DOASKDOTELL MOVIE REVIEW of Uncut, Lilies, Fortune in Menís Eyes, Midnight Express



Release Date:1997

Nationality and Language: Canada

Running time: 92 min

MPAA Rating: Not available (suggest R)

Distributor and Production Company:†† Millivres / Grey Zone

Director; Writer:John Greyson

Producer: John Greyson



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Movie Review: Uncut (1997)

Independent (dir. John Greyson, who also directed Lilies)



This is another satirical "frame" film, where the underlying theme is freedom of speech and all the ways intellectual property law can apparently interfere with it. On the surface, it starts with the story of an appealing young writer who presents his book on circumcision [tying it to homophobia] to a bizarre typing pool on the roof of a government office building in Ottawa. The typist has been sending threatening letters to Prime Minister Trudeau. Soon two more characters appear: a writer compiling a history of gay erotica, already complaining about his lawyers, and an actor getting threats for his copycat imitations of Michael Jackson. Eventually, three of them wind up in an outdoor boot-camp style jail for their intellectual property crimes. All kinds of pot-shots get taken at intellectual property torts, at one point the Habanera from Bizet's Carmen is sung with an anagram based on the various pitfalls. Another funny point is the flaming of the copyright symbol (" "), comparing it to a phallus. The only problem is that not many people except gay authors or entertainers (and their lawyers) will get the point. A few very erotic scenes - Greyson really likes to go after chests.

Lilies (ďLes feluettesĒ) (1996, Triptych/Turbulent, dir. John Greyson, 95 min) showed in Minneapolis in 1998 at the Reading, which normally showed only big studio movies. This is a retrospective story of a Quebec seminary love affair in 1912 between drama student Vallier (Danny Gilmore) and Simon (Jason Cadieux). Forty years later Bishop Bilodeau (Marcel Sabourin) visits the Quebec prison and watches a play recreating what hap happened in 1912 (an interesting way to tell a layered story). The young Bilodeau (Matthew Ferguson) was there, too. This film has a particularly provocative bathtub shot of the young Simon. Cadieux pops oneís eyes.

Fortune in Menís Eyes (1971, MGM, dir. Harvey Hart, 102 min, R) was a famous film taking place in a cold Quebec prison, with characters Smitty (Wendell Burton) who experience horrific conditions along with the drag queen (ďQueenieĒ) (Michael Greer), Rocky (Zooey Hall) and Mona (Danny Freedman).There is one notorious scene where Queenie shows absolutely everything, but it is not at all erotic. But this film was considered indicative of how to handle gay subjects during its time.

Midnight Express (1978, Columbia, dir. Alan Parker, based on the book by Billy Hayes and William Hofer) depicts the brutal stay of Billy Hayes (Brad Davis) in a Turkish prison after being caught trying to smuggle marijuana. Many people considered the torture scenes involving Billy to be frankly homoerotic as S&M, but I donít know if the movie would come across that way today,



Related reviews: Latter Days, etc.


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