Saturday, November 17, 2007

Destricted - 2006

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116 Min.
Episode Film

"As helmed by a series of avant-garde performance artists and provocateurs, the seven-episode omnibus picture Destricted both pays homage to classic porn and deconstructs the concepts of obscenity and voyeurism, with a series of extreme tonal variations on the sexual act. The premier episode, artist Matthew Barney's "Hoist" (which is laced with transsexual metaphors) depicts a bizarre mating ritual between a man with a giant cucumber for a penis and a 50-ton deforesting Caterpillar truck. For the second go-round, House Call, notorious still photographer Richard Prince (best known for "re-photographing" the Garry Gross nudes of Brooke Shields) re-shoots to the point of graininess (and re-dubs) images from a "classic" hardcore sequence involving an encounter between a stud (John Saint John) and a chesty woman (Kora Reed), and their kinky games with a thermometer. Commercial veteran Marco Brambilla authored the third episode, "Sync" - a kind of "teaser" - by splicing together thousands of split-second sequences from sex scenes in both hardcore and mainsteam features, and "matching up" the action (creating a sequence with it of the various film segments), from foreplay to climax. Controversial director Larry Clark (Kids, Ken Park, Wassup Rockers!) authored the fourth (and longest, at 38 minutes) segment, entitled "Impaled"; it begins with a series of spontaneous, one-on-one interviews with adolescent boys, where Clark asks them intimate questions about their sexual fantasies and sexual desires, and indicates that he plans to select one to undergo an unsimulated, hardcore sex scene with an actual porno actress. The film then cuts to the "act" itself, which proves ironically mechanical and untitillating for its male participant. Sam Taylor-Wood' "Death Valley" constitutes the fifth segment and offers an extended (voyeuristic) glimpse of a man in the desert who masturbates to ejaculation. The sixth segment, Marina Abramovic's much-acclaimed "Balkan Erotic Epic," provides a riotous parody of ethnic sexual rituals, in which women expose their breasts and "mate" with the ground, and men fertilize gardens with their semen. And Gaspar Noe's closer, "We Fuck Alone," combines the influence of TamaƱo Natural and Flicker by depicting copulation between a man and an inflatable sex doll - as filmed beneath an alienating strobe light. As a measure of U.S. society's love-it-or-hate-it conservatism, this picture ran at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival but skipped U.S. arthouse distribution (to say nothing of a mainstream American release). It did, however, receive a European theatrical run." ~AMGb