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Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn (A PopEntertainment.com Movie Review)

Updated: Oct 31


BAD LUCK BANGING OR LOONY PORN (2021)


Starring Katia Pascariu, Claudia Ieremia, Olimpia Mălai, Nicodim Ungureanu, Alexandru Potocean, Andi Vasluianu, Ion Dichiseanu, Oana Maria Zaharia, Gabriel Spahiu, Florin Petrescu, Stefan Steel, Alex Bogdan, Kristina Cepraga, Ana Ciontea, Cristina Draghici, Paul Dunca, Adrian Enache, Luminita Erga, Tudorel Filimon and Alexandru Georgescu.


Screenplay by Radu Jude.


Directed by Radu Jude.


Distributed by Magnolia Pictures. 106 minutes. Not Rated.


Screened at the 2021 Philadelphia Film Festival.


Impossible as it is to believe, this movie is even more awkward and clunky than its title. I can’t tell you how much I hated every pretentious moment of Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn. And this is coming from someone who agrees with most of the many valid political points being made here – albeit being made very, very broadly.


Bad Luck Banging appears to be a political treatise disguised as a cartoonish arthouse polemic. It takes on a lot of hot button topics: racism, authoritarianism, sexism, ignorance, religious intolerance, pornography, anti-Semitism, slut-shaming, Covid denial, intolerance, abortion, mask-resistance, gun control, immigration, Neo-Nazism, abortion, violence, sexual harassment, double parking, and the basic ugliness of modern life.


All of which could make for a fascinating film. However, the scattershot manner with which this film takes these serious subjects on… figuratively shooting fish in a barrel, the hectoring, pretentious arguments the film characters make, the cartoonish villainy of the “bad guys” and its desperate need to shock audiences totally defangs any serious political or sociological points the movie may be trying to make.


I had a warning of what was to come when in the Philadelphia Film Festival, they previewed Bad Luck Banging with a short film by the same filmmaker, Radu Jade, called “Plastic Semiotic.” We were told that the short touched on some of the same themes and ideas as the feature. What followed was a seemingly endless (even though it ran maybe 20 minutes) series of tableaus gazing at toys which were positioned in inappropriate poses supposed to symbolize the passage of time in a life.


Therefore, we had toys like Barbie, T-rexs, toy soldiers, kewpie dolls, robots, trolls and more. doing “human” things like fucking, fighting, crashing toy cars, killing, stealing, etc. First off, Trey Parker and Matt Stone did that over a decade ago in Team America: World Police. Second of all, it was not particularly smart or clever or even shocking. The point was made quickly and just as quickly became tedious and preachy. Surely, I thought, Jade will do better with live actors.


No such luck.


The story of Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn – in as much as it has a story – follows a teacher (Katia Pascariu) who made a sex tape with her husband in the privacy of her own home. (Fair warning: the tape, which is shown at the beginning of the film, extremely graphic, featuring full penetration. Which in itself is not a bad thing, this is supposed to be a sex tape after all, but it still may be a shock for some filmgoers.)


Somehow the tape has made its way onto the internet and gone viral, which now has her job in jeopardy. The film is rather coy about how the tape was uploaded – at different times the teacher blames a computer repairman and her husband, but it seems possible that maybe she put it up.


Bad Luck Banging is basically split into three parts, and then has three alternative endings. The first part basically just has the teacher walking through Bucharest, mostly obsessively looking at the things going on around her, the buildings, the people, the signs. Occasionally she’ll stop and talk with someone about random things (mostly showing how awful people are to each other), occasionally getting phone calls about the tape.


The second part has nothing to do with anything, just another pretentious series of images and stories which supposedly make serious points about man’s humanity to man, which is reminiscent of “Plastic Semiotic.”


The third part has the local parents holding a kangaroo court as to whether or not the teacher deserves to keep her job. The parents are all cartoonishly awful and the teacher is portrayed as a very verbose Joan of Arc, dealing with slings and arrows for the world’s sins and intolerance.


Like I said earlier, I agree with many of the arguments which Bad Luck Banging is trying to make. However, it is told in exactly the kind of over-the-top, judgmental way that will allow the people who most need to learn from it to dismiss it as intellectual elitism. And people like me, who basically agree, will just want the movie to shut up. Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn isn’t helping anyone.


Jay S. Jacobs


Copyright ©2021 PopEntertainment.com. All rights reserved. Posted: October 29, 2021.



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