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November 06, 2013

Schoolgirl Report Volume #11: Trying Beats Studying

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Schulm├Ądchen-Report 11. Teil - Probieren geht uber Studieren / Blue Dreams
Ernst Hofbauer - 1977
Impulse Pictures Region 0 DVD

Trying beats studying? I have no idea what that's suppose to mean.

There is some peculiar stuff involving animals as witnesses to the sexual initiations of a couple of high school girls. In one scene, there's the tutor's very large dog, a bullmastiff, the kind with very big teeth, and a loud bark. In a later episode, there is sex in a barn, with a small horse observing young love in action. And in a film with a generous offering of female full frontal nudity, the only male member to get a screen shot is that horse, hung like a, well, nevermind.

Like the rest of the Schoolgirl Report series, this is a series of vaguely related vignettes. The stories are related by a quartet of alleged adult experts at a radio show discussing how the law protects these high school girls, or something like that, although most of the stories are about girls losing their virginity. Somehow the film concludes that these young women who we've seen in various states of undress will become the outstanding wives and mothers of Germany in the years ahead.

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I wouldn't even call the sex here vanilla, because vanilla is a spice, and there's not a whole lot that's spicy here. The girls are reasonably attractive, but I find myself longing for the all in fun sluttiness of the students at St. Trinians. British girls from a series of films made in the Fifties are much saucier than these girls in the more liberated 1970s. OK, so the Schoolgirl series is suppose to be taken from "real life", but, gee, not even a lesbian scene, or somebody showing up in a leather catsuit, something a bit more erotic.

There is one mildly funny bit where one of the girls has determined that here friend needs to lose her virginity. The girl in question is locked in a room with a young man, supposedly a high school Casanova. As it turns out, the young man's reputation is a fiction that has a life of its own. The two pretend to make love, while a gang of girls hears, but can not see, what is going on. The sound of love is the nibbling of chocolates and bouncing on a bed fully clothed.

There is also a biker terrorizing one of the girls, following a setup in a park. With his mustache and black leather jacket, he looks like a slimmer Rainer Fassbinder. Of course there's much more sexual variety in a Fassbinder film. I wouldn't go so far as to say that Ernst Hofbauer has a visual style, but he does find opportunities for low angle shots. There is also an extreme close up of an eye, and the reflection of the lover coming into focus. I don't know much about Hofbauer, except that one of his earlier gigs was as an assistant director on an international coproduction, As the Sea Rages, with Cliff Robertson and Maria Schell. I suspect that from some of the interesting touches in this Schoolgirl Report, that Hofbauer had some artistic ambitions at the beginning of his filmmaking career that have found their way in the midst of more financially dependable journeyman work.

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Posted by peter at November 6, 2013 07:36 AM