Destricted

  • Film
  • Drama
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Back in the pre-internet world, when the BBFC still watched films with scissors ready, arty celluloid smut regularly allowed a patina of artistic credibility to mask the come-hither of a glimpse of flesh. Given today’s ready availability of sexual imagery, however, the same strictures hardly apply, so this art-meets-porn portmanteau will have to wow us with its own intrinsic creative qualities rather than just shock or arousal value.

Some of the artists simply do what they do, with Taylor-Wood’s ‘Death Valley’ depicting an extended act of masculine onanism in line with her video portraiture, while ‘Cremaster’ maestro Barney’s ‘Hoist’ mounts another dreamlike tableau, involving lubricated humping of a large piece of industrial machinery. Much less characterful are the segments simply re-presenting porno imagery, though Brambilla’s sex-scene montage ‘Sync’ is zippier than Prince’s tedious, refracted ’70s-style shagfest ‘House Call’. Performance artist Abramovic adds a welcome note of whimsicality with the (made-up?) folk rituals revealed in ‘Balkan Erotic Epic’, as opposed to Noé’s po-faced pretensions in ‘We Fuck Alone’, where a strobe-lit encounter with an inflatable friend lasts a brain-numbing 25 minutes, even though the title gets the key conceit across in about two-and-a-half seconds.

Thank heavens for Larry Clark! His contribution, ‘Impaled’, engages with the remit, presenting a Californian teen with the chance to fuck a porn-star on camera as a way of investigating how hardcore’s erotic routine has colonised America’s imagination. Witty, messily human, slyly insightful, it’s the undoubted highlight of this mixed bag, and will surely be the most-watched chapter on the forthcoming DVD.

Release details

Rated: 18
Release date: Friday September 15 2006
Duration: 116 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Marina Abramovic, Matthew Barney, Marco Brambilla, Larry Clark, Gaspar Noé, Richard Prince, Sam Taylor Wood
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