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October 29, 2018

Movie Review: Cinema Paradiso (1988)

Directed by Giuseppe Tornatore

Movie Review by Greg Goodsell

Salvatore Di Vita, or "Toto" lives with his mother in his small Sicilian fishing village. His father mysteriously absent, Toto looks to the kindly, grandfather-like figure of Alfredo (Philippe Noiret) for a male role model. The town’s film projectionist for the town’s sole movie theater, the titular Cinema Paradiso, Alfredo instills a love of movies in the young boy. The theater plays a vitally important role in the local community. Cutting across political and religious beliefs, the townspeople treat the theater as an important gathering place where they can all get down to the very serious business of watching movies. The small but humble theater has its vocal detractors: As some of the less tolerant villagers point out, motion pictures forms a gateway desire to life beyond their regional way of life, but this attitude fails to turn them against purchasing tickets. There is a price to pay for all this artifice, as a fire tears through the theater and leaves Alfredo blind. Toto remains at Alfredo’s side as an avid helpmate, until he is counseled by Alfredo as a young man on the way to college to pursue his dreams away from the village. Later in life as a successful filmmaker, Toto returns to the cinema, now in ruins, to unearth a hidden reel of film that is almost too heart-breakingly poignant to watch ...

October 1, 2018

Secondhand Smut #7: Living Dead Format

 Your favorite dirty column, Secondhand Smut, is back and will be reviewed random old porn with no particular order or reason; just for your eyes only. The column’s return was inspired after the author read Pete Chiarella’s A Whole Bag of Crazy: Sordid Tales of Hookers, Weed, and Grindhouse Movies. And another noteworthy book that recently came to my attention was flesh trade: tales from the uk sexual underground, in which writer Bruce Barnard goes on a mission to explore as much of the British-based sex work as possible; I liked the journey, but not its conclusion. But anyway, without further ado, let’s dive deep into the film reviews.

Butterflies (1975)

Denise (Swedish starlet Marie Forsa) is terminally bored by her unexciting life in the country where she lives with her equally unexciting boyfriend and decides to leave all that behind, go to the big city and make it to the luxurious and exciting world of fashion modeling. It is there that she meets club owner Frank (Harry Reems, no introduction needed) and the two fall in love, until the lady is disappointed when she finds out that her rich man is a womanizer.

Written and directed by Joseph W. Sarno (again, no introduction needed), this comes (quite expectedly, to be honest) with stunning camerawork and impressive visuals, but its soap opera-like plot is tiresome and the end result is ultimately boring. Watch out for a hilarious sex scene in which Reems pounds in fast forward!