Archive for October 28th, 2008

Here’s where I get serious and also pose a question to you readers.

The Stendhal Syndrome is the story of Anna, an Italian policewoman who is hunting a serial rapist.   Anna has a somewhat serious problem:   she suffers from Stendhal Syndrome, a disorder that causes people to pass out upon viewing especially stirring and/or gorgeous works of art.    The rapist she’s tracking instead tracks her, following her to an art gallery where she passes out, leading him to take advantage of the situation.   What follows is a sick game of bizarro cat and mouse, culminating in a final showdown between Anna and the rapist.

Dear Dario Argento:

I couldn’t make it through your movie.   Too many graphic scenes of torture and rape sidetracked me along with crappy dialogue and bad acting.    I swore after Cannibal Holocaust that I would never force myself to finish a movie that deeply, deeply upset me and after watching you highlight the sheer brutality of rape – albeit for different reasons than Cannibal Holocaust – I just gave up.

There are many things in this world I can watch and I can handle but graphic, repeated rape scenes are not one of them.

It’s a movie relationship dealbreaker, Dario.   Thank you but NO THANKS.


P.S.:  Please stop casting your daughter in movies where she takes off her clothes/is involved in sexual situations/has a bunch of nudity.   That really, really bothers me.

P.P.S.:  No more movies about rape, Dario.

And now the question to you readers:   Do you guys react this strongly to rape scenes, or is just me?   I loathe rapes portrayed on film and it’s a big reason why I’ve never seen I Spit On Your Grave.   I know it’s a touchy subject, but feel free to drop your opinions in the comments.

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To every yin there is a yang, yes?

I was out of high school and vaguely kind of discovering what it was like to not be there.    A good friend of mine had run off to Los Angeles for a while to try his hand at acting and had come home to Texas with a handful of interesting stories and a good-natured shrug at having tried his hand at Hollywood.

We saw quite a few movies together on a pretty regular basis and I got a call one night:  “Hey, what are you doing tonight?  I got tickets to a sneak preview of some English zombie movie.”

Very seldom do I find movies laugh out loud funny, but Shaun of the Dead is an exception.   Even more seldom is finding an audience in tune with the humor.   While a different friend and I laughed ourselves silly at Team America: World Police, the few moviegoers in our theater gradually shuffled out during the movie, disgusted and unamused.    From the moment the very first scene rolled, it was freaky – like the audience was perfectly in mental sync with the movie and other patrons around them, giggling and smirking at all the right parts.

It was pretty much the most involved movie showing I’ve ever attended.   Everyone was polite, quiet and no screaming children were causing a ruckus anywhere; attendees sipped on Cokes and munched Twizzlers with aplomb while totally getting IT, whatever IT may be.  I don’t think I’ve ever attended a movie showing where the people in the theater were so good-natured, polite and had a fantastic sense of humor.

I have often thought that this effortlessly contributed to the warm, fuzzy feelings I have for Shaun of the Dead, but walking out of that theater was like walking out of a good version of the Twilight Zone.

Often, when I find myself in packed late showings of films where I’m squeezed in next to Mr. Wide Stance on one side and the guy behind me is slobbering popcorn kernels into my hair and the lady in the front row brought her two year old to an R-rated movie, I wish it were possible to go back.   They really should just have a “cool people” movie theater.

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