Wednesday, July 27, 2005

On the arid sands of Fire Island, California, two young lads, conscientious Peter and gormless Dan, approach a curvey brunette. The girl, Sandy, has looped a piece of string around the left leg of a maimed seagull and tied it to a stick in the sand. She pokes and jibes the gull with another stick, giggling as it sqwacks and rasps in distress. The boys are initially outraged by this ghastly scene but, after Sandy taunts them and flashes thick brown eyelashes at them, they succumb, then join in, laughing. Sandy seduces on the offensive: her bikini takes the place of a cat'o'nine tails. From the point that they all bond, and as a precondition of their bond, Sandy is the arch-manipulator, the mistress. Her domination is a dead challenge, as both boys are willing victims; it is also excessive, sour, tyrannical, squalid. An artful, if fetid, sado-masochistic construct forms and unfolds on salt-bitten, sooty West Coast sands, until Rhoda, a chubby ginger virgin with orthondontic braces, arrives and upsets the delicate S/M balance. As Peter slowly draws toward Rhoda, Sandy's cruelty turns sceptic and sucks Peter and Dan into an uglier, more vicious sadism. The film ends with Sandy inciting gang-rape: Rhoda is attacked by the boys in a forest clearing, while Sandy screams instructions. The ending is so eliptical, and unsettling, that a friend of mine, when I made him watch the film, was convinced that they'd killed her. It doesn't matter. The last shot shows sunset washing across dirty Fire Island dunes, as Sandy, Peter and Dan walk towards shore, but without apparent direction, seperately.

Last Summer Frank Perry (1968)

posted by oc  # 1:42 PM

citta vecchio

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