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January 31, 2013


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Serena: An Adult Fairy Tale
Fred Lincoln - 1979

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Same Time, Every Year
F. J. Lincoln - 1981
Impulse Pictures Region 1 DVD

No, not THAT Lincoln, but the filmmaker and actor born Fred Perna, professionally known as Fred Lincoln, Fred J. Lincoln or F. J. Lincoln. There is, however, a guy with a stovepipe hat, in Serena: An Adult Fairy Tale.

What I learned from roughly forty years of my own film history studies is that every movie ever made is important. The importance of that film may change, or may not be apparent at the time the film was made, and might reveal itself in unexpected ways. What was once considered ephemera is in some cases now lost treasure. Back in 1960, who would have predicted that Roger Corman would get retrospectives from the British Film Institute or the Museum of Modern Art. For that matter, it was at MoMA that I saw my first Radley Metzger film, Camille 2000.

As for the harder stuff, I saw a few of the hard core films when they were relatively current, but I claim only a casual interest in the genre. My only reason for seeing Deep Throat was because I was invited to a special screening prior to that film's engagement in Portland, Oregon. I was associated with the Northwest Film Study Center at the time, and I guess someone thought that if the film was deemed obscene by local authorities, I could be of some help in arguing on its behalf. I did see The Devil and Miss Jones because critics went gaga over the ending, a reworking of Sartre's No Exit, where not only is Hell other people, but in this case, a guy who won't get it up for an insatiable nymphomaniac. I also checked out what Radley Metzger was doing under the name of Henry Paris, making harder core movies with greater professional polish.

As for these two films directed by Mr. Lincoln, there is an audience for these films, but it doesn't include me. These movies were made at a time when everyone had pubic hair, guys had chest hair, breast implants were optional, and no one worried about sexually transmitted diseases. The only rubber I noticed were the gloves Serena was wearing while washing dishes. These films were both shot on film, back in the days when people saw such work in real movie theaters, theaters that once showed mainstream theatrical films. The DVDs were made from prints that have scratches and minor glitches here and there, which as far as I'm concerned is great, as it helps create the grindhouse experience. As to why there is interest in thirty year old porn movies, I'm personally at a loss. It's not I'm against the graphic depiction of sex, as much as I get bored when that's all there is. But there is an enthusiastic audience for these films, and I'm not going to begrudge them their pleasure any more than I would accept a critical eye towards what appears to some others as my inexplicable love of Thai horror movies.

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Serena is a parody of Cinderella. The titular star washes, irons, mops, and occasionally participates in three way sex until she gets unceremoniously dumped. Clearly, the actors were not cast based on their ability to read their lines. Whatever Fred Lincoln did as a director, his job did not extend to getting China Leigh's speaking voice to be other than a dull monotone, absent of any inflections. There is a moment when one of the girls offer the Prince a specially prepared cigar, and I had to wonder if that inveterate horndog, William Jefferson Clinton, had seen Serena and was inspired in his encounters with Monica Lewinsky.

The spoof title of Same Time, Every Year will be lost on all but the few people who recall the play and film, Same Time, Next Year. A trio of husbands claim to be going to a convention. The film focuses on the wives seeking pleasure with various men, or in one case, each other. Loni Sanders, first seen intimately with real life husband, Mike Ranger, is noteworthy for her expressive face. There is a dinner scene that may well have been inspired by Tony Richardson's Tom Jones featuring cream filled pastry and an actress known as Isolde with a banana. More often than not, during the extreme close ups of penetration, I kept wonder more about the contortions of the cameraman rather than the couples on screen, and the, to say the least, unusual positions of the camera.

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Posted by Peter Nellhaus at January 31, 2013 08:59 AM


Nice review(s), and way to tie in Tony Richardson's TOM JONES for the win! ;)

Posted by: BRS at February 13, 2013 07:40 PM