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This is not a film, it's a commercial...
30 September 2010
I got very excited when I saw the new credit to David Lynch's filmography, but after seeing this short film I think the truth has to be said: This is not a film, it's a 16 minute commercial for Christian Dior. I'm still not sure what the product is, maybe it's just the brand. So, when criticizing this title one must do it on 2 different levels: as a commercial and then as a short film.

As a commercial, this is pretty good. Everything is in place: the bag, the dress, the make up, and probably even the perfume, although this is one thing we cannot be certain of.

As a short film, this is pretty dull. It seems that David Lynch has completely run out of ideas, and he once again makes a film about "a woman in trouble". Lynch's films of this decade were all about women in trouble. Beginning with "Mulholland Drive" and ending with this piece. Unfortunately, the music and atmosphere cannot hide the fact that Lynch is out of inspiration. This little short film adds nothing to what we've already seen from the man. It doesn't really matter if you don't watch this. Watch "Inland Empire" instead.

I believe that Christian Dior just wanted to exploit poor Lynch's surreal approach to promote their products. I also believe that Lynch. lacking the opportunity to make another feature film, desperately needed the money. I can see no better reason for the making of this film.

And all this I say as a David Lynch fan who thinks Lynch is one of the greatest filmmakers alive today.
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Lynch (2007)
Disappointing and interesting... at the same time
24 September 2008
I don't know what it is, but there is something about this film. I saw it just yesterday and I still don't know what to think. on one hand, the story doesn't flow, and I seriously doubt if there is a story at all. if there is, it is very well hidden within the layers of the film, just like in a good Lynch movie. however, don't bother yourselves finding it. I think it's not there...

This is basically an elliptical look, shot very nicely on DV, of David Lynch at home and at work. it's not your typical documentary with interviews, history and opinions. rather than that, it's an intimate journey of the filmmaker through some moments he had with Lynch at his house and on the set of INLAND EMPIRE. as such, the movie lacks straightforwardness, which is essential to this kind of documentary. all sorts of different scenes of Lynch talking on the phone, preparing the sets for his film production, painting and telling stories from his life. it would definitely interest any Lynch fan, but as a movie whole this is not satisfactory.

The beauty of the film lies within the montage itself, revealing a very real Lynch, not the artist, not the myth, but just the man, the human being who has great ideas for movies and paintings and just loves the "doing". this is a key morale to anyone out there who wants to be an artist. these little moments with Lynch alone really worth the watching. they are funny and sometimes surreal.

An interesting point: the film was directed by blackANDwhite, a pseudonym for someone, and was produced by absurda, Lynch's own production company. that makes me wonder whether Lynch is the real person behind this film but didn't want to take the credit? maybe he is responsible for the lack of coherent story, just because nothing really important happened in his life, except for making INLAND EMPIRE? maybe this is all Lynch wants to reveal, until the next documentary? if this is true, all I can say is that Lynch is a great businessman as well, keeping us wanting more footage, more glimpse into his life and way of thinking. plus, look at the credits at the end: the thank you credits reveal some names from Denmark, and especially from zentropa productions. it seems the director was influenced by the danish cinema of the last decade. but, again, i'm not sure this is for the benefit of the film.
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A moving picture for art buffs
19 August 2008
"Michelangelo's gaze" is a very strange and interesting little movie. it's 19 minutes long and has no story what so ever. it's just the great director Michelangelo trying to touch and connect with the great artist Michelangelo. in a mysteriously moving way, you get the feeling that this titan of modern cinema is saying goodbye to the world, goodbye to his life. as the only actor in the cast, Antonioni really gazes at himself and at the work he's done through the course of his life. and what was that work? well, as cinephiles would say, sculpting in light.

Cinema's matter is light. and photographers "sculpt in light". Antonioni sculpts the faces and other body parts of Michelangelo's big sculptures "MOSES" in a cathedral, and he is there all alone. The always "young" man in the sculpture is contrasted with Antonioni's old and rigid face, unable to move thanx to a stroke. and that's all. accompanied by wonderful cinematography that reminds us the great compositions of "L'aventurra" or "L'eclisse", this little, almost silent film, is really experimental cinema with the exception that it has a great director, a historical innovator of the art, standing behind it and in the front of the camera.

But after all, this movie will be regarded the most by Antonioni's fans and other film and art buffs. personally, I recommend it to everyone who can appreciate beauty at it's purest form.
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A Little Masterpiece
19 August 2008
I saw this film last night and I can't stop thinking about it. Spanish director Jaime Rosales, who i know nothing about, except he is a relatively young director, makes a movie so daring with so much confidence in his craft, that it is truly amazing.

A lot of scenes in this movie seem to be pointless, as if they lead to nowhere. It is the story of a young man in a small city that lives with his mother, owns a not so popular clothing shop for the entire family, and has a girlfriend just for the sake of having a girlfriend. his life is totally empty and it seems he can't express himself to other people. he is just existing, goes by day by day, with no goal and no hope. at one point in this film it is pretty obvious that nothing really seems to be important to him, even his mother and girlfriend. and then the killings. 20 minutes into the film and the first murder takes place. after that the dread you get from the character is enormous. you get the feeling the next murder will happen any second. there is no logic behind it, just pure and brutal violence that emerges from the depths of this poor young man. the killing is the only reminder for Abel, the film's protagonist, that he is actually alive. it gives him the only true meaning to his life because it's the only thing that makes his adrenaline to rush. it's the REASON to live.

Rosales' direction and writing is an achievement. this is not a classic serial killer or psychopath movie. generally, in this kind of movie we know from the beginning that the killer is a disturbed person, but in "Hours of the Day" you don't. the only resemblance to Hitchcock's "Psycho" for example, is the fact that Abel lives with his mother. but he has a girlfriend, so that undermines the classic notion of the serial killer as someone who has an oedipal problem or a twisted libido. Rosales does anything in his power to make this movie look as if nothing important really happens, including the murder scenes, directed with the same ease and detachment as the dinner scenes or other everyday dialogue scenes. but the effect is huge and it makes the audience wait in dread for the next time he'll kill. another thing that helps is the fact that the movie has no music on its soundtrack. it makes the anxiety even grow bigger.

You can't help but thinking of someone like Michael Haneke. I'm sure Haneke really liked this movie if he saw it. if you want to compare it with something from Haneke's work than I guess it's best to compare it to "Piano Teacher" and not to "Funny Games". it has exactly the same violent energy plus the fact that in "Funny Games" we know it's a discussion about violence in society. in "Hours of the Day" it's slightly different. the central thesis here is that violence is a human phenomenon that can not be really explained except with medicine or psychopathology. "Funny Games" is a film about the way we watch films and "digest" them.

The end of "Hours of the Day" is probably the most excruciating. we seek moral relief. that is always the case with murder films. the natural hope of the audience is that the killer will be caught and killed, or at least brought to justice. this does not happen in the film. because "Hours of the day" is not a film about movies nor a thriller. it's a movie about pathology, chaos and human frustrations. it's a film about the other side of the human experience, the one that we are all afraid of, and presented to us in its true face. without music, without sound effects, and even without big bloody scenes. it's violent reality right in yer face, and next time it can happen to you.

One last thing: the lead actor does such a great job that I would really be afraid of stumbling upon him in a darkened alley! great stuff.
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Tehilim (2007)
an unfulfilled attempt
9 October 2007
Tehilim is a tale about a son dealing with a father's disappearance. it is also a very religious movie in this very sense, the father son relationship, or lack of it, resembles one's attempt to discover god in his life. faith and god are illusive elements and he who seeks redemption by finding one or both of them must endure some kind of suffering. in Tehilim, this suffer remains terribly untreated by the film's writers.

A documentary approach is taken by the director, which is somewhat subtle, but still voyeuristic enough to make us feel uncomfortable in front of some scenes. the main problem is, therefore, lack of real drama in the movie, and illogic occurrences that take place in some parts of the film. the strongest feeling that I had during watching it is "please, get to the point or finish." I don't want to write spoilers in this review, since the film debuts this week in Israel. I will only say that Tehilim is one of the strongest attempts ever made in Israel to make a truly religious work of art, but due to tragic screen writing failures this film is doomed to be an unfulfilled attempt. what a shame!
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Boat (2007 Video)
this is not video poetry
11 September 2007
As being one of David Lynch's biggest fans, I am again very disappointed. this little short film, although being mysterious and stuff, is nothing but a an experiment meant to check if the camera is working... and, wow, it is. hooray! Lynch made this for his website, and this maybe the less interesting short he made, not only for the site, but maybe through his entire career. there is nothing in this film that makes you remember or think about his great shorts from the 60's and 70's like "the grandmother" or "the alphabet", films that are still beautiful and exciting to watch 30 years after. it seems to me that the video experiment doesn't do good with lynch.

At first we see shots of trees and a woman's voice over fills the soundtrack. she talks of things she can't remember, like much of the mystery in "inland empire". but the video shots are poor and really don't mean anything. they look bad. then we go into the river and to a boat. again, nothing happens apart from a man's hand operating the boat, starts it's engine. it is Lynch himself, the only actor in the film. he rushes into the water very fast and goes "into the night". and thats it. nothing happened. the short finishes.

I actually expected a lot of this movie ever since I read about it. I thought Lynch had come up with something serious after "Rabbits", but unfortunately this is not the case. this is not video poetry nor poetry of any kind at all. If you watch the DVD of better stick to "out yonder" and the great parts where Lynch is talking to the members of his website, answering their questions. "A bug crawls" is not bad too.
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The great Bunuel
10 September 2007
What can one say after watching "The phantom of liberty"? if you want to make films of your own, you can only be jealous with the power of Buñuel at directing the most simple everyday situations with a surrealist twist without thinking twice and flicking an eye. his hatred of the bourgeoisie is evident here even much more in then in his masterpiece "The discreet charm...". and the reason is: in that film there was a plot, a reason, a context which within things were happening, and the viewer could relate to things that happened earlier in the film. but in this picture there is no line, not one story, but stories that don't even intertwine with one another. just a collection of fragments, some strange, some funny, some totally impossible.

The freedom that Bunuel takes upon himself is backened with a lot of responsibility. one has to be responsible and not losing the viewer. but this freedom is exactly the same that he had as an artist while making "Un chien andalou", or "Archibaldo de la cruz". it's just that this time there is an attack at yet another bourgeoisie item: order. stories claim order. so is the ruling class.

So Bunuel and Carriere decided to attack the order of storytelling itself. it's a very tricky business to do on film, but if you understand the way dream works, no problem. let's go straight ahead. and so much fun is promised.

Just like any other Bunuel film, there are no special effects, no overwhelming shots, no camera or editing tricks. just an attack, there is no other way calling this, on reality of the mind, of the eye and of order of things. it is only when you release yourself from social rules that are false, fake and immoral, you can become free again. only when you see your fellow man and his suffering, you can become moral. only when you cry against social injustice, you can justify the revolution of humanity against greed and the wars it inflicted us into. if you'll keep on crying "death to freedom", you are in danger of becoming one of them bourgeois guys. and it's so easy, my god...
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Sweet Mud (2006)
Why did this film won so many prizes???
10 September 2007
I saw this movie, just now, not when it was released and hailed as best picture of the year here in Israel. and to summarize everything right now, I will just say: this is not a good film.

This is Dror Shaul's second feature film, and I have to admit that his first and the TV drama he made before this picture are much better. further more, this is his first attempt at directing a drama. the early works were comedies, and were funny and effective.

The first thing you have to know if you'll ever see this film: Israel of the 21st century hates the kibbutz and the values it represented since the formation of the state of Israel. the real situation of the kibbutzim is very dire, and some of them disappear one by one. the kibbutz, Hebrew word for collective, was a sort of village for members only, where the values of equality and socialism were the dogma for everyday life. with the change in social values with time, it seems now that the kibbutz was a place where the human spirit was repressed, locked within the dogma rules, with no ticket out. the entrance of capitalist values and way of life in the 90's and so far made it very hard on the kibbutzim to survive. the crazy mother in the film is the central metaphor for that.

But, I regard this film as having nothing to do with nostalgia for the good old days of the kibbutz. once, it was a dream of every young couple to live in a kibbutz and raise children in this quite and beautiful environment. but the film shows the opposite. that the kibbutz, with it's socialist dogma, was a place sort of like a cult of crazy people, with crazy ideas that undermine the freedom of each individual within the collective. this is the central philosophy of post modern capitalism: your individuality is the most important thing. you must place yourself in the center, and no one else but you is the matter. this is the philosophy the film stands for, and that's just it's first sin.

If you disagree with me on the political side, I'm sure you will agree that the acting, the tone of the film, it's script and it's direction are the four sins that follow. the film has no real visual text and none of it's shots is something to remember. it is also very "delicate", a delicacy that is no more than artsy fartsy attempt to provoke emotions, which do not surface, not in the film and not with the viewer. it brings nothing but boredom.

Can someone please explain: why this film won so many prizes? maybe because it shows that Israel is in line with the rest of the world, hating socialist and human values? or maybe it shows that Israel is a "delicate" place, not giving in to dogmas and fanaticism? that we are basically very human and good people, capable of emotions, especially when they are fake ones, just like capitalism expects us to be? or maybe because it tells one of the biggest lies of Israeli cinema in recent years, a lie that undermines the justification of the existence of the Jewish state? no matter what the answer is, it's not a good one. not for the world, not for human values and not for the Jews.
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An unsuccessful Michael Haneke like movie
24 July 2007
"The book of revelation" is one of those films that make you feel you had a great loss. It has a very interesting & original story, the right mood and some brilliant actors. However, one can not escape the feeling that something went completely wrong with the entire piece.

The film tells the bizarre story of Daniel, a dancer that's been kidnapped by 3 women and has been sexually abused by them for 12 days. well, I must say that for some men this is a dream rather than a nightmare... but on the serious side, I was quite disappointed by the kidnappers and the director, Ana Kokinnos. because as long as I remember, they were trying to make a thriller here, so where's the thrill?? the abusement scenes are not that terrible, but much more on the erotic side, what makes this film look as a cheap sexploitation based movie. Sexual provocacy was probably much more important for the director than a real delve into the humiliated man position thing. That goes for both male and female characters and scenes. I am not against nudity, but a film like that has got to have another dimension to it, except the sexual and kinky one, and this dimension lacks from the entire movie. plus, add the very expressionist lighting and photography, and the result is just another artsy fartsy film that has the appeal of a more serious one.

We don't really know anything about Daniel. when I think about the movie now, I dare to ask: was this all a dream? what about his relationship with one of the dancers from the group? they live together, but are they married? did he have a romantic or sexual relationship with his dancing coach, the beautiful and mature Isabelle? was he suffering a mental disorder prior to the kidnapping? we don't have answers to these questions in the film. you could say it's OK, and in a way it is OK, but not really...

But not everything is wrong here. actor Tom Long gives a monumental performance, both as a dancer and the tormented Daniel, who tries to reveal the identity of his lady kidnappers, and to restore his own mental life. and of course the wonderful Greta Scacchi, in a great supporting role.

To sum things up: if you're looking for a good thriller for your weekly DVD night, get something else. if you've already taken this film be prepared for some hot nudity, expressionist misery and mental torment scenes, fake provocacy and an unsuccessful attempt to create a Michael Haneke like thriller, where the hero is not the mystery itself, but the main character's way to deal with what happened to him. and believe me, there are better films than this one. for instance, "Cache", by the original Haneke himself, or "Swimming pool", by Francois Ozon.
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It's an amazing thing that it was actually produced...
22 December 2006
THE PERFUME is the best novel I have ever read. therefore, I was very eager to see this movie and also was really afraid that it would suck. It is very difficult to bring to the screen the sensations of smell, which is the true thing that keeps grenouit, the protagonist, going. it is his obsession. how would one bring such an experience to the screen, to a visual context? the film, a quiet good one, gives lots of shots of grenouit's nose, an image that tries to make us imagine the smells he experiences. besides, the film really deals with a totally different subject matter: that of morality, human existence and free choice. to all those interested, the film, like the book, is pretty pessimistic about the latter.

Without spoilers, I really should say that the film is beautifully shot and orchestrated, and is probably director Tykwer's best work and his most important one. but two main problems overshadow the general success: Ben wishaw and Dustin Hoffman. they were wrongly cast. they do a pretty good job, Wishaw being the better of the two, but they totally do not fit in the shoes of their characters. more on that, the writers chose to ignore or throw parts of the story that could really benefit the finished film, even if they had to add 30 more minutes. on top of all, and despite John hurt's beautiful narration, we cannot understand grenouit's real motivations, and director Tykwer does not give us hints to that, both within the story and within his direction of the actor. this is a big miss.

However, some scenes are unforgettable and visually beautiful, and also very powerful. Grenouit is a character that bears a lot of pain within himself, and from this pain and passion comes the power to the screen, and also to the film's sound design. The orgy scene in the last part is wonderfully orchestrated, both in vision and sound.

If you loved the novel you will probably love this film also. It's an amazing thing that it was actually produced...
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Darkened Room (2002)
Lynch doing Lynch and not getting anywhere...
5 August 2006
Just saw "darkend room" and was very disappointed. Like other users here, i'm a huge lynch fan but this film really ISN'T it!

It's strange, right. it contains lynchian themes like a blond and brunette, a dark mysterious event taking place but we don't know what it is, great moody soundtrack, and of course hints that hide in the picture and all you have to do is to clinch them together to get the complete picture.

However, this movie, although containing all these ingredients, is a disappointment not only to lynch fans, but anyone who likes short and artistic films. I sense that lynch himself maybe was surprised with the result, but there was little he could do to fix it. the camera work is not interesting at all and the entire situation looks as if lynch and the actresses are actually rehearsing a scene to be filmed later to the real film. many student films, good and bad, are shot like that, and it seems that lynch, doing the camera work himself, was trying to learn along the way the benefits of using DV instead of 35 mm film.

Unfortunately, all I have to say is that you should'nt play with your audience. learn the technique first and then make the film, don't do it at the same time.

The interesting point in the film is that it might be connected, thematicaly, to another short film called "Rabbits". just a few days ago I read this great theory that the mystery in rabbits might be connected to the scene depicted in darkend room. for those who seen rabbits and try to understand what is it about, this is an intriguing idea.

But to those who didn't see rabbits and don't what i'm talking about, "Darkend room" is a short film that is unimportant and not really interesting. it's like someone else tried to follow the footsteps of the master lynch, but failed to do so. Lynch doing Lynch and not getting anywhere...
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Cold Mountain (2003)
too long, too boring, too much!
3 December 2004
this 2 and half hour movie made me so sleepy during watching. there is no doubt, something is seriously wrong with this film. it looks very promising in the beginning but as long as we go along it starts really to make you wonder. all this could be reasonably finished within 90 minutes or maybe less and it could be much more intense and smarter that way. not all historic melodramas must be that long. at least in "titanic" we had some action. the only thing that's left in my memory is john seal's delicate camera work. nicole kidman really tries but unfortunately she doesn't have enough to go along with. rene zelweger looks pretty stupid. it is not her fault. it's a classic mis-cast. don't watch "cold mountain". there are so many other things you can do in your precious spare time. sleep for example.
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The Adjuster (1991)
26 November 2004
this early atom egoyan film is truly the best of his movies that i have seen, and they are "exotica", "felecia's journey", "the sweet hereafter", "speaking parts" and of course "adjuster". egoyan has a very special gift and that is the way he tells the stories, a way that forces the characters to do things you wouldn't think they'll do, or do them in a very un-expected way. egoyan drives you into the story using all the tools included in a film director's case: beautiful, almost dreamy photography, haunting mysterious music,careful attention to movement and color. that is the case with all his films but in "adjuster" this unique style of his really comes to a peak. the strange story of an insurance adjuster being eaten inside by guilt and fear seems to take place in a world where morality and good are disappearing slowly, living the honest man to burn is his own hell, created by his inability to read the reality that lies before him. this is always a very good story material for films, because it allows the filmmaker an investigation of the psyche, tormented, searching, afraid and yet unable to tie all ropes together to make sense of the world. i recommend watching "the adjuster" and then watching it again after a day or two. if you dig movies, you will not forget this one. an exceptional experience.
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Lost Highway (1997)
lynch's best
17 November 2004
i know that many people that have seen lost highway were amazed to the negative side. meaning they did not understand what was going on, who is against who and what should i feel after this. well, i don't know what about you but this film really made me appreciate lynch and see him as the most creative director of our time. he plays a game with the audience. the viewers try to figure out what's going on but suddenly everything changes to a point of no return. so much was already written about this film that it takes the mystery out of the film. so i will not try to explain the film here on IMDb but rather say that you have to be ready for a new kind of story telling, a new kind of look into the human psyche, a new kind of narrative formation and above all you should be ready to look at this film as an example of what cinema is all about. lost highway is first of all art and then it is entertainment. lynch knows how to entertain and the film does not lack of humor or sexiness. its got one of the best soundtracks ever recorded to film and it creates an experience you will not forget for a long time. after seeing all David lynch films i think this movie is lynch's best work and it concludes a non official trilogy of the same theme. the 3 trilogy movies are "eraserhead", "blue velvet" & "lost highway". in order to understand lynch's view of the world these 3 movies are his key works that explain in their own special way all his other works, such as "mulholland drive", "twin peaks" and even "the straight story" that has en eeri side to it also. this movie is a lynch must!
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great emotional experience
21 August 2004
Elia Kazan is one of my favourite directors and is one of all time greats in film making in the history of Hollywood. this is his second film and i'm so glad i saw it. most of us know Kazan's great films, like "a st. car named desire" or "on the water front", but this film should also be considered as a great work. the difference is that "a tree.." was made prior to the Hollywood ten event and at first look does not seem as a protest. but if you look carefully you can already see the leftist political background of Kazan. the movie portrays the hard life of a poor family in Brooklyn and focuses on the eldest daughter who wants to become a writer. the child is played by Dorothy McGuire and is one of the best performances i have ever seen made by a child. she is really moving. the film creates an atmosphere that on one hand reminds us why classic Hollywood cinema is so wonderful but on the other hand, Kazan manages to criticize the "american spirit", that of self confidence and everlasting hope for future success.

all the actors in this film are wonderful and Kazan's direction is strong and delicate. he really loves these characters. the only thing about this film that makes it a little inconsistent to the realism it strives to portray is the ending, but if you did not see it then do it now. get ready for a great emotional experience.
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a dissapointment
25 April 2004
the sequel to the first kill bill, that was a genuine masterpiece, fails to deliver what it takes to make a decent end to this vengance saga. it seems to me tarantino lost himself during production, and this of course is very strange, because the two films were made as one. something happened. these last 5 chapters of the story are written without the inthusiasm and brilliance like the first five. tarantinos very well known dialogue writing talent seems missing from the entire movie. the only good part of the film is the "pai mei" chapter in which thurman is taught by a chinese kung fu master the ancient martial art. tarantino creates in this the only reasonable and funny chapter in the entire sequel.

it is a real shame that this young american genius filmmaker cant stay in line with himself in this supposed to be fantastic project. i do recommend watching it, especially those who love martial arts movies but this surely not the sequel it is supposed to be. a dissapointment.
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Latex (1995 Video)
a cult movie
15 March 2004
this michael ninn 1995 release is without a doubt THE cult porn film of the 90's. it stars tifany milion, the beautiful mature blond that has long disappeared from the industry and jon dough, now a director on his own, but then one of the best actors of his time. this film stands out as trying to reach the psychological depth of its protagonist, something that doesn't take place a lot in adult videos. it has great writing, great acting and great sex scenes backed with special digital effects creating a very dark mood and enviroment that resonates back to the jon dough character inner world. if you look for a very different experience in porn, this is it!
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