Arturo Domingo is a difficult, uncompromising filmmaker with a deep
love for art and a total mastery of the technical possibilities of film.
Unlike most such men, he doesn't make art films, but hard-core
pornography. He is the "Stanley Kubrick of porn," and he takes his work
just as seriously as Kubrick took his. In fact, he takes it far too
seriously, as evidenced by comments like this: "Of course my films include
fucking, sucking, Cleveland Steamers, bukkake and other graphic sexual
activity - but only if it is justified by the plot."
He's in Portland to accept a lifetime achievement award which is being
presented to him as part of a film festival being held in his honor. Also
in Portland are his former muses, the ex-wife who abandoned him, and the
estranged leading man whose collaboration inspired him to the great
masterpieces of the past which he can no longer seem to duplicate.
The present-day action also includes plenty of scenes at the Portland
film festival, and that festival includes a documentary about Arturo as
well as excerpts from his greatest triumphs, so the documentary provides
the back-story painlessly and naturally, while the excerpts provide
various opportunities for satire and cheap gags.
Will Arturo make peace with his demons and recharge his stalled career
with his unfilmed masterpiece, "Gang Bangs of New York"? Who cares? The
plot and character development, while not non-existent and actually fairly
interesting, are just the threads used to string together the gags. And,
by golly, those gags are actually pretty funny! I laughed out loud a few
times, particularly at some of Arturo's pretensions, and the short
excerpts from "Five Easy Nieces," "Full Metal Jackoff," and "Dyke Club,"
which manage to spoof the porn industry as well as the films which
inspired their titles.
The Auteur is rated 6.6 IMDb. While I'm surprised that this
obscure and raunchy little Tribeca film gets that much love from the
voting public, I have to admit that I enjoyed it as well! Hats off to an
indie film which accomplishes quite a bit without much money and without
drawing any attention to its tiny budget. The script actually demonstrates
a lot of knowledge about all sorts of films, and shows a lot of love for
for those who make films - porn films, great films, indies, art films -
even while letting us enjoy a few laughs at their expense.