A once-great silent film director, unable to make the transition to the new talkies, lives as a near-hermit in his Hollywood home, making cheap, silent sex films, and suffering in the knowledge of his sexual impotence, and apathetic about the plans to demolish his home to make way for a motorway. His producer and his producer's girlfriend come by to see how he is doing (and to supply heroin to the actress as her payment). The girlfriend stays to watch them filming, and is deeply impressed by his methods. When the actress goes to the bathroom, and dies there of an overdose, the girlfriend takes her place in the film. Then the producer returns... Written by
Steven Pemberton <Steven.Pemberton@cwi.nl>
Sitting at piano, Boy Wonder plays song Moonglow, written in 1934. The movie takes place at least three or four years earlier (characters repeatedly talk about a then-unknown actor named Clark Gable, already a big star by time song was written). See more »
The end credits are shown in black-and-white, against a backdrop of a silk cloth. It is also grainier and scratched in spots compared to the rest of the film. It is very reminiscent of the credits of vintage 30's melodramas. See more »
"Inserts" has long been one of my favorite films, a comic-tragic meditation on art, sex, self-delusion, acting, and the magic of Hollywood. Its complex themes are woven through the "shocking" theme of pornography in the silent era. This film has always gotten a raw deal from critics. One way that would be helping in approaching this film is to think of it as a filmed drama. I actually think it would work much better on the stage. In fact, for years I've been trying to locate the script. (Anyone got any ideas on that?) If you've only seen it once, and didn't like it, see it again and think of some of what I've said. You'll find it bold, rich, provocative, and unique.
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