I work with a lot of high school students and I've hear them use this phrase more and more it seems. It's nice to see the folks at Infomania rip it a new one (no homo).
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Jess Franco’s hypnotic and dreamlike sex-trip came out in 1968, but was easily one of the craziest movies to play Fantastic Fest this year. Surreal and completely incoherent, yet ethereal and endlessly entertaining, it calls into question whether plot is even a necessity when every scene is interesting and unique. It was right up my alley.
This was one of four Jess Franco films that were shown in honor of him receiving the first ever Fantastic Fest Lifetime Achievement Award. Senor Franco was in attendance for 3 of the films, along with his wife and muse Lina Romay. I saw all four films and the Q & A’s that followed and I have to say that it was definitely an education. Though I enjoyed all the Franco films in the series (especially “Venus in Furs”), I wouldn’t include “Bare Breasted Countess” on my list of film favorites from the festival, but I do want to note that it provide me with perhaps the best moment of the festival, and definitely one of the most touching film experiences of my life. The film stars Romay and features a hefty amount of nudity and eroticism. It also features Franco in a strong supporting role as the Doctor who suspects that Romay is a murderous vampire. It was filmed when she was only 20 years old, and she admitted before the screening that she did not feel comfortable watching her films. She also noted, along with Franco, that it was this film that was the catalyst for them falling in love. As the movie began, Miss Romay left the auditorium, but Franco stayed for nearly 25-30 minutes, which was longer than he had stayed for any of the other screenings. As the film approached the end Lina helped Jess back into the theater for the Q & A. While the finale played out on screen I noticed the two of them staring up at the images together. Lina’s vampire was sprawled out naked in a bath of blood, while Franco’s doctor bursts through the door with intentions of killing her. It was the first time in the film that the Doc had seen the Countess, and his urge to kill is quickly snuffed out by her incredible beauty. So there it was, the two of them 40 years on, watching their younger selves fall in love on the screen. It was truly moving and it reminded me of what Lars, the host and organizer of the event stated at the beginning of the series. He read a quote by Franco that appeared in an Austin Chronicle interview the week of the festival: “The cinema is not the way to escape our lives; it is the way to complete our lives.”