Just starting university, 18-year-old Smith (Dekker) hasn't decided yet whether he's gay or straight. It doesn't help that his often naked roommate Thor (Zylka) claims to be straight despite evidence to the contrary. His best pal is the sardonic Stella (Bennett), who has a crush on a hot girl (Mesquida). Yes, everyone's obsessed with sex, and they're experimenting rather a lot. But Smith is also haunted by nightmarish dreams about a redhead (LaLiberte). And when these dreams start invading real life, he's not sure what to do about it.
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on the rubbish-strewn California desert, a tyre wakes up and starts rolling, gradually finding its balance as well as psychokinetic powers of destruction.
He sleeps at night, drinks water, stalks a scorpion and then a rabbit. Giddy with success, he takes aim at human prey. And when he sees a young woman (Mesquida) showering in an isolated motel, he even falls in love. Eventually, a cop (Spinella) arrives to investigate the deaths. Over the next few days, as the murderous rampage escalates, he struggles to find inventive ways to stop this killer tyre.
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Her name is Vellini (Asia Argento). It's rumored she's the flamboyant progeny of an Italian priestess and a Spanish matador. She licks fresh blood off of gaping wounds. The ringlets of her hair resemble a heart turned on its head. It's said she can outstare the sun and the second you get your first glimpse at Argento laying on her canapé, you believe it sans aucun doute. Though he first casts her off as an "ugly mutt," the young playboy Ryno de Marigny (Fu'ad Aït Aattou) takes it as his task to possess this creature despite her blatant loathing of him. Eventually they exile themselves to Argentina and bear a daughter, only to see her die from the sting of a scorpion. Unchained and thrown into an abyss of grief, Argento's bellowing growl of despair could shred the very screen.
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In Sheitan, Cassel plays a farm caretaker, Joseph, who walks around like SpongeBob Squarepants (his legs all bowed and stiff like he just got off a donkey), has an overbite that rivals Jerry's Lewis', and wears a Borat moustache. Oh and he's also in league with Satan and lives in a town of deformed hillbillies. Yeah, it's one of those movies. Sheitan joins Calvaire and The Hills Have Eyes, and a few other films that I somehow always end up reviewing, in a category all its own -- hillbilly horror. And yet Sheitan is so gonzo, so incredibly off the wall, that it stands out among these misshapen movies. The most offensive and mind-numbing of a very offensive and mind-numbing genre. Mind you, offensive and mind-numbing is not synonymous with good.
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Rather than show an even-handed evaluation of the rigors of hormonal change, Breillat (previously responsible for the unwatchable Romance) wants to indulge in her hour of hate. Life is pain, highness. Get used to it. She'd find keen bedfellows in Neil LaBute and Todd Solondz, other sultans of misanthropy who lack the balls to be earnest or honest. For children, dealing with trauma and pain is complicated. To bury that in sarcasm and academic theory feels cheap. These would-be auteurs (more like hauteurs) haven't earned the right to display suffering because they don't layer it in emotional truth (as Mike Leigh does throughout Naked and David Lynch in several key scenes of Blue Velvet). Of course, there I go again comparing her to all these (better) male directors. I don't care. Gender be damned, she's borderline inept.
Continue reading: Fat Girl Review
This extremely small and shallow film tells a singular tale: A movie director (Anne Parillaud) is having trouble getting her stars to go through with the movie's big sex scene. She tries everything: Gentle pressure, the hard sell, different settings. Ultimately it all comes down to using an oversized plastic phallus in the scene instead of the actor's real member, and our director is sure this will solve all the problems.
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It's time for tormented French writer-director Catherine Breillat to spring for a therapist and stop inflicting her rape fantasies and sexual self-esteem issues on the movie-going public.
Two years ago she directed "Romance," a pretentious art-porn flick about the debasing downward spiral of a woman so neglected by her boyfriend that she tries to distance intercourse from emotion in a vulgar string of carnal liaisons. Conceptually fascinating, the film was effectively pointless because the main character has no journey -- she's just as screwed up at the end of the picture as she was at the beginning.
In her new film "Fat Girl (Á ma soeur!)," Breillat applies the same raw, dark, psychosexual themes to adolescent yearnings, exploring the psyches and bodies of two teenage sisters -- one gorgeous and sensual, the other overweight and introverted.
Continue reading: Fat Girl (Á Ma Soeur!) Review
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