Thursday, September 28, 2023

The Deflowering of Ariella Von

piece I wrote originally published in the NoBudge Newsletter, 2013:

Slashed through with punk-45-sleeve hues, The Deflowering of Ariella Von [Marianna Ellenberg and David Louis Zuckerman] represents a new Breakfast Club, that is, a similar odyssey-of-inertia, now taking place in New York’s upper sides, A and B, with its avatar this Ariella Von. In the sense that she doesn’t slum-it, she attains status as a cultured persona, an artist / creative, — Ariella’s as sham an aristocrat as Erich and Josef Von or Ludwig Van. And she, too, is an anachronism, miring herself in the retro style mash-up that makes new again the sartorial vocabulary of an older New York or, not so new again, a postmodern idiom. 

The film begins with a call to arms by way of The Mo-Dettes’ classic “White Mice,” which I first ever heard on WFMU’s Evan “Funk” Davies Show and always wanted to use for a film of my own — so eternal jealousy/ingratitude to Ellenberg and Zuckerman, alongside pleasure and cheer for this world they have chosen to depict for young Ariella — it’s a Jewish Hogwarts wherein our heroine early-on has to fend off the two JAPpy heads of a veritable anti-AV club. “Am I a woman?” ponders Ariella in the opening scene, and then you have her mother, the archetypal Jewish girl’s-best-friend / incessant nag who raises a l’chaim-with-qualifications at the delayed onset of Ariella’s period dribbling down her legs — Harriet Potter and the Sacrificial Calves.

Although this movie isn’t being properly released till 2014: in Ariel Kavoussi we have one of the finest performances of the past year; she is more interesting than Chiwetel Ejiofor, and this is a film at least as interesting as 12 Years a Slave — no, much more so. Much more to say about this Deflowering in the future.


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