Flashbacks: August 25, 2006

The Boston Phoenix has been covering the trends and events that shape our times since 1966.
By PHOENIX FLASHBACKS  |  August 23, 2006

Raising eyebrows | 5 years ago | August 24, 2001 | Mike Miliard reviewed Kevin Smith's Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back.
“ ‘A Jay and Silent Bob movie?’ asks Ben Affleck, looking quizzically into the camera. ‘Who would pay to see that?’ Given the extreme critical polarity Kevin Smith engenders, we’ll see. But in this critic’s opinion, Smith’s latest and ostensibly last J&SB flick is a corker. Its scope and production values are bigger and better than those of his last outing, Dogma, but its humor isn’t encumbered by that film’s ponderous theological parsing. Neither is it tempered with the over-earnestness of Chasing Amy or ruined by the pointlessness of Mallrats. It’s just a gleefully stupid, over-the-top cross-country romp populated with a ton of familiar faces and marked by a genial, if prurient, charm.…

“What follows doesn’t quite know what it wants to be, and that’s fine. It’s a road movie. It’s a buddy film. It’s a Hollywood satire (in which Smith chomps off the hand that feeds him, Miramax’s, with gusto). It’s got four Charlie’s Angels–type vixens in stretch black-leather suits. It’s got more mimed fellatio than you can shake a dick at. It’s got local boys Ben and Matt in Good Will Hunting 2: Hunting Season. It’s got Luke Skywalker as a shock-haired villain named Cock Knocker. It’s got an orangutan. And it’s got Jay (Jason Mewes) and Silent Bob (Smith) themselves. The former’s hyperkinetic scatological riffing has been refined to zen-like perfection; the latter speaks scarcely a word, but his eyebrows should be nominated for some kind of Oscar. I’d pay to see it again.”

Fear factor | 10 years ago | August 23, 1996 | Tom Witkowski examined the case of a gay man seeking asylum after his homosexual neighbor was murdered.
“Luis Francisco Villalona-Perez has lived much of his life afraid that he would lose it. In the small city in the southern Dominican Republic where Villalona-Perez grew up, he knew only one other gay man, a neighbor. Fear kept both men in the closet — but even so, they were constantly taunted by a group of neighborhood youths.
“Then in 1993, his neighbor was found murdered and sexually mutilated.

“In a society that prizes machismo, the 5’5” 116-pound Villalona-Perez isn’t exactly the picture of manhood. A bit effeminate, young-looking for his 33 years, he says he was branded gay by a culture that recoils from homosexuality and often lashes out violently at gay people. Villalona-Perez had never set foot in a gay bar or had any kind of a relationship with another man, but, like his [recently murdered] neighbor, he fit the stereotype. He heard the word maricon — ‘faggot’ — whenever he walked down the street.…

“Now Villalona-Perez is living in Boston, trying to convince the US Immigration Court that he legitimately fears persecution back home and thus deserves asylum. The case, which began on Monday and is the first of its kind in New England, could well be a sign of things to come in a controversial, and rapidly changing, area of law.”

Career killer | 15 years ago | August 23, 1991 | Michael Robert urged fans not to give up on Pee-Wee Herman.
“It is time for all good people to come to the defense of their Pee-wee.

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