Archive for the ‘PENIS COMEDY’ Category

Pink Flamingos

06 Dec

Pink Flamingos – directed by John Waters. Farce. Competition for the title of Filthiest In The World leads to crimes and misdemeanors. 93 minutes Color 1979.


Faultless fault – that is the Waters style, here and elsewhere. The professionalism of his pictures establishes its rock-hard foundation on the amateurism which Waters insists upon and which determines their tone, style, execution.

Since amateurism never changes from age to age, since from the beginning of time to the end of the world, it is always the same, his pictures partake of a perfect human eternality. Humans being amateurs always look like this, do this, give this impression. This is not to say his films are deathless, for they die the deaths of a thousand embarrassments, humiliations, and shames as they stumble through to their denouements, but they do partake of a certain immortality – if immortality can be in any way defined by the term “a certain”, which suggests that their immortality is not absolute – when the one thing immortality always is is absolute, since in dying it never dies. So let us say it: John Wates Pink Flamingos is immortal – as immortal as a tomb mistaken as a sanctuary.

This deliberate amateurism places his films beyond defamation and beyond criticism. For they are themselves defamatory.  Defamation breathes in them. And as to criticism, who would rise to the bait? Five stars are always to be scattered upon their prone forms. The acting style is as follows: every actor shouts his lines at every other actor always and always on the same identical level of SHOUT. One cannot criticize this. There is no performance level to address. One can merely report.

In the sense that the individual speeches go on too long and repeat, all one can say is that the actors and the writer are supposed neither to know any better nor do any better. That is the treatment.

As to Divine, criticism – in the sense of particular sensitivity to the rubric of acting on the part of a critic to the part the actor plays – this would be senseless. For Divine has stepped aside from gender. Divine is a creature of no gender at all, neither male nor female, and so is responsible to no particular sexual style or urge. She is Liberty Hall. She is human in every particular, because in none. There is nothing to be said in her favor; there is nothing to be said against her. Indeed, the only thing to be said about her is to notice the only trait which seems natural to her, amid so many that are not– her eye make-up, her flamboyancy – natural to anyone – is her human kindness. She is Pleasure Island. But the trip she is does not turn her into a braying jackass. Indeed, her kindness is so generous, so forceful, so unavoidable, that it seems to make her a star.

“Seems to?”


Does make her a star, and a deserving one she is, too.

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The Dictator

15 Jun

The Dictator –  Farce. A Middle East potentate finds himself without a crown or a court in downtown Manahattan and musrt foil a plot for his double to take over his vile dictatorship and turn it into a vile democracy. Color 212.


It’s funny, but not funny enough, and looking at its star, Sasha Baron Cohen, that may be because he himself is not inherently funny. He does funny things, though, and he says funny things too. He has funny ideas. And his stories are far-fetched enough to make us ripe for a guffaw.  For his purpose is to make us laugh – out of the other side of our faces, to be sure, but still…. Bert Lahr was inherently funny. So was Milton Berle, Fanny Brice, Jack Benny, Bob Hope, Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, Martha Raye, Carole Burnett, Billy Crystal, Walter Brennan, Lucille Ball, Donald Duck, John Lithgow, Judy Davis, Judy Garland. They had what is called funny bones. Bert Lahr was inherently funny; Jack Haley, Ray Bolger were not. But they could do funny things. And they could be vastly entertaining entertaining us. With Cohen the humor is mainly physical. It collects us by antics, get-ups, accents, impersonations, and complicated contradictions. All to the good. I will continue to visit his films because there is a natural defiance and an elegance and novelity of wit harbored in him that makes him belong up there dressed in a djellabah and a false beard and a screwy accent, and ignorant of his own folly all the time. I would not care to see him play a comedy by Shaw. But this?  yes. For there is a giddiness in his breast that wants to roughride and that is worth witnessing for its own sake, and that is what really makes him a star. Enthusiasm for what he is doing. It’s not as common as one might suppose. Brad Pitt has it. So does Tom Cruise. To be present with it is just plain good for one’s digestion.



What Planet Are You From?

25 Sep

What Planet Are You From – Directed by Mike Nichols. Penis Comedy. An Alien is sent down to take over Earth by impregnating a woman. 105 minutes Color  2000.

* * *

All the women in this picture are dressed badly, all the men are dressed so beautifully it is as though Fred Astaire had haberdashed them. Why is that? I can understand frump in Annette Bening’s case because her character’s a dither-head. But why would the sensationally sexy Linda Fiorentino stalk into her husband’s bank office in a see-thru skirt is baffling.

Anyhow, it probably fits with the monstrously minute mental elegance of Garry Shandling who wrote this one low joke comedy. Strange that no mature comedy is available for grown-ups, when Irene Dunne and Cary Grant were middle aged when they made their great ones.

Sir Ben Kingsley is present intoning orders from on high, meaning A Star Up There. While it is true that those gifts from the Gods, Camryn Manheim and Richard Jenkins, momentarily beguile us, this does not compensate for the presence before us of Shandling himself looking like a doomed sheep. What are his eyes always appealing for? What is that? Why does anyone find him funny? I mean funny in the sense of amusing, not in the sense of peculiar, which he certainly is.

This leaves us with the sleazy charms of Greg Kinnear, who is a master of them, and wins one’s heart with his vileness and his beautiful suits.

And with the great, the indissoluble, the loveable, the gifted, the sweet, the sexy, the imaginative, the tribute to American womanhood, and marvelous character leading actress, Dame Annette Bening, she who holds the Columbia torch!

One star for Annette Bening, one for Greg Kinnear, and one for John Goodman, who races around magnificently in chase of the answer to it all.




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