Sep 21, 2014

Fiona




Unquestionably, Amos Kollek (Goodbye, New York, Fast Food Fast Women) is one of the worst Israeli filmmakers who has ever lived which certainly says a lot. Indeed, Israeli cinema as a whole pretty much discredits the stereotype that the members of god’s chosen tribe make better filmmakers. It should be noted that Kollek is not just any random Hebrew, as he is the son of Hungarian-born Hebraic politician Theodor “Teddy” Kollek who, on top of being named in tribute to Zionist founder Theodor Herzl and being the longtime mayor of Jerusalem (1965 - 1993), was once described as “the greatest builder of Jerusalem since Herod.”  In fact, the director even made a documentary about his father with the rather lazy title Teddy Kollek (1995).  Indubitably, any talent Teddy might have had as a keen observer of society and culture was lost on his seemingly prodigal son Amos, who has dedicated his life to making innately immoral quasi-pornographic smut disguised as socially redeeming avant-garde cinema. Indeed, a sort of Judaic Abel Ferrara meets a less pretentious Henry Jaglom, Kollek largely makes pseudo-controversial failed cult films that only seem to be released in Europe revolving around a tragic female protagonist in trouble who is more or less a a pathetic product of the society in which she lives. In his rightfully long forgotten would-be-cult-hit Forever, Lulu (1987), Kollek demonstrated just how truly untalented he is by making a film starring Fassbinder’s muse Hanna Schygulla and Deborah ‘Blondie’ Harry that actually manages to be singularly unsexy, reliably banal, and sickeningly soulless. Indeed, despite being from the same tribe as kosher funnymen like the Marx Brothers, Woody Allen, and Harmony Korine, Kollek somehow absurdly thought that titillating Teuton Schygulla would be capable of playing a comedic lead. While I am convinced that Kollek has less artistic talent than his religious brother Michael Bay, he has made a handful of films that are reasonably entertaining, if not for all the wrong reasons. Indeed, Fiona (1998), starring the director’s dud-diva Anna Levine (aka ‘Anna Thomsen’)—a mostly untalented yet artificially busted arthouse pseudo-superstar who has starred in works ranging from Mary Harron’s feminist filmic feces I Shot Andy Warhol (1996) and French fag auteur François Ozon’s decidedly disappointing Fassbinder adaptation Water Drops on Burning Rocks (2000) where she plays a post-op tranny—is a plainly pathetic celluloid turd that pretends to be a “hard drama” about a drug-addled bisexual hooker that reeks of moral retardation and sordid and sleazy sensationalism, as a work of hokey ‘hookersploitation’ in a gritty realist quasi-documentary-like style that is undeniably entertaining but has about as much artistic merit as fossilized dog dung. 



 Fiona (Anna Levine) is a sassy streetwalker with a voracious appetite for drugs and pussy who seems like she has had a lot of plastic surgery done despite the fact she is more or less a down-and-out bum who crashes at her bull dyke lesbian friends’ seedy apartments. Fiona’s sorry lot in life started practically after birth when her hooker mother abandoned her as a baby by leaving her in a NYC alley in her stroller. As she describes the event, “I remember being left out on the street by my mother. Most people don’t think a 6 month old baby can remember anything, but I really do. I remember everything. She left me there to die, I mean…I remember the feeling. Only her face I don’t remember so clearly. It was hidden by glasses.” Probably partially due to the fact that she was eventually adopted by a family of which the father routinely raped her, Fiona would love to put a bullet in the brain of her biological mother. Due to being molested at such a young age, Fiona came to the conclusion that, “sex is the answer to everything” and that she will use her decidedly defiled body to, “get out of this miserable place.” Unfortunately, prostitution has only landed her in a personal pandemonium involving drug addiction, carpet-munching, self-destruction, suicide attempts, and inevitably death. To make a little bit of cash, Fiona is willing to do more than just peddle her overused gash, as she does things like lick the toes of her bull-dyke friend to satisfy more particular patrons. Fiona is also an ungrateful little lady, as she describes a young male that saves her life during a suicide attempt as a “secondary creature.” Indeed, as a victim of regular sexual abuse, Fiona prefers to be around lady-licker junkies and crackheads as opposed to a male that seems genuinely concerned about her safety. 



 During one of the most absurd scenes of Fiona, the heroin-addled eponymous anti-heroine pulls a gun on a poor man’s Mickey Rourke who she seems to fancy in the middle of a busy restaurant. Indeed, despite initially threatening to kill the Rourke-wannabe, she saves him from prison time by killing a couple cops that show up to arrest him, stating of her nonsensical actions, “I shot them because I hate cops…pure and simple…I just acted instinctively; I didn’t think or anything. Some things I’ve done I am sure I shouldn’t have done but I really can’t make any apologies. I’ve always just went with my emotions. I’m not really a coldhearted person or anything.” Indeed, retarded Rourke flatters Fiona in his own sleazy NYC proletarian way by remarking to her, “Why do you talk like that…like your mouth is right out of the sewer? You know what…cuz you’re not like that. I can tell…underneath all of this you’re like a sweet tender person…I know this.” Of course, he eventually blows Fiona off, even though she wastes a couple pigs for him, thus aborting their romance before it even begins. Unquestionably, Fiona’s greatest love affair is with a 30-year-old fellow hooker junky who lost her “life in a couple months” after her husband was imprisoned for drug charges and her little boy was taken away, thus she now lives an unhinged life off the grid. Of course, Fiona’s loser lady-lover friend eventually overdoses on junk, but like most tragedies in her life, the forsaken streetwalker gets over her premature death rather quickly. 



 In a rather unlikely scenario of seemingly magical happenstance, Fiona bumps into her mother at a restaurant, though she does not realize until it is too late that she is the woman who give birth to and subsequently abandoned her. Indeed, after paying her super sub-homely crackhead mommy a penny to dance for her, Fiona unwittingly makes incestuous mother-daughter love with her equally perverse progenitor. Rather unfortunately, by the time Fiona wakes up the next day and finds her own baby picture near her bed, mommy dearest has already committed suicide by jumping off a building.  Of course, like all the horrible things that happen in her loser life, Fiona does not seem particularly affected by the rather senseless death of her mother.  After blowing off a young bourgeois boy who tells her that he loves her and asks for her hand in marriage, Fiona decides to steal a vintage red Chevy and head to a near-elderly black cop’s apartment who she previously befriended. Although he is married and plans to start a bed-and-breakfast with his wife when he retires, the colored cock agrees to drop his spouse and head to California with Fiona using cash he stole from drug busts. While the black pig packs stuff and tells his wife that he is leaving her, Fiona heads to a convenience where she regularly steals worthless junk food like Doritos and she is shot by the racially ambiguous brown untermensch storeowner while attempting to make her getaway. While Fiona and her spade sugar daddy begin their journey to California, the hopelessly unlucky hooker assumedly dies from her wounds on the way. In the end, Fiona ends pseudo-poetically with a shot of Fiona as a baby in a stroller, as if to demonstrate that she was not always a Sapphic cum-fueled scumbag.  If one learns anything from the film, it is the rather obvious fact that trash begets trash, with Fiona being no different from the worthless crackhead mother that she hated for abandoning her.



 Somewhat in the aesthetic spirit of the Warhol-produced “Paul Morrissey Trilogy” (Flesh, Trash, Heat), albeit minus Joe Dallesandro’s dong and a sardonically hilarious anti-counter-culture essence, Fiona is the unintentionally entertaining result of what happens when a morally vacant perennial dilettante pretends to make a serious, socially-conscious film about cliche urban plagues ranging from prostitution to drug addiction just so he can get his lead actress naked as many times as possible. Indeed, somewhat resembling a anorexic drag queen with bigger silicone tits than brains, lead Anna Levine is certainly responsible for any charisma or entertainment value the film might have, albeit in a fashion comparable to that of chimp drinking its own piss or one of the countless phony black scientist characters in Hollywood movies. Featuring insanely insipid dialogue like a scene where a braindead crackhead makes the elementary school joke, “Why can a prostitute make more money than a crack dealer? Alls she’s gotta do is wash off her crack and use it again,” Fiona really has to be seen to believed as a rare ostensible arthouse work that is so bad, it's almost good. If you’re looking for a fucked urban hooker-on-heroin flick somewhat in the dispiriting spirit of Abel Ferrara, albeit more needlessly nihilistic and minus the glaring McWop Catholic guilt, Fiona is probably your film. As a work directed by the son of the ex-mayor of the Jewish capital of the world, Kollek’s film also acts as a sort of accidental aberrant allegory from America as a whole. Indeed, acting as a sort of cinematic pimp, Zionist Israeli Kollek coerced a bunch of real goy crackheads and prostitutes to exploit their unglory in America’s unofficial Jewish capital.  Somewhat notably, with his later equally recklessly wanton and witless work Restless (2008)—a film that managed to upset some Israelis due to its sometimes unflattering depictions of Israelites—Kollek would depict the strong Judaic connection between NYC and the unholy holyland.  While Kollek's feelings towards Israel are somewhat ambiguous at best, his love of drug-addled pussy-peddlers is undeniable as demonstrated by the plodding yet sometimes playful softcore poverty-and-prostitution porn piece that is Fiona.



-Ty E

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