Red Shoe Diaries (1992) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)
|I suppose Zalman King is never
going to be mistaken for Welles or Kurosawa, but he does
have the ability to create a certain erotic mood and
|You are familiar with his techniques: the
close-ups of body parts, the bright swirling colors, the
dancing, the shirtless sweaty guys, the whispered
conversations, the languid music .... the first few times
he used these techniques, I thought they were fresh and
erotic in a sleazy Bossa Nova kind of way. "Two Moon
Junction" is junk, to be sure, but it's really fun
for a junk picture, and genuinely erotic in stretches.
"Wild Orchid" can be very sensuous in some
scenes, and women seem to respond to it as well as men.
Bako appears naked from verious angles, but there
is no clear shot of her face and her body
together, not anywhere in the film.
a clear topless scene on the DVD in the
|But there comes a time when technique
isn't enough. Without fresh content, technique just
becomes repetition. Moreover, as time as passed, King
started to skimp on the real nudity in favor of the
mysterious cutaways, shots of sweaty tummies and the
bottom of breasts and the back of necks, shown while the
blues guitar plays its sultry rhythms. To the point where
you want to call in the Deltas to start mumbling
"bullshit, bullshit, blowjob, blowjob", and you
want to scream at the screen - "could I just see her
body with the camera back a few feet and the lights on?
Remember how you did it with Sherilyn Fenn?'"
DVD info from Amazon.
The promos say widescreen,
but it is a standard 4:3 version.
There is some
scene-specific commentary from one of the
There is one deleted scene
and some bios and stills.
Shoe Diaries is the original pilot film for the
long-running series, and it is the very apotheosis of
King's sweaty chest, sultry music technique. It actually
stars Duchovny in the plot, as opposed to just showing
him in the prologue and epilogue. I would probably have
thought more kindly of it if I hadn't seen it all before,
or if it had some nice clear nude frames, or if it had
some content to go with the technique. But it is slow and
boring, and it has little clear nudity. I barely stayed
Duchovny is mourning the suicide of the
love of his life. He reads her diaries, finds that she
was trapped in an affair with a young construction worker
who also sells shoes. (He sold Bako some red ones). He
finds the guy and takes out his anger in a one-on-one
nothing but technique. Pretty good technique, but I've
seen it all before. And if I wanted to see guys sweating
with their shirts off, I'd rather watch "Cool Hand
guideline: 7.5 usually indicates a level of
excellence, about like three and a half stars
from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm
watchability, about like two and a half stars
from the critics. The fives are generally not
worthwhile unless they are really your kind of
material, about like two stars from the critics.
Films under five are generally awful even if you
like that kind of film, equivalent to about one
and a half stars from the critics or less,
depending on just how far below five the rating
guideline: A means the movie is so good it
will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not
good enough to win you over if you hate the
genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an
open mind about this type of film. C means it will only
appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover
appeal. D means you'll hate it even if you
like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if
you love the genre. F means that the film is not only
unappealing across-the-board, but technically
inept as well.
Based on this
description, this film is a C-. Technically
capable, but style and music mask a lack of plot
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