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About ChrisChuang

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  1. ChrisChuang

    Episode 67 - Lolita

    I totally get the format of the show, and I'm not trying to soften the debate, but let's not get carried away and imply that Dominique Swain in the '97 version is more childlike or less seductive than Sue Lyon in Kubrick's film. Adrian Lyne's version sexualizes the relationship to the point where the black comedy is eliminated. The meeting scene in Lyne's version has Swain sitting underneath a sprinkler, completely soaked, while she reads a magazine with pictures of older men. His version of the seduction scene features Swain kneeling in front of Jeremy Irons and rubbing her foot against his crotch. What struck me was how childlike Lyon is with her flirtation. It really comes off as a young girl discovering the power her sexuality holds over men. But while you both read it as this woman destroying the lives of these men around her, I see this as a film about piteous obsession with James Mason basically becoming Shelley Winter's character in the last half of the film. I was surprised by Devin talking about his fascination with the age of consent and the birth of the American teenager, but not relating it to Lolita. That's at the core of the film because it dances around studio limitations by directly addressing the sexualization of teenagers. To me the film is provocative because Humbert Humbert isn't presented as a pedophile, but as a normal person contending with his obsession with a sex symbol who is below legal age. Scenes like the cot sequence don't need to be creepy because it feels super fucked up and cringe-y to root for James Mason to have sex with a minor. That being said, this is a No for me. Fantastic performances, but get Peter Sellers out of there and cut the running time down by at least an hour.