Sunday, August 09, 2009

The Panic in Needle Park

[Julie Andrews explaining fellatio]
Last night I saw 'The Panic in Needle Park' on a Netflix DVD. It is a "classic" because it is from 1971, before many of the reviewers were born, and because it stars a very young Al Pacino. Nothing else recommends it. For those of us who were alive and semi-conscious in 1971 and not that impressed with the supposed gifts of Al Pacino (Is it possible that bellowing is not the same as dramatic acting? That being the beneficiary of great cinematography isn't either?), nothing recommends it.

'Needle Park' is Sherman Square in New York, a hangout for junkies. And that is what the movie is about - junkies. There is some phony pretense that the movie is gritty cinema-verite about what low-lifes and losers junkies are. But the real moral is that junkies are cool and live more interesting lives than non-junkies who have to do boring stuff like work and not being in jail or passed out on filthy mattresses.

Non-junkies also do boring stuff like have sex. There is an oblique reference to the fact that junkies lose their libido, but the sound track is so poor that one can't quite hear what Pacino is mumbling. He appears to be promising to have sex with his girlfriend "tomorrow", a promise as good as any other junkie promise. But Loathsome Al can't start his career as Dickless Al, and it is hard to make a life without sex glamorous*, so it is glossed over. And we aren't trying to glamorize junkies to sell tickets are we? Of course not. This is honest fearless cinema-verite, remember?

In spite of endless offensive lingering closeup shots of people injecting heroin into their veins, and the glamorization of drug addiction, theft, prostitution, and ratting out your friends, this piece de squat is rated PG. Which shows what's wrong with the whole motion picture rating system. It is all about repressed sexual dysfunctionals pressing their anti-sexual attitudes on everyone else.

If one is going to keep children from seeing things one doesn't want them to do, sex is the last thing one should keep from them. I would be pleased as orgasm if my grand-nephews and -nieces never encountered any form of violence all their lives long. It would be just great with me if they never saw anything but vaccine injected into themselves or anyone else. Conversely, it is my fervent wish that they each find someone they love and spend the rest of their lives screwing their brains out with that person.

If I ran the circus, movies with injected drugs would be X-rated, violence would be XX-rated, and consensual fucking would be G-rated.

Jack's overall rating of 'The Panic in Needle Park': Feh.

*Which is what 'The Sound of Music' is all about - sex. Julie Andrews goes from a convent full of nuns to the castle of a man with twelve children. There is one and only one way to have twelve children (anyone about to mention turkey basters or in vitro, kindly shut the hell up) . And she promptly marries him. Why would that be? There is some chatter about Nazis and singing but that is only to maintain the pretense that the world's most wholesome movie is not all about getting it on between the sheets.


  1. Come on, folks. The Julie Andrews caption is hilarious. Give me some yuks about it.

  2. Anonymous11:19 AM

    Blah, Yawn!

  3. Anonymous1:24 PM

    I thought it was funny, but what do I know.

  4. Christy10:41 AM

    Well I'm an Irishman. My brain ain't big enough to process this kind of wit.

  5. Or do you not understand it because fellatio in Ireland doesn't involve women?