Skip the fairy tales this month – the best flicks on offer this summer are all about nitty-gritty reality
Inside Deep Throat
Released: Nov 10, 2005
Deep Throat cost $25,000 to film and grossed over $600 million worldwide, making it the most profitable movie of all time. Inside Deep Throat is an amazing documentary about the impact the original porno film had on society then and now.
I’m not much of a porno girl so I’d never seen Deep Throat, but I must admit I was intrigued to see what all the fuss was about. And I was pleased I could watch it without having to don a trench coat or furtively avoid eye contact with my local video store employee.
The doco shows a small amount of the original skin flick – including the infamous scene from which the film takes its name. Sure I was shocked (Linda Lovelace obviously had no gag reflex), but what shocked me more was how the film became such a social and political football.
Released in America in 1972, it hit a social nerve. Sex, culture, morality and politics all collided – to explosive effect. This doco uses new and old interviews and newsreel footage to show the protests, arrests and general hoo-ha.
So I was keen to meet the main players and see what they made of all the fuss thirty years on. My favourite scene is when you see footage of the director, Gerard Damiano, as his younger self, a former hairdresser and sleazy swinger. Then it cuts to him now, a shuffling “Harry Highpants” retiree in Florida.
There is a sad side of this doco. Its star Linda Lovelace became an anti-porn crusader and died in a car accident in 2002, broke and bitter. Her co-star Harry Reems, who nearly went to jail on a trumped-up obscenity charge for taking part in the film, is now a recovering alcoholic and born-again Christian who sells real estate.
Why weren’t they all rolling in cash? Damiano made the film with mob money, so when it became a hit the mob threatened to break his legs if he didn’t sign over royalty rights. So basically no-one who worked on, or starred in, Deep Throat ever saw the rewards of the most successful movie in box office history.
Now that’s shocking.
Kiss Kiss Bang Bang
Released: Nov 17, 2005
She opened the door with nothing on but the radio.’ I love that cool gumshoe detective speak. And Kiss Kiss Bang Bang oozes with it. From the opening titles you know this is going to be a sassy, pop-culture romp of a film. And it doesn’t disappoint. It stars Robert Downey Jr (who despite all his drug problems is a very talented actor) as Harry Lockhart, a crook who escapes the cops by pretending he’s an actor auditioning for a role of a detective. Stick with me, it’s worth it.
Needless to say he’s a hit with the film producers, gets the job and is whisked off to Hollywood. There the producers hook him up with private eye ‘Gay’ Perry (played by a fat and hilariously camp Val Kilmer) to tutor Harry in the ways of actual detective work. So Harry becomes a crook-playing-an-actor-impersonating-a-detective. Gay Perry sums it up: ‘This isn’t good cop, bad cop. This is New Yorker and fag.’
Add a sub-plot of an aspiring actress Harmony Faith Lane (played by the vixen-like Michelle Monaghan) who’s obsessed with pulp fiction detective novels and whose sister has been murdered. You know you’re in for a high action, schlocky, fun time.
Downey is suitably jaded as the film’s narrator and often speaks to camera with a snarky aside: ‘Look I’m not going to end this film 17 times… I saw Lord of the Rings.’ And rather than fight for screen time, Downey and Kilmer work perfectly together.
And with lines like this how can you lose? ‘She poured herself into a seamless dress. From the look of it she spilled some.’
The Brothers Grimm
Released: Nov 24, 2005
Once upon a time there was a movie about fairytales. It was really, really bad. The end. I wish that was all I had to write about this dog’s breakfast. You see, The Brothers Grimm is not actually about the Grimm fairytales but elements of the fairytales are in it. Confused? Wait it, gets worse.
In The Brothers Grimm, Will and Jake, (played equally appallingly by Matt Damon and Heath Ledger) are travelling con artists. They journey from village to village in Germany, staging phony magic and claiming it is real. But then they come across a clichéd village where the woods are indeed magic; the cursed trees move and a sinister tower sits in the middle of it. Inside is the Mirror Queen (the breath-takingly beautiful but under-utilized Monica Bellucci). A hideous witch who needs to sacrifice twelve maidens to restore her beauty during an eclipse (a beauty routine I’m thinking of adopting!)
So even though they don’t believe in magic the brothers have to save the maidens and break the spell. Whatever! And to make things more confusing, there are fairytale references and characters, like Hansel and Gretel, Little Red Riding Hood and even the Gingerbread Man. They all seem shoe-horned into an already dodgy script.
It was a mess. Very Grimm indeed.