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Twist Then Shout 

"Three Twisted Premieres by Notorious Outlaw Filmmakers" at Yerba Buena Center

Wednesday, Oct 31 2001
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With audiences numbed by years of cinematic sludge 'n' sleaze, it's hard to imagine too many films slapping slumbering moviegoers awake, but "Three Twisted Premieres by Notorious Outlaw Filmmakers" should do the trick. The "outlaw" cliché is appropriate, for once, in describing a 1960s-style sexploitation flick directed by an 80-year-old granny, a somber tale of a teenage girl who wears her panties around her ankles and vomits and philosophizes, and an attack on Japanese culture that includes projectile lactation and corpse-diddling.

Granny is Doris Wishman, whose Satan Was a Lady (2001; screening Nov. 17) is the latest entry in an oeuvre that stretches back to the 1950s and includes, most famously, Chesty Morgan films like Deadly Weapons, starring the worn-out porn hag with 76-inch tits. The "satanic lady" this time is a Miami prostitute, Cleo (Honey Lauren), whose lust for the good life leads her to all manner of trouble. Wishman's trademarks -- narrative ruptures, rough soft-core sex -- are showcased in this creepy digital-video feature.

Equally creepy in an entirely different way is Catherine Breillat's A Real Young Girl (Nov. 2). Shot in 1975, the film was censored and then banned before it vanished -- that is, until its recent resurrection. Girl, which trails Alice (Charlotte Alexandra) through a dreary summer at home, is a kind of philosophical porn flick, with Alice processing teenage-girl rituals like puking on herself and trying to seduce one of her father's employees.

Takashi Miike's relentless Visitor Q (2001; Nov. 9-10) employs a candy-colored palette for its story of a family that has moved beyond dysfunction into dementia. Necrophilia, incest, scatology, and a floor full of mother's milk might seem the stuff of nightmares, but in Miike's hands they're just ammunition for a black-comic blast at Japanese culture. Miike also made Audition, which sent some viewers screaming for the exits. Expect a similar, perhaps louder, stampede for this one.

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Gary Morris

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