Reading about the "Captivity"‘s planned premiere party in Michael Cieply‘s report in the New York Times, we had a chuckle or two at producer Courtney Solomon’s (see here) shameless baiting of anyone who might care to listen. To wit:
All of which is a prelude to an undisclosed main event that, he warned last week over slices of pizza a few doors from his companyâ€™s new offices on the Sunset Strip, is â€œprobably not legal.â€
â€œThe womenâ€™s groups definitely will love it,â€ Mr. Solomon hinted. â€œI call it my personal little tribute to them.â€
Oh, you. Whether anyone will care about the flick Mr. Solomon and After Dark Films are so frantically hawking remains to be seen, but we’re more curious about what’s currently on the mind of director Roland JoffÃ©, the two-time Oscar nominee who premiered the first cut of "Captivity" at the Sitges Film Festival last year, who was asked to return to the studio for reshoots in order to make the film more torturelicious, and who didn’t give a comment to the Times.
A quick tour of the latest round of writings on torture porn:
At the Boston Globe, Geoff Edgers takes a group of psychiatrists, led by director Eli Roth‘s father Sheldon, to see "Hostel II." We feel like this is the kind of well-meaning piece people will dig up in 20 years to make fun of.
Gutheil agreed, and said that while he would encourage fans of
horror films to see "Hostel: Part II," he would not recommend it be
shown in prisons. Serial killers would also not be a good target
"By fusing the erotic and violent, there are ways you create fantasies that become a playground for serial killers," he said.
Shane Danielson at the Independent finds something admirable in the "oddly monotonal quality" of Roth’s filmmaking: "[I]t also speaks to the lack of empathy in contemporary American culture, as well as other trends – the fragmentation of narrative, the increasingly utilitarian, disposable tenor of human relations." "Rothâ€™s film echoes (and derives associative potency from) the appalling images from Abu Ghraib," writes Nigel Floyd at Time Out UK. "[B]ut one would be hard pressed to claim that it advances our understanding of the torturerâ€™s mindset. Nor does the reworked â€˜Captivityâ€™ say anything new about the sadistic, controlling gaze of voyeurism." John Patterson at the Guardian is ready "to drop the metaphors and face up to the real nastiness all around us."
Finally, shifting to a subject more taboo on American cinema screens than smoothies made of liquefied body parts, Geoffrey Macnab at the Independent takes a peek back at the sex and scandal of "Last Tango in Paris" and wonders how shocking it would look to modern day audiences, finally concluding:
Last Tango would struggle to find a mass audience today. After all, this is an uncompromising art-house film from a revered European auteur. The idea that such a film could play for years on end in London cinemas is nowadays unthinkable. Nor is there much sense that audiences have the energy to get as worked up as they did in 1972, when even the film’s detractors at least had passionate opinions about it.
+ Already Under Fire, a Producer Is Going Further (NY Times)
+ Psychiatrists-turned-film-critics call ‘Hostel II’ painfully compelling (Boston Globe)
+ Blood brother: Director Eli Roth, inventor of ‘torture porn’ (Independent)
+ Could critics of ‘torture porn’ at least watch the movies? (Time Out UK)
+ Putting the gory in to allegory (Guardian)
+ Last Tango in Paris: Can it arouse the same passions now? (Independent)