5 Different Challenging Films to See

1. Variety

The sexually charged tale of a woman’s journey of self-discovery, Bette Gordon’s VARIETY is a fascinating independent film that challenges common notions about feminism and pornography. Emerging out of the underground NYC arts scene that produced the late ’80s boom in American independent cinema, Variety contains the contributions of an impresive array of talent, including cinematographer Tom DiCillo (Living in Oblivion), actor Luis Guzman (Boogie Nights), a script by the late cult novelist Kathy Acker, and a score by actor and musician John Lurie (Stranger Than Paradise, Down By Law). Renowned photographer Nan Goldin appears in a supporting role, as does Mark Boone Junior (Sons of Anarchy, Memento)

Christine (Sandy McLeod), a bright and unassuming young woman, takes a job selling tickets at a porno theater near Times Square. Instead of distancing herself from the dark and erotic nature of this milieu, Christine soon develops an obsession that begins to consume her life. The character’s reaction unexpectedly flips normal gender roles; director Gordon daringly twists feminist ideology by showing a woman who finds self-expression through an interest in pornography. Variety becomes even more provocative when it dramatizes the changes that occur in Christine’s relationships with both Mark (Will Patton), her boyfriend, and Louie, a dangerous-looking patron of the theater.

Few films deal honestly with a female’s sexual point-of-view, and particularly with the way in which she develops her own fantasy world. Controversial and highly personal, VARIETY does just that, and in so doing announces itself as the major film of a director who embodies the essence of independent cinema.

“A feminist Vertigo.” -LA Weekly

“A daring departure into the dark, irrational and obsessional world of personal female fantasy” – Linda Gross, The Los Angeles Times.

“Sandy McLeod’s deliriously obsessive performance as Christine is the perfect blend of blond beauty and intelligent watchfulness” – Newsday

2. Je T’aime MOi Non Plus (1976)

Cult Love Story

4K Restoration. Cult icon Serge Gainsbourg wrote, directed, and scored this tale of doomed love between a lonely truck stop waitress (Jane Birkin) and a gay, hunky garbage truck driver (Joe Dallesandro), whose boyfriend (Hugues Quester) becomes increasingly jealous of the two. Sharing the title with Gainsbourg and Birkin’s sexually-explicit 1969 hit pop song, Je T’Aime Moi Non Plus is an equally provocative depiction of sexual gratification told through an unlikely couple.

3. Neon Bull

Wild, sensual, and utterly transporting, Brazilian writer-director Gabriel Mascaro’s second fiction feature unfolds within the world of the vaquejada, a traditional exhibition sport in which cowboys try to pull bulls to the ground by their tails. Neon Bull explores the vaquejada through the eyes of Iremar (Juliano Cazarre), a handsome cowboy who works the events. While he’s not afraid to get his hands dirty, Iremar’s real dream is to design exotic outfits for dancers.

4. DOGMAN

Dogs, Humans, Bullies, Criminals, loyalty, friendship, and social dysfuntion.

5. The Hunt

Best of the best of the best … it is not happy, but true.

In a blink of an eye, your life can be flipped upside down, because what the people perceive, eventually you can’t escape.

Published by W

Wissam, Wesley, or simply W, is an educator, writer, entrepreneur, engineer, activist, ex-Imam, humanist, liberal thinker with interest and mediocre attempt at many takes of life. A modern confused Renaissance man, who uses doubt as a path for emancipation and science as a road towards enlightenment.

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