Shakira (Shakira) is a young Columbian entrepreneur with a business project she’s determined to make happen, so she has installed her bed in the staircase of the Bogota Chamber of Commerce and won’t take no for an answer. Her goal to set up a demolition company and bring down the house, but she lacks the womanpower to do so.
Fortunately, persistence and clever networking allow her to meet Rihanna (Rihanna), another young entrepreneur with a matching set of skills. Together, there is nothing they can’t demolish by repeatedly banging it with their derrière. Their partnership is sealed with a day at the spa and Cuban cigars. The joint venture prospers, allowing them to buy some bling.
But Shakira is already one business plan ahead: to promote their expansion in electrical wiring, she plays guitar in the water puddle resulting from their successful demolition work. You won’t remember to forget it, ever!
Alison Goldfrapp is gifted. Not only she has a great name, but she’s very talented. Yet, she obviously has a problem with sex. She’s not the only one, for sure. But she’s issuing videos on a regular fashion, most of them attempting at sexy. And oh boy.
Miss Goldfrapp is nowhere near the sexy codes she tries to conform to. She does her best in an art installation like White Horse. She prances and beat her eyelashes for 3:40, dancing in formation with almost naked male dancers, whilst she’s obviously recapitulating her laundry list, a bit like Dusty Springfield on a much, much earlier gig. She’s Alison from accounting, given an extravagant budget to spice up the boss’ retirement party. As a French critic eloquently said about Françoise Hardy, “she sings like she’s vacuuming the floor”.
Utopia, one of the greatest songs of the 2000s, gets close to Metropolis but not quite, as it has nothing much to show but half the great album cover hairdo, glazed eyes and a good editing of parallel mountainscapes. Considering the subject matter, one will give it a pass.
Strict Machine has desperate “I’m in love” choruses while she dances with wolves. Sexy it is not, but let’s tolerate it while it lasts.
Train evokes more frankly an alleged home brand of sanitized bestiality. Everyone around her tries desperately to project a sexual vibe, but here she is, going through the moves but not there. This must be the reason why Goldfrapp remains a curio, albeit successful: the girl has much talent but no soul.
Your Lovely Head is a lovely song sung in a culotte. Madonna, dear.
So Cool she sings, brandishing a plastic chair, wearing white hooker boots. Terrible, terrible styling.
Rocket: Miss Goldfrapp steals an atomic rocket and looks as threatening as Avril Lavigne triggering Apocalypse with a bright pink penis and the help of a quatuor of lesbian dancers.
Happiness mainly display a guy who must have the strongest thighs in UK jumping around, with Miss Goldfrapp dispationately appearing in various cameos until people dance in the street. Yawn.
Number 1 is about more bestiality, except Miss Goldfrapp, a painted doll impersonating The Bride of Chucky, is unable to make it saucy.
Alive tries satanism, well its Eurovision version circa 1978. It’s aerobics on a pentacle.
A&E, Adam and Eve one presumes, is Mylène Farmer chance-meeting American Beauty, with Miss Goldfrapp as a nymph preferring the company of forest monsters to any human contact.
And finally, Twist is a ghost train vaguely inspired by Fellini’s La Citta delle Donne, diverted to crash in a wall when the Plaisir door opens. Desperate metaphors like snake mouth and opening apples can’t possibly make Miss Goldfrapp’s fake orgasm on the Big 8 credible.
Videos of the last album are a boring fare (and production) with B&W Terence Malick visual aspirations, and at least a lesbian serial beach killer. May one advise Miss Goldfrapp to call her video collection Train Wreck if she aspires so much as being the 21st century’s Bonnie Tyler?
The Lady Is a Tramp
Amidst the helter-skelter which accompanied the release of her Sex book and its companion piece, the much reviled yet brilliant Erotica, Our Lady Madonna had enough time on her hands to produce and perform in one of the best thrillers of the 90s. What makes it so good is that it’s 5:23 to begin (and end) with. Also, Matt Dillon is in it. And also, it’s brilliant.
Helmed by a top-notch David Fincher in hiatus between The Game and Fight Club, populated by character actors, Bad Girl features Christopher Walken as the Angel of Death. Should one really say more?
Startingly starting with Louise Ciccone’s (the name on her corner office door) death at the hand of a serial killer bearing some ressemblance to Mr Goodbar then going against time as only angels can do, the movie explains how and why did Our Lady Madonna die. She was promiscuous and “not happy this way”. She was doing everything too much: smoking, drinking, fucking. And bless her wretched soul.
The movie would not be as effective without Walken, who can channel absolutely anything while doing nothing but stare, providing he can dance for a little while. What he does here is nothing short of astonishing. She’s looks up at him like a scared puppy. He is both guardian angel and exterminator, kissing her to the death she so clearly has a wish for. One way or another. She has taken a painful route.
Beyond the thrill of being killed during sex by a good looking guy, the movie is about the frailty of a highly empowered person meeting her end by way of a “Bloody Rampage” serial killer. What does one think when the last person one sees is crushing one like a insect? There is a brilliant sound cut when the murder occurs, only evocated by a mouth freshener and a hissing cat. Inhale, exhale. Die. Yes it’s a Madonna video, yes it’s fluff. Now tell what was better in the 90 apart Silence of the Lambs and Seven.
At a time of his career when he was desperately pretending to be straight, George Michael released this majestic ode to menstruation. It’s a truly great song, with a beat impossible to resist and a stratospheric chorus. Its video remains in the medium history due to the artist formerly known as Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou not appearing, lip-synched by five of the six or seven supermodels of the time. This is an intriguing slice of life indeed. One is puzzled. What the heck were Claudia Schiffer and Helena Christensen doing that day?
Four very beautiful women co-rent a shabby loft with two male models, no interaction whatsoever being involved but light lesbian S&M. They are dirt poor and can’t really afford clothes or even an electric kettle. First room mate Linda (Evangelista) does not even own a chair and she sits pantless on the floor while she boils water on a radiator. Think Dickens without coal.
A male version of George Michael unconvincingly peels an orange he doubtlessly stole from a food cart, unable to find a comfortable position on an armchair placed too close to a wall. Second room mate Naomi (Campbell) makes a dramatic entrance, unafraid to die electrocuted by the longest cabled headphone ever (that was filmed before wifi, kids, even remote-controlled CD players are considered as futuristic here), twisting and turning among water leaks. She’s so poor she can only afford the neck of a turtleneck and she’s topless. With combat boots. Fierce.
Third room-mate Christy (Turlington) makes another dramatic entrance. She’s so poor she only wears a king size bed sheet. She also is a witch, coyly revealing herself through pyrokinesis. The male George Michael auditions for Spiderman and scratches his ass while a twink version of Benjamin Franklin discovers the wonders of electricity.
Fourth room-mate Cindy (Crawford) is so poor she can’t even afford water to take a bath, so she has to make with the steam coming from the weirdest plumbing system ever. They are so poor, see, that they can’t afford a plumber, so water leaks anywhere but in the tub. She has a shaving mirror, though, maybe she could sell it to buy some rags?
Appears dishevelled fifth room-mate Tatjana (Patitz), one of the most gorgeous woman to ever have walked the earth. She’s so poor she only has a négligé to wear and a tiny heater to warm her, perilously placed close to the bed in which she smokes dreamily. Lady, are you on laudanum and/or do you have a death wish?
Ben Franklin, having mastered electricity, tasks himself to invent the aircraft. Ensues a lesbian S&M piercing ritual (since Linda had unexpectedly come across Christy) confusingly edited to deprive it of any depravity. Having tasted blood, Christy morphs into a zombi panther on the prowl.
At the 5:30 mark, the plot thickens, confronting women with their nemesis: clothes. Well, fabric, since they are so poor. Linda-the-piercing-witch fights for her life not to be eaten alive by a cannibal sweater; Cindy’s towel attempts to kill her; Christy’s sheet has left her for a Wurlitzer. Finally, innocuous Naomi proves herself the most powerful witch of the covenant: she can make stuff blow up by saying the magical word: Freedom!
© Bryan Ferry “Loop de Li”
Less Than Psycho
One might argue that Bryan Ferry is the original Tom Ford, inventing porn chic before Gucci even contemplated having a naked male model licking a golden alligator stiletto. Some late 70s reviews called Roxy music “scary, even repulsive”, after all. Still, the Roxy/Ferry video outputs were pretty tame for more than two decades, with impossibly good looking models wearing a mix of prom dresses (Avalon), cutting edge absurd fashion (Mamouna) or sanitized fetish gear including Mugler couture (All the rest including Slave to Love, the Mondino-shot glorified peep show castrated by a father/daughter love finale).
Nothing was very scary, or repulsive, or even risky about it, and there might be a thing or two to be said about Bryan Ferry’s lipsynch, giving the impression he just got out of a double wisdom teeth extraction and needed some time before the novocaine wore off.
But here we are now, and Loop de Li shatters this glossy feel completely. An origin story for American Psycho set in a Less Than Zero environment, Loop de Li is scary and occasionaly repulsive, a potent parti-pris when based on the infectiously decadent chorus of one of the darkest song Ferry has ever written – consider the last minute, during which “Hatred, Bitter” is repeated over the oniric aftermath of a fraternity party turned mayhem.
The “Limbo”-inspired beat is looming over the moor, smooth-chested college boys have tea cup golf and group sex but little did they now their exclusive club harbours a sociopath. Loop de Li sports an hypnotic zoom on a cream door, an albino snake and the shower scene both “Less Than Zero” and “American Psycho” should have depicted. Scary, yes, repulsive, yes, and those in one’s vocabulary are compliments of the first order.