Tuesday, Feb 3, 2009
The Auteur (USA, 2008, James Westby)
Remember that old Catskills joke that Woody Allen cites at the end of Annie Hall? Well, an adapted version works well here.
Moviegoer #1: Oy. The jokes, they were so tame. So limp. So predictable.
Moviegoer #2: Vey. And so few of them!
That's my response to The Auteur in a nutshell. Westby's venture into the already tapped-out mockumentary genre is too tame to be outrageous, too limp to be erotic, and too predictable to be in any way surprising. A supposedly bare knuckled expose of the life and career of fictional "the Kubrick of adult films" director Arturo Domingo (Melik Malkasian, playing an Italian, sports a more east-European Borat-like accent throughout) The Auteur never mines the rich vein of humour available in such a world that depends upon fantasy and pretense for its juice, settling instead for easy gags about semen and uninspired film title double entendres (Full Metal Jackoff, You and Me and Everyone We Screw). I enjoyed Katherine Flynn's performance as Arturo's sweet and pretty ex-wife Fiona, but Flynn was so open and honest, it felt like she had wandered in from another movie set.