Over the past several months I’ve been working my way through all of Pendleton Ward‘s Adventure Time, in part because it comes in 11 minute segments that are easy to squeeze into tiny cracks of spare time, but mostly because it’s awesome. There are lots of things to love about it – the humor, the weirdness, the clever allusions to art and literature – but I think the thing I enjoy most is how creatively they play with narrative. Watching all of the ideas they’re able to explore by ignoring the usual boundaries of time, space and consequences makes me realize how limiting conventions can be. Continue reading…
Posted February 10, 2006
WE ARE ALL NAKED (1966/69) Starring: Alain Saury, Catherine Riberio, Jacques Normand, Gerard Desales
This sex flavoured art film, a gorgeous Canada/France co-production shot in black and white with pathos and depressing drama to spare, promotes the concept that living with a poverty-stricken dysfunctional family on the beach in France — really SUCKS.
Alcoholic father Jean-Louie (Jacques Normand), can’t control his ageing nymphomaniac wife who throws herself at anyone with a cock, evidenced by the opening scene where he spots her dicking around in the dunes with yet another dude. When he scowls and yells out, “I have caught you! I am your husband, and I have caught you!”, she just looks plainly unimpressed and goes back to fondling the groin at hand.
Meanwhile, back on the homestead (which is up the beach in one of the many enormous concrete bunkers on the wretched windswept Normandy coastline in Northern France) their sweet young daughter Isabelle is getting molested by a pair of horny fishermen. Not to worry though, her pathetic parents arrive back home before any real damage can be done, and pooh-pooh the salty ruffians away with the wave of a hand and a stern look. The rest of their penniless brood arrives, and is made up of an uncontrollable mentally retarded son played by Gerard Desales and an indifferent orphaned teenage niece named Jeanne, played with dripping sexuality by the gorgeous black haired Portuguese hottie Catherine Riberio.
A harmonica-playin’, gun totin’, denim wearin’, hunky stranger (Alain Saury) shows up on the scene — attracted to the stench of the desperate and willing flesh of Jean-Louie’s floozy wife. He sniffs around and decides to stick it out to see if he can make a deposit in the sultry young Jeanne’s panties as well. His best pick up line being; “So you don’t want meat? I like meat.”
Meanwhile, pops mopes around swilling the cognac, and their retarded son (inspired by the hunting skills of denim-lad) begins stealing livestock from local farmers and butchering them unflinchingly, disturbingly, on screen. After one sickening display of sheep mutilation with a sharp blade, he starts roughly mauling poor Jeanne’s boobs with his blood soaked hands before trying to slit her throat.
The entire thing escalates from there, alternating between passionate seductive sex and depressing twists of fate amongst the gray monolithic concrete bunkers. Director Claude Pierson sold his film to the arthouse crowd (even scoring recognition at the Cannes film fest) but WE ARE ALL NAKED is also dipped in the sins of the Grindhouse as well. As cranky reviewer Gerald Pratley wrote in his book, A CENTURY OF CANADIAN CINEMA, “Of course everyone is Naked. What else would you expect from Pierson the sex peddler?”
Released in France and Canada as ILS SONT NUS, the English dubbed version of this forgotten Canadian classic (now available from Something Weird Video) was penned by the director of 1964′s THE FLESH EATERS, Jack Curtis. Jack is also somewhat recognizable to kids of the ’60s as the voice of Pops Racer, Inspector Detector and the announcer on the SPEED RACER cartoon. His script here is true to the texture of the visuals, although he may have added more profanity than the original Canadian version in French presented in 1966.
This was Claude Pierson’s first feature film of a career that ended up spanning 20 years. He also helmed EROTIC LOVE GAMES (1971), NAKED LOVERS (1977), JUSTINE DE SADE (1972) and collaborated with eurotrash god Jess Franco on JUSTINE (1975). Pierson worked very closely with his wife Huguette Boisvert who acted as writer and editor on many of the films he made. The little girl played by their daughter; Isabelle Pierson, went on 20 years later to become the youngest producer-director in France’s history, with her first feature being a pseudo documentary about shock journalism called WHITE SQUARE (aka SCOOP).
Pierson’s somewhat risqué ’60s fare, transformed and moved along with the times into hardcore XXX territory, in which he used a slew of other aliases including Andrée Marchand, Caroline Joyce and Paul Martin. This period of his career hit its apex with a memorable hardcore foursome sex scene featuring a dwarf in PERVERSE (1984). The rest of you Canadian filmmakers should be so lucky.