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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

Go! Go! Kill! Kill! A Russ Meyer Retrospective

The late director Russ Meyer has had his work described as sexist, degrading and exploitative. This is pretty accurate. His work also happens to be a little bit brilliant. Kitschily, inexplicably brilliant. Over five weeks, the Chauvel Cinema will be bringing Meyer’s 60s and 70s aesthetic to Sydney in this over-the-top homage. Produced against the […]
By Sophie Tarr
August 26, 2009
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By Sophie Tarr
August 26, 2009
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The late director Russ Meyer has had his work described as sexist, degrading and exploitative. This is pretty accurate. His work also happens to be a little bit brilliant. Kitschily, inexplicably brilliant.

Over five weeks, the Chauvel Cinema will be bringing Meyer’s 60s and 70s aesthetic to Sydney in this over-the-top homage. Produced against the sober background of a conservative post-war America, Meyer’s films straddle the boundaries between female empowerment and exploitation, between sexuality and iconography. Don’t expect much subtlety, though: Meyer was more about big breasts, fast cars and fisticuffs than nuanced explorations of the changing roles of women.

“I know some people will look down at [these films] as being just camp and stupid, but I think there’s more,” curator Sam Fielder says. “Russ was a great filmmaker who deserves to be celebrated, just like you would celebrate a filmmaker like Fellini or John Ford, and Chauvel Cinema is doing exactly that.”

Fielder tips Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill (1965) as a must-see, but look out for Supervixens (1975) and Beneath the Valley of the Ultra Vixens (1979) too.

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