a seemingly random journey through cinema's heart of darkness. so to speak.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

russ, 1922-2004

Due, it's claimed, to a battle with peneumonia, Russ Meyer has died. I'm waiting for the auteuristical R.I.P.s to crop up, but luckily Roger Ebert, who wrote three of his nudie-pics (as well as the aborted Sex Pistols movie, Who Killed Bambi?), already churned out one.

Meyer is often neglected by some hardcore film geeks, basically for puritanical reasons. But he was essentially the Eisenstein of softcore pornography, with a satirical wit to match. Beyond the Valley of the Dolls is very close to the apocalypse, and so subtle in its campiness that its laughs are often mistakenly interpreted as unintentional; Vixen is sly enough to make the buxom Erica Gavin (who so is an excellent actress) a foul-mouthed racist; Mudhoney builds to a mixed-feelings near-hanging; and Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! needs no further words. Apart from being one of the most quotable of filmmakers ("You're a groovy boy. I'd like to strap you on sometime"), his editing was one of a kind -- a carefully-selected barrage of images that regularly topped the work of his more respectable counterparts. Can't wait for the networks to pop out in-memorium montages...

*In today's Weekly:
* An A-list on the local indie Conspiracized, over which I had mixed feelings.
* Two reviews, one of Wimbledon and an admittedly overly-anctious one of the Shawshank Redemption re-issue. (The last line sounded like a good idea at the time.)
* And Rep.


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