Singapore Sling (1990)

I don’t know what if any adventures this film has had with the OFLC here, but I can easily imagine the words “refused classification” being part of any such adventures… although the Youtube copy I found appears to have been taken from a Greek TV broadcast, so I don’t know, maybe Greek television is just more… open-minded about stuff like this. You know, incest, S&M, golden showers, fruit masturbation… to say nothing of the vomit. Yeeeh. This was interesting viewing after Blind Beast… it’s another three-hander, it’s even more fucked-up, and it wants to be treated as some sort of serious work rather than just exploitative torture porn; you can tell by its self-conscious referencing of classic 1940s film noir (Preminger’s Laura in particular) and its even more self-conscious technique of having characters address the audience directly, being multilingual, etc… The only problem with this is that the film is simply too bad to actually live up to such pretensions; it’s one of those cases, like Antichrist, where you have to kind of admire the bravery of the performers and their commitment to the material while simultaneously asking why they committed to such shit. The film has a fearsome reputation for nastiness, and I’ll concede it does live up to that somewhat, but that doesn’t make it any good as such… the longer it went on the less idea I had what was actually happening, which may have been because that aforementioned Youtube copy was kind of rough and lacked English subtitles for the few bits not spoken in English, but I rather doubt that seeing it in DVD quality fully subtitled would materially change my opinion of it.

Update May 1 2013: So I found another copy of this online, presumably taken from the Synapse DVD, and it is, obviously, a lot better than the Greek TV copy I watched a few months ago. As such, I will concede exactly this much about the film: it looks fantastic. Nikolaidis got some amazing b/w images and the film is quite remarkable to actually look at (at least on that level; the content of some of those images, of course, is another matter) when you can see it properly… Otherwise, the addition of subtitles didn’t really make a difference cos so few scenes are actually in Greek rather than English, and if anything the film actually seemed to make even less sense on second viewing; I don’t think I can see any reason to change my opinion as expressed above.

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