Friday, 19 January 2007

DVD: Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex But Were Afraid to Ask

Lowdown: Woody Allen going crazy about sex.
If you consider this film was made back in 1972, and if you then continue to compare it to what the cinema world is offering us lately, I would blame you if you were to say that the last 35 years have seen quite a significant decline in the field of film making.
Other than that, there is not that much for me to say about this film.
It's made of a collection of short sketches, all of which sort of dealing with issues to do with sex. I say "sort of", because the things they're actually dealing are things that would only constitute as sex to perverts; take, for example, Gene Wilder falling in love with an Armenian sheep. You sort of get the feeling that this Woody Allen film is more to do with laughing at social conventions while doing some outrageously original film making fun.
The various short stories vary a lot. Some are more funny than the other, but all offer extremely cynical and unconventional insight at us and what we take for granted. Allen simply makes his living by challenging conventionalities. Take, for example, the story of the king's joker who manages to get the queen interested in his love, only to find that what he really needs is the key to her chastity belt.
While not every story represents something to call home about, the very last one is a case of sheer genius; film making artistry at its best; the pinnacle of creation, if you will. I am talking, of course, about the most famous scene that shows us what takes place inside the male body of a guy who is dating this lady at a restaurant and looks forward to getting laid. We see things through a mission control like center that acts as the guy's brains, an oil drilling operation that acts as his penis, a garbage cleaning operation as his stomach, and a group of crack suicide paratroopers as the sperm about to jump into action (including Woody Allen as a sperm with second thoughts).
Second best scene: Rabbi Chaim is tied up with rope and beaten up by an attractive lady wearing not much more than stockings while his wife is at his feet eating pork chops. And all this as a part of a game show.
Picture quality: Very, very dated. Low resolution, lots of noise; they don't come much worse than this, but at least color fidelity is not too bad.
Sound quality: Very dated, very compressed, mono. They don't come much worse than that.
Overall: Obviously, this film should not be judged according to technicalities but rather by its originality. The mission control scene is definitely 6 star material, but it is the exception; overall, I would rate the film as 3.5 stars.

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