Tag Archives: film

Lame Adventure 156: Oral Sex in the Workplace!

If your workplace is anything like mine, no one’s lapping up anything other than caffeine, but a few weeks back, my boss, Elsbeth, colleague, Ling, sidekick, Greg, and I engaged in a discussion about the film Blue Valentine before any of us had seen it.  We were familiar with the notoriety surrounding Blue Valentine and that it had narrowly escaped an NC-17 rating due to a scene where one character performs oral sex on another.

Put that away now!

Elsbeth (baffled):  Why would that cause it to get an NC-17 rating?

Greg (Mr. Explanation):  It’s because the guy goes down on the woman and she has an orgasm.

Elsbeth and Ling (attacking Greg in unison):  So?

Elsbeth (accusatory tone):  What’s wrong with that?

Lone male Greg sees a pay cut and possibly unemployment heading his way.

Greg (defensive):  I’m not saying it’s wrong!  I’m just saying what I heard!

Me (via the peanut gallery):  But if he raped and killed her that would probably get an R.

My boss and buddies agree with this assessment.  Greg narrowly escapes his own evisceration, and he hightails to his workshop to build more tile samples.

Albee and I have since seen Blue Valentine.  Had I been asked what film with an intense oral sex scene narrowly had an NC-17 rating overturned, Blue Valentine or Black Swan, I would have assumed it was Black Swan.  The oral sex scene in Black Swan is kinky erotic fun, and oh yeah, it’s between two hot women.  I’d buy that DVD.  I’d put it in my collection next to Bound.

The oral sex scene in Blue Valentine between Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams is poignant.  Although it did not reduce me to tears, the way the film is edited, the voyeuristic viewer is aware of much more than the characters at that point in time and feels wistful.  It’s a very beautiful scene in a very painful story.  If the jug heads on the ratings board forced director Derek Cianfrance to cut or edit that scene that would have so detracted from the emotional weight of this film, and it’s not a film with subject matter — a crumbling marriage — that horny teenage boys would want to see.  I am very glad that Cianfrance won his appeal.  I would be even happier if whoever sits on the ratings board would read a sex manual since these romance loathing violence-lovers must suck out loud in bed.

Deserving Academy Award Best Actress nominee, Michelle Williams, with co-star Ryan Gosling, who should have received a Best Actor nomination, in a scene from Blue Valentine.

Lame Adventure 135: Watch Out For That Dove!

Milton, and many of my other friends as well as my boss, Elsbeth, revere filmmaker Ingmar Bergman, and so do I.  Whenever I feel the need to watch a film with emotional depth, I bypass my vast Ren and Stimpy collection and head straight for Sweden.

I am grateful that many of this legendary artist’s library of brilliant films are available on DVD, and I would appreciate it if one of Gotham City’s revival houses would feature another Bergman retrospective soon.  I much prefer watching films on a movie screen, especially when the prints are pristine.

My ideal Bergman double bill would be Wild Strawberries and The Seventh Seal chased with the Academy Award nominated short from 1968, De Düva: The Dove, featuring the screen debut of the late great Madeline Kahn.   Fellow Bergman aficionados might scratch their noggins and ask, “De Düva, what’s that one?  I’ve never heard of it and when the hell did Madeline Kahn ever work with Ingmar Bergman?  Didn’t she play Lily Von Shtupp in Blazing Saddles?”

Yes she did, and you’re in the right place to find out all about De Düva … I wish the quality was better, but I urge all Lame Adventures readers and Bergman fans to stick with it. 

Adorable leopard cub that would surely love to eat a düva.

Lame Adventure 132: You Better Watch Out, You Better Hide

In 2003 my favorite Christmas film was released, Bad Santa.  Terry Zwigoff directed this clever dark comedy written by Glenn Ficarra and John Requa.  Billy Bob Thornton is Willie, a hard-drinking, self-destructive thug playing a department store Santa so that he and his fellow con man, Marcus (Tony Cox), playing Santa’s Elf, can fleece the store on Christmas Eve.  One day, a chubby snot-nosed loser-kid (Brett Kelly) visits Santa.  The Kid is certain that perpetually drunk, burned out Willie really is Santa so Santa moves in … and it just gets better from there.  I highly recommended Bad Santa to my sister, Dovima.  She saw it and emailed me her review:

Dovima:  Gross!  I can’t believe that’s your favorite Christmas film!  Are we even related?

Bad Santa Willie, the Kid, and Marcus

For years, I did not think I would live long enough to see another Christmas movie that would be as satisfying as Bad Santa until Milton and I saw Rare Exports, a fantasy-action-comedy hybrid set in snowy Finland at Christmastime.  Written and directed by Jalmari Helander, he offers a fresh and original take on the “real” story of Santa Claus and his very dedicated and oh so memorable elves.

The protagonist in this twisted tale is a mischievous child, stuffed bear-clutching, rifle-toting Pietari (Onni Tommila), who lives with his gruff father, Rauno (Jorma Tommila), the butcher in a frozen mountain village.  (Real-life father and son play father and son in the film.)  Pietari is young enough to still believe in Santa Claus, even though his non-believing partner in high jinks, Juuso (Ilmari Järvenpää), mocks him for it.  The boys’ method of spying on a nearby archaeological dig financed by a multinational corporation has naughty consequences so Pietari suffers guilt.  The dig is in the process of unearthing something mysterious buried deep in the mountain prompting curious Pietari to hit the books and research Santa Claus.  The more he learns about Santa Claus, the more he fears this guy coming to his town.  Pietari is certain that the real Santa Claus is on his way, he’s very pissed at all the children, and he’s not packing presents.  Whenever Pietari attempts to communicate the burden on his mind to his father, he’s dismissed or ignored, and the audience shares the boy’s frustration.

We know that this kid is onto something.

Frustrated Pietari eating his Dad's gingerbread cookies.

As this riveting story unfolds, so does a sense of menace, suspense and humor.  There is also much welcome dry wit throughout that adds to the fun of seeing such a highly original take on the origins of such a very familiar sentimental subject.  Unfortunately, this accessible alternative film is rated R possibly due to the dropping of a few f-bombs and a hilarious cameo by a tomahawk, but this probably has more to do with a liberal amount of innocuous full frontal male nudity that is relevant to the story.  How innocuous is the male nudity?

Milton was not turned on in the least.  He was laughing – as was I.

Rare Exports is a gem that is suitable for most kids 12 and older as well as anyone who appreciates intrigue and fun in a season choking on sap and cheer. For those hungry for sap, there is a taste of that, too, at the end.  Jalmari Helander has written and directed a very welcome new Christmas classic.

Even sap addicts like my sister, Dovima, might like this one.