- William E. Jones |
- 1997 |
- 75 minutes |
- COLOR |
Rental Format(s): 16mm
Finished is a detective story and a love story, a film noir bathed in sunlight. It's a film of contradictions: pornographic yet chaste, distanced yet mesmerizing, reticent yet moving. It reminds us that life in the movies is not like life at the movies.
"In the future, everyone's 15 minutes will be capped by a documentary that seeks to explain or simply justify their lives. The best of these works will likely take some of their cues from such groundbreaking works as Superstar, Todd Haynes'brilliant sketch of Karen Carpenter's life, or Rock Hudson's Home Movies, Mark Rappaport's sly and subversive reading of Hudson s filmography; they'll be darkly humorous, vigorously intellectual, and achieve a universal poetry that transcends the specifics of the life examined. William E. Jones Finished is such a film. A few years ago, Jones saw an ad for a phone-sex hot line and clipped the photo of the model, Alan Lambert. The seeds of a mild obsession had been planted. A year later, though, the 25-year-old Lambert committed suicide in a park of his native Quebec.
"Finished, admittedly initiated by Jones' lust, tries to answer a host of questions surrounding the unanswerable why of Lambert's final act. A man who listened to Mozart while he turned tricks in his apartment and had bookshelves filled with Marx, Lambert reportedly once told a porn-film co-star that he was superior to most human beings. He espoused radical but confusing political theories, eagerly anticipated the fall of capitalism, and was obsessed with the apocalypse. Most of the revelations paint him as insufferably pretentious. But the film goes beyond Lambert's life. It offers pungent critiques of society's definitions of masculinity and gender. It challenges the aesthetics of porn, even as Jones admits their power. But Finished delivers its most devastating blows in showing how politics, commerce, sexuality and the individual are engaged in a deadening if not deadly dance. With its lingering shots of crashing ocean waves, billowing clouds, and busy L. A. freeways, the film certainly won't satisfy anyone's prurient interests. But by the last frame, Finished has proved itself a powerful, disturbing meditation." Ernest Hardy, L. A. Weekly
Screenings: Sundance Film Festival, Rotterdam Film Festival, Vienna International Film Festival, Los Angeles Filmforum, Pacific Film Archive