Midnight Confessions #03: Taboo II (1982)

    You know that’s incest?
    That’s why its so hot!

    (Siblings Sherry and Junior McBride in everyday conversation)

There’s something remarkable about hot, steamy sex, isn’t it? In Kirdy Stevens‘ „Taboo II“ it transcends the more than sufficient plane of carnal gratification on and off the silver screen, evolving in consequence into something else – the overpowering aestival heat wave to a laid back gale that entices everyone to just gently blow from scene to scene. You could easily sum up the entire premise buried beneath almost one hundred minutes of sexual vignettes predominantly related through recurring characters in just three words: Family embraces incest. The rest is a showcase for, above all a testament to Helene Terrie’s remarkable knack for precise screenwriting that always slightly outclassed her partner Stevens‘ directorial prowess. Working amidst an unparalleled slew of effortlessly distinguishable auteurs like Findlay, Poole, Weston, Deveau, Damiano, Cemano or Metzger he always seemed more like a talented craftsman dependant on at least equally strong collaborators, his work like the rare porn equivalent to what is generally perceived as „actor’s cinema“ – films carried by self-assured writing and credible performances rather than daring stylistic choices peculiar to the directing hand involved. A sentiment also mirrored in the couple’s unique all-around success, be it commercial, critical or simply the sum of reactions by not necessarily „initiated“ audiences (for beginners: You’re hard-pressed to dig out higher IMDb-rating averages for Golden Age filmmakers.). After all their cinema is far removed from anything too artificial or avantgarde, instead relying on exceptionally relatable human hunches. No matter how objectionable they might seem under the scrutinizing gaze of modern eyes, Terrie’s story outlines could potentially happen to just about anybody.

Among the Taboo series‘ many episodes (23 up until today, the first five being directed and written by duo Stevens/Terrie) this second coming is easily among the ones lightest on twists and delightful narrative entanglements, doubly so if taking its vouching for seriousness shot on film origins into account. Dominated instead by Terrie’s trademark snarky conversational banter her characters positively indulge in mundane situations mostly centered around upper middle class houses, pools and bedrooms. To live for the day, an idiom very much penned for the way all characters go about their daily affairs – until the sex drive kicks. And it kicks often. Screwing’s the only real high point of life – „Taboo II“ is quite nonchalant about this, in an excited, not once judgemental voice too. Nothing is ever played for laughs, all that could be perceived as humor is just plain lightheartedness, at times even utter carelessness in disguise. In a world where copious amounts of non-committal sex on screen are commonly portrayed as at least some shade of problematic, it remains one the few films truly laissez-faire about this. Not in the subliminating, thus gently discouraging fashion of modern day internet pornography with its countless cheekily evoked and subverted fantasies, but closing in on an rightout empowering tone. Always ones to shy away from outspoken politics wherever possible the couple’s outlook turned sex-positive by default and their finest work is the most ardent advocate of this stance.

Mixing its realist understanding of writing with deliberate filmic dreamscapes it further enhances the inherent provocative powers, streamlines them into an experience that slips through your fingers time and time again. Memories and imaginations are some prime fuel for sexual urges harbored by the people on screen, but blur the lines for everyone else. „You were such a sweet child.“, lingers a father confronted with his daughter’s naughty passes. And a harmless lesbian encounter between two friends is turned on its head not once, but twice when through the montage MaryLou (Tammy) morphs into Junior (Kevin James) at work between his sister Sherry’s legs. At first you’re convinced it’s all a delusion, as Terrie’s script cleverly avoids bringing a jokey deal coined by MaryLou up again past its conception – then the realization sets in and before it actually dawned on you an incestual act has been established for the first time. Offhandedly slipping things in Terrie and Stevens successfully con the viewer into adapting the line of reasoning employed by both parents after being confronted with their own hidden desires. Mother Joyce (Honey Wilder) grows hysteric first when she catches her children in bed, then apologetic even faster than the trembling hands can pour another soothing drink, coming up with obviously self-indulgent excuses, seperating the grown kids from adult responsibilities one glass at a time. Father Greg (Eric Edwards) turns out to be a tad less dramatic about drawing conclusions later on: „I don’t know whether to cry or get a hard-on!“ What makes „Taboo II“ even more offensive in this day and age than it was nearly 40 years ago doubles as its main appeal. Light as a feather it gently wipes away all concerns. A method echoed by the mise-en-scène. As much as the sadly uncredited camera work likes to explore entwined bodies, to stick close to not sexual encounters alone, it nevertheless keeps a certain degree of hardly noticable distance (evidenced best by the surprising lack of all too gynaecological close-ups) – putting us in the shoes of an inconspicous onlooker able to feed the eyes in peace. Earthy variants of browns and greens colorize a world mellow like the film housing it – no heat summer here.

Unnoticed romps next to your sleeping partner, horny MILF ringleaders on the prowl for luscious boys, hitting at your own kin in lurid situations – many of the codes perfected here are still very much in use years after the advent of internet pornography catered at your specific needs alone, though never as unapologetic, free-spirited as they presented themselves in the summer of 1982. Ironified, subverted through obvious stabs at the performers‘ real age and non-relation, dulled down to take all edge out of one of mankind’s oldest fantasies they melted into mere consumption – something that „Taboo II“ never is.

Taboo II – USA 1982 – 97 minutes – Direction: Kirdy Stevens – Production: Helene Terrie – Screenplay: Helene Terrie – Cinematography: ? – Editing: ? – Music: Leon Felburg – Cast: Dorothy LeMay, Kevin James, Honey Wilder, Tammy (as „Bambi“), Eric Edwards and many more

Dieser Beitrag wurde am Freitag, Mai 24th, 2019 in den Kategorien Ältere Texte, André Malberg, Blog, Blogautoren, English, Filmbesprechungen, Midnight Confessions, other languages veröffentlicht. Sie können alle Kommentare zu diesem Beitrag über den RSS 2.0 Feed verfolgen. Sie können diesen Beitrag kommentieren, oder einen Trackback von ihrer eigenen Seite setzen.

Eine Antwort zu “Midnight Confessions #03: Taboo II (1982)”

  1. Ansgar on Mai 26th, 2019 at 21:17

    tabu 3 war mein erster pono

Kommentar hinzufügen