Twentynine Palms, another movie with graphic pointless unsimulated sex

Nobody deserves to be raped, but how about getting the crap kicked out of them? Does that count? I just finished watching the 2003 film Twentynine Palms, the plot of which can be summed up in few sentences: A brooding couple (David and Katia) with a complex, conflict-fraught relationship go out from Los Angeles to the desert so that the man – a photographer of some

A tender moment before some rear entry, up against a boulder desert intercourse

A tender moment before some rear entry, up against a boulder desert intercourse

sort – can scout out locations for a shoot. Along the way, they check out the scenery from his Hummer H2, stop at motels and have loud, obnoxious but also very boring sex. The woman is French and slightly borderline, and picks fights with the man, who looks like Shaggy from Scoobie Doo, but is a lot less interesting. There’s nothing particularly redeeming or good about this couple. Actually, they’re very much self-absorbed and self-important and very toxic to each other. After a seemingly never ending cycle of fighting and fucking and fighting again, they wind up being rear-ended by some hicks in a white super duty truck. The woman is forced to watch as her photographer boyfriend is raped- after he’s been incapacitated by a Louisville Slugger. After the rapists pull away, the couple returns to the motel they were staying at. He refuses his girlfriend’s suggestion to call the police and ends up killing her, driving out into the desert and killing himself. Movie over.

It’s not a new film, and I can’t at this late hour put too effort into critiquing it. I’ll let other blowhards do that themselves. All I know is that it was made by Bruno Dumont, a French filmmaker who is supposedly known for making slow moving, shock value films with graphic sex. He also thought it was necessary to have David speak in English to Katia and her answer in French. Pick a language, Dumont.

Now I don’t know what it is like to be raped, nor do I ever want to know that. It seems like the ultimate act of violation. That said, where do these filmmakers get off violating us with their slow moving piece of shit indie films. As I posted earlier I’ve been attempting to watch some films with unsimulated sex and I’m already coming to the conclusion that they plain and simple suck. I’m not sure if the sex in this film is unsimulated. It wasn’t on the wiki list, but the sex is graphic, gratuitous and just fucking lame and unimportant. The common thread with movies with graphic sex is that they move along at snail’s pace, involving long static shots and boring dialogue, that says as much about the filmmakers’ laziness as anything the plot could do. Twentynine Palms is nothing if not slow. I found myself clicking 2X quite a bit through the obnoxiously laborious desert driving scenes or motel pool swimming shots. When that didn’t speed it up enough, I’d go to 4x or 8x. The movie’s a turd and I’m wondering if the people at Netflix are keeping a file on me. The film was suggested I think because I’d rented Wolf Creek a month or so ago, a movie involving a desert, driving, a hick and murder. The big difference is, the Australian film was short on pointless sex and long drawn out takes and actually somewhat exciting to watch. It’s violence was graphic but moved the film along.

The characters in Twentynine Palms were extremely irritating, but the actors themselves seemed to do alright. I was actually a bit impressed with their abilit to keep their direction in a static scene in which David and Katia fight in the middle of the street at night, slapping, kicking and throwing things at each other. During the shot, David actually body slams his annoying ass girlfriend into the pavement. I respected the actors for sticking with that, but all else in the film sucked. It was awful. It could be filled with tons of appealing sex and still be boring.

I’m not sure what my next film containing unsimulated sex will be. I think after watching Battle In Heaven and Twentynine Palms in one week, I’m spent. I’m looking forward to using a bit of my next two days off to watch Return to Sleepaway Camp and some Argentinian movie about am woman who suspects her adopted daughter was kidnapped from some political prisoners.


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