House Logo
Explore categories +

Eros (#110 of 2)

Rotterdam 2012: Boca Porn

Comments Comments (...)

Rotterdam 2012: Boca Porn
Rotterdam 2012: Boca Porn

Walter Hugo Khouri is an undervalued master. I had seen two of his films before watching a third in the Boca do Lixo series. Both 1964’s Eros and 1968’s The Amorous Ones are strangely disquieting films about casanovas facing mortality. In both films men use and abuse women to compete with each other, and then, upon realizing that the women are human beings, get slapped with their own desperation. The films’ tones shift from light to dark while the characters keep consistent. Men end alone, lost in nature, their charm wound up.

One could say many of the same things about 1980’s Invitation to Pleasure, which played at Rotterdam. Its two male leads are a middle-aged dentist and his businessman friend who set up a bachelor’s loft to have sex with young women together, each man glancing at the other as they go. In time, one wife finds out; the other’s known all along. And just as the men are trapped inside their desires, the women are trapped inside a social condition. “Don’t fool yourself into thinking it’s better out there,” the younger wife hears, and fears she’s heard right; the older has long since decided not to give up the big house and nice clothes. These women’s minds are dying. Is their place better than that of the screaming girls in the loft?

The Eclipse: Losing Bergman and Antonioni

Comments Comments (...)

The Eclipse: Losing Bergman and Antonioni
The Eclipse: Losing Bergman and Antonioni

Ingmar Bergman dies in the morning. Michelangelo Antonioni dies at night.

On the same day. In the middle of summer. Now, to most people, these are names from the distant past. Their real heyday in the cinema was at least forty years ago. These were old men (Bergman was 89, Antonioni, 94). More than one commentator has termed their mid-twentieth century, fearing-the-atom-bomb, discuss-our-alienation-over-black-coffee-later modernism as “quaint.” We live in a period where some of those in power have termed the central tenets of the Geneva Conventions “quaint.” Can the term “elitist” be far behind? The other recurring word in these initial pieces is “difficult.” Not easy.