Having now uploaded the majority of the reviews from the original Carnal Cinema project (I have four or five up my sleeve which I’d like to rework slightly before reissuing), I have a better sense of the remaining work, should I ever choose to resume it. As stated on the ‘about’ page, my priority for the coming year is to focus on Jess Franco and Jean Rollin. Uploading those old reviews did stir something within me though, even if it was only regret at not finishing what I’d started.
Anyway, in order to provide (something like) a comprehensive overview of the genre, I think I would need another 15 to 20 reviews. Off the top of my head, the gaps I would need to fill are as follows:
The Opening of Misty Beethoven (1975)
Water Power (1976)
Through the Looking Glass (1976)
V – The Hot One (1977)
Pretty Peaches (1978)
Ecstasy Girls (1979)
Cafe Flesh (1982)
New Wave Hookers 2 (1991)
Nothing to Hide 2 (1993)
Dog Walker (1994)
Cafe Flesh 2 (1997)
Dark Garden (1999)
Les Vampyres (2000)
Taboo 2001 (2001)
The New Devil in Miss Jones (2005)
The New Behind the Green Door (2013)
To access the existent reviews, click here.
My Primary intention for this blog, as stated on the ‘about’ page, is to write appreciations of Jean Rollin and Jess Franco, two directors whose work has been important to me for a quarter of a century now. While I’m not yet sure what form these pieces will take, I am fairly confident they will be challenging to write. In the case of Rollin, whose most compelling films seem more concerned with evoking states in the viewer than adhering to cinematic conventions, I suspect the work either resonates or it does not. In the case of Franco, the challenge is even more daunting: how does one even begin the evaluation of a director with more than 150 films to their name and a career spanning more than 5 decades? I think the only sensible answer is ‘in pieces’.
Perhaps inevitably given its length, Franco’s career can be broken into identifiable chunks. We have the black and white films made at the beginning of his career, the films produced by Harry Alan Towers, by Robert De Nesle, Erwin Dietrich, and so on. I think this is the basis on which I will approach the task. For me, Franco’s most interesting films date from about 1968 to 1975, a period in which he directed approximately 50 films, including those made with the aforementioned Towers and De Nesle, with Soledad Miranda and, thereafter, Lina Romay. This is where I’m going to focus my attention, for the time being at least. I’m not going to call it a plan, but it might be the first step towards one. Perhaps I’ll warm up by listing some of the key films from this period for those who want to play along at home.