Self-indulgent slop from Dana Vespoli, beneath her dignity
While actress/director Dana Vespoli is at the top of my list of current filmmakers, thanks to her great work for Mile High, she also has a cushy deal with John Stagliano's Evil Angel label. "Borders of Desire" exemplifies the low-grade cutting-room floor level material she hands in to the Buttman, who duly releases it with zero quality control in the process.
It's 3 full hours of slop, almost a "How I Spent My Summer Vacation" home movie in terms of content. Dana likes to wear her heart on her sleeve, but in this case it results in self-serving, self-reflexive content, replete with self-praise at the end of each sequence -Dana exclaiming "That was intense!" or noting how fabulous her work is.
My constructive criticism refrain to the Great Vespoli is to put a sock in all this juvenalia for boss-man Johnny Stag. Sure it pays the bills, but diminishes her status as an artist.
To wit: she is having a sensual lesbian scene, dominating young Natasha Voya, an actress who she later literally abused (and apologized on screen afterwards) in her Filly Films release "Lesbian Pussy Worship". Things are going more smoothly this time around, but suddenly Dana DeArmond storms on the set dressed in a silly schoolgirl outfit (quite a bit long in the tooth for that exercise) and starts berating Vespoli in no uncertain terms as a sell-out.
With mock outrage and jealousy, the always kooky DeArmond takes over the scene to show Vespoli "how you make a real movie" and we're in for endless gonzo excess with DeArmond's pal Ramon Nomar on hand to extend it beyond just Sapphic sex. Afterward, Vespoli praises her fellow Dana for bringing surprise and "sexual discovery" to the proceedings, all of which is as phony as a 3-dollar bill.
Dana led off the show pretentiously with a Marcel Proust quote about seeing things with new eyes, and she flies to Germany to experience new sexual adventures. But what we get as the hapless yet loyal (dare I say masochistic?) fans of DV is a preposterously boring and self-serving helping of plugola. She's in Berlin for an Adult industry show, and visits the Evil Angel booth, to give us cameos of Kevin Moore and a glimpse of Buttman himself. She also goes to Manuel Ferrara's hotel room to shoot the breeze with yet another Evil Angel employee.
Fortunately for fans who want to see sex, this blows over and yet another pal, Steve Holmes (who collaborated with Ferrara and Stagliano on "Voracious", plugged at the show) unveils his very big Holmesian (Johnny Wadd) dick to be used in guerrilla filming in public with the Double D Cup local talent Sexy Susi.
We get to hear Vespoli declaim about how hard she finds it to book talent in Europe, being used to the assembly line Chatsworht approach back home. Holmes also contributes to another segment starring Misha Cross and Vespoli, and Vespoli also gets to hump Bree Daniels, who really hits it off with the auteur and has since become a favored nation performer for her.
Lots of tired cinema verite camera-work is used in this mess, leading to an insulting "ending" in which she arrives back home and sort of simulates that old Warhol standby (but in video terms) of the film magazine running out. Yes, avant-garde underground filmmaking sure ain't what it used to be.
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