Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Anthony Lane Goes Deep

Anthony Lane, who owns film criticism the way we all pretend Pauline Kael once did, has a snort-your-coffee review of Inside Deep Throat:
Deep Throat was a sixty-one-minute film, released in 1972. It was directed by Gerard Damiano, whom even French critics would struggle to classify as an auteur. He had been a hairdresser, before making the tediously traditional leap from blow-drying to pornography. Damiano also claims to have written the script of Deep Throat over a weekend, although I suspect that he got up late on Saturday, started writing, and was done before brunch. The star of the movie was Linda Lovelace, who plays a woman named Linda Lovelace. This Method-like combustion of performer and role was understood to have searing implications for society’s grasp of the real, although one might equally suggest that, given what Linda did best, and given the gourmandise with which she did it, it was asking too much of the poor woman that she pretend to be somebody else at the same time

If you can believe it, Lane gets better from there. "Pornography, like high-school poetry, has both a weakness for metaphor and a terror that the message might not get through," he explains.

Later: "Adolf was Lovelace’s cat, with a perfect mustache of black fur under his nose. In stills, he looks unimpressed by the whole affair. He may have been a Republican."

Still later, Lane describes Helen Gurley Brown as "a bundle of simpers and tics."

Go. Read it now. It will make the rest of your day.

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