on 20/7/01 4:08 PM, Non-Stop inNYC at [log in to unmask] wrote:
> == ?The Monkey?s Mask,? a brief excerpt from my latest movie review ===
OK, for the record, here's some extracts from my review of The Monkey's
Mask, for Sydney Star Observer - written some time ago now.
"Thereıs been much anticipation about this movie, a lesbian detective
thriller set in Sydney based on a best-selling book of poetry, no less. So,
does it make the grade? Well, mostly it does, with reservations. ...
"The filmıs successes include good performances, stylish cinematography,
savvy art direction and a groovy little soundtrack featuring Single Gun
Theory. In the small roles, Abbie Cornish gives a moving portrait of the
young Mickey and Deborah Mailman brings a good sense of humour to Jillıs
friend, Lou, self-styled failed dyke New Age poet. Thereıs a strong, focused
performance from Susie Porter and I also liked the way the way the novelıs
poetry has been taken seriously as the basis for the filmıs dialogue. But
then Iım biased, I also write the bloody stuff.
"The element of the film that works best is the quest narrative as we follow
Jill from her hideaway in the Blue Mountains into the intellectual
pretentions of the arty-farty scene, the tragic sides of performance poetry,
the boofy homophobia of cop land and even the delicate but tricky art of
eating sushi. ...
"What doesnıt work quite so well is the central relationship between the two
women, Diana and Jill. Director Lang gives us all kinds of stylised sex play
and love tableaux between the two women that creates a distancing effect.
"I also have to register a protest regarding the way the poetry scene is
portrayed. Sure, itıs satire with an edge of truth but itıs also a cheap
shot as we are shown nothing but the tragic stuff. And perversely, the
purposely written bad poetryı performed by Mickey ends up becoming one of
the more moving, and crucial, parts of the film.
"The filmıs noir pretensions arenıt altogether satisfying either. While it
was a good move to get Jill to do a voice-over narrative that takes its cues
from the noir genre, thereıs a lack of tension and menace, and a few too
many longuers to make the crime side of things really work plot-wise. But
Susie Porter holds it all together, making us care about her journey, and
the city [Sydney] itself plays its role perfectly."
50 Ruby Street
Marrickville NSW 2204
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