« Jimmywork | Main | Raoul Walsh heads for the hills »

July 27, 2007

DVDs in your BVDs

christina 1.jpg

Christina/Christina y la Reconversion Sexual
Francisco Lara - 1984
Private Screening Collection Region 1 DVD

love circles 1.jpg

Love Circles/La Ronde de l'amour
Gerard Kikoine - 1985
Private Screening Collection Region 1 DVD

I don't know if anyone else writing about films has this problem, but I feel that any time I get DVD screeners, I am obligated to write about them. Especially as the number of screeners I receive is relatively small, there is no reason not to write about them. What gets in the way is when the film in question is not really designed for any real critical scrutiny. This is obviously the case in these two DVDs of soft-core films produced by the unstoppable Harry Alan Towers. These two films are from the 1980s, and could have easily been left there.

Seeing Christina has confirmed what I have long suspected - that it's more fun to read about Jewel Shepard and her films. This Christina is introduced by one character as the "playgirl of the Western World". Kidnapped by a gang of lesbian terrorists known as the 10th of November group, she escapes their clutches only to be held ransom by a suave smuggler named Alain. The film is hugely padded with Shepard's couplings with various men and women. Whomever the audience is for this film, it's not me. Not only does the European cast sound badly dubbed in English, but Shepard does as well. If you miss big hair and bad disco music, you might want to take a peak at Christina. The film opens with Shepard dancing topless, and closes with her dancing nude, in what appears to be the same disco set. For me, all that was missing was for Shepard to lip synch to the Andrea True Connection.

Love Circles is dubiously even less erotic or entertaining. No one who reads this web site would confuse Love Circles with La Ronde. The film jumps from character to character, going around the world from Paris to other exotic locales before ending up in the same Parisian disco. The height of wit in Love Circles is when a man is bedded by a pair of Hong Kong twins, and is befuddled by the butterfly tattoo that seems to switch cheeks. Somewhere Arthur Schnitzler is cursing himself for not thinking of that first. Christina benefits from a modicum of imagination with a filmmaker who has an eye for the symbolic aspects of architecture. Either way, without setting the bar very high, both films make me miss the nuttiness of Jesus Franco's Venus in Furs, in its very unique way Harry Alan Towers' towering achievement.

christina 2.jpg

Posted by peter at July 27, 2007 01:55 PM


Kikoine also directed Anthony Perkins in Edge of Sanity, a bizarre and lurid composite of the Jekyll & Hyde and Jack the Ripper stories that I like quite a bit.

Posted by: c. jerry kutner at July 30, 2007 09:35 PM