I have to admit I saw fewer films today than I had planned on, due to accidental inebriation in the film festival lounge at Ficken 3000, but that was the only way I could get the combination of old-timey music and exaggerated coos of female ecstasy out of my head after taking in Jess Franco’s Midnight Party (what is it with softcore porn and music normally reserved for a Western-style saloon?). Don’t get me wrong, it was a perfect fit for a midnight screening, but I wanted to get the urge of spitting tobacco into a spittoon over with. While Franco’s Spanish setting doesn’t exactly lend itself to Westerns, the German dubbing (Franco’s films are dubbed EVERYWHERE) made geographical specificity impossible anyways. All that was important was piano music and 90 minutes of bad dialogue and pussy worship.
I crawled out of bed and got back to the fest just in time for Beth B’s excellent, excellent Exposed. For reasons of a generationally inherited short attention span, I have never been a fan of burlesque. Take your damn clothes off already! But B’s documentary exploration of the current wave of New York burlesque performers was handled so well and the characters themselves were so intelligent and moving that I feel that I can give the pasty another look.
To get a bit of historical perspective, I caught “The Films of Avery Willard” programme next. Willard was a New York gay filmmaker that could have been likened to Jack Smith, Andy Warhol or even Wakefield Poole, except his troubled personality made sure that the films were never released publicly, thus sealing his non-infamy in history. Until he died. And some of his stuff was good (but cue the old-timey music again). At least the first screened film got me a bit hot. He also had a Nazi fetish – which made for some entertainment when the hunk in the Third Reich get-up appeared in one of his films and Germans let out nervous giggles. And even bigger laugh was elicited when the hunk in question was credited not as Nazi, but “German Soldier”.
The biggest gas though, had to be as I was leaving the cinema and the din of international languages to be heard everywhere unified into just one – and it wasn’t German. Curiously, they were all wearing the same two-striped shirts as well. As I exited the Kino, I ran into Spanish filmmaker Maria Bala (one of the most talented, warm and wonderful filmmakers I had the privilege of meeting at this and last year’s festival) on the stairs. She looked mortified. “They’re screening the Barcelona vs. Madrid football match in Kino 4,” she explained. Well, I guess the Spaniards and the attendees of the PornFilmFestival will have a very different interpretation of the word “score”. Here’s to them being able to concentrate after seeing photos of clothespinned pussies adorning the walls.
As for me, I’m off to two more films tonight and the big party at Monster Ronson’s.