Mark and Vicki Presco ‘Non-Artists’ thought they alas had a big payday coming with Peirrot hired Julie Lynch to make a movie about Rosamond titled ‘Before the Wave’. ‘Getting Off’ is about three New Yorkers playing around with sex and AIDS . These Bohemian Arty Types like to live dangerously. The trailer with them farting around in bed, makes me want to barf! That’s Josie’s bartender come to draw her, he all hot and bothered to see her naked for $40 bucks at the Art School.
“Josie is the tortured artist whose aggressively promiscuous ways hide a basic sense of inferiority.”
Why is Josie tortured? She has a job, a place to live, plenty of friends. I don’t have any friends, after conspiring to see Belle Burch naked for the price of a blue bicycle. Is that a blue bike Josie is riding down the streets of New York? I dare not ride my blue bicycle in downtown Eugene after getting several warnings from the Anarchist Queen, Alley Valkyrie, a failed artist at the Saturday Market. I was too old to crawl in a tent with the SLEEPS crew, they sucking on their celery in order to cure their hangovers, they up most of the night bar-hopping in the ‘Barmuda Triangle’.
Before Belle, there was Miranda Jenee. She rode her red Schwinn across the street in front of the Mustardmobile. She is a model, and is as tall as Rena Easton. She modeled nude at the Emerald Art Association and invited me to attend her classes.
No heterosexual male in his sixties is allowed to be a ‘Tortured Artist’ in name only. If I hadn’t bee tortured by several women, Eugene could have seen my film crew shooting in the streets. But, fake artists have taken over the art world, and, the other world. Ten of millions of people are alarmed. But, they ignored my alarms! As long as you do it to the artist, who cares? Only artist and friend, Amy Alee, tried to save me.
Trumpcare looks like the greatest Con Job in human history, that exploits the sick and elderly in order to give billions to the rich. Western culture comes to end – and Christianity – that did put many artists to work. We are talking about exploiting the dying! God knows they exploited beautiful young bodies, they shaming them for cash&prizes.
Think “Friends” with an acerbic Dorothy Parker aftertaste and you’re roughly in the vicinity of “Getting Off,” a complex, sharply observed tale of three female buddies coping with the specter of AIDS in 1992 New York. The anything-but-downbeat (or pat) production is a coup for first-time helmer Julie A. Lynch. Pic is a good bet for special-house payday, plus decent ancillary afterlife.
Think “Friends” with an acerbic Dorothy Parker aftertaste and you’re roughly in the vicinity of “Getting Off,” a complex, sharply observed tale of three female buddies coping with the specter of AIDS in 1992 New York. The anything-but-downbeat (or pat) production is a coup for first-time helmer Julie A. Lynch; her assured way with large ensemble and difficult locales — plus a refusal to wallow in the situation’s implicit melodrama — make this pic a good bet for special-house payday, plus decent ancillary afterlife.
Josie, Jennifer and Elaine (“ER’s” Christine Harnos, Brooke Smith and Amy Ryan, respectively) — like bosom buddies as far back as “Old Acquaintance” and “The Group” — form that proverbial study in contrast. Josie is the tortured artist whose aggressively promiscuous ways hide a basic sense of inferiority. Jennifer is the surface-cynical standup comic whose intimacy problems are manifested in her choice of gay lovers. And Elaine is the all-business MBA student who’s always sweating the details.
When the group’s old college pal Chris (Garret Dillahunt) is hospitalized with complications from HIV, the wildly dissimilar lifestyles are put under the microscope. The inevitable AIDS tests and their outcome may sound like a plot contrivance, but it works here because, instead of the obvious who-is?/who-isn’t? suspense, Lynch concentrates on secrets and recriminations that flow from the pressure-cooker situation.
While awaiting word on their fates, the friends gab, booze and compare sexual histories. The gorgeous Josie, who gets the most screen time, alternates drunken alley trysts with attempts at reconciling with a bad-news ex-beau (Bill Sage). This guy also happens to be Elaine’s brother, a plot point that will eventually explain Josie’s recurring nightmares.
“Getting Off” gets off to a shaky start with a homevideo from halcyon college days, but quickly finds its voice and tone. It’s neither a preachy, public-service announcement nor, as its title suggests, a glib exploitation of the AIDS crisis. The performances are top-notch, particularly those by Harnos, Smith, Sage and David Marshall Grant, as Josie’s nice-guy admirer. Harnos courageously delves into the closet addictions of the sexy party girl everyone assumes has it made.
Far-less-glamorous Smith provides pic’s conscience and common sense; Sage is the studly user to a T; and Grant does wonders with what could have been a thankless sounding-board role.
For a low-budget indie, this one looks and sounds studio-slick. Besides Lynch, kudos to lenser Enrique Chediak (“Hurricane Streets”) and composer Ed Tomney (“Safe”). Feminist filmmaker Lizzie Borden is among those thanked in credits for “helping define (Lynch’s) vision.”