Culture » Film



Privilege (NR)
New Yorker Video
Privilege is of those cult movies that I have always wanted to see, but it's never really been available in any form outside of bootlegs. Now, as part of its Peter Watkins collection, New Yorker has finally released this important '60s film. Real-life British rocker (and Manfred Mann frontman) Paul Jones is fictional near-future pop singer Steve Shorter, whose massive popularity is used to introduce fascism to British youth in an effort, according to the government, to keep them "off the streets and out of politics." Even the church gets involved with a rockin' version of "Onward Christian Soldiers." Filmed, for the most part, documentary-style, it's a dark and scary, prophetic film, but also bleakly funny, even more so than Stanley Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange, to which this could be a companion piece. - Louis Fowler


Phantasm IV: Oblivion (NR)
Starz/Anchor Bay Entertainment
My favorite (and probably the most underrated) horror franchise of all time is the Phantasm films. Unlike other horror films, these actually make you think deeper than the slice and dice. We're told very little about what's going on, and are always left with even more questions at the end of each dream-like installment. Nothing makes sense, yet once the movie is done, you continue to try to interpret what you've just seen. Don Coscarelli might as well be the Lynch or Jodorowsky of the horror world. Phantasm IV: Oblivion is probably the most maddening of them all: Nothing happens and no plot gets pushed forward, but it's an incredibly introspective, existential take on the whole series, delving into the futility of trying to defeat the evil Tall Man. Definitely a horror film for the thinking crowd. - Louis Fowler

Linda Lovelace for President (R)
Dark Sky Films
Even though people are wont to remember it, the early '70s porn flick Deep Throat is one of the most successful indie films of all time, grossing astronomical amounts of money. It was a huge mainstream hit that turned its main performer, Linda Lovelace, into a big star. So, what was next? Why, an R-rated political comedy! One that wants to be Mel Brooks offensive, but instead is Mel Gibson offensive. In the first five minutes, I've got two Polish jokes, five Native American jokes and a dozen swastikas. Even Smokey the Bear isn't immune to this wacky horse-crap! The lame laziness of the jokes will turn off most, but, in the context of a bizarre moment in culture, when Hollywood was trying to turn Lovelace into a non-porn star, it's utterly fascinating. Only in the '70s could you do a film like this! - Louis Fowler

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