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one of these days , i'll make good on my promise never to rent another abel ferrara movie .
king of new york and body snatchers notwithstanding ( and bad lieutenant is only fit for a single , emotive viewing ) , his exploitation flicks have fallen into a rut of hoary art-house trappings .
it's a perfume-drenched , coke-addled visit to the seedy pornography shop , where beautiful models ( no , hookers -- no , courtesans ) usher you through the silk curtains .
ferrara's only consistently smart move has been casting christopher walken over and over again , since walken can make a good movie great and a loathsome movie durable whenever he's onscreen .
his 8-minute scene in the addiction is the saving grace of that otherwise abysmal , unwatchable , and pretentious failure .
when he starts talking about his vampiric bowel movements , or questions whether lili taylor has ever read naked lunch , there's a much-needed dose of humor in an otherwise terminally unfunny affair .
you know those gothic club kids who are too cool to smile and let you know they're actually having fun ?
the addiction is that movie .
walken , sadly , does not appear in the blackout .
the central role of matty , a junkie film star whose lightning paced hollywood life among the beautiful people is inevitably leading to his destruction , is played by matthew modine ( who takes what he can get after cutthroat island ) .
much like the protagonists of michelangelo antonioni's terminally bored cultural elite , matty is involved in a bitter pill " relationship " with high fashioned model annie ( at least i think she's a model . )
matty's lady is played by french actress b ? atrice dalle , arrested twice for cocaine possession during filming of the blackout -- not that you needed to know that , but it lends credence to the idea that ferrara's entire oeuvre has been filmed in a fucking blackout .
no kidding .
requiem for a dream has nothing on the junkie presentations seen in ferrara's movies and his controversial urban lifestyle .
matty and annie struggle over her decision to have an abortion without consulting him .
no doubt , he was off chasing the dragon .
in his despair , matty indulges in a chemical induced weekend of debauchery , tooling around the streets of miami with video filmmaker mickey wayne ( dennis hopper , in full " dirty ol' man " mold smacking models on the ass and telling them to spread their legs .
wider ! )
toward the end of the night , they pick up a teenage waitress also named annie ( sarah lassez ) , start shooting a hastily improvised sexual scene , then matty thankfully blacks out .
something happened that night which haunts him throughout the rest of the movie , and it's exactly what you think it was .
suffice to say , there's some confusion over whether he killed annie one or annie two , or anyone at all .
the blackout is typical ferrara : no plot to speak of , plenty of raunch , and horribly vogue images of matthew modine downing a bottle of jack daniels and a beer while wrapping himself in a see-through curtain in his hotel room by the sea , by the sea , by the beautiful sea .
cinematographer ken kelsch finds inconsistent glory in alternating gorgeous painterly sunsets with docu-style sleaze ( and we're back to dennis hopper leering at girls in bathing suits .
" yeah ! ! !
yeah ! ! !
arrrghhh ! "
says mr . hopper .
dirty old sod . )
it's compulsive viewing in a tacky sort of way , leading to a ridiculous climax where modine seizes control of his destiny .
how's that for cryptic ?
never fear -- ferrara finds time for some female full frontal nudity to remind us what he's all about .
i can picture it now .
" take off yer clothes , kid -- it's essential to depict the inner maelstrom of my central protagonist , and you're his visual id .
you're the soul , the heart , the bloodstream of the picture .
take it off !
take it all off ! ! !
ha ha ha ! "
friggin' vampire .
yeah , you , ferrara .
a final word about matthew modine : he's actually a fine actor when properly cast , but there's something too squeaky-clean in his demeanor .
he's ideally suited for sarcastic men in tightly controlled situations , such as his private joker in full metal jacket or the time-bomb nebbish in short cuts ( who is every bit as superb as julianne moore in that famous scene , though no one seems to notice him ) .
[he was in that scene ?
-ed . ]
here , he's asked to let it all hang out , sporting a three-day stubble and oily bangs .
he throws around furniture like stanley kowalski , but it's somehow lacking .
modine lacks the feral intensity of brando , entirely miscast in ferrara's flesh fair .
better luck next time , matt .
someday , you'll be forgiven for cutthroat island , which wasn't really your fault in the first place .
maybe atom egoyan will find a place for you somewhere , and all will once again be well in your world .
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