Film Reviews

GO GO TALES

By • Jul 1st, 2008 •

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In Ferrara’s strip club, the owner sings a sad love song on stage.

I saw GO GO TALESat the 2008 CineVegas Film Festival and it almost killed my love of films. Abel Ferrera’s GO GO TALES centers on a Manhattan go-go dancing club, Ray Ruby’s Paradise, where a financial struggle between the owner, a degenerate gambler, Ray (Willem Defoe), his accountant and his silent partner brother (Mathew Modine, who carries a Paris Hilton pet) threatens the club’s future. The dialogue consists of the strippers saying over and over again: “I want my money!”

But Ray has blown all the girls’ money on the New York State Lottery. Here on Planet Earth, strippers pay a strip club to dance, then tip out when they leave.

It’s kind of sweet to think that Ferrara has never been to a New York strip club! Ray, taking the stage to the obvious delight on the male patrons, introduces the girls and then sings a sad love song. And Defoe cannot carry a tune! One night a week is stripper amateur night. I only thought they did this on cruises when the staff performs on the last night. The staff on my Yangtze River cruise was more talented than Ray’s girls, and they did the Macarena with the passengers.

Ferrera still has juice and even gets Asia Argento to do a cameo as a stripper. He also scoured New York for Sylvia Miles (or she wandered on to the set and stayed around). Miles, choosing her own dialogue, screams, yells and chews the carpet.

Ferrera, for reasons only his therapist knows, is intentionally punishing moviegoers. How long will we hold onto the promise of another terrific film from Ferrera? His last great film, BAD LIEUTENANT, was made in 1992!

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