30 December 2016 | lor_
Ambitious, raw Vespoli drama
Dana Vespoli challenges herself and co-star Sovereign Syre in the downbeat sex drama "She's Come Undone". Obviously given free rein as a filmmaker by John Stagliano at his Evil Angel label, I'm not sure what her target audience is, but most of these unhinged psychodramas are invigorating, challenging spectacles.
At times obvious in intent and other times cryptic, "Undone" gives us a snapshot of Amanda, a character Vespoli plays that is vaguely parallel to her own status - a star in Hollywood having massive battles with studio brass over creative control of her movies. She's constantly on the phone haranguing her agent about meetings and impossible demands, as it appears her career might be coming undone. Dana never specifies whether this is a mainstream of Adult star she's playing, but I don't know of major studios in porn, as even Wicked and especially Vivid are no longer the star factories they once were (with their alluring roster of "contract girls").
She's staying at a hotel and orders up a female "escort" to service her. This sets in motion a two-hander drama that would be great fodder for an off-off-Broadway play if the XXX content of the script were excised.
Like other directors at Evil Angel (e.g., Rocco Siffredi, Manuel Ferrara), Dana likes to push her actors past their limits, way beyond their comfort zones. In this case, her very frequent actress Syre is put through the ringer, not just in the usual explicit sex sense, but with probing questioning and insulting from Dana's fictional Amanda, to belittle her profession as a hooker and to question her seemingly b.s. explanation of how she came to that profession and her personal philosophy. This is serious stuff, but not to worry: Dana peppers the lengthy feature with many flashbacks and explicit gonzo sex scenes to thrill the fans.
Julia Ann is forceful in a character role (including sex, thank God!) as Dana's estranged spouse, who kicked her out. for basically being a real bitch. Dana is never afraid of playing a negative character, and here audience sympathy is unlikely to be extended to her, except in identification with her pain. As is her wont, Dana uses a literary quote to set the stage and explain where the thematics are coming from, in this case opening with a Roland Barthes saying regarding how we masochists wallow in our suffering -we enjoy it. I can certainly relate to that! (though not in the sexual context that Dana employs).
Other stars like Manuel Ferrara and the wonderful & unappreciated Presley Hart pop up in brief flashbacks, while India Summer and lesbian/bondage icon Sinn Sage also have telling little scenes. My favorite aside during the fairly relentless drama is staged by Dana at the "Immoral Proposal" mansion (oval-paned doors, striking spiral staircase) favored by so many pornographers, featuring Presley quite convincing as jail-bait.
Perhaps more grueling than escapist, "She's Come Undone" is yet another reason not merely to join the Vespoli fan club, but to await each of her unexpurgated adventures with baited breath.