DVD Review: Go Go Tales [MA15]

Go_Go_TalesDirector: Abel Ferrara
Starring: Willem Dafoe, Bob Hoskins, Matthew Modine, Asia Argento

The Film:
Have you ever wanted to see Asia Argento make-out with a dog? If you for some reason answered yes, then perhaps Go Go Tales is for you. If you answered no, the film does have other things to offer but I guarantee that will be the thing you remember.

Now I have always found Abel Ferrara an interesting filmmaker, he has tackled many things (with his best for me being Bad Lieutenant) and I was kind of surprised to hear he had made a comedy of sorts with Go Go Tales. I did go into this film full of curiosity, it was dubbed a comedy and it does boast an ensemble cast of many actors whom I love. So how did I feel about this one? Somewhere in the middle …

For me personally, I found this to be the ultimate mixed bag. For every pro there is a con, it is unbalanced yet the performances are really good. The comedy is maybe half there, yet the passion Ferrara clearly had for this came through. The film takes place over a very strange night at a Manhatten go go club run by Ray Ruby (Willem Dafoe). He finds himself struggling with the financial situation, unable to pay rent or the dancers and his brother (Matthew Modine) who is the silent partner is ready to stop feeding money in. Meanwhile the club has its own drama’s, such as a tanning booth suddenly catching fire and the landlord threatening to kick everyone out.

Go Go Tales has no real structure; we are just present at events, almost like a fly on the wall. Not a bad approach but there was definitely a lack in narrative and it did take me some time to actually understand what was going on. A lot of dialogue and moments felt improvised, but I am not entirely sure if I am correct there. It is actually a very nice looking film, vibrant as you may expect and a lot of eye candy on display.

I thought the performances were all there, no one really stood out as being bad actually. Dafoe was rather good, and his end speech was delivered fantastically. It is always good to see Bob Hoskins, and he’s fine here. The star for me was Sylvia Miles as the landlord, she brought the comedy and so much energy – loved her.

There were some moments of humour but I didn’t find this to be much of a comedy. Ferrara just went with it; I didn’t feel much restraint here. While I didn’t get too much out of this, others just may. The film reminded me a little of Dancing At The Blue Iguana but I found that film to be far more engaging and a little better at having some sort of structure. This wasn’t a bad film but it wasn’t a great one either.

The Australian DVD:
The DVD I reviewed was a screener, so I am unable to comment on Picture/Audio quality.


DVD details here.

Thanks to Bill, care of Eagle Entertainment for the copy.


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