secretary

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TomSpeed
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secretary

Post by TomSpeed » May 24th 2003, 12:22 am

My bonus DVD pick of the week is secretary. It stars James Spader and Maggie Glyllenhaal. The story involves dominance, submission, and love. I hear Candygirl is a big fan of this movie. Remember, typos can be sexy.
TomSpeed

Patty: If Rayanne's not seeing you, and we're not seeing you, who is seeing you?
Graham: And how much of you?
Angela: Dad!
Graham: Oh, I'm sorry! I asked a question about your life, didn't I? Woah, what came over me?
http://www.last.fm/user/TomSpeed/

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Post by andrewgd » May 24th 2003, 1:01 am

Is this movie any good? I really want to see it, and its one of those that I think I might want to buy. I hate buying movies I haven't seen yet, but I don't want to rent it if I think I'm going to buy it. Make sense?

So is there anything more to it than the eroticism of the dominance/submission stuff? And the obvious sexiness of Maggie? (She's in my top 5 hottest actresses).

I don't exactly want to buy a movie just to see Maggie naked (although its tempting), so I kinda wanna know if there's any other redeaming qualities to it.

Is it really funny, or just quirky? Is there more to the sex than just sex? (as in, the sex teaches us something about owning our sexuality, or being fine with what we want/who we are?)

Lemme know, k?
"Your imagination, like a child, will explode with unrestrained possibilities for adventure."

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Post by fnordboy » May 24th 2003, 4:21 am

Hmm where to start...

Ok well, I have the DVD, and I do not regret buying it. It is an enjoyable movie (and not just for maggie Image. I don't think I necessarily agree with the movie though. I think the acting is great, but the premise is a bit awkward, mainly her whole past issues. I thought it was a quick and easy cop out to explain her desires (sexually).

I really enjoyed this movie up until the last 20 mins or so. The whole ending is pretty stupid IMO, I don't want to give any spoilers so I won't get into it..yet.

James Spader just kills this role. The best I have seen him in a long time.

There is not too much sex at all, it is actually a lot tamer than i expected (or hoped for ;) ). Maggie shows us her goods, so that might make it not-so-tame in some peoples heads, but it is very tame.

It is pretty funny, and it does try a little hard to be quirky. I think some of the characters are unnecessary and are there only for the "weirdness" or "quirkiness".

I say that if you can get it for under 20 bucks somewhere pick it up. It was an enjoyable DVD overall and definitely one of the better films of last year.

IIRC it is based on a short story, I would be interested in reading that just to see if it was more fleshed out.

Hope that helped.

Also, I totally understand your "why rent" feeling. I personally just try to pick up a dvd if I want to see it. Sure I have some clunkers in my collection. ANd I have a pretty damn large collection because of my habit of just picking up what i am interested in seeing, but worst case..you don't like it, ebay it. Why rent it for 4 bucks (or whatever it costs now) when for 8 - 10 more you can just own it.

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Post by TomSpeed » May 24th 2003, 12:24 pm

I like secretary very much. There is something very sexy about taking control and giving control. The movie reminds me of A. N. Roqueluare's Sleeping Beauty Trilogy, which was written by Anne Rice. Since the subject matter is about sex, a very controversial subject, many people are either going to love or hate the movie. You can find a negative review by MaryAnn Johanson here. You can find a positive review in Salon here. I've been tied up before, so secretary is fine with me. Plus, Maggie Gyllenhaal is very hot.
TomSpeed

Patty: If Rayanne's not seeing you, and we're not seeing you, who is seeing you?
Graham: And how much of you?
Angela: Dad!
Graham: Oh, I'm sorry! I asked a question about your life, didn't I? Woah, what came over me?
http://www.last.fm/user/TomSpeed/

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Post by fnordboy » May 24th 2003, 3:39 pm

TomSpeed wrote:I like secretary very much. There is something very sexy about taking control and giving control. The movie reminds me of A. N. Roqueluare's Sleeping Beauty Trilogy, which was written by Anne Rice. Since the subject matter is about sex, a very controversial subject, many people are either going to love or hate the movie. <snip> I've been tied up before, so secretary is fine with me. Plus, Maggie Gyllenhaal is very hot.
Well i think that was the problem I had with the movie. I was expecting it to be a lot more like The Sleeping Beauty Trilogy, or even Story of O. It didn't reach my expectations of it (which were probably a bit too high), and mainly because of the neurosis and the cutting issues that they gave the characters. Like I said earlier I thought that was a cop out and was sort of insulting for anyone who has ever enjoyed sex in that way. She was giving up one disorder for another "perceived" yet legitimate one, if you know what I mean.

Other than that and the ending I enjoyed it.

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Post by Natasha (candygirl) » May 24th 2003, 9:22 pm

I found the Tale of O to be very tedious, rather than titillating, in its sexual descriptions but I did appreciate the message of the book - similar to my feelings about 9 1/2 Weeks (although I must admit that when I initially saw 9 1/2 Weeks, I was in high school so it was pretty hot then - I later ended up running an experiment where I had to show subjects excerpts from 9 1/2 Weeks a couple times a day for months on end so I became pretty bored with it quickly).
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Post by andrewgd » May 27th 2003, 7:04 pm

Well, I ended up picking it up at Blockbuster for all of $10. They're having their 25% of pre-viewed sale (GO NOW!).

So it better be good you guys! :P
"Your imagination, like a child, will explode with unrestrained possibilities for adventure."

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Post by fnordboy » May 28th 2003, 12:31 am

Well worth the 10 dollars...just for the spank bank material ;)

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Post by andrewgd » May 28th 2003, 1:05 am

Yeah. Its a little odd when your mom wants to see what movies you bought. "Uhh, its supposed to be pretty quirky and funny....uhhhhh...and its an independant movie...you like those!"

I almost felt like I had just bought Barely Legal 13 and stuck it up next to Fight Club and Toy Story.
"Your imagination, like a child, will explode with unrestrained possibilities for adventure."

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Post by fnordboy » May 28th 2003, 1:23 am

andrewgd wrote:Yeah. Its a little odd when your mom wants to see what movies you bought. "Uhh, its supposed to be pretty quirky and funny....uhhhhh...and its an independant movie...you like those!"

I almost felt like I had just bought Barely Legal 13 and stuck it up next to Fight Club and Toy Story.
Heh this reminded me of when I ordered some DVDs and had them shipped to my Grandmothers house since I didn't want them left out on my stoop to get stolen. Her eyesight isn't the best and she opened the box thinking they were for her (ordered from Barnes and Noble.com so she thought they were books for her).

Wasn't she surprised to see Story of O, Christian Death - Live, and Pig (a film by the lead singer of Christian Death). She told me she doesn't like those sort of books lol. She doesn't quite grasp DVDs yet ;)

She definitely read enough of the back of the DVDs since she just kept lookign at me and shaking her head :lol: :twisted: :lol:

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Post by andrewgd » May 28th 2003, 1:40 pm

Watched it last night.

You're right about trading one neurosis for another. That actually made it more uncomfortable for me than anything else. I think that if she was "normal", maybe just super shy or something, and then was introduced to the situation, it would have been easier to take. As it is, it seemed as if he was almost taking advantage of her sexual "problems" (there's a better word, I just can't think of it).

But as it is, she gets emotional abuse from her dad, physical abuse from herself, which helps her feel good and covers up the bad feelings about her dad. And then trades that for physical abuse from her boss, which gives her pleasure and helps her get over her cutting. Layed out like that, it doesn't sound healthy.

Once she understood what was going on with her Boss though...phew! That got pretty hot. I didn't like it when she wasn't really clear what was going on, but when she was in control of herself, and what she was doing, I liked the movie a lot more. I think it could have used a lot more of that, and not so many scenes were he seemed to just take advantage of her insecurities.

One question I had: The montage of her family and friends talking with her at the desk, was that real, or was that what she percieved they would say? If it was real...it was really messed up.

It was neat to see dom/sub stuff portrayed this way. You always see the leather and the dungeons, etc. and that scares people. But when its portrayed like this, its much easier to see the sexuality of it.

Especially cause Maggie lets out the most sexual little whimpers and sighs. Mmm. :)

I'm definitely suprised that Candygirl hasn't seen this movie yet...
"Your imagination, like a child, will explode with unrestrained possibilities for adventure."

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Post by fnordboy » May 28th 2003, 2:11 pm

andrewgd wrote:But as it is, she gets emotional abuse from her dad, physical abuse from herself, which helps her feel good and covers up the bad feelings about her dad. And then trades that for physical abuse from her boss, which gives her pleasure and helps her get over her cutting. Layed out like that, it doesn't sound healthy.
That is my number one issue with this movie. I think that even though they portrayed the D/s relationship in a "normal" light, like you said sans leather and fetish gear, this puts D/s in a bad light. Anyone watching it can clearly see that she is just replacing one issue with another "issue". Granted she does grow from the experience and in a way it is therapeutic. I think it could have been handled a lot better.

And Spader's character was definitely taking advantage of her at times.

One question I had: The montage of her family and friends talking with her at the desk, was that real, or was that what she percieved they would say? If it was real...it was really messed up.
It is my understanding that that scene is completely real, which is why I have my issues with the end of the movie. If anything they should have made it all hallucinatory (and if it was supposed to be, it should have been made clearer). I am almost positive that it is supposed to be all really happening.
Especially cause Maggie lets out the most sexual little whimpers and sighs. Mmm. :)
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Post by Natasha (candygirl) » May 28th 2003, 2:14 pm

andrewgd wrote:I'm definitely suprised that Candygirl hasn't seen this movie yet...
HEY!

:wink:
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Look, if this is weird for you, being tutored? I don't mind helping you a little longer.
You could have sex with me if you really want to help...I guess that's a "no"?

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Post by TomSpeed » May 28th 2003, 3:57 pm

Listen to the commentary. The director says that some people asked him if she is dreaming about the montage of characters visiting her during her "hunger strike." He says it doesn't matter. The scene works better for me as a dream sequence. In reality, someone would call the police.

I don't get the impression that she is dropping one harmful practice and picking up another. She starts to fall for him immediately, before any hanky panky takes place. He tells her not to cut herself because he cares about her. Yes, he spanks her out of the blue, but she can walk away anytime. She lives at home with her family. She doesn't need to keep working in his office. He doesn't force her to do anything. One key thing about this lifestyle is that the pain is controlled. There are safe words involved to keep things from going too far. (She says "time out" during the firing scene.) I don't see her as a weak character at all. She chooses to do what she does.
TomSpeed

Patty: If Rayanne's not seeing you, and we're not seeing you, who is seeing you?
Graham: And how much of you?
Angela: Dad!
Graham: Oh, I'm sorry! I asked a question about your life, didn't I? Woah, what came over me?
http://www.last.fm/user/TomSpeed/

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Post by fnordboy » May 28th 2003, 5:23 pm

TomSpeed wrote:Listen to the commentary. The director says that some people asked him if she is dreaming about the montage of characters visiting her during her "hunger strike." He says it doesn't matter. The scene works better for me as a dream sequence. In reality, someone would call the police.

I don't get the impression that she is dropping one harmful practice and picking up another. She starts to fall for him immediately, before any hanky panky takes place. He tells her not to cut herself because he cares about her. Yes, he spanks her out of the blue, but she can walk away anytime. She lives at home with her family. She doesn't need to keep working in his office. He doesn't force her to do anything. One key thing about this lifestyle is that the pain is controlled. There are safe words involved to keep things from going too far. (She says "time out" during the firing scene.) I don't see her as a weak character at all. She chooses to do what she does.
Her falling for him has nothing to do with her cutting and subsequent new choice. When taken in the context of her coming out of a mental hospital and being a cutter her new choice in life, which is defintiely better and less harmful is still just a replacement for those earlier thoughts and actions. If the writer of the book or the movie put these aspects in the story, they put them there for a reason. And if they didn't want to have that connection made than they made a bad choice and need to brush up on some writing. The connection is there it can not be denied, far too many people see it this way. Cutting is a way of control over the pain that inflicts you and in the D/s relationship most times it is the sub that is most in control (even though it appears opposite), what is called topping from the bottom. Maggie (can't remember the characters name) wants to be beat, it is shown in the scene with her and her boyfriend in bed.

I am not saying that this is the case with all D/s or S&M relationships, but it was obviously the directors/writers intent to show the replacement of one crutch for another. Otherwise key scenes, as shown above would have not been included and certain aspects of the characters would not be given to them (or at the very least not displayed so blatantly).

I was actually surprised at how much of the D/s community accepted this movie since it definitely shows characters with some form of mental defect. It is not good for the scene in general IMO. And there are definitely a fair amount of D/s-ers who did not agree with the way it was portrayed in the movie as is shown on the movie site's message board. Although I guess this was the best that is being shown mainstream on the subject since it was all consensual and safe, unlike how it is portrayed in the majority of movies released.

You can say that she could have walked out of the office or their relationship at anytime, but the same can be said for everyother aspect of her life. She could have stopped cutting anytime, she could have moved out anytime (or gotten another job to move out).

Maybe it was the director's intent to show her as cutting herself as a sign of her submissive nature already within her. But once again I will say that it is bad writing it is/was easily misconstrued.

The end sequence to me (at the desk) is the weakest part of the movie, dream or real [though i still stand by it is supposed to be real]. After that it is ok, I am glad it has a happy ending. But something about that whole part bothers me.

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