The fact that I cannot really post a picture from the movie Destricted should be the first sign that this is the most sexually explicit film I’ve seen (more so than 9 Songs, even). I don’t think you could see a movie with more penises unless you were watching porn (and this film definitely borders on pornography).
The idea behind Destricted is that seven contemporary artists are given a chance to make short films about “sex and pornography.” Each film, of course, somehow captures that artist’s unique style and perspective. Here are my quick and dirty (no pun intended?) thoughts on each:
“Hoist” by Matthew Barney — I haven’t seen any of Barney’s other films (such as The CREMASTER CYCLE or Drawing Restraint). The only reason I really recognized his name is because he is married to Bjork. I have to say, “Hoist” was pretty damn avant-garde. The film was basically a man (or something of a man — he was sort of half-nature/half-man or something like that) masturbating and using his cum to lube up a big drill or something. It was sort of funny that the film started with “Hoist” since it was definitely the most abstract of the pieces. I know I was thinking to myself, “Oh great, what have I gotten myself into this time? Is Destricted going to be even more abstract and difficult than Container???” As for the meaning from “Hoist,” I didn’t really get much. I figure it had something to do with industrialism and the environment (hence the nature man thing), but who knows for sure.
“House Call” — I’m not quite sure what exactly was going on with this film. To me, it looked like the camera was zooming in on a 1970s porn movie about a woman and a doctor having sex. The zooming-in effect was cool, but, again, I’m not sure whether we were supposed to see/feel something different. I’m not even sure whether the film was a porn film from the 1970s or a remake to look vintage or what. I wasn’t really a fan of this film.
“Impaled” — Directed by Larry Clark (who did Kids and Bully), “Impaled” was easily the best film of Destricted. The film started with Clark interviewing straight guys between the ages of 18 and 25 or so about pornography and sex. He asked them about their experience with women, what sort of sexual acts they liked to do, how long they have watched porn, etc. At one point he even had the guys remove their pants and show their dicks and discuss why or why they didn’t shave/trim their pubic hair. (Most of the guys did trim and said they did it because the guys in porn films did the same.) Apparently Clark was interviewing the guys because they had answered an ad he posted on the internet offering guys a chance to fuck a porn star.
Once Clark choose one of the guys (a moderately attractive guy from Southern California who really wanted to try anal sex), Clark and the guy interviewed the various porn stars to see who had the best chemistry with the guy. It was funny to see how uncomfortable the guy was around most of the porn stars that were obviously more experienced and somewhat intimidating. He asked various questions such as: When did you start making films? When did you lose your virginity? Why do you like the industry? etc. One of the more poignant answers was from a woman who had just gotten out of a five-year relationship with a woman. The guy asked when she lost her virginity, and it was something having to do with being raped by a relative when she was a little girl. The guy was obviously asking this question to get some steamy fantasies going, and her answer hit him like a ton of bricks.
Ultimately, he chooses a 40-something because he said he liked older women, she loved anal, and she was totally flirtatious with him. The sex scene was pretty straightforward. They made out, she gave him head, etc. I was surprised that he could get hard for the shoot considering it could’ve been a pretty awkward situation. I was doubly surprised that they didn’t use condoms for the sex. It seems like a lawsuit waiting to happen (a young guy having sex with a woman who has been in the porn industry for quite a long time…), but I would imagine/hope everyone was tested prior to interviews. The best part, however, was when the guy got his anal sex fantasy fulfilled. After fucking for a while, he pulled out to find that his sick was covered with shit. He was somewhat grossed out so the woman went to get some baby wipes to clean it off and wipe her ass. She apologized and after he got hard again, they kept on going. At the end of it all, the guy didn’t really have any profound thoughts. He said the anal was nastier than he thought it would be and that shit in the ass was the kinda stuff you didn’t really think about when you fantasized (no, really?).
What I loved about “Impaled” was the way Clark managed to tease out how much pornography has influenced people’s lives nowadays. It’s so accessible that pretty much every guy has seen it — and has had his ideas of sex influenced by it, as well. “Impaled” really struck down the fantasy that pornography creates and presented it as real, messy (literally!), sex.
“Sync” — This was a 1-minute super-fast editing job that took various sex scenes from movies and placed them together as one continuous collage-like film. What really impressed me about the movie was that I learned during This Film Is Not Yet Rated that when it came to sex scenes in movies, the MPAA was really critical about what types of positions could be shown and for how long, etc. Hence, the “man laying down with woman riding her” and “woman laying on her back with man fucking her while propped up on his elbows,” etc. positions are so common in movies. “Sync” really emphasized how all the sexual positions in movies are just the same.
“Death Valley” — Nearly eight minutes of a fairly hot guy masturbating in the desert but is ultimately unable to cum. That is what “Death Valley” was. But despite the terse description, this short was actually really well done. Matmos did the music, though I still feel like they sampled or ripped-off some other song I know. But the film is, obviously, about male impotence or something like that. I did enjoy it.
“Balkan Erotic Epic” — I thought this short was funny at times, but also stupid at times. Overall, I think the stupid outweighed the funny and I wasn’t impressed. The point of the film seemed to be to show how sexuality was a common part of everyday Balkan life. This included traditions like men masturbating on fields, women putting fish in their vagina for a day then grinding up the fish and feeding it to their husbands, etc. I’m not sure if these traditions were real or not, but I don’t necessarily think that’s the point. To me they just seemed old fashioned and sexist.
“We Fuck Alone” — I would imagine that most people in the audience would’ve rated this movie as their least favorite. Of course, I sort of liked it. “We Fuck Alone” followed two people (a guy and a girl) who were masturbating to pornography. This went on for about 20 minutes and was accompanied by a strobe effect (and I love strobes) and a noisy soundtrack. The woman used stuffed animals as a prop. The guy used a blow-up sex doll as a prop. At one point the guy shoved a gun into the doll’s face (which may have been too blatant and clichÃ©?). What I thought was interesting about the film was the idea that “we fuck alone” in the sense that pornography has replaced human sexual contact for people so much of the time. Is this good or bad? I’m still not sure, but “We Fuck Alone” gave me quite a bit of time to ponder it.