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I saw this short film at the Whitney, and it was one of the best things in the whole museum. I found it funny, stylish, and fun to look at. Very over the top in costumes and sex acts performed. The movie also contains the appropriate super dramatic, almost soap opera-ish delivery from the actors--mostly just repeating Caligula's name. They all do it with style and panache. Many of them convey a lot with the one word--censure, disapproval, arousal. The casting of older women, in particular, caught my attention. They all--even in over done make up--look great. Helen Mirren looks particularly fetching in her costume. I will admit that I still have not seen the 70s version of this film--now I will have to hunt it down--so I cannot compare this version to the original, still and all, worth a look!
This finally showed up on Mr. Butler's list of films. I just wanted to
clarify something for fans collecting his films or looking to see all
This is not a full length film or even a prospectus for a film length film. I know it looks like a trailer for a movie being made but it is NOT. I doubt you will be able to find this on any DVD anywhere or even in a festival.
This was an art short done in the form of a movie trailer. A kind of short parody of the original film. the director/writer is known for his short art video's. THERE WILL BE NO FULL LENGTH FILM TO FIND. The Whittney (a museum dedicated to film) selected this as part of the film short collection and it is showcases as art in a collection of art video's.
Mr. Butler has some friends in the Italian film industry and I am sure this was done as just a favor for art's sake.
On a side note, the reason for the parody, the original film that it was based on was a hot of bed of controversy at the time it was made. The author Gore Vidal even had his name removed from the movie tie in book because he was so disappointed in what he called the soft porn
I actually bought the idea that "Caligula" (1979) has been remade and I
somehow managed not to know anything about it. The mock trailer begins
with Gore Vidal introducing the remake and answering the question, "who
would need a new "Caligula"? with the words, "everyone does". Well,
there is not going to be a remake but the trailer is five minutes of
sheer fun, class, perversity, humor, and Art and is very interesting
and unique by itself. I was happy to recognize some familiar faces:
Helen Mirren made an appearance as Tiberia (she was mocking Peter
O'Toole performance and played Caligula's grandmother and she was as
sexy and provocative as ever. Adriana Asti replays her role as Ennia
once again using a special face-cream, fresh and warm manually prepared
for her to make her skin look young and radiant. Green-eyed
model/actress/singer, Milla Jovovich is Caligula's beloved sister
Druscilla; Karen Black - Agrippina (another Caligula's sister, the
future mother of Nero and Claudius' wife), Michelle Phillips (a member
of the pop group, "The Mamas and the Papas") is Messalina, Claudius'
first wife who was called the most depraved woman ever. The biggest
surprise was Courtney Love as the mad Emperor Caligula but who knows -
maybe it was not such a big stretch for her.
Very funny, classy, and stylish 9/10
A conceptual film from Italian artist Francesco Vezzoli, first shown at the 2005 Venice Biennale and later traveling to the Whitney Museum of American Art. The work is conceived as a trailer for an imaginary remake of the infamous Tinto Brass/Bob Guccioni sexploitation fiasco that was 'Caligola'. Instead of shooting in the ruins of Rome, however, his location is a tacky Roman-lite villa in Hollywood. Instead of striving for historically accurate costumes, he has Donatella Versace design him some glamorous togas. And like Matthew Barney, he's able to talk a whole host of known (and unknown) actors to star in a an artwork that will rarely, if ever, be seen outside of a gallery (or online). The casual viewer can choose to read it all as a comment on the timeless nature of gluttony and excess or simply laugh out loud at Courtney Love's full-bodied reading of Gore Vidal's overwrought language - "I have existed from the morning of the world and I shall exist until the last star falls from the night" - egomania as fitting for a Hollywood star as it for a Wall Street executive or an insane Emperor. Which, or course, is the point.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This seemingly-pointless trailer for what appears to be a pornographic
film is actually much more than that.
Gore Vidal requested that his name be removed from the original "Caligula". He did so because he felt it had been produced as a low-grade soft-core pornographic picture, rather than as the more serious and lofty one he had intended. Thus, there is no such thing as "Gore Vidal's Caligula".
What you have here is a trailer for a remake of a movie that never existed. That remake can never be made, of course! It's quite an elaborate and outrageous production for such a sly, clever joke. Even the super-raunchy nature of the trailer is a nod to the reasons the movie it suggests could never happen.
I'll admit that, when I was shown this at an art historian's lecture, I didn't understand why the fellow in front of me began cackling madly the moment he saw the trailer's title. Once our lecturer (John Paul Ricco) explained the history behind the trailer, though, the laughs came from all over.
If you don't realize it before that time, then by the end of having watched this, there should not be any doubt left in your mind; this was a joke. No one should take the reveal near the conclusion seriously. While I have not seen the original Caligula, I do know of the content and controversy. This is available on the internet. It's a spoof, not a "fake", as it was never intended to be a promotion for an actual film, no such thing was ever in production... that's the *point*. Do you really see this getting made? No young stars of dubious talent, rather, the people in this can actually act, and most are middle-aged or older still. Only a few aren't of that age, such as Jovovich(who, I'll be perfectly honest, was the reason I looked for this at all... and yes, she's gorgeous as usual), and we know she has a sense of humor. And then there's the sheer amount of explicit sex and nudity. Violence, gore and blood are fine by the standards, but not *that*. This means to make you question that. Heck, the one thing that's "realistic" here is that it's a remake. This is heavily stylized, from the glossy look, through the costumes and sets to the casting. The performances are appropriate. And yes, this is plot less. Part of the joke. Whether or not you enjoy this depends on your constitution and what you find funny. I recommend this to anyone who thinks they might like it and can handle the direct nature of some of it. 7/10
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I'd almost give it a 9/10 because of Courtney's rant at the end, but
the rest of it is so good I can't possibly give it less than 10. One of
the best laughs I'd had in a long time. And Gore Vidal clearly has a
sense of humor left. And Helen Mirren looks ravishing in this fake
trailer. Would love to see this on DVD. I'd pay $10 to own it legally
instead of looking for someone who happens to of uploaded it somewhere.
Which is primarily the only way to see this.
I give it 10/10 primarily because it looks like it could be a real film. They need this to be on a DVD so we can see how they shot it and where those sets came from. (PS I give it a spoiler warning because maybe the intent was that nobody knows it's a fake trailer. That's a spoiler) 10/10
Quality: 10/10 Entertainment: 10/10 Replayable: 10/10
I recently watched this trailer on YouTube, which has consequently
taken it down... For a trailer of a faux movie, this didn't feel very
budget and I'm absolutely amazed they have the cast cameos of Helen
Mirren, Benicio Del Toro, Milla Jovovich, Karen Black, Gerard Butler;
as well as countless naked extras! From what I understand the costumes
were designed by D.Versace as well. Having lived the semi-disappointing
original 'Caligula' this was just a joy to watch!
(Though I didn't personally feel Courtney Love's monologue did much to add to it... she would have been better utilized with a single punchline or dramatic entrance)
Should you get your hands on it, sit back and enjoy 3 minutes of campy naked bliss!
If there is anybody left out there who doesn't recognize this as parody, you're either incredibly ignorant about film, and everything connected to it, or incredibly dense. Come...On! Watch it again, and pay attention this time! Let's start, as the trailer does, with Gore Vidal, one of the most esteemed historical writers of our generation. Why would someone of his caliber seriously license a film that is blatant, gratuitous pornography? Think about it. The first "Caligula" was controversial in it's portrayal of debauchery and violence (mild by today's standards), but at least it was an accurate chronicle of Caligula's life and times, based on research of the documentation. Next, think about what you know of Hollywood, how many films get made that feature a cast dominated by middle aged actresses, some of them has-beens? Although I personally love all these grand dames, let's be real here! Where are the young, anorexic contract starlets that studios demand (like Megan Fox, Elisha Cuthbert, Diane Kruger etc.)? The pretty effeminate young male stars (Zach Ephron)? The only thing not crusty and old in this trailer is Milla Jovovich, and she is known to have a hearty sense of humor. Speaking of casting, what director, who wasn't a complete idiot, with a deathwish for his own career, would cast Courtney Love in a dramatic lead? First we have to buy the lie that Gore Vidal would allow his historical story to be altered so radically as to change the gender of his lead character, and then that the character was a homely, high and tasteless woman (albeit a very talented musician). Courtney Love is suitable for a few bit roles in films, and the lead in only one type of film, a documentary about her own life! Now think about the FCC and the MPAA. We've seen human heads exploding on screen, human body parts juiced in a blender and force fed to a woman, but we've barely seen 10 films out in the last 10 years with full frontal male nudity. The rating a film gets has a direct correlation to it's box office value. It's highly unlikely any studio would fund a film that is guaranteed to garner an "X" rating (one that shows oral copulation with a dildo, using semen as skin cream, and worse), when the biggest movie-going audience is teen aged and unable to get in to see it at the theater. Finally, this trailer is a testament to the fact that Hollywood is aware of just how morally bereft the American viewing public perceives them to be. They know that we believe they would "go there". Thank goodness that somebody there still has a conscience and wouldn't. They're just having some fun, at our expense.
All I can say is that this is awesome!
I only wish it could have been made into a full-length movie and not just a teaser. The only downer was Milla Jovovich's performance, she was sort of hammy but the others treated that short film with the same deference of a true full-length epic.
I've seen the original, got it on DVD. For its time period, it was really very good. However, it didn't truly represent even an allusion to the incredible decadent sexuality that permeated the Roman Caesar's rulership let alone the mind-numbing violence that still echoes through histories of the time to today. This short at least attempted it, if only for a few short minutes.
If you can't find it to see for yourselves, take a trip to YouTube. Well worth the few minutes of your time - if you fully understand what depravity to expect anything bearing the name Caligula. Not works safe, not kid safe and not prude safe by along shot.
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