Perverted Power and Other Poems
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The film is based mainly on a true story, an experience of a friend of mine. He is a real pervert, you see. He loves sneaking shots inside skirts. And it is a fact that his sister actually joined a cult and he did take her back with his own hands, with his pervert power. How can you use pervert power to rescue someone from a cult? The cult may be weird, but he is just as weird.
The Zero church in the film is a highly structured corporate-like cult—why would someone want to join a cult like that? What are they looking for? In Japan, all kinds of connections and relationships are falling apart, including family ties. Who can you trust, then? You need something or someone else. Why are family relations in Japan so weak these days? Well, how are they in America? The extremes balance each other out.
In a way, Japan is more or less the same, I think. I hope I am not creating bad impressions of Japanese people by saying these things about them. I am not saying that Japan has lost it all, obviously—what I mean is that the loss of connections—family ties and human relationships can clearly be perceived as a phenomenon—not that Japanese people are all fallen apart in a mess.
I find Jesus Christ very interesting purely as a person, just like I find John Lennon very interesting. Same thing should apply to Jesus Christ. Your first English-language film is Lords of Chaos , which follows the Norwegian black metal scene in the early s, a scene which spawned a wave of murders and church burnings across the country. Why did you want to make a film about that story? I thought that it was an event that truly represented all the themes I had worked on in the past.
The irony I find very interesting in it is that they actually believed so much in God that they had to do that. They hated God so much that they burned down the church, but the flip side of the coin is that they would not have done it unless they believed in God so much. How do you cope with such threats and do such events impact the filmmaking process? I have nothing personal against him, but I have to declare I am anti-Ozu in order to move forward.
What were the reactions like in Japan? People told me that I grew up unexpectedly. What did you think when she said those words to you? For several years, I suffered from the trauma—kind of scared of women and all. Did you think the woman was really going to kill you? She had these gigantic scissors—shears.
I really believed it. And she agreed not to kill you if you pretended to be her husband?
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I went with her to see her family. I was so patient that I got awarded, as a gift, with some money to go back to Tokyo. You said at the time you were lonely and wondering whether you were a criminal—what did you decide? Do you think most people who commit crimes go into them feeling prepared to be criminals? There are strange cases in this world.
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I did research when I made a movie called Suicide Club. For instance, someone goes to a supermarket and buys something. While carrying it in a bag, this person suddenly feels like dying. Or someone is having a business meeting. In a corporate building. He walks out onto the veranda during the break.
He is already gone. His troubled adolescence during hm His troubled adolescence during which he shows his tender loving mother one of his first erections in the moment before understanding that one shouldn't do such things. A story in which he has sex with a trans woman he's not really attracted to, but his faked sexual pleasure seems to bring her a moment of validation and happiness. A dialog with a drunk in Saratoga Springs, during which nothing much happens, but I'm giving it three stars as i really like something about his persona and he's got some good tales. But as writing I'm wanting a little more -- the stories were originally piece for NY Press and they feel that way a little.
That is, they're good first-person pieces with surprising angles, but they get a little plodding if you read one after another -- the writing itself isn't that thrilling.
I wonder if his novels are better or worse -- thus far he is his own best character and I can't quite imagine a book without that character. Aug 04, Amber Cummings rated it really liked it. Funny self-deprecating short stories are definitely something I enjoy diehard Augusten Burroughs fan here so I feel like I've read enough of this genre to have an opinion here.
Let's start with the fact that I love that the book has a theme. I hate when short stories feel discombobulated and there's no string to tie things together for me mentally. The quality of the writing was great. Really the thing to discuss is the content here: For me some of the stories were TOO perverted. And he didn't Funny self-deprecating short stories are definitely something I enjoy diehard Augusten Burroughs fan here so I feel like I've read enough of this genre to have an opinion here.
And he didn't regulate "perverted" to mean only sexual There were a few simple stories that felt a little like mental palette cleansers nestled in here and there: Liked it, didn't love it. Would base a recommendation on the prospective audience. Apr 15, Chloe rated it it was ok. Being a lover of The Extra Man, I expected to find this book to be an enjoyable romp through Ames' writerly and mostly odd erotic world.
The first few stories were entertaining, but as I read on the stories soon turned to repetitive mush. I can handle a hefty share of raunch, but to me Ames' style didn't portray it appealingly. I know that many of his anecdotes aren't meant to be appealing crabs, crack, manginas, etc. It was all just a bit too much, and it all seemed a bit too forced. It produced a chuckle every now and then, but that's about it. The stories compiled here are taken from his newspaper column, and I could see how they'd be more successful in that format - spaced out with many days between them.
Now that I think about it, I wish I had read each story on a bi-weekly basis as if it were still being published in a paper. Perhaps I would have liked it better. I think from now on I'll stick to Jonathan Ames' fiction and leave the rest for him to enjoy on his own. I love Jonathan Ames. I love so much of what he does; "The Alcoholic" was pure genius, and his TV series "Bored to Death" is among my top three or four shows on television at the moment. So when my roommate handed me his copy of this book, I couldn't wait to start it. After finishing it in a few short days, one phrase sums the whole book up: Jonathan Ames is one weird cat.
I don't want you to think that I didn't like the book.
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However, it really does read like an ongoing journal I love Jonathan Ames. However, it really does read like an ongoing journal of one man's neuroses, paranoias, and perversions. Which, I have to admit, when written by Ames, is a pretty damn compelling read. It's not the greatest book I've ever read, I don't think this is going to be one I rush back to re-read or in this case, buy my own copy , but during the few days it took me to finish, I was totally hooked. I don't want to give away too much for those of you who are considering reading the book, but I will say that it is not for the weak of heart or those prone to prude-ish dispositions.
I have to admit being wary of people reading over my shoulder when he goes on at length about the Mangina.
So, read, enjoy, love it, relish in his depravity. Aug 27, Marcella Wigg rated it did not like it Shelves: Jonathan Ames is the kind of frank fuckup whose honesty about his issues first fascinates you, and then, when you know him better and realize how true his stories are, repulses you. In text, his messiness is very entertaining and seems endearingly sincere: Overall though I found the collection uneven: Since this book is almost 20 years old perhaps some of the stories haven't aged well.
His dialog with Harry Chandler about exhibitionism in particular seems from a different era. But he's definitely lived a story-worthy life, and he's painfully honest about his perversions. I think this might have been slightly less cringy for me if I knew his work better beforehand maybe his style is an acquired taste , but as a first exposure to him it didn't inspire me to run out and purchase all his novels.
Oct 09, Victoria rated it liked it Recommends it for: Humbert-Humbert types with receding hairlines.
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A Collection of One-Night Stands , except somehow less funny. I'm not sure if its because I can relate to 'beavers' more than scrotums, but Ames didn't win me over like Handler did. His tales, while brutally honest, are sometimes perhaps too honest; I didn't really want to hear about his sexual thoughts towards underage girls, or the time his great aunt made him ejaculate in his pants, but my stubborn policy of always finishing In a weird way Ames reminds me of Handler's book My Horizontal Life: His tales, while brutally honest, are sometimes perhaps too honest; I didn't really want to hear about his sexual thoughts towards underage girls, or the time his great aunt made him ejaculate in his pants, but my stubborn policy of always finishing books made me complete this one.
It didn't have any grand crescendo, which in a way was great because I jumped around in this book a lot. The stories are short and not at all dependent on their ordering, which might make this a great bathroom book for some people there's some defecation-themed stories that might make it ironic. I read this book for a memoir class and I don't regret reading it, but it wasn't the most amazing book I've read either. Jan 29, Isaac rated it really liked it. I just learned about Jonathan Ames and got into a few of his books at the same time. This one and the graphic novel 'The Alcoholic' were my favorites.
He writes with a lot of charm and humor about things that most people would be incredibly reluctant to admit they had ever done. A while back I was reading an essay by Seymour Krim about writing and it's ability to connect with people in a media sat I just learned about Jonathan Ames and got into a few of his books at the same time. A while back I was reading an essay by Seymour Krim about writing and it's ability to connect with people in a media saturated age where he triumphs the rise of personal autobiography and analysis both as a form of self-development and as a rich and complex form of political statement I'm willing to share this honestly, for what it's worth, with anybody who will read it.
Soon after I picked up this collection and felt like I understood what Krim was hinting at. Candidness and honesty are virtues sorely lacking in much of the other media that surrounds us, so it's nice to know you can still count on them from a good author. Nov 19, Sarah rated it it was amazing Shelves: Sep 09, Sohni rated it it was amazing. I Pass Like Night is not unlike his other stories in which the central characters seemingly based on Ames himself all share a certain role of the loney, self-depracating, pathetic, and perverted young man.
But whilst you are deep into the scattering experiences of Alexander Vine, Night's main character,you notice that nothing has really been started or solved. Vine somewhat of an adult child just wanting t I Pass Like Night is not unlike his other stories in which the central characters seemingly based on Ames himself all share a certain role of the loney, self-depracating, pathetic, and perverted young man. Vine somewhat of an adult child just wanting to be saved.
Like all of Ames writing that i find to hold the feeling of perversion and lonlieness while still being comical, this is definitly a heavier work that depicts the life of a character who is lost and never quite found in NYC. I Pass Like Night is appropriately titled as well ,as Mr. Vine seems to survive by floating in and out of each experience totally aware that he is not much more than a mere existance. This is a wonderful book that feels for the lost souls. Dec 24, Molly rated it really liked it Shelves: I'd like to give this 3. Just know that I'd rather give this 3. I figured he must be a pretty weird, funny guy to come up with the antics on that show.
I then came across an essay he'd written in the New York Times a week or two ago and decided to give one of his books a try. There's nothing as G-rated in this book as that NYT essay, but there are some funny stories. Ames is a good writer, and he loves to tell intensely personal tales about himself. He comes off as a rather peculiar person, but also very self aware and funny and smart. Some of these stories are hilarious, some are bittersweet, and some are just bizarre. Regardless, they're rarely boring.
Feb 07, Writer's Relief rated it really liked it. I think this book should be required reading for a human sexuality course. What I admired most is that Ames seems to respect these things and people he sexualizes, especially women. I think he loves all women, and I respect him for it. May 16, Marumaru rated it it was amazing. Aug 28, Rebecca rated it really liked it. The topics in this book are in turn touching, funny, repulsive, and outrageous.
I truly wanted to be horrified by the perversion, but I found it too funny and odd. The book is skillfully written. Ames balances between quizzical amusement of his quirks and admitting he truly is a bit of a freak. I kept thinking about who I could pass this book to when I'm finished, and the list is pretty small. Some people wouldn't appreciate it, a few would be morally outraged, so it limited the list signifi The topics in this book are in turn touching, funny, repulsive, and outrageous. Some people wouldn't appreciate it, a few would be morally outraged, so it limited the list significantly.
I have a friend whom I suspect is a closet pervert, so I'm gave the book to him. Whether he is a pervert or not, he'll appreciate the gift of storytelling showcased in this memoir. It doesn't get five stars because the book meanders at the end and loses the momentum from the beginning of the book. Jan 20, Jenny rated it it was amazing Shelves: Yet am extremely impressed with how he can so gracefully switch gears and be completely sincere and loving during tender moments. Jul 08, Alexis rated it really liked it Shelves: I was at a party when a friend of a friend started talking about Jonathan Ames.
I was intrigued, so I ordered this book from the library. He likes to write about his strange sexual habits. He's self-deprecating and bizarre and slightly neurotic, but really funny. This collection of essays talks about his life and sexual exploits. It evokes some of the grossness and sexual libertarianism o I was at a party when a friend of a friend started talking about Jonathan Ames.
It evokes some of the grossness and sexual libertarianism of Henry Miller and Charles Bukowski. Good stuff, in my opinion, but I wouldn't recommend it to everyone. May 06, Paul rated it liked it. I would have deleted "mildly" from the title of this short story collection and just called "The Adventures of a Perverted Young Writer. This is especially frustrating because he is so good at writing about life outside of sex or bowel movements, but a passage or two about being a young father or battling anxiety is quickly followed by one that is clearly intended to raise eyebrows.
Dec 30, Tia rated it really liked it Shelves: Ames is a bit more than "mildly perverted" on a Tia-scale: I actually can't believe he tells people these things! I actually learned something from this, too. Do everything in your power not to. There are no discussion topics on this book yet.