The Hips of J.W.

Inspired by a postcard that French critic Serge Daney sent Monteiro (“I dreamt that John Wayne had a wonderful way of swinging his hips at the North Pole”), The Hips of J.W. tackles classic Hollywood cinema, religion, sexuality, the madness of August Strindberg, quotes from Pasolini and Breton, a failed sexual encounter involving the presence of small children, and more in Monteiro's simultaneously rigorous and insane style. Operating on several levels of “reality” and “fiction,” the film finds some grounding in the friendship between theater director Monteiro and his actor (Pierre Clementi), and one's desire to leave society behind for good. “It wasn't God, but John Wayne's hips that inspired him,” says a character, while a dream of “no more homelands” quotes Samuel Beckett. Indescribable, as rigorously framed as it is utterly mad, The Hips of J.W. is, for Film Comment, “a kind of cinephile transubstantiation orgy in which thought becomes flesh becomes celluloid.”

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