Saturday, July 31, 2010

Summer of '85: The Strongest Femme In The World: Pumping Iron II: The Women

It's a shame I had to trek downtown to Tribeca to experience “Pumping Iron II: The Women,” which played as part of the 92nd Street Y's "Outsider Sports" series (on a double bill with “Afghan Muscles”— kudos to the creative programmer!). Not that I have anything against attending a free screening of a 16mm print courtesy of the New York Public Library. It's just that George Butler's follow-up to his Schwarzenegger-starring “Pumping Iron” needs to be disseminated on DVD in a 25th-anniversary edition complete with all the bells and whistles. Yes, this semi-doc is a film geek's dream, one that leaves you thinking about things beyond its bodybuilding theme and hungering to learn more.

To read the rest visit The House Next Door at Slant Magazine.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Considering “The Big Lebowski: An XXX Parody”

In retrospect it seems inevitable that some enterprising pornographers in Hollywood’s shadow industry would look to the Coen brothers’ quintessential Venice Beach bum The Dude for inspiration. Not only is southern California the hub of the sex biz, The Dude is SoCal made flesh. And now a company called New Sensations has done just this with “The Big Lebowski: A XXX Parody,” a passionate, nearly shot-for-shot recreation that shows that cute porn is not an oxymoron. Sure, New Sensations has already tackled pop culture with “30 Rock: A XXX Parody” and “Seinfeld: A XXX Parody,” but “The Big Lebowski: A XXX Parody” really does feel like something different. This isn’t some mainstream TV touchstone the company is tackling, but a cult film from bona fide indie auteurs. A few years back Lucas Entertainment was the darling of the GAYVN Awards with its serious porn remakes of Fellini’s “La Dolce Vita” (and “Dangerous Liaisons” prior to that). In its own way “The Big Lebowski: A XXX Parody” feels closer to those earnest gay versions, more tributes birthed from true movie geek love than of-the-moment knock-offs.

To read the rest visit Filmmaker magazine.