1. a person who provokes trouble, causes dissension, or the like; agitator.
2. ( italics ) French . agent provocateur.
I think for everyone there is that one film you see as a young adult that makes you feel so uncomfortable you leave the theater feeling somehow more mature and ready to tackle the great cultural issues of our time. For one generation that film was Last Tango in Paris. For another it was Crash (Not the Oscar winner).
For me, that movie was 1984’s Crimes of Passion. It’s been at least 27 years since I’ve seen it, but I still remember trying to balance my film-school-ingrained need for dramatic narrative with the film’s surreal and at times masochistic kinkiness.
In all this time I’d forgotten that the film was considered a commercial and critical flop. But I am grateful to Ken Russell for forcing my 22 year old brain to wrap around a cinematic experience that included Tony Perkins wielding a stainless steel dildo, and sweet-faced Annie Potts’ bemused smile, as she realizes a hooker named China Blue has saved her marriage.
Altered States wasn’t bad either.