Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Screen staring and THE NIGHT PORTER (59)

I'm dumb. Yes, I know, I've made this claim in the past, but for the nth time in the last two months I stayed up until 5 in the morning on a day where I knew quite well I would be waking up between the hours of 7 and 9. This giving me, at most, four hours of choppy, distracted sleep.

Which is why as I write this, I'm slowly trying to dredge myself from the deep deep hollow of a slumberland. Seriously, if you wanted right now, you could break in to my house, punch me, steal my computer, my clothes, my money, my manhood, whatever, and I'd probably just dumbly stare at you, hoping that after you left I'd have some good reason to go back to sleep. This is also why, for the nth time in the last two months, I'm struggling to start my post with anything but a rambling description of my hazy visage and sleep-deprived state.

You might think of Italy and think of Mussolini, spaghetti, and The Sopranos (and I judge you
for this you stereotyping asses) but let me tell you Italians should be marked for one thing, and one thing alone: really fucked up sexual movies. I mean Salo (17), with it's poop eating and sexual torture was directed by an Italian, I've slogged through some 1970s Italian Crime Films that have left my stomach queasy and my thoughts about sex mired in darkness, and then, then we have The Night Porter (59). I've talked about this film's premise already (a Nazi guard and his concentration camp ward strike up a sadist-tinged relationship) but Jesus is this a nasty little movie. I can't say I even enjoy this film very much, it's soundtrack and the ballet sequence and the general sense of melodrama that coats the edges of everything make the film fairly unbelievable to me and to a certain sense I find the sexuality in the film to almost tasteless. And this is shocking to me. I've seen so many disgusting films in my life and for whatever reason this, in comparison, tame little film just sort of makes me grimace. Can't say if it's the presence of the Holocaust as a context for sexuality, or just the fact that so much of the sex in the film is surrounded by violence, but I'm sort of half their while this film is playing.

Don't you worry my compatriots, I'll get through this one.

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