Hold Me While I'm Naked (1966)
Like most of the company it keeps, "Hold Me While I'm Naked" is defiantly plotless and so avant-garde that it feels overdone...yet this does not stop it from being funny, frightening, and altogether completely fascinating.
What you should note is the year, because in 1965 Woody Allen made his screen debut. In "Hold Me While I'm Naked", George Kuchar (also the director of the short film) plays a B-director of a B-movie. He's shooting a film that is sexual in nature, perhaps fulfilling fantasies that he's had. Kuchar plays himself as a neurotic and perverse character who's probably suicidal. Because of how he talks, you would think that he's doing an odd impression of Woody Allen...but I don't think that's the case. If anything Allen gets his cues from this film instead of vice versa.
One of Kuchar's actresses has to leave because she's uncomfortable with the scenes that she has to shoot, so he has to replace her.
Kuchar's voice humorously dubs all of the characters; but is this just for fun or are we seeing through this tormented director's eyes? Could it be that the film is about the need for complete control?
It's not a very pretty picture about making movies, not completely unlike "Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker's Apocalypse".
The film is sensationally short and there's not much to glean from it. Shots of electrical wires hanging in the air are paired with odd moments between Kuchar and a little bird he sees on the way home from shooting.
If anything, Kuchar is proving that the independent filmmaker, though usually unseen, can be an artists and can make complex picture just as well as Bergman or the like.
"Hold Me While I'm Naked" is lightning fast in its editing, one shot has Kuchar covered in the thousands of feet of film...it generates a feeling of humility. Even for this short film, what a pain it must have been to edit the movie!
In the end, "Hold Me While I'm Naked" somewhat lives up to its title—it's erotic and nonsensical, but there is also a deep longing that you can't escape.
Kuchar makes you sympathize with him, though you can't be sure why. His life seems so meaningless, "Hold Me While I'm Naked" is certainly not a happy film...though I couldn't stop smiling while I was watching it.
It's experimental and wacky; but I think that's what it was supposed to be.
"Hold Me While I'm Naked" is a success....though I can't be sure why.
Score: 2 and a half stars out of 4
Posted by Micah Jones