Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Movie Turn-Ons, Part 3 (Sex and Violence... or Kiss Kiss Bang Bang)

The only reason I'm still on Orkut is that I created this community for B Movies (25 members and counting) about 15 months back, and don't want it deleted along with my account. Here's the description for it, in the hope that it gives you an irresistible urge to join...

"Bergman, Wenders, Kieslowski. The "Sultans of Cinema", as a recent ad goes... Now, these guys and their ilk are not bad, but this community is for people who fell in love with films watching cheesy science fiction, steamy exploitation thrillers, and gory horror movies on late-night television. Sure, watching a medieval knight grapple with weighty questions on life and death; or watching sombre meditations on the death penalty, parenthood and the like, has its attractions. But give us aliens in badly designed flying saucers invading earth, the undead terrorising the inhabitants of some nameless town, psychos attracted to naked girls in showers (no wait, scratch that - that's Hitchcock, no?), wise-cracking private eyes and their femmes fatales dealing with mind bending plots - all with a heady mix of bad acting, terrible dialogue, sex and nudity - any day. Here's to B Movies!"

The "films" section of my profile used to be a huge list of films and directors, which I've toned down to...

"Off the top of my head, De Palma, Bunuel, Almodovar, Kubrick, Herzog, Woody Allen, the Coens. Anything with Anthony Hopkins' Hannibal Lecter in it. Noir. Mood pieces. Vivid colours and grand camera movements. Humour. Decadence. Amorality. Snappy dialogue. Candles flickering in old mansions. Sex and violence - B movies, especially. The list goes on. Will watch anything, in short..."

Ignore the directors' list there, which really was a "top of my head" thing. What do the two have in common? Sex, violence and dialogue. Just goes to show how grounded I am, and how I've remained essentially the same person despite all the fame and fortune.

I already did a post on dialogue. Since it seems inconceivable to me that anyone could not appreciate good sex and violence in a movie, I will not go on about it. Pointless really. Would be like someone writing a whole passage on why watching a sunset is a beautiful thing... I will merely quote Pauline Kael, "The words 'Kiss Kiss Bang Bang' which I saw on an Italian movie poster, are perhaps the briefest statement imaginable of the basic appeal of movies.” (The quote goes on with some hogwash about how we despair when we realise how seldom movies are more than this, but let's not go into all that now - I wish women would try and see movies from guys' perspective sometimes...)

Oh, I also want to slip in a rhetorical question. Is there a genre that captures this very essence of movies - sex and violence (along with a healthy dose of moral ambivalence, great dialogue, and gripping, atmospheric photography) - better than noir?