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I finally got around to watching the movie last night because I’ve been slowly getting through the Kubrick catalog even though he’s not one of my favorites but he has his merit and his ways.
And any film maker who is as meticulous and perfectionist as he is deserves to be watched. And Eyes Wide Shut took 400 days to shoot. That’s not even including post-production and everything else. I can now understand why he didn’t pump out movies like Woody Allen. He was too engulfed and swallowed up by details to do that.
And Eyes Wide Shut is no exception. It’s very intense and silly in the ways that Kubrick is known for. It’s like he knew this would be his last film, so he went hog wild with it. He created New York in London because he hates traveling and he probably chose the names of all the shops on the sets and all the signs in the windows of those shops and the street names and everything.
But I wanted to talk about the censorship of the movie. I viewed the censored version that was created for the MPAA that has, in the scenes at the orgy that Tom Cruise’s character goes to, people digitally placed in front of the more graphic simulated acts. You can tell that they were placed after the final cut and everything because they’re still and poorly done and they do not fit with the flow of everything else. It’s as if they did it intentionally to make you realize that there’s something going on and these goddam people shouldn’t be here to ruin it. Like Tom Cruise’s character. These digitally added people are the ones who showed up in taxis in a rented tuxedo.
And that’s why I hate the ratings system. At times you begin to stop seeing the director’s vision of the writer’s script and you start seeing what the censor’s idea of the scene should be. Are children going to be seeing this movie if it’s rated R? Hell no. Adults are. It’s a fucking Stanley Kubrick film. Nicole Kidman is half-naked in the one-sheet. Parents will know. So why do they censor R-rated films? Why is there even NC-17 but to send films into a nameless oblivion?
It’s fucking stupid. Plain and simple. Most people have already lost their virginity by age 17 so what’s a little bit of simulated sex going to hurt their integrity? It’s frustrating. I can barely even put into words the sort of frustration and madness that the MPAA brings into my mind. It is a broken system and it needs to be rebuilt. That’s about it. Everything else is a red haze right now. I’m gonna go take an elephant tranquilizer or two to calm me down now.
BOY CULTURE is a typical romance movie in most senses… except that it involves man on man. Currently playing only in Hollywood and New York, this is one of those unrated gay films that really makes you scratch your head about what makes it SO terrible that the rating was released. There’s no male nudity, no female nudity, and only a few shots of men getting their kicks.
Anyway, this is a movie about “X,” an escort who has 12 clients, whom he calls disciples, making him Jesus, as if his ass were on a crusade to give these men a good fucking (from the shots we see of these clients, I guess he does.). And it’s definitely not sex. There’s no sex in this movie, it seems. It’s all fucking. They refer to it as so, and it’s promiscuous enough to warrant the term “fucking” as opposed to “sex.” “X” has two roomates, Joey, and Andrew, the former being a young 18-year-old slut who has tons of tricks and does drugs and all those times of things; and the latter, Andrew, is the central character of the story aside from “X.” They’ve all been roomates for a year, and there’s been sexual tension between “X” and Andrew and Joey for that whole year. From the posters, it could be assumed that there’s some sort of crazy man on man on man ménage à trois, of which there is none. Joey is the baby, and Andrew and “X” are the dads to his promiscuity.
All of this is narrated by “X,” who tells of all of this very cynically, almost tiredly, as if not really caring. Passively telling of the mutual masturbation (just kidding), and all the parallel stories including one trick named Gregory who tells of his love of 50 years with a man named Reynaldo who just recently passed away. Funny how the story of Reynaldo and Gregory parallels so well wtih the story of “X” and Andrew. “X” even was in love and fucked his cousin, “call him John,” when he was 12. Nothing ultra-nasty there either, by the way. Etcetera. It’s all very convoluted and trite. The dialogue is stinted and it all seems like a typical love story.
Except it’s two men and a bunch of other men who pass in and out of the open doorasshole. And that’s where I think the MPAA had a problem with this movie: it’s homosexual and women are never portrayed as being pleasured. If nothing else, this is the greatest showing of the MPAA’s homophobia. This is a prototypical R-rated romance melodrama. It’s not SHORTBUS, it’s not DEEP THROAT. Nothing. It’s just BOY CULTURE, a movie about men in love. And what’s so wrong with that? Oh, right, the woman is not involved.
I grimaced less at the male kissing and the male touching and feeling than I did at the thought that all of this in the movie would be permissable if it were a man and a woman or a woman and a woman or, I don’t know, released by a major studio. It is everything that Kirby Dick recognized about the homophobia in the industry incarnate. Living proof that this movie could be widely distributed, and probably liked by a good many people. But it is shunned because it has a soundtrack consisting of mostly house music, and a good ton of man-on-man kissing and lusting.