(1982/Blue Underground Blu-ray)/The
(1977/Cult Epics Blu-ray)/Mothering
(2021/both Film Movement DVDs)
B/B/B/C+/C+ Sound: B-/C+/B-/C/C Extras: B-/C-/C-/C+/C-
next are more dramas with erotic content, et al....
start with Jess Franco's Cecilia
(1982) with Muriel Montosse as a 'desperate housewife' lonely and
unhappy with her marriage, et al, so she lands up in situations to
make up for that. A beautiful older woman, the film is not as bad as
so many such productions that are usually cynical exploitation
releases, but Franco is a horror/action/genre filmmaker, so this is
unusual for him to do any such film.
that said, he handles it more maturely and consistently than expected
and some of the moments even ring true, yet it can only work so much
and it is not as if we never saw anything like this before. Still,
it looks good, the locales are nice and the cast is a plus, so it is
worth seeing for those interested.
Van Braken's The
(1977) is another kind of famous high concept sex film that you would
especially see in Europe, though more cynically so from the U.S.
market, as young (and underage or 'barely legal'!) gal (Marina De
Graaf) discovers the joys of sex when she gets involved with an older
man (Gerald Cox) who is at least not a rapist or sick pervert, but
having a female director makes this a step above how bad something
like this could get and several above some underground exploitation
(or worse) that would warrant and FBI investigation.
honest portrayal of teens and school is a plus and here too, the film
looks very good and is thoughtfully shot. Eventually though, the
young former virgin gets a little annoying and that is when the film
starts to fortunately wind down, yet that behavior too is why these
relationships are a bad idea no matter the law? The film is
attempting to do Lolita
with a female perspective and that has a little validity, spending
most of its 95 minutes well. Ironically, it seems to come from a
more innocent time.
(2021) has a maid in 1924 England (Odessa Young) having a secret
sexual affair with the likable Paul (Josh O'Connor) that is nice,
pleasant and they seem to really like each other, but there is that
class division issue and that also means they likely will not be able
to run off with each other, considering his family, some serious
money and all. Yet we also see her in a later decades writing about
the events and herself involved with a man of color, so is the
earlier story fiction or not?
is made more complicated when the era she is in might not be now,
while 1924 apparently has a family who has already lost some members
way too young (the parents well-played by Colin Firth and Olivia
Coleman) so this is usually compelling viewing for most of its lavish
104 minutes, yet it eventually is all over the place and is likely to
confuse the viewer. Glenda Jackson also stars and it is worth a look
for those interested.
(2020) is about a Romanian police officer named Cristi (Conrad
Mercioffer) who is secretly homosexual and finally catching up
intimately with a male lover who happens to be Muslim. That tells us
right there that he has a knack for unusual situations, as that is a
religion that is especially hostile to men like them, but things get
stranger when he has to go to a movie theater where moralists have
such down a lesbian art film where the two females can procreate!
should not have top take so long, but the paying customers get sick
of the protesters and Cristi unexpectedly identified a gay by one of
the guys there, but he would prefer he just shut up instead of almost
putting him on the spot. He tries to resolve that quickly, but that
just makes things worse and odder, including conflict with one of the
film becomes a 'stuck-in-a' film with too much fo the action in the
now-empty movie theater as the screenplay tries to examine
homophobia, sexual oppression and has us wonder if any of his fellow
cops are also secretly gay or just gay-baiting, possibly homophobic
cops. A few moments work, but the film gets stuck a little too
often. Also, the cover suggests far more sex and nudity than the
film has, which makes me wonder why they did not come up with a more
accurate cover. That might have broadened their potential audience.
Yoshida Kota's Sexual
(2021) is trying to tie a few things together and not always doing
them well. You have three stories, which would otherwise make this a
trilogy film, yet the stories are loosely related by sexual
situations, with what looks like some actors playing more than one
role. Then they add food and how it may have some connection to
erotica on several ways, but even that is handled with mixed results.
the actual sex or sexiness is not very memorable and the addition of
any kind of humor also falls flat since the narratives cannot even
work, though we get a character that also tries to connect them all.
The title does not even work, as we really learn nothing about it and
the result rings false overall despite some professional efforts on
the part of the cast. One of the odder releases we've seen of late.
three Blu-ray releases just happen to have 1080p
1.66 X 1 digital High Definition presentations and look about as good
as they can, though Sunday
has slight styling differences for different storylines and the other
films can show their age a bit, but have fine color, detail and depth
for the format otherwise.
is a little bit different with the DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1
lossless mix on Sunday
dialogue-based and a little quieter than I would have liked, Cecilia
offering French and a lesser English-language dub
in DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 1.0 Mono lossless mixes that show their
age and the French sounding as good as it ever will and Debut
offering both Dutch PCM
2.0 Mono and DTS-HD
MA (Master Audio) 2.0 Mono lossless mixes that show the age of the
film and its budget. Both have flaws, but I thought the DTS was a
little smoother, though you might like the rawness of the PCM more.
anamorphically enhanced 1.85 X 1 image on Poppy
and 1.78 X 1 image on Drive
look about as good as they can in the older DVD format, so expect
soft shots here and there, but as good as expected for DVD. Both
feature lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo in their respective languages
(Romanian & French with some English, Japanese,) but Poppy
adds a lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 that makes only a slight difference
sonically and all are a bit on the weak side, so be careful of volume
switching and overly high playback levels.
include Original Theatrical Trailers in all cases, with Debut
adding a Photo Gallery, Poster Gallery and 1977 newsreel connected to
the film's release, Poppy
adding a Making Waves featurette where the Director is being
interviewed at the Hungarian Film Festival and and George Dogaru's
short drama A
(14 minutes) which is more sexually graphic than the feature film it
is included with and Cecilia
adds its own stills
ABERRACIONES SEXUALES DE UNA MUJER CASADA: Jess Franco's rare
original cut in Spanish with English subtitles
Aberrations of Cecilia:
Interview with Director Jess Franco
Interview with Stephen Thrower, Author of "Murderous
Passions: The Delirious Cinema of Jesus Franco"
Musings on Madrid's B-Movie Maverick:
a feature-length documentary examining the career of Jess Franco.