|Index||2 reviews in total|
"Slippery Slope" is a rarity among films these days: a totally
character- and story-driven exercise in cinematic understanding of
human nature and the unfathomable forces that compel human beings to
both deceive and trust one another, often at the same time. Everything
about it clicks: the script, the dialogue, the sets, the affectionate,
careful development of each character no matter how minor, and the
sense of delight it conveys at adding a brave new element to the
discussion of female empowerment and pornography, which as "Slippery
Slope" conveys with wit and depth, are not necessarily mutually
exclusive. Not anymore, anyway, and certainly not after viewing
director and writer Sarah Schenck's gem of a film. Schenck's attention
to detail is note-perfect and provides many moments of recognition and
laughter, from the scrubbed-off remnants of one of those dreaded yellow
parking stickers on the car of the husband, marvelously portrayed by
Jim True-Frost, as he drives off to confront his wife whom he suspects
of conducting an affair at a Long Island motel but who in reality is
directing a porn movie she doesn't want him to know about, to the
made-up names of the "classics" she has re-worked to make them
palatable for porn audiences, in which Shakespeare's "Tempest" becomes
"The Temptress" and Dickens' "Hard Times" becomes "Really Hard Times."
In particular, the delineation of Gillian, the female protagonist,
resonates powerfully as she evolves from a struggling, out-of-work
auteur into a more liberated, honest, loving (and solvent) version of
herself. Even the title of the film's primary device, "Feminism For
Dummies," a film she has completed but cannot retrieve from the lab
because she lacks the funds to pay for it, is a double-edged entendre
with multiple layers of meaning that Schenck is wise enough to leave
open to interpretation by her viewers. She does not play down to her
audience even though the subject matter itself may seem to call out for
such condescension, but rather uses her talents to explore the tensions
inherent in the many situations that arise as a result of Gillian's
double life and the deception she perpetrates on her husband out of -
shame? Respect for his "purity"? Artistic duplicity? All are elements
shaping her decision to enter the strange, staged world of pornography,
but Schenck leaves it up to the audience to decide which ones matter
and which don't, a mark of esteem for her viewers woefully lacking in
too many modern filmmakers' "hit-'em-over-the-head-with-a-sledgehammer"
school of cinematic indulgence. My lone criticism of "Slippery Slope"
stems not from any significant component of its script, direction, or
production values, but from one scene and one scene only that takes
place on a New York street when Gillian, serendipitously encounters an
actor who appeared in her documentary but has since shifted over to the
less reputable but more remunerative realm of pornography (and New York
pornography at that, which has its own unique sensibilities setting it
apart from L.A. pornography, as any New Yorker knows...) The dialogue
during this scene is unfortunately drowned out by the verities of New
York street noise, and it was difficult to make out what was being said
by the actors as they walk down the sidewalk discussing the way their
lives have changed, or not, since the completion of "Feminism For
Dummies." (One of my favorite exchanges in the movie occurs during this
scene and happily, I caught it: "...Porn makes ten billion bucks a
year, same as Hollywood." Reply: "That just says there's a big audience
for showing women as nothing more than a support system for a vagina
There are no conflagrations other than those of the emotional kind; no car chases other than when the husband roars off in his dilapidated clunker to "catch" his wife in the act; no special effects except for a sweet, funny scene that uses plastic dolls to represent the action in the porn film she is writing - on a deadline, no less! - and no loud, obtrusive soundtrack to distract viewers from the important elements that make this film so special and unique. There is only a great story, fabulous script, authentic acting (and don't think "acting" the part of a porn actor doesn't require its own special skill set, which the four "porn" actors all employ wonderfully,) a delightful surprise ending, and an overarching message that in Schenck's more than capable hands, becomes a path to both enlightenment and hilarity.
Note that at this writing, this movie get's an average of 2 stars.
That's two stars more than it deserves. It's horrible.
More in a minute....
Firstly, the two star rating is driven by someone who gave it 9 out of ten! And when someone does that AND it's the only review they wrote, you really have to wonder how they are connected to the film.
The acting is atrocious and the entire film is directed with a shaky cam. Maybe that works on The Office, but it's annoying here. How anyone raised $100K to make this garbage would be the really interesting movie!
Plot -- ultra feminist who wants a kid with her effeminate boy friend(who else would be dating a feminist? And he actually wears a pink satin robe!) is trying to raise money to get her film out of hock and finish her fembot documentary. Oh so original. She turns to porn to get the money.
What a load of laffs -- not. It's a borefest.
The director is nearly 50 and this is the only film she's made. Thanks be to God! In an interview on a Park Slope Blog (wow, she's hitting the big time) she says shes a feminist and doesn't want to be judged on how she looks but she's also been a hair model! Typical, right?
I stuck with this film hoping because it supposedly was filmed in LI and I wanted to see if there was any landmarks I could recognize. Shouldn't have bothered. They must not have been able to get any permits because most of the scenes are close ups! No joke. Closeups with a shaky cam!
One saving grace? It's 80 minutes long. Feels like 3 hours tho, and it's filled with all kinds of stereotypes.
So net net is stay away at all costs. Unless you can't get to sleep. It's a good substitute for Lunestra.
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