A personal diary keeping people abreast of what I am working on writing-wise.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009


People love me.

No, seriously, people love me. Note to self: think twice before reviewing arthouse smut, because some people aren't going to be very happy with you if you don't validate their peccadilloes.

Take, for interest, this gentleman, who joined the DVD Talk forum just to post this (presented with no editing):

I read Jamie S. Rich's DVD review of In the Realm of the Senses - Criterion Collection at http://www.dvdtalk.com/reviews/read.php?ID=37012 and...
God Mr. Rich, you are a writer aren't you?

If you comics are filled with such fabulous observations as...

- "its plot no better than the clichés of XXX skinflicks about randy co-eds getting it on with the pizza man or bored housewives getting some extra chlorination from the pool boy. "


- "Is this maybe the function of erotica, to provide us with a viable argument for looking at smut? "I don't surf the internet to get my jollies, I look at Art"?

how about

- "It's hardcore erotica and explicit enough that if Jerry and George were passing it in the locker room on Seinfeld, they'd use a copy of Tropic of Cancer to cover it up. Yes, Henry Miller is the less salacious of the two evils. "

(A Seinfeld reference! ZING!)

...thank I think I'll pass.

I realize that this film is full of graphic and disturbing imagery, and judging from your references to "La Brand Bouffe" and "Salo", disturbing cinema is just not your thing, but you know, you are allowed to internalize the film before you write a self-congratulatory knee-jerk review.

I don't think it's fair to hold Oshima's film up against your Gen X whips. Since he clearly wasn't really making a film about them anyways.


I like how the default position is to say, "Ohhhh, you write comics." This isn't the first time that's happened. Me not smart, me write comics.

I received a couple of messages e-mailed to me, including a long explanation of why In the Realm of the Senses and Salo were still relevant, even connecting them to our current economic crises and the Bernie Madoffs of the world. Such a message assumes I didn't "get it," which I did. (Salo is really not that hard to figure out.) You can get something's point and still not find it effective.

At least that fellow was rational, though. This guy, on the other hand:

I read your review of 'In the Realm of the Senses - Criterion Collection' and found it
extremely naive and ignonant. Sex is life, Jamie. You wouldn't be here without it. I wouldn't be here. Your parents did it. Mine did. You do it. I do it. Everyone does. In the Realm of the Senses is inarguably the greatest exploration of life! Maybe I understand it better because I went to Catholic school in the 1950s and was beat up by the sexually-frustated nuns?

A celebration of life? Ummm...did you watch the end, buddy? Spoiler alert! She cuts off her dead lover's penis. Party!

Current Soundtrack: Jon Stewart vs. Cliff May


Cadwell said...

Can all your blog posts end in the words 'dead lover's penis party'? :)

Anonymous said...

Interesting - i had intended to see this movie but the date it was showing i was indisposed. The wikipedia article on Sada Abe was informative.

Maybe the politics was more about personal power and politics than Japan's?

Maybe it was a commentary on modern society's obsession with sex, which has to keep pushing boundaries, keep getting edgier, until it's so over the top that it's unappetizing?

I will say i was more interested in seeing it before your review.


Jamie S. Rich said...

Gary -

If you do see it, I'd love to her your thoughts.

The commentary does get into some of the political elements of the movie, but I try to review movies based on just what I see going in and write my pieces before watching the extras. I think that reflects what most people do when they see a film.