Pandora Peaks Jan 21, 2014 19:10:20 GMT -5 via mobile
Post by StevePulaski on Jan 21, 2014 19:10:20 GMT -5
Pandora Peaks (2001)
Directed by: Russ Meyer
Directed by: Russ Meyer
Your response to Russ Meyer's Pandora Peaks will depend on your tolerance to reused footage, large breasts, rapid-fire editing, and crystal-clear photography used over and over and over again for seventy-one minutes. Keep in mind, this style rarely results in a specific point and discussion of themes housed in the film can definitely be initiated but only to a questionable reward.
My tolerance for this specific material proved rather high because, by the credits, I enjoyed Meyer's swan song, which would send off decades of risque exploitation pictures that emphasized on the female body and the gloriousness of large breasts. Appropriately, Pandora Peaks focuses on the titular porn star who was incredibly top-heavy with a HHH bust measurement and an incredibly toned figure. The film largely spends its time follows Peaks around as she dresses and undresses, usually in public, and wears outrageously tight outfits that only go on to emphasize her voluptuous figure. During Peaks' scenes, she narrates and discusses her early years, largely spent hiding her unusually large figure thanks to her Christian-Conservative parents before embracing her body and her form later in her years as a stripper and a porn actress.
Peaks is a pretty attractive force, thanks to her beautiful blonde hair, dashing figure, confidence in appearance and position, sensual voice, and, of course, her assets. We get a lifetime's worth of scenes of her having fun with her assets and dressing and undressing for our pleasure. In one scene, she is dressed in loose-fitting blue costume, resembling a cheerleader, as she strips and discusses her work as a dancer at the Marcus Street Cinema. Through nostalgia and its ability to arouse, the scene clicks very well.
Spliced in with the frequent shots of Peaks are shots of places such as Mojave, Palm Desert, Germany, and Berlin, concocting what looks to be a travelogue narrated by Russ Meyer. Other clips from Meyer's older films such as Beyond the Valley of the Dolls and Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!, and shots of another big-breasted model named Tundi. This creates a strangely disjointed "story," that sometimes nauseatingly jumps between Peaks' autobiographical detailing of her life and Meyer's pseudo-travelogue chapter, creating what seems to be an intentionally uneven mash-up of focuses.
However, Peaks' story - which commands a good 60% of the film - is an intriguing one and one of sustainable interest. We get the impression that she is undercutting Meyer's lax approach to this particular project by using this potential-vehicle as an opportunity to allow her personal story to be heard and sincerity on her behalf to prevail. Through her efforts to do this, Peaks becomes likable and more than a big-breasted enigma. Few would be able to erect a personality while the camera's fixation seems to constantly be on your oversized assets.
Regardless of what story we're involved with, Meyer provides us with sharp photography, heavy on color-contrast and clarity and makes a film that is low on continuity, questionable in its intentions, but surprisingly bright and fun to look at.
Yes, there is little presence of a story, and many of the brave souls who will seek out this film are likely to dislike it and write off the entire project as a muddle. You're, in a way, correct. Pandora Peaks, through all its weirdness and inanity, is almost too easy of a target when put in a critical perspective. And yet, Meyer does what he wants with the project, ,molding it and forming it anarchically, forgoing convention and instated formula. The film is, in many ways, a fine send off to a bold filmmaker, and a strong showcase for its titular character, with an emphasis on "tit."
Starring: Pandora Peaks. Directed by: Russ Meyer.