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Richard Kern was an underground filmmaker who specialised in transgressive
themes, and images that are violent and erotic at the same go. Like
Anger, who seems to have been an influence on him, Kern is less interested
in coherent narrative than in presenting themes and images that will
us, shock us and ... possibly ... arouse us."X is Y" is a very short film, consisting of images of young women
automatic handguns and rifles. The women's physical appearances and the
overall direction are clearly intended to eroticise the firearms whilst
emphasising the phallic aspect of the weapons. The film's title is not
explained, but it apparently has a genetic basis: X is the female
and Y the male chromosome. Apparently, Kern is suggesting that handguns
'supposed to be' male objects, yet here are these very sexy and
unquestionably female women engaged in the 'male' activities of gun-love
shooting."X is Y" features some thrash music by a band with the appropriate name
Shoot Cop. Kern shows some genuine directorial talent within his narrow
self-appointed genre, and the women in this movie are very delightful to
look at. I'll rate this quickie 6 out of 10.
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