The French and the Japanese make the best sex farce movies hands down. At a cursory glance the title R100 might suggest a documentary on Mazda cars. Nothing could be further than that.
R100 has to be seen in its entirety because even in its last shot there are tonal shifts that change the complete vision of what is happening. A meek mannered businessman subscribes to a sadomasochistic club under the condition that he cannot resign his membership, not does he know when and where he will be approached. Employees of the club appear in fantasy fetching high heels, silk stocking and skimpy bodices.
Director Hitoshi Matsumoto drains the color from many of the scenes. A disclaimer at the beginning informs the audience that scenes with children and animals are CGI. That’s just as well for one of the funniest scenes has our hero bound and being whipped in his home while his son is similarly bound and hung by ropes from the ceiling. Many of the situations are common to fetish literature and perhaps R100 knows how to ratchet up the grossness factor in a sequence that involves spitting, which seems to have used Jean Genet as a technical advisor.
A side plot suggests that what is happening is all in the protag’s mind, while another thread introduces a director in a movie theater watching a film that a person has to be 100-years old in order to understand. “I don’t even know anybody who’s 100,” one character remarks. There are a couple of other surprises we will keep under wraps. R100 unwinds exclusively at the Alamo Drafthouse Vintage Park.
- Song One depicts a young woman (Anne Hathaway) who starts an affair with a musician who is the idol of her ailing brother. In some ways Song One reminds of Begin Again, only with better songs and music. Song One plays exclusively at the Alamo Drafthouse Mason Road.
- A Most Violent Year takes place in New York of the early-80s. Oscar Isaac and Jessica Chastain (very Lady Macbeth) run a business selling heating fuel that’s mainly successful because they doctor the books and adjust the scales. The drama and acting put this film from writer/director J. C. Chandor among the best currently in theaters. Albert Brooks and David Oyelowo also star.
- The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston hosts the 22nd Houston Iranian Film Festival, running currently until February 1. Tonight’s film includes a reception after the film. The full schedule can be found at this link.
- The Aurora Picture Show presents a multi-slide projector event titled Films for One to Eight Projectors, tonight January 23. Director Roger Beebe will be present to introduce and host a post-screening Q&A. Show starts at 7 pm.