took that to mean that I could expect something special. It turns out that “special” is far from the correct word. I just learned that Rad died in 2007 and this is his only film and it was released in 2005 to a limited audience . Now the film has been revived and we just have to wait and see what the reception will be.

Because there is no sense to the plot, this is a very difficult film to review. In the very beginning, Daniel who is engaged to Mina, kills an assailant who attacked to two of them on a beach but then he is killed by the other as Mina watches in terror. Although narrowly avoiding what will be the first of many attempted sexual assaults, Mina has a taste for calculated vengeance that quite literally kicks in as soon as Daniel’s murderer attempts to stroll angrily off of the beach. In a matter of mere seconds, Mina is transformed from an inconsolable woman, an unaffected femme fatale as she runs after Daniel’s murderer and starts chatting him up and thanking him for freeing her from the dull life she would have had with her fiancé. Mina’s intent is ultimately to lull this killer into a false sense of security so that she may enact her revenge, but you would never be able to tell that just by watching the exchange between the two. With such we see the director’s distaste for rationality and subtleness. These propel the film.

From the moment that Mina stabs the biker in a hotel room with a knife she has hidden between her buttocks. Before you know it, the film has its own agenda of hypnotic incoherence that sets out to trash the minds of anyone who dares to sit through the entire film. It is non-stop amateur-hour insanity that is so curiously genuine in the way that it is done that the movie becomes an unbelievable and unforgettable experience. Rad slaps us cinematically in the face and we wait for more. While we are laughing, we understand that he is sincere in what he has thrown on the screen and he genuinely loves these characters and the world he has created.

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Technically, the movie is sloppily filmed, edited, and executed and it becomes a spectacle in and of itself. Knowing that Rad worked on this for a quarter of a century show us that just because someone loves movies does not mean that he/she can make one.

The movie will probably stay with you for days always confounding you and the viewer has the right to understand as he/she wants.

“ART HOUSE”— Artists and Architecture

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“ART HOUSE”

Artists and Architecture

Amos Lassen

Photographer Don Freeman explores homes designed and lived in by notable American artists and reveals the inventiveness derived from the dialogue between each artist’s practice and the construction of their e homes. The homes we see range “from the romantic (Hudson River School painter Frederic Church’s Olana, framing views of the Catskills to echo his paintings), to the futuristic (Paolo Soleri’s silt-casted structure Cosanti growing out of his bell-making experiments in the Arizona desert), to the sublime (George Nakashima’s mid-century modern ode to the beauty and versatility of wood), what they all have in common is a fierce spirit of individual expression that deserves deeper examination in this age of architectural standardization”.

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Some artists don’t just create masterpieces, they also live in them. The film gives a unique architectural typology characterized by an aesthetic and a fierce spirit of individual expression.

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“Art House” traces the trajectory of the American artist-designed home from its 19th-century roots as it looks at houses created by 12 artists from diverse disciplines. We see the inventiveness derived from the dialogue between each artist’s practice and the construction of their handmade homes. Commentary from cultural critic Alastair Gordon and a haunting score aid in providing the spiritual dimension of the locations and argue the case that intuitive vision of artists can create great architecture.

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Each of the private domains featured is “imbued with the unique vision of its creator, and a physical embodiment of what it means to be an artist, to live an integrated life dedicated to art”. By and large, the artists were not architects. The fate of many of the houses in the film remains in the balance regarding conservation efforts that is tremendously expensive. Freeman notes, “It’s my hope that the dissemination of this film will bring awareness to these houses so that the public will support and experience them in person.”

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Art House is an artist’s attempt at historic preservation for a neglected architectural typology. As some of the photographs and video represent the last record of the house as created by the artist, the film is both a love song and a call for preservation.

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With limited narration about each artist from scholars, friends, and family, we can see how their artistic style and personal views are reflected in the homes that they built. The film is beautifully photographed and we see the artists as real people.