I’ll just start with what went through my poor little brain while I watched Charles Vincent’s 1977 film Visions.
“Why? Why would anyone make a movie like this? It’s just people having sex through holes in big, black, trash bags while Tchaikovsky plays in the background. Who would go see this? Well, I guess I did. Wait, what? Is that The Ride of The Valkyrie? Ok, but everyone is wearing Uncle Sam hats, and why are there balloon animals? It’s a pornographic Wagnerian tribute to patriotic American circuses? Is that what this is? Is that a construction worker in clown makeup getting a blowjob from a woman in a turban? Yes, that is a construction worker in clown makeup getting a blowjob from a woman in a turban. Um, I don’t know what Charles Vincent was trying to accomplish but if you want to make a porn movie, covering the set in trash bags and fog machines is not a great place to start, although I’m sure there’s a Discord channel for foggy, trash-bag porn somewhere. Wait, now it’s Vivaldi’s Four Seasons and S&M. Poor Antonio if he only knew.”
Some people find art weird. They go to the museum and ask “What are all the splatters for? My three-year-old could do that.” As a result, such people leave the museum thinking that what artists are trying to do is be weird. Therefore if one wants to make art one simply needs to gather a bunch of incongruous shit together and do something weird with it.
Mr. Vincent is a testament to such thinking but I can’t figure if he thought he was making pornographic art or artistic porn, or maybe it was just a way to make some quick cash. I can’t imagine it made much of a profit if any.
The movie is at least easy to summarize. There is a lonely man practicing the piano in the dark when he is interrupted by a philosophical janitor who tells the lonely man that in order to play music well you need life experience. The janitor goes away and two burglars burst into the room. One of the burglars hits the lonely man on the head with a lug wrench and the lonely man collapses unconscious. The rest of the film is the balletic porn dream that he experiences while he slowly dies.
There is no dialogue or sound for the rest of the movie save for snippets of famous classical symphonies. The lonely man wanders through an endless number of trash bags that are either hanging from the ceiling or piled on the floor. In and amongst all the bags are people who have sex while the lonely man either watches or participates. That’s it, that’s the whole thing.
Charles Vincent was a successful director in the biz and worked with a lot of top people. There is an amazing review on IMDb by a compatriot of Vincent’s who takes Visions seriously and claims to have been moved by it. He does not go so far as to say it was good but he seems to see Vinnie as a man valiantly struggling for his art. I don’t want to rain on anyone’s parade but the effort speaks for itself, well, it doesn’t speak, there’s no dialogue, but it does slurp and moan a lot.
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