HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Lost in London
Divorce Italian Style
Becky
Salon Kitty
Misbehaviour
Charles, Dead or Alive
Gretel and Hansel
Mademoiselle
Tunnel, The
India Song
Last Rhino, The
Made in Hong Kong
Ring of Spies
Rom Boys: 40 Years of Rad
Pocketful of Miracles
The Tomb: Devil's Revenge
Sidecar Racers
Space Dogs
Out/Marriage
Safety Last!
Bride Who Has Returned from Hell, The
Show Boat
Savage
City Called Dragon, A
I Used to Go Here
Six Suspects
Still the Water
Not Now, Comrade
I'm Thinking of Ending Things
Wives of the Skies
Two Heads Creek
Next Stop, Greenwich Village
Captain, The
Great Wall, A
Trout, The
Zorba the Greek
Horror Crowd, The
Matthias & Maxime
Bullet for the President, A
Constant Husband, The
   
 
Newest Articles
Wives of the Skies: Honey Lauren Interview
To Catch a Thief: After the Fox on Blu-ray
Tackling the Football Film: The Arsenal Stadium Mystery on Blu-ray
Film Noir's Golden Couple: This Gun for Hire on Blu-ray
The Doctor Who Connection: Invasion on Blu-ray
Hill's Angles: Benny Hill and Who Done It? on Blu-ray
Big Willie Style: Keep It Up Downstairs on Blu-ray
Walt's Vault: 5 Cult Movies on Disney+
Paradise Lost: Walkabout on Blu-ray
Buster Makes Us Feel Good: Buster Keaton - 3 Films (Volume 3) on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 3 - Don't Go Away - I Could Do with a Bit of Cheer Now!
What Use is Grief to a Horse? Equus on Blu-ray
For God's Sake Strap Yourselves Down: Flash Gordon on 4K UHD Collector's Edition
Party Hard: Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 2 - Your Faces are All Blurred!
Eve Knew Her Apples: The Lady Eve on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Tempo - Gallery One
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 1 - Welcome Once Again to Manchester!
Transformative Apocalypses: Phase IV and Southland Tales
The Happiest Days of Their Lives: The Guinea Pig on Blu-ray
Faced Poe: Three Edgar Allan Poe Adaptations Starring Bela Lugosi on Blu-ray
Hard Luck, Buster: The Cameraman on Blu-ray
At the Hop: Mr. Vampire on Blu-ray
Divine Madness: Female Trouble on Blu-ray
Country Matters: Further Out of Town on Blu-ray
   
 
  Centre of the World, The Lust in Vegas
Year: 2001
Director: Wayne Wang
Stars: Peter Sarsgaard, Molly Parker, Carla Gugino, Shane Edelman, Balthazar Getty, Pat Morita, Karry Brown, Alisha Klass, Mel Gorham, Lisa Newlan, Jason McCabe, Travis Miljan
Genre: Drama, Sex, RomanceBuy from Amazon
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: Richard Longman (Peter Sarsgaard), a computer programmer making a fortune amidst the dot-com boom, is smitten with enigmatic stripper, Florence (Molly Parker). He brings her to Las Vegas for fun and frolics, though she insists on control over their relationship. Which means plenty of flexible displays of bare flesh, but no penetrative sex or more importantly, no romance. At first the couple have fun, get to know each other and seem to be growing closer. But things deteriorate as Richard grows to suspect he may have Florence’s body but can never win her love.

For his first digital video feature, the admirably eclectic Wayne Wang set out to craft an intelligently erotic art-house picture along the lines of one of his own favourite movies, Last Tango in Paris (1972). As was the case with Bernardo Bertolucci’s infamous opus, the intent here is not simply to indulge in explicit nudity or sex but to subvert the pornographic format into an open and honest discussion about relationships. The film is driven by the question of whether Richard and Florence have sparked a real romance or whether their relationship remains purely financial. Wang and his two talented leads keep viewers guessing even beyond the ambiguous fadeout. However, though the film is skilfully made, shot by cinematographer Mauro Fiore with a suitably voyeuristic tone, and undoubtedly well acted it is nowhere as sociopolitically complex nor dramatically dynamic as its role model.

The screenplay was co-written by Wang along with ultra quirky indie multi-hyphenate Miranda July, his old Smoke (1995) and Blue in the Face (1995) collaborator Paul Auster and novelist Siri Hustvedt yet The Centre of the World comes across like two films stapled together. On the one hand, an over-familiar navel gazing indie chat-fest, on the other the kind of glossy softcore pseudo-philosophizing porn with which Zalman King once cornered the home video market. The film is very turn-of-the-millennium in its preoccupation with the dot-com boom. Yet while in interviews Wang voiced his fascination with the connection between these flourishing dot-com entrepreneurs and strip clubs, he barely explores the reasons why Richard is so depressed and alienated at his workplace. Again, Peter Sarsgaard and Molly Parker give fearless, nuanced performances but their characters simply aren’t all that engaging. Richard and Florence remain these rather cold enigmatic figures. The central tension in their relationship is one familiar from movies about hookers going back to Klute (1971), although the film does at least stand as a worthy riposte to Hollywood fairytales like Pretty Woman (1990).

After a while the aimlessness of the narrative begins to grate. While the film remains driven foremost by the two leads, there are memorable encounters with the likes of Balthazar Getty as a work colleague whose report home that Richard is seeing a hooker in Vegas adds a plot wrinkle that is inexplicably undeveloped. Also Carla Gugino shows up as an abused hooker colleague-cum-single parent who shares some girl-on-girl smooching with Florence and invites Richard to indulge in a threesome. Much to the disappointment of Gugino fans, that does not happen. The film makes its bid for Last Tango style infamy in such scenes as when Parker graphically inserts a lollipop inside her vagina before placing it in the mouth of an enthusiastic patron or later nudges an ice cube up Sarsgaard’s ass in mercifully less explicit fashion. Yet the sterile tone leaves the action more sleazy than sexy while the drama is simply too slight to justify all the bump and grind.

Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 1619 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
Andrew Pragasam
  Lee Fiveash
  Mick Stewart
Enoch Sneed
  Dsfgsdfg Dsgdsgsdg
   

 

Last Updated: