videocam Guilty Pleasures

reviewed by Nick Burton

Published in Issue No. 23 ~ April, 1999

The idea of listing guilty pleasures is an old parlor game for film critics. While perhaps not technically all “guilty pleasures” (since such films really should have few if any critically redeeming qualities), the following films are more along the lines of readily available films that I recommend to people who might enjoy films out to the mainstream. Everyone has such films…ones you find yourself constantly recommending and then defending to your friends. I would love to hear from my readers about those films they’d defend to the end, despite the failure of others to appreciate their cinematic merit. Send ’em in! Meanwhile, here are four films that I can watch endlessly: the few, the proud, the weird.

Click on the title to read the full review

Fellini Satyricon (1969)

Directed by Federico Fellini

“A stunning achievement, Fellini’s film still has the power to disturb … and I don’t recommend it for someone looking to spend a light, pleasant night before the VCR….”

Johnny Guitar (1954)

Directed by Nicholas Ray

“To say Nicholas Ray’s 1954 Western Johnny Guitar is an unconventional addition to the genre is an understatement. It may be the weirdest Western ever made in this country, a veritable opera of repressed sexuality…”

Alphaville (1965)

Directed by Jean Luc Godard

“Besides being the only film in history where the galaxy is, in effect, saved by poetry, Alphaville teems with an eccentric mix of high and low culture….”

Santa Sangre (1989)

Directed by Alejandro Jodorowsky

“Once seen, never forgotten: Alejandro Jodorowsky’s Santa Sangre may not be the strangest film ever made, but you can’t claim it doesn’t try….”

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Nick Burton lives in Newport Beach, California. His fiction has appeared in many small press and web publications, inlcuding: Chronicles Of Fiction, Pauper, and of course Pif.