Girl on a Motorcycle (1968) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski) and Tuna
of the most tedious films in history are created when cinematographers
decide to direct, as you know if you've seen any of Nick Roeg's films.
It is possible to have a great film without great cinematography, but
it is not possible to have a great film based solely upon great
cinematography. See Roeg's "Walkabout"
as the perfect illustration of how beautiful photographs can't
guarantee a great film.
Or see "Girl on a Motorcycle", directed by Jack Cardiff.
Cardiff was a great cinematographer. He photographed The African Queen and Black Narcissus, among other triumphs. He had less success as a director, however, and this film has nothing to recommend it except scenery.
deal on this movie - an adventurous woman is bored with her humdrum
marriage to a conservative teacher in France. One morning, she gets on
her motorcycle, abandons her husband, and drives to see her lover in
Germany. Along the way, she passes some beautiful scenery, and
contemplates her past and future. She anticipates the reunion with her
lover. She dies before she gets there.
I know that sounds pretty boring, but the film is actually a lot duller than it sounds.
For years, it was rumored that there was an x-rated cut of the film which was much wilder than the version then available on tape. The DVD has the uncut version, but don't get your hopes up. The really hard sex scenes were solarized in post-production, and they look like one of those light shows for serious acidheads, and are about as sexy as watching a lavalamp. The medium sex scenes, full nudes, were shot in virtual darkness. Among the scenes you can actually see, there is virtually nothing worth seeing.
It's possible that the film may have some appeal to bad movie lovers, because it has a very high cheese content. You have all the chromakey motorcycle scenes in front of the moving background. You have the endless narration. You have the corny acidhead visual effects, you have Marianne Faithfull making blissed-out expressions as she drives, and oh, that dialogue:
"Your body is like a violin in a velvet case."
"Your toes are like tombstones"
My advice to you, however, is to skip it even if you love bad movies, because it just too damned tedious.
Sidebar: if you were to make a list of the worst damned movies you've ever seen, how many of them would Alain Delon be in? I'm not talking about bad movies that are fun to watch like "Hell Comes to Frogtown", but just movies that are a complete waste of your time in every way, providing no art value and no entertainment value of any kind. Delon would be in at least three from my list: this, Airport '79, and The Assassination of Trotsky.
|Tuna's comments in
Girl On a
Motorcycle (1968) stars 60's rock icon and Mick Jagger crony,
Marianne Faithfull, as a young woman, newly married to a teacher in
France, with a lover in Heidelberg, Germany. According to the
director, who fancies himself a modern James Joyce, the film is a
stream of consciousness by Failthfull as she rides her motorcycle to
visit her lover. She never actually rode a motorcycle during the
filming. Whenever her face is in frame, she is sitting on a prop, with
a projection behind her of the moving countryside. She shows breasts
and buns a few times, some of which are definitely hers, and possibly
full-frontal, but mostly in very dark and grainy scenes. Most of the
film is voice-over, flashbacks, and bizarre psychedelic effects that
the director is very proud of.
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