Monday, December 26, 2011

American Nudist (2011)

    Everyone has their own favorite genres to watch.And we will watch any movies in that genre over and over.Even if the story line is predictable or you've seen one too many thousands of explosions. We just have our own comfort groupings of movies. Fantasies and romance are my weaknesses.
     I do try to watch movies outside of my comfort zone. It's always good to see a different perspective, a new form of art, or discover a new favorite. Independent movies are one of the best resources to discover something new. Film festivals, word of mouth, accidental browsing all contribute to the tools in this discovery. Sometimes my jaw drops in awe. Sometimes it drops in disgust. More often it squinches into confusion.
   That's all right.I don't have to understand every single form of style out there. Some can be too disgusting for my taste or too incomprehensible to my mentality. It's a free country. Anyone can make a movie.
    I was asked to review an independent movie weeks ago. I agreed to it without researching it or even asking what it was. Once I saw the cover of the DVD, I had major apprehension. The cover looks straight out of a soft porn cover. It wasn't just me, I asked other people to give me their first impressions. I heard :" Porn","Wow....really?","Can I borrow that into the DVD for a moment?".
    I'm no stranger to naked women or porn. I live in LA, pretty close to Burbank. 'nuff said. The thing is I didn't want to watch soft porn. I wanted to watch an indie movie. I pushed it for a few weeks until I finally sighed and popped the movie in.
   My first impression of the movie was an inaudible dialogue of a man who keeps walking in and out of an empty apartment. Then a series of nudism footage. An introduction to some alter egos. Alotof people angry and screaming. More nudist footage.Then inter splicing shots of the screaming guy, cat, and chaos.
     I didn't like it. And I feel horrible for not liking it.
    To be honest, I had to watch this movie three times. I fell asleep (I probably shouldn't have watched it after a long day of work) and had to restart it the second time. I watched it with my boyfriend for a third time to make sure that I wasn't crazy in my thoughts.
    Then I spent a few days googling this movie and reading other comments and reviews. I am completely baffled and amazed at the responses.This movie has recieved mainly glowing praise. After much time to organize my thoughts. I have come up with some simple reasons why:
1. This movie was difficult to watch literally
     I thought it was just me but my boyfriend agreed. The sound quality of the movie was atrocious. The conversations between the actors were inaudible or had the soundtrack playing over them. It got pretty annoying for me to up the volume, then down the volume. Speaking of which, the soundtrack annoyed the bejeezuz out of me. A classical musical mesh that grounded my molars into powder.
2. The plot was paper thin
   Since I couldn't hear anything, I didn't realize that there was a plot. From what I read of other reviews, it was an artist who lost his muse and was trying to recapture it with nudism. I'm all for indie form and art house but there was really no plot to follow. It becomes less of a movie and more of a showcase. Just a bunch of seemingly random shots spliced together. It would go from old footage of nude news to dancing montage to metaphors of a decomposing artist to a cat.

3. Point of this movie

    Before I googled, I honestly felt that the movie was made by a guy who wanted to be surrounded by women.

   There were a few fine points to the film I admired. The women were very beautiful and fun to watch. The nudist footage was entertaining to watch. I have very minimal knowledge about the nudist culture so the footage was really amazing to watch.I can't help but envy these peoples confidence and comfort in walking around in their skin. After suffering extensive damage to my own self image, its great to see some positive personal confidence. Although...I had to smirk when most of the footage was of beautiful women naked. The one footage of the yoga class was amazing. I wish the soundtrack hadn't ruined it for me.
   I liked the guy who did some exposition about the nudism. Until he was shot naked then it was awkard again.
   Some of the actors were pretty cool. I don't remember their names ( like I said, I couldn't hear a damn thing). One was a young woman who was explaining her sisters reaction to nudists. The eyeballs were hilarious. The second was a guy mostly hidden in the shadows and screaming into the phone. His short appearance still showed great projection and acting. They were delights to watch. 

     Alot of people enjoyed this movie and that's great. I could see where this movie could have appealed to me. It's not the nakedness. It's the lack of making a decent movie to watch. Which means good sound quality and steady cam. If there was a consistent story arch with somewhat clear reasons for the shots, then I would have enjoyed it more. Instead it came it as more of an amateur film with lots of beautiful naked women in it.

 Not the movie for me. Before you judge anything, experience it first. Enjoy everyone!

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