Showing posts with label music videos. Show all posts
Showing posts with label music videos. Show all posts

Monday, October 13, 2014

The 10 Most 90s Things in Sliver

The more films from the early 1990s that I watch, the more I become convinced that it was just a really weird time period where everything was a little off somehow and it just feels mildly embarrassing 20 years later. Sliver is both a part of the erotic thriller era and the yuppie thriller period (although I guess in general, erotic thrillers are generally a subsect of yuppie thrillers, which are just slasher films with legit actors playing people with legit jobs). The film is a big confused mess about a woman and women in one apartment building that  are basically terrorized by two men who are prototype versions of the both extremes of Dennis Reynolds - one is a voyeur, the other is a murderer. My friend dug up the Entertainment Weekly cover story about the tumultuous making of the film. Multiple endings were shot because no one could agree who should be the worse creepy guy, and producer Robert Evans was hospitalized twice with chest pain. But on with the "true 90s kid"-ness!

The 10 Most 90s Things In Sliver

1. Soundtrack by Enigma. I forgot about this band's existence until watching this movie. "Carly's Song" is primarily based around "ploop" dripping water noises. Both versions of the "official" music video feature Sharon Stone cosplaying as 1) a goth girl, 2) Nicole Kidman, and 3) Madonna in the "Deeper and Deeper" video on the Red Room set from Twin Peaks. She seems to be having fun at least.




2. Hair parted in the middle, black choker, paisley collar/shirt.


3. Denim jumper dress over a turtleneck with a crucifix necklace and a Blossom Russo hat on display.


4. Blazer, shirt buttoned all the way up, no tie. Hair slicked back, but not at total Patrick Bateman level. 


5. Nintendo Power Glove. I think Sliver was an early attempt to portray all guys who work with computers and are into video games as being disturbed, even ones who are played by William Baldwin.


6. T-shirts slightly rolled up above the natural hem.


7. Although arguably one of the better outfits in the film, high-waisted pants with a men's necktie as the belt.


8. Primitive digital sex messaging, but with a digital flower sent afterwards. If this were made in 2014, it would be a dick pic with a flower emoji sent afterwards.


9. Gigantic remotes to zoom in with.


10. Enigma, seriously?


Monday, April 14, 2014

Quick Notes on Representation and Who Are You, Polly Maggoo?


Who Are You, Polly Maggoo? (1966, Dir. William Klein) is centered around an American fashion model in Paris named Polly Maggoo, of course. The film never quite settles on what is fantasy and what is reality until the end of the film. It is also hard to say what type of P.O.V. the film is taking. Third person? A documentary of a TV documentary crew? Klein builds Polly as a construct from the beginning and Polly sees herself as a construct of sorts. The TV crew and especially the producer follow her around just because she is not being forthcoming enough, all the while constantly editing her piece in a positive, negative and almost irreverent fashion depending on their feelings towards her. One crew member is bent on depicting her as a Cinderella story while at the same time showing the darker version of the fairy tale and connecting it to the fashion industry.

The fantasy storyline concerns Prince Igor, a European prince who pines for Polly just based on her photos and apparently some Hollywood-based notion of what American women are like, mostly based in Classical Hollywood musicals (Shirley Temple, Ginger Rogers...although I have no idea where the brief shot of Polly chained to a wall wearing a leather bikini means or comes from in terms of Classical Hollywood musicals).

The TV producer, full of self-loathing (while directing some loathing towards Polly) performs some pop-psychology tests on her asking what type of plant she would be, etcetera, who she would rather have sex with (lists various historical figures), "reading" her face and walk. He seems no closer to understanding her, and she tells him so. He, and the rest of the documentary crew keep insisting that she does not know who she is - that is debatable because we rarely see Polly alone partially because of the crew that follows and stalks her.

The ending sets up Polly's fall, at least her "public" fall - the magazine editor sees her as a "Cinderella"-type, not a "rocket"-type (although Polly claims on her test that she would like to be a rocket) and hires a different model behind her back. Prince Igor arrives to Polly's apartment moments after she leaves, meets Polly's similar-looking neighbor and instantly falls in love with her. People on the street do not find Polly's pictures attractive. The TV producer stops hating himself, professes his love to Polly and turns into a prince, but that is not mentioned at the very end, where Polly is roaming the streets happily with the crowds who are awaiting the arrival/parade for Prince Igor. Titles at the end feature a sad song about Polly's end.

Again, this is her fall in the eyes of the public, while Polly is very happy with herself because she is not under scrutiny anymore. This film is bizarrely progressive in this matter.

PS - This film is available on Hulu+ under the Criterion Collection. And yes, the opening scene is referenced in the video for "No You Girls" by Franz Ferdinand.