Fantasies Reviews

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½ June 24, 2010
Fantasies was the first film from John (director) and Bo Derek (actress). The film is about a brother and sister, Damir (Peter Hooten) and Anastasia (Bo) who may be in love with each other; they live on a small Greek island and spent a lot of time together on a boat called the Aphrodite (lots of the usual John Derek rustic machismo shots of sailing, fishing). The film is also about Damir?s attempts to turn the island into a tourist location. The first Taboo-but-not-really-cause-it-turns-out-they-were-adopted-will-they-or-won?t-they-have-sex plot is not greatly interesting or explicit enough (though it has a bit of Bo nudity as well as cringy lines: D: ?You Could be on your way to being woman.? A: ?Oh Damir, you really think so!!?), but, thank God, the secondary plot is very interesting.

Damir is a gigolo. As the film opens, a beautiful woman agrees to supply him financing for a hotel on his island. Damir is in the bathtub of the woman?s hotel; she tells him over and over how beautiful he is. For the first nearly half of the film Damir is the sexual object of the film, photographed to look desirable (Man as object in a John Derek film!!!).

Anastasia is lovely (though in the begining of the film she wears layers) but perhaps a bit slow (loud, easily distracted and immature, tehn again maybe she is just a typical teen): she waves bye to the sun as sundown and tries to sell the boat they are traveling on to buy a fancy bathtub.

Something I have noticed; bathtubs play a big part in John Derek films. Jane?s first time in the jungle bath from Tarzan, Paloma?s many baths once she in taken in by rich folks in Bolero, Katie jumping into a bath while yelping for joy after being told she is worth billions in Ghosts Can?t Do It, baths in these films tend to indicate prosperity, or maybe John just likes his women clean.

Anyhoo, Damir takes the money he has gained back to his island, promising a big ship will come and soon the town will have a resturant, hotel and bar with lots of tourists. He hires a photographer and director (Faidon Georgitsis) to document the building of everything (the director is an obvious stand in for the John Derek, a slick sophisticate who takes an instant liking to Bo). The town folk are very excited about putting in hard work to make this happen. It would seem that Damir goes over board by suggesting that the church building be used to the hotel (it is the only building with a toliet) but the town, except the priest, goes along with it in a vote. Damir rewards hard work with a nightly movie that the town is always very excited to view, these studio films seem to be an opiate to the masses. Public Enemy is shown the first night. The priest covers his ears to the gunfire and prays for his town.

Fantasies seems to be a comment on big business, likely Hollywood, destroying things without too many people really noticing or caring. See my Bolero review for a little on the independent John Derek?s opinion of Hollywood.

The Derek stand in, does not watch the movie. He sneaks off with Anastasia to photograph her (at this point Bo becomes desired object). When the photographer starts doing this during the day, Damir, mad that his sister is not working and perhaps that someone has noticed her as attractive, threatens to beat the photographer and he and his dreams bolt at the first sign of trouble.

The film has a faux happy ending where the ship comes and Damir and Anastasia are married (the dark side seems to win). Shot in 1974, this film sat on the shelf for 8 years until Bo had gained fame and then it was released for a quick buck.

Odd, thoughtful film, worth a look
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