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Flesh
Reviewed by Oct 14th, 2009

The first fifteen minutes are set in a bedroom, the camera focusing on Joe Dallesandro’s character asleep, then his wife wakes him up. She yells at him to get up for a while, then ties a scarf around his penis and goes on and on about how adorable it is. This goes on for at least 15 minutes. Seriously. As if that’s not wacky enough, it’s all edited in camera, so every time there is an edit, there is a white flash and a pop. You can either view this as amateurishness or high comedy. I chose to see it as the latter or it would’ve been too excruciating to sit through.
This brings us to the very simplistic plot: Joe is selling his body to pay for his wife’s girlfriend’s abortion. The camera follows him on his journey around New York to various johns and bizarre situations. Despite the annoying camera pops, I found this a lot more watchable than Trash, probably because the cast of characters here isn’t quite as annoying. Some scenes have no sound at all.
Yes, it’s slow and boring, but you should probably expect that. It’s a movie about flesh. Like the “artist” character rants, “Body worship is in the nature of humans.” And indeed, Joe is basically treated as a piece of meat, both by the other characters and by the camera, and by extension, the audience. There are moments of brilliance and hilarity here, despite its shortcomings.

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