Sunday, October 26, 2008

Go Go Tales

This Abel Ferrara movie is crazy to say it in one word. I wasn’t expecting a comedy much less a screwball American comedy, so it really took me by surprise and not a positive one. No, I do not particularly enjoy screwball comedies even when they have a great ensemble cast. Then I do not enjoy strip joints even when the girls are gorgeous and some actresses are well known.

The movie tells about 24 hours in a grim and seedier strip joint with all kinds of financial problems thanks to the owner Ray Ruby (Willem Dafoe) compulsory addiction to the Lotto.

Even when serious critics associate the strip club to Federico Fellini’s imaginary worlds (probably because the set was built in Cinecitta Rome studios) I hardly could find anything related to Fellini in this movie; then besides Ray Ruby character none was developed, all had few moments in the screen, and all were there probably just for comic situations that I did not find funny at all. Other critics mention that this is Ferrara’s homage to John Cassavettes The Killing of A Chinese Bookie and well, it has some references to the film.

Anyway, there are two things that could make this movie worth to give it a try, first the strip club setting is so meticulously recreated that becomes interesting to watch especially when Ray does his pathetic shows. Second, when for one night a week the strip club becomes a cabaret, the setting is changed in 10 minutes and then you could see some of the girls and guys performing what looks like tacky and surreal acts, especially after everything you have been seeing in the stage that includes a strip act with Monroe (Asia Argento) and a Rottweiler.

The ensemble cast includes actors like Bob Hoskins, Matthew Modine, Lou Doillon, Romina Power and other lesser-known actors that play folks operating within the club.

The movie was in competition for the Grand Prix des Amerques at the 2007 Montreal World Film Festival and was screened out of competition at the 2007 Cannes in the Midnight Screenings section.

Unless you really like American screwball comedies I believe that you would not enjoy this movie and definitively I cannot recommend it.

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