Last week, IFC aired a four-part series focusing on sex in indie cinema. The series was nicely put together, though I don't get the promotional department's fixation with Dita Von Teese. However, there's always an inherent problem with any docs that give blanket approval in celebrating every film that tests certain limits. Just because a writer/director pushes boundaries with a provocative idea, if the movie itself isn't good, that's a problem, and that idea is pushed to the background here. Midnight Cowboy and Last Tango in Paris were groundbreaking as classic rated X films, but putting them in the same category with the "look how shocking we're being!" efforts of Kids and The Brown Bunny just seems...short-sighted.
However, IFC is not finished with their exploration of taboo sex on film. In fact, they've made themselves the home for the most independent of all sex-with-underaged-kids filmmakers around.
Starting today, each day at IFC.com will reveal a new chapter of R. Kelly's never ending "Trapped in the Closet" anthology. According to IFC's VP, it's a natural fit:
Call me crazy (or obsessed), I find something in Trapped that makes it a natural next step in this experiment. While it might not be on the scale of Midnight Cowboy, in its own iconoclastic, pop-culture way, Trapped in the Closet challenges the traditional mores and sexual stereotypes of the current climate as boldly -- and hysterically -- as many films coming out of Hollywood or the indie movement. The cheating women, the closeted preacher, the pop star hiding in the closet, the adulterous midget with a paternity problem -- Kelly makes a case to carry the mantle of John Waters into the new millennium. You may laugh, but you can't look away.Chapter 13 debuts today featuring an elderly couple wishing bird shit-related misfortune on each other, the protagonist telling time, and R. Kelly watching the video himself and acting way too amused, while a hipster film critic smiles nervously. Indie cinema at it's finest. Take some pointers, Waters.
Chapters 13-22. (New chapter each day.)