Thursday, March 27th, 2014

Naked Opera

This somewhat intriguing and totally bizarre documentary tells the very odd tale of Marc, a rotund man in his fifties, critically ill from a debilitating condition he has suffered with since childhood who is indulging himself for what may very well be the last time. He has somehow accumulated considerable wealth which seems at odds with his job as a Human Resources Manager in his native Luxembourg, but the source of his fortune is one of the many loose threads in this story.

His passion is Mozart’s opera Don Giovanni.  He not only thinks that the story mirrors his own life, but he scours Europe incessantly seeing every single production there is hoping that this may the definitive one he has always been seeking.  It is incidentally the ONLY opera he likes or watches.  As he flits from one luxury hotel suite to another he is accompanied by one of an inexhaustible stable of very attractive male escorts which he finds via the Internet …. always choosing one from a foreign country.
Marc is annoyingly arrogant and treats his companions as his personal property, and one assumes as long as they are paid well and there is yet another open champagne bottle, they will put up his all self-indulgent demands.  He occasionally attempts to converse with them but the urge to patronize and play up to the camera is too great a temptation for him to make it meaningful at all.  And aside from waiters who he loves ordering around, the only hint of a anything approaching a relationship is with Angela Christlieb the filmmaker which develops on camera as the film progresses.

Towards the end, Marc’s latest companion is Jordan Fox a well known Porn Star, and the synopsis claims that he falls in love with this hottie.  Lust maybe, but there is nothing approaching the slightest hint of romance and when the two of them go to the Hustlaball in Berlin and Jordan starts making out with another ‘actor’ (sic), Marc realizes that it is time for him to take his leave.

The movie is unclear whether the Escorts provide sexual services and given the opulence of the settings and the champagne flowing like water it seemed much more like a bacchanalian arrangement with Marc being a voyeur rather than a participant.
In between the travelling there were the obligatory visits to the Doctors and as more was revealed about his condition, your sympathy softened the annoyance slightly with this essentially boring hedonistic man.
I am desperately curious to know why in the first place the filmmaker ever thought to provide a soapbox for Marc to expound upon his uninteresting personal philosophies whilst witnessing him traipsing around the Opera Houses of Europe.  I will concede that the concept is a fascinating one, but Marc himself is not. In my book, what makes a really good documentary is when the filmmaker gets to witness the unexpected as it unfolds in front of them, or when the story takes a sudden curve.  The problem with Naked Opera was it lacked any such situations, or indeed any finality, and spoilt itself with its repetitiveness.  After all Opera Houses look the same after a while, as do Escorts, no matter how pretty they are on the eye to start with.

Posted by queerguru  at  13:49


Genres:  documentary

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