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Amused Muse

Inspiring dissent and debate and the love of dissonance

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Master's Degree holder, telecommuting from the hot tub, proud Darwinian Dawkobot, and pirate librarian belly-dancer bohemian secret agent scribe on a mission to rescue bloggers from the wholesome clutches of the pious backstabbing girl fridays of the world.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Boxing Helena Fountain Scenes

It seems that nearly everyone hates the film Boxing Helena but me. The ending is a cop-out, otherwise I think it's a hilarious, sick, outrageous, and disturbing movie.

Naturally, my favorite scene is the infamous "Fountain Scene," almost universally panned as an over-the-top commercial. I don't care. I love what Sherilyn Fenn does - it tops Katherine Hepburn's swim in the fountain at Bryn Mawr just before she got expelled, as well as the fountain scene in La Dolce Vida.

The scene with the original music.

UPDATED: Jennifer Lynch is finally making another film, and already, they hate it.

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Blogger Sargeist said...

Wow, that's a blast from the past! I rather enjoyed watching that film, too. I can recall going to the local cinema to see it. Back then I used to go to see films on my own, which at least meant that there was no one to apologise to if the whole thing turned out to be shit.

I think that I went to see it simply because of the Lynch connection and because all the reviews had said it was a waste of time.

Sherilyn Fenn, though: mmmm.

However: Julian Sands really cannot act.

July 16, 2007 8:13 AM  
Blogger Kristine said...

Yes, I adore Sherilyn Fenn. But why do you say that about Sands? He was pretty good I thought, and good in Impromptu.

July 16, 2007 8:58 AM  
Blogger Sargeist said...

Although now, obviously, when challenged, I can't put my finger on anything specific about Julian Sands, I just remember thinking on many occasions that his acting is poor poor poor. Okay, so Sherilyn's isn't much better, but she's a girl and I am shallow.

The only think I've seen Mr Sands in that I liked him in was Room With A View.

But I may have been paying more attention to Helena Bonham Carter.

Hmm, a Helena coincidence!

July 16, 2007 9:19 AM  
Blogger Kristine said...

Yes, interesting, that!

I do remember thinking that Sands, who I thought was so sexy in Impromptu as Franz Liszt, was whiny, stringy, and downright unappealing in Helena, but I figured that was the idea.

This is the only film I've seen that deals so bluntly with premature ejaculation. I don't see any "better" films discussing sexuality this honestly. (Of course, I have not seen Crash yet - not the Oscar winner, the other Crash, about people turning car crashes into orgasms.)

I'm sick of the Disney naivete about sex in standard Hollywood fare.

July 16, 2007 9:39 AM  
Blogger Sargeist said...

I haven't seen Impromptu. Julian Sands, despite his acting, would be on my "gay sex list", after Robert Downey Jr. (rowr), but if he ever reads these comments I'm sure he'll forgo me for someone more polite. Damn.

The Cronenberg Crash is fabulous. Not just for James Spader (also on the list) but for it's sheer madness. The book is pretty cool, too. Actually, the book is great. If you've not read it, go get that Ballard out of the library. Go now! Go on!

Talking of sex in films (as I was) I recently bought Shortbus on DVD. Ok, only cos it's full of sex and the main character is this gorgeous Korean (?) woman. But that deals with sex pretty well.

Hmm, Disney naivete about sex? Let's see: Snow White shacked up with 7 older men? Esmerelda and a guy with a big "hump"? And I bet Bambi's mother died cos of her original sin. ;)

July 16, 2007 9:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I second the "Crash" recommendation. It has been years since I have seen it. But the one thing I remember is how they pushed the voyeur aspect of gawking at auto crashes into the next logical and disturbing step. And also the turning of scar tissue into sexual organs.

As mush as I liked the movie, I liked the J G Ballard novel better. But "Crash"s of a piece of the ideas he was writing about in the late sixties and early seventies. One of the main characters of "Crash" is also in a fun work called "The Atrocity Exposition" (Yes, I think that is where Joy Division got the title for one of their songs.) And a car crash is the main part of his novel, "The Concrete Island".

The most incredible part of "Crash" was his description of a film of a motorcycle/automobile crash using crash test dummies. He uses porn imagery that lasts for four pages. Breath taking.


July 16, 2007 10:27 AM  
Blogger Sargeist said...

I bought The Atrocity Exhibition in an Oxfam bookshop for about 3 pounds recently. Good condition, too. Yay for me! "Why I Want To Fuck Ronald Reagan" has got to be a great world-beating chapter title. Mr Ballard must be seriously barmy, but I applaud him for it.

My favourite quote in Crash is one which is repeated in the film, and it goes something like "After being bombarded endlessly by road safety propaganda, it came as something of a relief to find myself in an actual accident."

Great stuff.

July 16, 2007 10:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The copy I have is a RE/Search edition from the late eighties. They added a lot of medical textbook style illustrations. There were also new chapters. One was about round the clock updates of President Reagan's medical condition and how that is effecting all world events. It was meant as parody. But in light of the recent passing of the pope and how news networks work, he got quite a bit right. I hate it when parodies come true.

The one thing to keep in mind is the narrator is insane. His name changes in every chapter. And every chapter in written in a different style.

A funny story about "Why I Want To Fuck Ronald Reagan". It got the first american printing pulped. The owner of Doubleday here about the title and was so insulted, he refused to allow sale of the novel. It took years to get it released here.


July 16, 2007 10:45 AM  
Anonymous JanieBelle said...

Wow. I'd never even heard of that movie. Thank you Kristine.

I thought that scene was lovely, but I have a thing for Kate Hepburn, so she's still at the top.


July 16, 2007 11:44 AM  
Blogger Sargeist said...

I remember watching BBC News 24 for ages, waiting for the damn Pope to die.

The most amusing thing, for me - as a physics graduate - was the way that they kept saying "The Pope is celebrating Mass" and "He is aware of the gravity of the situation".

Ho ho.

July 16, 2007 11:47 AM  
Blogger Kristine said...

JanieBelle, I can't believe you haven't seen it! I admit it's gawdawful, Z-grade stuff, which is why I like it! It's not supposed to be a serious, in-depth look at multiple amputee love/obsession.

The DVD release has different music - hence the plural in the title of my post, but I can't find that version online.

Aw, c'mon Sargeist, I wasn't waiting for the Pope to die. Everyone's material existence is important to me. Well, except for Jerry Falwell's (I must say my reaction to his death surprised me but I'm not going to pretend).

July 16, 2007 12:10 PM  
Blogger Sargeist said...

Well, I may have phrased it badly, and your interpretation of what I said is in keeping with my nasty personality, but I really did just mean that I kept turning on News 24 to see if he'd gone yet, or whether they were still saying "not much happening here".

Yes, anyone's death is a shame, but on the other hand - the Pope was a mad old man whose power over a fair number of people's beliefs has, I contend, led to a lot of suffering via obsessive guilt and overpopulation.

Maybe I'm just not a nice guy.

July 16, 2007 12:23 PM  
Blogger Kristine said...

My attitude toward death is: Give it time. It comes to us all.

I did wish my stalker ex-boyfriend dead, though, because he was making threats and I was scared, and this in the 1980s after a slew of women in the Twin Cities being killed by their ex-boyfriends. I'm not pure - it's just that I think this is the only life there is, and therefore the "meaning of life" is life itself.

I'm not interested in being "nice" but I am interested in keep priorities straight. Unlike, say, Robert Crowther of the Discovery Institute, who doesn't seem to care who gets hurt as long as it's not someone on his "side." I don't want to be like that.

July 16, 2007 2:25 PM  
Blogger Kristine said...

Well, here’s a review of Sands’ performance: “Julian Sands -- the poor man's Jeremy Irons --” *Snigger* “stammers and lurches his way though scene after scene of borderline S & M self-abasement. Sitting through his effete take on upper-class longing is a bit like watching a petulant kindergartener whimpering piteously for his mother's milk.” LOL!

But then, get this: “The ordinarily bewitching Sherilyn Fenn, meanwhile, does little to flesh out the underwritten high-class hot-pants character with which she's been saddled. Mercurial without motivation…” What? I’ve known women who act just like Helena’s character – they don’t want to be crowded, why can’t men understand that? “…her character-free character slanders the female sex far more than the film's stylized violence could ever threaten it.” WHAT? Slanders the female sex? Because she isn’t nicey-nice? For pity’s sake we are individuals. “Despite the feminist outcry that greeted the picture's release, the only real misogyny here lies in Lynch and Philippe Caland's script.”

I’m as feminist as they come. Does anyone else see this film as mysogynist?

July 16, 2007 3:13 PM  
Blogger Kristine said...

Here's a better review.

July 16, 2007 3:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sheryl Ann - her birth name, played "second base" in Boxing Helena - no arms or legs.....

Reminds me of that sick joke from my childhood:

Mrs. Smith, can Tommy come out and play?

Why, children! You know Tommy has no arms or legs.

That's OK - we want to use him for second base.

July 16, 2007 4:23 PM  
Anonymous JanieBelle said...

I disagree, Sargeist.

While it is true that the vast overwhelming number of deaths in the world are to be mourned, "anyone's" is too strong.

I certainly didn't feel like it was a shame Jerry Falwell died. The world is a better place for his taking the big dirt nap. More so even than the Pope.

The deaths of him and his ilk (by natural causes) will get no pity, no mourning, or anything other than ecstatic celebration from me.

Perhaps I have stared too long into the eyes of the monster.

(Disclaimer: None of them have done anything which would cause me to advocate violence against them, but I suspect that's only because they haven't gotten a chance yet. Still, I wouldn't be even a little sad if the whole lot of them keeled over dead of massive, painful, cardiac arrests. The world and its future would instantly become brighter by orders of magnitude.)

July 16, 2007 6:09 PM  
Blogger Rev. Barking Nonsequitor said...

I have to admit I am yet another that didn't care for the movie. I do admire it for its off-beat - nearly bizarre premmis, however.

July 16, 2007 7:59 PM  
Blogger Kristine said...

taking the big dirt nap

*Snigger* JanieBelle, you kick fundy ass! Here I am being all high-minded'n'shit, and there you go corrupting me again.

Don't stop! ;-)

Well, Rev. Barky, last night I was thinking that it would be fun to make a take-off of this film, but relating it to atheism vs. creationism, evo vs. creo. That's as far as I got. Any ideas? (Actually, I should continue to work on my High Church of Darwin pleasurian space opera idea.)

July 16, 2007 8:10 PM  
Anonymous JanieBelle said...



July 18, 2007 2:04 AM  
Blogger Kevin Scott said...

Golly, just playing catch up here but GUESS WHAT CHRIST-TINE...I LIKE BH TOO.

(I know it's no big surprise, but I just thought I'd chime in.)

July 19, 2007 1:20 PM  
Blogger Kristine said...


Kevin you are cool, so much way kewl-er than I could ever be.

Okay, I'm going out on a limb here, because I used to review films (and may never again after I say this) but I don't see why the flick is so "bad." And I think Sherilyn Fenn is one of the bravest (and hottest) women in Hollywood. (She a little more than a month older than me!) ;-)

July 19, 2007 2:54 PM  
Blogger BlackSun said...

I must be a moron. I thoroughly enjoyed Boxing Helena.

July 21, 2007 6:52 PM  
Blogger Kristine said...

Welcome! I enjoyed it too, up to the point where she says, "Do you love me as a woman or as a possession." I thought that was a little ridiculous. Sometimes I wish that the film had been made from Helena's rather than Nick's point of view, though. (It would be a great conceit to have Nick dreaming of being Helena caught in his own trap!)

July 22, 2007 7:00 PM  

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