South Austin Popular Culture Center
"...Deep Inside: Extreme Erotic Fantasiesby Polly Frost Tor Books, 272 pp., $12.95..."
"...Dear Editor, Greg Wilson writes in regard to the MoveOn.org Bush = Hitler "scandal" that the Chronicle owes it to their readers to rein in their political fantasies from time to time rather than reinforcing them. Unfortunately, the only fantasies put forth in the whole controversy were from Mr..."
"...In their ordinary business, the cities and counties and school districts are where the political poses of our state and national "leaders" grow flesh and bones and blood. This would be so even if the fantasies and fallacies brought to power behind Bush and Perry were in fact sound approaches to government..."
"...Maybe. Or maybe, as one of the characters in 8 1/2 Women opines, “directors make films to satisfy their sexual fantasies.” In that case, we're dealing here with the sexual fantasies of one of the most misanthropic film artists to ever work in the medium..."
"...Starring: Denzel Washington, Gene Hackman, George Dzundza, Viggo Mortensen, James Gandolfini, Matt Craven and Jason Robards. Submarines hold a near-mythic place in the pantheon of Great American Male Film Fantasies, and this juggernaut of a movie plays right into these childlike fantasies of the great submariner ships..."
"...The story revolves around an aspiring Latina actress who works in a phone sex office and becomes obsessed with one of her regulars. This caller is the only man willing to listen to her fantasies; she refuses to play “blonde and buxom” for the anonymous callers and she refuses to play the wordless prostitute roles that the casting agents offer her..."
"...Meanwhile, Finocchiaro portrays a “social worker” in the world's oldest profession who specializes in gratifying clients with special kinks: a gourmet chef who decorates her nude torso as a giant cake; nerdy, voyeuristic twin architects in tweed who pay to see her bathe and undress (ironically to the very same theme music as Alfred Hitchcock Presents); a wealthy couple who want her to “play nurse” as they “play dead,” and a cab driver from hell who makes Travis Bickle of Taxi Driver seem absolutely normal. When Nichetti's character by happenstance crashes two of Finocchiaro's kinky scenarios, her clients begin to demand that he also be included in on the whole game since his presence adds more reality to their fantasies..."
"...This year’s film fantasies are unlikely to come any weirder than Swiss Army Man, aka “the farting corpse movie.” Neither are there likely to be many two-handers that feature performances as crafty and compelling as those of Paul Dano and Daniel Radcliffe. You also get to see the deceased and flatulent bare ass of the onetime Harry Potter – but I’m not sure if that belongs in the plus or minus column...."
"...It’s a simulation of specialness, a paid pantomime of arousal that pretends to be unique to whatever lap is within pelvic-thrust proximity. Magic Mike XXL continues the lie, with a flirty smile, as the rare mainstream film to cater to women’s sexual fantasies..."
"...They are young and brash, seductively so. In their wildest fantasies, they aren’t bestsellers – they’re cult heroes; they don’t find love with a nice girl and settle down – they fall for the damaged, desperate one who throws herself from a rooftop in a foreign capital..."
"...At breakfast, during class, in the hallway, this sweet, likable high school senior is trippin', off in a montage of MTV fantasy, where he is a real G, bumpin' booties with stacked women, delivering his spoken word rap “Bitch, Don't Be Messin' Wit' My Shit” to a swooning crowd, fending off a swarm of eager college scouts. His well-meaning parents are dogging him to “get those college applications in,” but Greg prefers the solace of his fantasies, and the mind-numbing company of his pimp-wannabe friends, June and Fish..."
"...The nerve, Terry comes to learn, is in the living, in going out with a bang and not a whimper. Nick, who has many unfulfilled fantasies and only a few weeks left to live, strikes a bargain with Terry: If Terry will bankroll a few of Nick's fantasies, Nick will return the favor by killing Terry..."
"...Or, more to the point, David has become obsessed with Wim’s girlfriend Sophie (Alexia Rasmussen) – so much so that he re-creates her as an avatar in the virtual world of Augmenta. As he succumbs to his virtual fantasies, his life falls apart around him...."
"...A repeated shot of a wadded tissue tossed into a trash can seems to underscore that count. But when Jon suddenly falls hard for 10+ Jersey girl Barbara (Johannson), there seems to be a chance that real life might supersede his online fantasies..."
"...In particular, Jasmine has taken a strong dislike to all the men in Ginger’s life, from her loutish ex-husband (Clay, in a surprisingly unaffected performance) and her current dolt of a boyfriend (Cannavale) to her fling with a deceptive no-goodnik (C.K.). All the while, Jasmine ranges between unrealistic fantasies and harsh reality checks..."
"...The mood turns comic in the third short, “Tampa,” which stars Jose Villarreal as a gay man whose fantasies take over when he fails to hustle a sex partner at a beautifully appointed public restroom. Each character that steps up to the urinal grows more outrageous than the last until the facility is populated by a madcap array of cultural figures who might have stepped off the Sgt..."
"...Hitchcock is at its best when revealing such inside-Hollywood moments as the filmmaker whipping out his own checkbook to finance Psycho when the studio would not. But the lovelorn Hitchcock of this film’s fantasies would be better off left on the cutting-room floor...."
"...Next, his doctor informs him that he has a terminal disease. Frank's fantasies of murder turn real as he embarks on a one-man killing spree, that is until he's joined by teenage Roxy (Barr), who is even more bloodthirsty than he..."
"...We can tell Giovanni is pleasantly tripped out because he does yet more original things, like sitting down in the middle of traffic and wading in a public fountain. These acts lead him to his lustful fantasy conclusion, set to the tune of the Pixies’ “Here Comes Your Man.” So hyperbolic are his fantasies that it’s clear that not only will they never come true, but they never were true to begin with..."
"...The Darkest Hour, an alien-invasion film set in Moscow and produced by the same team that gave us the infinitely superior Russian horror fantasies Night Watch and Day Watch may not be Gorak's personal darkest hour, but it's certainly not his finest, either. Saddled with a truly weak script from Jon Spaihts (who has also penned Ridley Scott's pending, highly anticipated Prometheus), the story involves invisible aliens who feed on electricity and kill off humanity here, there, and everywhere by turning them to ash via unimpressive, whiplike CGI weaponry..."
"...Despite having completed only a few feature films, South Korean filmmaker Bong is proving himself to be an international master. Though with Mother, he strays from the popular horror fantasies on view in 2006’s The Host, the filmmaker retains a rare ability to straddle several narrative tones simultaneously, without compromising or diluting any of them..."
"...The thing about It’s Complicated is that it’s not … complicated. Writer-director Meyers has come to specialize in making wish-fulfillment fantasies for middle-aged women (The Parent Trap, What Women Want, Something’s Gotta Give, The Holiday) in which smart, professional, single, Caucasian women of a certain age have wonderful careers, picture-perfect homes, and love affairs aplenty..."
"...Midnight madness doesn't begin to describe this strange Japanese import. A popular favorite at numerous festivals (including last year's Fantastic Fest in Austin), the film is a modern superhero story that combines elements from Japanese monster movies, mockumentaries, comedies, and downright demented CGI fantasies..."
"...Problem is, Look Both Ways isn’t as artfully done as either aforementioned film, and Watt has little to say that hasn’t been said better before. The film focuses on Meryl (Clarke), a single, slightly neurotic artist who constantly imagines her own death in a series of playful, animated fantasies..."
"...The film’s casting is extraordinary, and there is something extra-narratively appropriate about seeing the post-rehab Downey playing the story’s titular writer, who is plagued by a painful and debilitating skin disease that turns all his flesh into a grotesque coat of oozing scales. The disease makes any physical contact with others excruciating, while the writer’s brain dances wildly among fantasies and hallucinations in which he remembers aspects of his childhood, inserts himself into the storylines of his pulp detective novels, and retreats into the solace of old songs from the Fifties..."
"...Camp is exactly the sort of film that drives down Broadway ticket sales, if only because people fear the reality may ape the fantasy. Fantasies like this should be asphyxiated at birth..."
"...Not reviewed at press time. This 1996 film by the Czech director and madman Jan Svankmajer (Faust), who is better known for his animation, is a mostly live-action and mostly silent exploration of the secret erotic fantasies of some ordinary Prague citizens..."
"...Starring: Paz De La Huerta, James Berland, Jamey Sheridan, Terry Kinney, Deborah Kara Unger and Eric Lloyd. It's been 17 years since Bette Gordon made her last feature film Variety, a fascinating work that, among other things, had the temerity to present women as the inventors of their own pornographic fantasies..."
"...They generally behave with the same nebbishy qualities they evidenced before -- not at all like soloists in the spotlight in a musical comedy. If these musical moments are meant to be the projections of their inner fantasies, they are as flaccid and confined as their “real” lives..."
"...Actually, Bolotin's film matches up the old John Hughes classic with 1984's Toy Soldiers to make a decent jab at the system, and elicits fewer accidental guffaws than you might imagine. To say Light It Up panders to teenage kids' fantasies of bustin' loose in home room understates the case, and to say that it also grovels to the general air of high school paranoia (Littleton, Colorado, et al.) is equally obvious..."
"...During a routine roundup, A-Lan, a writer, finds himself drawn to the men in uniforms. The film embarks on a two-man study in sadomasochistic fantasies and the perversion of power -- the powerless man desiring the love of his tormentor..."
"...This move to the big screen puts the focus on two subsets of guests: one, the white trailer-trash foursome who come to L.A. to appear in the “You Did What With Your Stepdaddy?” segment; and the other, the black ghetto gals and their man who can't keep his pants zipped who come for the segment devoted to “My Traitor Girlfriends.” Ringmaster envisions a world in which the masses have abandoned their unfulfilled fantasies of becoming movie stars and instead dream of becoming guests on Jerry's show..."
"...All three of the women are familiar stereotypes: Jazz, the unfulfilled professional who has trouble committing herself to the good man who loves her; Michelle, who has intimacy problems and dates men half her age; and Lena, whose stunning good looks are no protection against self-esteem issues that manifest themselves by repeatedly getting involved with the wrong men. The audition tape is a documentary-style, gal-in-the-street montage of women delivering one-liners and quips about sex and dating in the Nineties, discussing their likes and dislikes, their fantasies and their fetishes..."
"...Footage of sexy young Brazilians unabashedly strutting their stuff on the streets and beaches of Rio embellishes Drummond's words with concrete images and places them in the context of a timeless erotic force that is the engine of not only his art but of the entire natural world. Granted, there's some shock value in hearing a petite octogenarian talk about her fantasies of borderline S&M sex (“The images are violent because I'm violent … none of that softy stuff”)..."
"...While the plot bounces about in needless convolutions that create the illusion of things being more complicated than they are, the visual handiwork is a luau of expressionistic extremism. Deceiver presents an escalating onslaught of violently skewed angles, dark shadows, wild 360-degree camera moves (the camerawork is by Bill Butler of Deliverance and One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest), flashbacks/fantasies and split screen visions, and precious affections such as having every phone in the movie inexplicably be an old rotary-dial model..."
"...hardcore rapper Ice Cube. It's just that these movies (lump TPC in with the likes of Striptease and Showgirls) are so blatantly intended as virtual lap dances for guys who like their onanistic fantasies served with Skittles rather than buffalo wings that any other response would seem naïve..."
"...An odd magnetism immediately connects the two men, each of whom possesses what the other one covets. Seducing Chris by providing him with drugs, prostitutes, and promises of financial security, Glover has the young man enact all his frustrated sexual fantasies which culminate with the proxy murder of a woman..."
"...Starring: Charlie Young, Nicky Wu, Carrie Ng and Kam Kong. Those viewers only familiar with the recent action fantasies of prolific Hong Kong director/producer Tsui Hark may be slightly taken aback by this 1995 romantic epic of his, which is an elegant retelling of the classic Chinese tale Liang Shanbo and Zhu Yingtai..."
"...Outrageous highlights include a giant spider monster that pulls the Joker's tooth, an incredible Fantastic Voyage-styled battle inside an opponent's body "Don't step on my intestines!" cries the King Bull), hilariously repeated time-travel attempts, and the most brutal penis abuse ever played for laughs. This is one of the wildest fantasies that the Hong Kong cinema has produced recently, and also marks a solid comeback for director Lau, as well as yet another hit for superstar Chow..."
"...Starring: Andy Lau, Bridget Lin and Tusi Kam Kong. Held up for almost a year in Hong Kong, due mainly to the current unpopularity of period chopsocky fantasies, this decent, if wholly unremarkable, action picture is finally seeing the light of day in this country..."
"...These characters are superficial, but they know they are. Discussing their mutual death fantasies during one of many moments of self-indulgent despair, Peter says to Katherine, “Bet you know what you're gonna wear.” Of course she does (a summery little floral number), but at least she can laugh at herself..."
"...Also distinguishing this film is its departure from conventional documentary filmmaking through its incorporation of a variety of film elements. Intercut with the testimonies is a panoply of other footage -- archival material, home movies, artwork, and contemporary recreations of their experiences, delusions, and fantasies..."
"...The horror of hatred and the unknown are evoked through expressionistic, stunning black-and-white cinematography in both Cummins's “Resonance” and Newby's “Relax.” More a statement than a narrative, Cummins's film deals with the subject of gay-bashing with a choreography conceived in violence, yet a trajectory that systematically blurs the fine line between macho posturing and erotic expression. Stylistically reminiscent of David Lynch's Eraserhead and Elephant Man, Newby's work is infused with surrealistic, frightening fantasies of a young man as he waits for the results of his HIV test over a period of about two weeks..."
"...It is the quest for a dream against odds of age, experience and ruthless enemies. It is the stuff of which children's fantasies are made..."
"...But plot is not what Airborne is trying to do. It's a thin excuse for action: hockey fights, surf fantasies, fist fights, skating matches, what have you..."
"...Aging “G.I. Joe” Norris stars as himself, the object of a teenage asthmatic's fantasies (get your mind out of the gutter, it's not nearly as interesting as that), and the once-brilliant Mako is Pat Morita/Obi Wan Kenobi to Brandis's Ralph Macchio/Luke Skywalker..."
"...Starring: Jeff Speakman. Actioners are basically revenge fantasies acted out in different narrative configurations..."
"...Hill has obviously tried to make a hip, ultra-violent actioneer, but what he ends up with is more a choppy, ultimately boring pastiche involving endless shots of automatic weapons fire and peoples' legs pumping furiously as they scramble to avoid the ricochets. Bills Sadler and Paxton are more or less believable as the two Treasure of Sierra Madre-addled hicks, but T and Cube seem to do nothing so much as act out a pair of tedious gansta-rap fantasies onscreen..."