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Dakhtaran-e khorshid (2000)
A Bleak Landscape; But a Wonderful View
Although slow moving for my American tastes in movies, this film about a woman's identity in life is rich with meaning.
Country girl Amanagol is sent from her home with her long hair shaved off by her father and in a boy's clothes to earn money weaving carpets. While toiling for a merchant, in her disguise as a male, she attracts the attention of the young women working by her side.
Love scenes were cut from the movie at the last minute to gain release from the Iranian censors.
The DVD contains a booklet with an explanatory essay by film critic Judy Stone.
In Farsi language with English subtitles
The movie's flaw ** CONTAINS SPOILERS **
This movie has been praised for excellent performances and authentic settings. The direction of the visuals was great. But the pacing is too slow. Too steady. When is the climax of this movie? Is it when Shadrach dies? Or when he is buried as he wished on Dabney land? The plot drifts and plods along until it runs out of film. Still a nice, sentimental story. Worth watching but misses greatness.
Shock Corridor (1963)
**SPOILER** Unintended Laughs
Granted there does seem to be some social commentary in the works here. But how do you explain a scene like Cathy's striptease which opens to her singing with her feather boa wrapped around her head, her breath puffing out the feathers in one little spot, lasting far too long. She unwinds it to reveal her face, spits out a few fronds and keeps singing... Some of her dance moves are pretty futuristic and dirty.
This is a movie that is not afraid of tackling major issues: incest, racism, nuclear warfare, racism again, or even "poo-berty".
The Naked Kiss (1964)
**SPOILER** "B" Grade Pot-Boiler
There is no such thing as a "naked kiss" that reveals the kisser to be a molester of children. The choice of title demonstrates that this is intended to be a sensationalized movie that presents shocking topics: prostitution and pandering, abortion, child molestation. It doesn't introduce them in order to make a statement or suggest any solutions. We get to see them acted out in living black and white. The trailer for the movie starts in the bordello scene featuring "Bon Bon Girls" in skimpy costumes. Griff calls Kelly a "hooker".
The most shocking scenes in the movie surround Kelly's anger and violence which are never criticized or mentioned. The film opens as Kelly is beating her pimp with her high heeled shoe. He begs for mercy but she doesn't show him any. When he is on the floor she takes the money he owes her. Is the audience supposed to appreciate her fine character because she takes only the $75 that belongs to her? Ladies and gentlemen, she just beat him up with her shoe. Later in the movie he tries to frame her for murder. Hmmm, wonder if it's anything personal. She gets angry at Griff and slaps his face. Later in the movie he doesn't believe in her alibi. She slaps Student Nurse Buff in the face. Later Buff won't support Kelly's defenses. She beats up Candy the madam with her purse and stuffs money into her mouth. Later Candy takes her revenge. Do you see a pattern here?
Kelly hits Grant on the head with a telephone, killing him with one blow. He represented no danger to anyone, it wasn't even self defense. She got angry again! Eventually she is exonerated by Penal Code 1385. It could only happen in the world of Grantville, where Griff represents the sole legal entity. Kelly leaves town before anyone can figure out she is guilty of manslaughter.
Sadly, repeated viewings have gotten that dirge she teaches the children stuck in my head and I keep humming it all day.