Titirangi Storyteller

Telling tales from around the world

Posts Tagged ‘sex

Midnight Cowboy

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Midnight_CowboyMidnight Cowboy broke all the rules when it was released in 1969. After a decade dominated by glossy, Technicolor, feel-good musicals, John Schlesinger’s x-rated exposé of shattered dreams amongst the grime and desperation on New York’s mean streets made the entire industry sit up and take notice.

It’s not just the only X-rated film to win the Academy Award for best picture, it paved the way for Martin Scorsese, Francis Ford Coppola and Woody Allen to tell their New York stories (Taxi Driver, The Godfather I & II, Manhattan). Nearly 40 years on, it is every bit as powerful and authentic as the day it was released.

John Voight plays Joe Buck, a naïve Texas dishwasher who decides to hop a bus to New York City where he is sure he’ll soon be living the high life as a high-paid gigolo. He arrives in his buckskin jacket and spit-shined cowboy boots and starts following rich women around.

Midnight-Cowboy-Photograph-C10043659He figures he’s struck gold when Cass (Sylvia Miles) takes him home, but after he’s delivered the goods, she hustles him out of $20. Then he runs into Ratso Rizzo (Dustin Hoffman), a petty thief with a bum leg who promises to get him some proper management, hustling him out of another 20 and delivering him to a gay born-again preacher – but not before uttering the immortal words, “Hey! I’m walkin’ heah!”

MidCow01Soon Joe is broke, locked out of his dingy hotel room and living on the street, prowling 42nd St after dark like all the other cowboys, but too soft-hearted to make the johns pay. (Check out the young Bob Balaban.)

When he runs into Ratso again, Joe is desperate to get his money back, but ends up going home with him, to his rat-infested, condemned tenement, where the two form a friendship and struggle to survive – both living on dreams of a better life.

midnight_cowboy2The two-disc collectors’ edition includes two recently made featurettes with surviving cast and crew, reflecting on making the film and its impact and another looking at the late John Schlesinger’s life – easily as fascinating as any of his movies. Also included is a photo gallery, the theatrical trailer and an insightful commentary by producer Jerome Hellman.

Written by Titirangi Storyteller

17/05/2009 at 11:03 pm

Posted in Film, Writing

Tagged with , , , , , ,

Shoot ‘Em Up

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shoot_em_up_movie_poster_onesheet83 minutes long, at least 60 of which are non-stop action! This tongue in cheek actioner starring Clive Owen, Paul Giamatti and Monica Bellucci is an assault on the senses, fuelled by a heavy metal soundtrack featuring Motörhead, AC/DC, and Mötley Crüe and barely enough plot to fill a fifth formers book report.

Owen plays Mr Smith, innocently waiting for a bus on a dark, lonely street when a labouring woman runs past, chased by a gun-toting thug. Dumping his latte, Smith follows them into an abandoned warehouse and rescues the woman, slaying the small army that is determined to kill her. Shell casings drop on her belly as she gives birth to a son. Smith shoots through the umbilical cord, snatches up mother and child and scatter-shoots his way out of the building.

shootemup2Unfortunately, mum takes a bullet in the head, leaving Smith with the newborn. Unfortunately, lead baddie Hertz (Giamatti) was wearing a bulletproof vest and rounds up a new army, which Smith dispatches as efficiently as the first.

For most actioners, this would be followed by at least ten or fifteen minutes of talk-fest back story. Shoot ‘Em Up is just getting started!

Baby is hungry. Smith heads to a brothel featuring a lactating prostitute, DQ (Bellucci). Servicing clients is one thing, but DQ declares nursing a baby is too kinky.

Hertz’s latest team of dead men walking convince her that Smith and bub are her best option and the mad-cap slaughter and mayhem continue as they discover why the baby loves heavy metal, who wants it dead and just how dirty American presidential politics can really get!

shoot_em_up_withTry taking this surreal actioner seriously and it’s possibly the worst movie ever made – nothing but gratuitous sex and violence. But Owen, Giamatti and Bellucci are first-rate actors revelling in a bit of low-budget fun. If you don’t mind the body-count, crank up the volume and lose yourself in its absurdity. It’s a sheer delight.

shootemup4Plenty of special features on the DVD, though I found I didn’t really want to dismantle the magic and find out how it was made. For those who do, there are interviews with the cast and crew, a look at the 200+ different kinds of guns used, an analysis of the endless stunts and commentary from the director.

Written by Titirangi Storyteller

26/04/2009 at 3:03 pm

Search Engine Deliveries

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These are the most common terms people have used to find this blog in the last week:

  • Brad Pitt in Thelma and Louise
  • Lace knickers
  • Chinese train porn
  • Sexy wet t-shirt naughty
  • Sexy group sex pictures
  • Psycho blood spatter
  • Monster sex sins

I am perturbed. I prefer to think of myself as literate, intelligent, thought provoking in a challenging, but not offensive sort of way. I am well-read, well-educated, well-travelled and well, considering it’s all a work in progress, I thought I was doing fairly well.

Now I’m not so sure. It’s not just a question of rising above the incessant stream of media and pop-culture porn. Like – I am just sooo above all that, it’s not even an issue. And I just KNOW everything I publish on my blog reflects how sophisticated and witty I am. That’s just as clear as the dew on a daisy at dawn. So will someone tell me how these icky bottom-feeders are landing here? I mean, there ought to be a way to keep them out. Like I would actually write about the sort of stuff up there. Blech, blech and blech.

brad-pittOn a typical day, Google delivers me 40-50 people looking for photos of Brad Pitt. This is the only photo of Pitt I’ve got – from an article on Chick Flicks. I wonder if it pleases or disappoints? He is kinda cute, but I think he’s had a nose job since then.

The ‘Psycho blood spatter’ and ‘monster sex sins’ queries will undoubtedly take them to a piece on horror movies.

But you’ve really got to wonder just what the seeker had in mind with the phrase, ‘monster sex sins.’ Hmmm… I suppose I could Google it and see what comes up… Oh Crikey! It’s 3-D animated porn! Here’s a pic of the monster – since this blog only discusses porn, but doesn’t show porn between humans and other humans, humans and animals, or humans and extraterrestrials, the rest is left to your imagination. Strangely, the female in question appeared to be enmonster-sex-sinsjoying herself.

Yes, there are ‘normal’ queries, people looking for something about the Staten Island Ferry, or a review of Malena or pictures of hotel lobbies. But they are the minority. The reality is most of the people who end up here via a search engine are actually looking for porn. A lot of it much ickier than wet t-shirts and lacy knickers…

I’ve thought about this. If I want this blog to be successful, I should be putting some hard-core porn on it… I bet those porn-seekers would become regular readers. One problem of course is, I wouldn’t know where to get porn of my own – I’d have to steal it from somewhere on the web… Hmmm – I’m not looking forward to being strong-armed by enraged porn-purveyors… I don’t know.

I guess I’ll carry on as I am, leading those porno seekers on. Let them think they’re wandering into a den of iniquity – only to find we’ve got iquity in spades. That’ll show ’em! Or something…

Something else occurs to me – I get a lot of readers from Alpha Inventions. There’s almost no porn there. I wonder what those folks are really looking for???

Written by Titirangi Storyteller

06/04/2009 at 10:55 pm

Malena

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The day Mussolini declared war on France and Britain, 13-year-old Renato Amoroso (Giusemalena4ppe Sulfaro) got his first bicycle and fell in love with Malena Scordia (Monica Bellucci), a 27-year-old war bride whose husband joined the fight in Africa.  There is not a man in the sleepy Sicilian village who does not drool over the exquisite Malena when she walks into town from her beachfront home.  The men drool, and the women seethe.  Though Renato’s friends lust for Malena, he believes himself to be in love with her, an obsession that leads to stalking, spying, and the theft of a pair of black lace knickers, much to his family’s comic horror.

malena7Director/writer Giuseppe Tornatore, who struck gold with Cinema Paradiso, once again presents us with the Sicily of his childhood, a story told through the eyes of adolescent male fantasy.  And such fantasy it is!  While this flick has been strongly criticised for excessive sexuality – my guess is that it comes a quite close to the reality of adolescent male desire.

malena5We watch Malena’s life unfold as she loses her husband in the war, can’t find work (no man will hire her for fear of his wife’s rage), and when it looks like she will lose her home and starve to death – sells the one thing that men will always pay for.  Yet, we never get to know her.  Indeed, the only time we see her smile is when she is entertaining Nazi soldiers.  She is ultimately a tragic figure, desired and despised, cast aside because of her beauty.

malena9Meanwhile, Renato and his friends explore their own sexuality – telling wild stories of conquest and in a hilarious scene, they gather on the beach and measure their penises.  Renato’s antifascist father is overwhelmed by his young son’s insubordination and incessant masturbation (“You will go blind!”).  First he rages, smacking the boy at every turn, and then, giving up brings him to a whorehouse in the hope he will emerge a man.

malena3Malena is a visually beautiful film, sensuous, sensitive, vulgar and tender at the same time – the sort of film that leaves you rapt from the opening scene to the closing credits.  Its unusually frank treatment of adolescent male sexuality and the price some women pay for theirs makes it a much better teen sex film than anything Hollywood has on offer.  Highly recommended.

Written by Titirangi Storyteller

02/04/2009 at 10:24 pm

Say No! to porn update

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question_markYesterday I wrote a piece on media-porn. (Scroll down to read if you would like.) Okay, I used sex to lure the reader in – but it wasn’t about sexual pornography, it was about excessive titillation in our nightly news. Almost immediately, my blog started getting Google hits – and the keywords were ‘sex’ and ‘pornography.’

This is such an absurd world. A nice glass of red wine would be just the thing to soothe my tousled psyche. Or perhaps another chat with Camus would do the trick.

Written by Titirangi Storyteller

16/02/2009 at 12:33 pm

Posted in Writing

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Just say NO! to porn

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As naughty as it gets with Google safe-search on

As naughty as it gets with Google safe-search on

No, I’m not talking about naked people getting it on in various configurations, positions and places the rest of us probably couldn’t manage if we tried. That’s old school. It’s pretty easy to avoid traditional porn these days. I plugged the word sex into Google Images and came up with wholesome images of chastely clad people. Pornography didn’t yield anything of interest, either. I had to change my Google preferences to allow explicit images. Even then sex didn’t get me anything a ten year old couldn’t safely look at for the first few pages.

It takes safe-seach off to get this naughty pic

It takes safe-seach off to get this naughty pic

So I plugged in my first name – Veronica. Aha! Apparently girls named Veronica love being naked in front of a camera. I wouldn’t stick 98.5% of the photos there on my blog, but I had to allow explicit images to be shown in order to find one this ‘racy.’ Yes, her name is Veronica. No, I don’t look like that and never have.

The point is, I had to make a choice to look at sexual pornography on the Internet. I’d have to select and pay for a porn magazine; or a pornography channel on cable or Sky; ditto for movie theatres.

The porn I would like to say No! to is the stuff that gets shoved in my face by the media in the guise of news or entertainment.

Network news annoys far more than the rest. I turn on the news to find out what’s going on in the world and in my community. Just a few years ago sensationalist reporting was relegated to syndicated ‘news’ programmes, digging as far into the dirt of sensational stories as they could go. Now the networks are full of crime-porn, disaster-porn, human interest-porn, education-porn, government exposé-porn.

sex-bushfireLast week’s bush fires in Victoria, Australia were a tragedy of horrendous proportions. With 181 dead and thousands left homeless – there was plenty of genuine, heart-breaking news – recovering bodies, housing the dispossessed, getting the fires out only to have arsonists reignite them.

Both New Zealand networks sent their news presenters over to stand in the rubble and moan about the humanity of it all. How did this become a ‘star opportunity’ for them? You could see the disappointment in their faces that the burnt out station wagon didn’t contain the charred remains of a fleeing family. ‘Interviews,’ i.e. cameras shoved in the faces of grief-stricken survivors who’d lost family turned my stomach as their private pain was reduced to ‘human interest’ to pump up ratings. The last straw was 5 minutes of air-time given to a videotape made by parents who thought they were going to die, saying good-bye to their children.

New Orleans Convention Centre

New Orleans Convention Centre

I wish this was an exception, but it has become the norm. Every natural disaster comes with titillating tales. (Remember the dozens of ‘child-rapes’ that were supposedly taking place in the convention centre during Hurricane Katrina – absolutely NONE of which was verified later?) Sensational crimes – it’s a given we will come to know the minute details of the crime and the criminal’s personal life – but the victim, dead or alive is also fair game in the ratings war.

60 Minutes was once THE journalist powerhouse, taking on government, industry and social issues with hard-hitting investigations. Now there’s two-headed babies, interviews with pseudo celebrities and tawdry reports on crimes of passion.

And let us not forget celebrity-porn! Britanny and Paris got so much news coverage last year you would think they had contributed something to humanity.

Then there’s alleged entertainment. I used to love cop shows. Hill Street Blues and Homicide: Life on the Street were two favourites – both realistic in many ways, gritty looks at crime. Child’s play compared to the current crop of CSI and similar shows. I know it’s special effects, but I’d really rather not see a maggot eaten corpse. And the story-lines – life could never imitate this art. Apparently teen sex-clubs are all the rage, young men should be on the lookout for poisoned condoms and half the judges in the US are involved in sad-masochistic sex rings.

Sigh… I’m too young to be too old for contemporary culture. I’ll keep choosing carefully, trying to avoid that lowest common denominator, which keeps sinking to new depths. Of course, I’m not exactly saintly – I hooked you with sex, but I got you to the end playing fair. 😉

Written by Titirangi Storyteller

15/02/2009 at 4:56 pm

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