VIDEOS SELECTED BY ABE THE APE (PART II)

By Abraham Menéndez. December 4, 2012

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6. 'THE QUIET MAN' - JOHN FORD

Censorship has given majestic scenes to the history of cinema, from Peter O’Toole being raped by José Ferrer symbolized as a sickly cough in Lawrence of Arabia, to Eva Marie Saint being penetrated by Cary Grant in North by Northwest represented by a hardly subtle shot of a train going into a tunnel. My favourite is this scene from The Quiet Man, a song to the misogyny and brutality of a tough guy who surrenders to the charms of his imposed wife. The cabin scene is pure sex: how John grabs Maureen and hurls her until they merge in an embrace larger than life, kiss included… and that loud wind slamming the window shutters. The act has been consummated. Special mention to that mischievous kiss Maureen gives him at the end as if she is thanking him for the services rendered. Spielberg did a brilliant tribute in his E.T. that also gives you goosebumps. Because we’ll always have Innisfree.

 


7. 'BLACK NARCISSUS' - MICHAEL POWELL & EMERIC PRESSBURGER

Martin Scorsese says that whenever he saw as a kid a film that started with The Archers logo (Powell & Pressburger’s studios) he knew he was about to watch a film never seen before. He had his reasons because this theory is backed up by products such as The Red Shoes, The Thief of Bagdad or The Tales of Hoffmann. I personally prefer Black Narcissus, a great success of matte painting, technicolor and deviant shots. A perfectly organized nonsense in which coexist nuns cloistered in a convent lost in the middle of Nepal, smooth-faced teenager maharajas who are crazy about a Jean Simmons playing the role of a slutty Indian, shirtless tough guys with impossible shorts that make the nuns horny and a Kathleen Byron who gives up the cloth and loses her mind. A path to madness of such beauty that it is sometimes unbearable. A compulsory must-see. 
 


8. 'CHEMICALS BROTHER´S ELEKTROBANK' - SPIKE JONZE

Sofia Coppola when she was still a pipsqueak and not the style icon she is today. When she was vilified and her daddy was accused of nepotism because he put her to act in the most horrible way in The Godfather Part III, to end up shutting up many mouths with the beautiful The Virgin Suicides. Hopes destroyed afterwards with remarkable disasters such as Somewhere or Marie Antoinette, those films adored by all those who consider Wes Anderson as their God, fake nihilism their religion and contrived intensity their creed. To summarise, a bore. But in this video she is a combination of Comaneci and Raffaella Carrá, and the freak within me likes it. Spike Jonze has a lot to do with it.
 


9. 'TOOT, WHISTLE, PLUNK & BLOOM' - WARD KIMBALL


I’m a fanatical advocate of Disney animation (of animation in general). The studios which have created the most perfect animation that can ever be created, which have invented the strangest devices to take this animation to the highest levels ever imagined, which have criticized Nazism in propaganda wonders such as Dehr füehrer´s face, which have collaborated with artists as important as Mary Blair or Dalí, Kay Nielsen or Eyvind Earle, and which have even devoted a short film to menstruation, do not deserve to be considered sugar-coated only because of ignorance (okay, they are, but there is a huge gap between sensitivity and sentimentality). Anyway, there was a time in which Disney thought of themselves as the new UPA (a unique independent animation studio) and made some short films as incredible as the one I mention here. An overview of the history of music slightly chaotic and jumbled but with characters so stunningly designed that make you forget any mistake. And of course, the Oscar went to the house of the mouse. 
 


10. 'FREEDOM 90´' - DAVID FINCHER

I might be a bit bold by saying this, but I think Fincher is the new Kubrick: technical perfection that hardly ever is reached, iron scripts and diversity in his films, both in form and content, make him look like the mad genius Stanley. Before becoming a renowned film director he was the most sought-after director for advertising and music videos. Some of them are amazing, such as Madonna’s Express Yourself, inspired in Fritz Lang’s Metropolis, or Billy Idol’s uncouth Cradle of love, which is no more than a shorter version of Scorsese’s After Hours; because since everything has already been invented, the best thing is to reinterpret. But I choose George Michael’s Freedom 90’ because, as a crazy worshipper of icons who has studied Fashion Design, the top model revolution and its contradictions drive me crazy. Everything in this video is perfect: the kettle boiling, the laser that turns the CD player on, impossible shots inside angora sweaters, the shattered icons of a time when George Michael was on every folder of every teenager, as if he wanted to tell the world that he wanted more than that (the leather jacket, the electric guitar, the jukebox…). And of course, them. Cindy in the bathtub, a vulgar Naomi or a pensive Tatjana. Special mention to the lesbian scene between Turlington and Evangelista, crawling towards each other –blood pact included– which still gives a hard-on to more than one (me included).
 

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