Jan 25, 2009

Kiss Napoleon Goodbye


I must admit that I am a fan of artsy fartsy films and even self-indulgent directors. One strongman is always more powerful than a team of cattle collaborators. Auteur filmmakers such as Rainer Werner Fassbinder and Pier Paolo Pasolini sought out to direct films with a specific vision to be achieved and not to create products that can be consumed by the unthinking masses. There is, however, a problem with many art films. This problem includes the many self-centered individuals that lack a strong and extremely personal vision. Kiss Napoleon Goodbye (1990) directed by Babeth Mondini is a perfect example of a weak “art” film that offers nothing new to the world of cinema.

Kiss Napoleon Goodbye
features annoying feminist Lydia Lunch and former Black Flag singer Henry Rollins. Lydia Lunch is nothing special to look at and hearing her doing a “spoken word” performance makes her an even bigger turn-off. Henry Rollins lacks his distinct “salt and pepper” hair as his performance in Kiss Napoleon Goodbye was before he started playing cops in Hollywood films. Another forgettable actor, Don Bajema, plays a bitchy man in the film. Kiss Napoleon Goodbye is a film that basically follows an unconventional couple dissolution when a man named Jackson (played by Rollins) shows up and starts banging the woman of the household.


Kiss Napoleon Goodbye is around 30 minutes long and nothing particularly interesting happens in the film. Lydia Lunch baring her gigantic ass in tribute to her feminist pride as a female is probably the most poignant part of the film. I can see how a disgruntled feminist could appreciate Kiss Napoleon Goodbye because it shows how a woman, with her whorish goods, can destroy two mens lives without any real effort, aside from exposing her naked body. Director Babeth got his point across with his portrait of a female dominated bizarre love triangle. He also added a few contrived dream sequences such as a man drilling his own head with an electric drill. Nothing new to see here, folks.

I can only recommend Kiss Napoleon Goodbye to fans of Lydia Lunch or Henry Rollins. The film was also filmed by legendary independent filmmaker Mike Kuchar. Of course, aside from its obviously low budget, Kuchar’s contribution to the film is virtually hidden due to an overall banal short. Kiss Napeolon Goodbye looks like it was filmed over a weekend without any real preparation. What a waste for a setting considering the short was shot at a former castle of Louis Napoleon in the Netherlands. I can’t imagine those involved with the film, especially Henry Rollins, were happy with the results.


-Ty E

1 comment:

fivefifthsdead said...

i prefer george kuchar.