Sitges: Neon Flesh Review

 

Ricky is having a tough day, the bullet with his name on it is quite literally staring him in the face. Structured as a flashback of his life right at the second of final judgment, for (ostensibly) our entertainment, the writer of cult festival hit SexyKiller, Paco Cabezas, blows up his award winning short into a lengthy feature of the same name: Carne de Neón (aka Neon Flesh.) In the world of Carne de Neón you are either climbing the rungs of the sex business (It’s hard out there for a wannabe pimp) or being gobbled up by it. There are cops and John’s to make life difficult or lucrative, but it is the spectacularly screwed-up street folks that are on display here either for a stab at gangster coolness or goofy sight gags. Let us get this out of the way, I will probably not see a worse or more disappointing film in 2010 than Carne de Neón. A film that plays offbeat caricatures of Alzheimer patients, mental halfwits, transvestites and pimps for laughs with the high sheen and cinematographic gloss of a cheeky heist flick. Just the heist elements are disenfranchised prostitutes. It slaps together one of those plots that features several ‘wacky’ misunderstandings and a host of characters that bang into one another in unlikely ways but the actual situations are so vulgar and ill considered – pregnant whores for giggles? No Thanks. I was left feeling pretty dirty after the whole affair that being perfectly frank doesn’t add up to much more than noise and vinegar. The tone and style has had comparisons to Guy Ritchie’s early filmmaking, particularly Lock Stock And Two Smoking Barrels, and I can see where that type of comparison comes from, but it is misleading. More that Carne de Neón is aiming to be in the same cinematic territory of Danny Boyle’s Trainspointting, the desires and troubles of a collection of on the fringe folks who get in more trouble than they bargained for. But as a worthwhile piece of cinema, the comparison ends there. Actually, for the record, Carne de Neón makes Revolver, perhaps Ritchie’s worst received crime film, look like Goodfellas by comparison.

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FWC’s DVD Club: Away from Her

DVD ClubAround these parts, we love great film and I’m sure I’m not alone when I say I’m always on the lookout for the next best thing in Canadian film. The First Weekend Club is dedicated to sharing the best Canada has to offer and though some of the selections may not always make it to theatres across the border or around the world, there is always the DVD release. Enter the DVD Club.

Every month the First Weekend Club announces a DVD selection along with a special guest – someone involved with the film who will participate and interact with fans in the forum. We here at Row Three also love a great discussion and what could be better than chatting up a storm with the star, director or producer of that film you just watched? Yeah, I thought that might get you a bit excited.

Away From Her

This month’s selection is Sarah Polley’s Away from Her staring Gordon Pinsent, Stacey LaBerge and Julie Christie. For those who haven’t seen it, now would be the time to check out Polley’s fantastic feature directorial debut while those of us who have seen it may want to re-visit the film to part take in some discussion with this month’s guests Gordon Pinsent and Kristen Thomson.