has been called the most successful independent filmmaker of his era. Yet, there was no secret formula to his films. The hallmarks, so to speak, of Meyer’s oeuvre
are impossible to miss. Todd Rosken
dramatizes the sexploitation pioneer’s creation story in Up the Valley and Beyond (trailer here), which screens as
part of Shorts Program 1 at the 50th New York Film Festival.
was a war hero, as he is happy to explain to anyone who asks. During the post-war pre-Mad Men era, he sets out to reinvent himself as a pin-up
photographer. However, he has difficulty
finding a subject that truly excites his artistic sensibility, if you will. Then a colleague refers him to Eve Turner, a
diva model whose qualities unmistakable—both of them.
fans will be surprised the grindhouse auteur never even picks up a movie camera
in Valley, so there will be no
behind-the-scenes treatment of Faster,
Pussycat! Kill! Kill! Still, Rosken
and co-screenwriter Bobby D. Lux cleverly hint at the roots of frequent Meyer
motifs. As Meyer, Jim Parrack’s
performance is somewhat akin to Johnny Depp’s Ed Wood, portraying his earnest gusto
with almost guileless naiveté. In
contrast to Wood though, Meyer’s cinematic vision is easy to “get,” continuing
to reverberate with fans decades after his glory years.
it is part of the shorts program, Valley would
also be a good fit for NYFF’s Cinema
Reflected sidebar. It certainly
captures the enthusiasm of a particularly idiosyncratic filmmaker. Quite a presentable period production with a
number of affectionate laughs, Up the
Valley and Beyond is recommended for all cult movie fans when it screens
this coming Monday (10/1) and Sunday, October 14th, as part of the
first short film programming block at the 2012 NYFF.
Labels: NYFF '12, Russ Meyer, Short Films