Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Obscure Beauty: Venus in Furs (1969)

Another stellar slice of Italian pop sexploitation with another truly awesome soundtrack! And this time the surreal flow might actually be worthy of being called 'Lynchian' -- and not just what people refer to as 'Lynchian' meaning it confused them, weirded them out, or had ominous rumbles on the soundtrack. There's something more... familiar.

I actually had no idea Venus in Furs carried so many distinct thematic and stylistic ties to David Lynch's own Lost Highway. As a fan, it's pretty remarkable. I haven't done the research, but I've no doubt someone out there has written a beautiful essay on the subject. Although you wouldn't be be able to tell from these stills, it follows Highway's startling fusion of sex, jazz and dual personas at the vanishing intersection of reality and dreams, life and death. There's even the requisite creep and "Mystery Man," played by the dependably creepy and mysterious Klaus Kinski. Either it was a major Lynch-influence, or it's a film he'd totally get a kick out of. Hell, it even kicks off its big mystery with a dead body washed ashore - that of a beautiful blonde "filled with secrets." Fans of Lynch - but Lost Highway in particular - should definitely check it out (and please, share your thoughts!). Although unlike Laura Palmer, this woman wouldn't be caught dead "wrapped in plastic," only in the most exquisite of furs.

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