Friday, April 20, 2007

The Cut-Off Point Now on YouTube

Three Room Press' Peter Carlaftes short film, The Cut-Off Point is now on YouTube. This 3-minute comedic wonder is a spoof on Lorena Bobbitt who cut off her husband penis. Here Mr. Carlaftes cuts off his wife's vagina after he suspects her of cheating on him. The ensuing bust-a-gut hilarious action is far different than Lorena's adventure.

Carlaftes says he was inspired to create his 1994 movie after becoming "sick and tired" of the ludicrous media exploitation of the situation, which posited Lorena Bobbitt as a spokesperson for radical feminists. While the abuse she suffered at the hands of husband John Wayne Bobbitt was universally considered detestable, the resulting media feeding frenzy hardly raised an eyebrow. The director's own "cut-off point" came after Vanity Fair ran an article on Lorena, complete with photos by renowned photojournalist
Mary Ellen Mark (recently voted by American Photography readers as their favorite female photographer of all time). Mark's photos captured a semi-pornographic wide-eyed Lorena Bobbitt, halfway in a swimming pool, wearing a white bathing suit, dripping wet. The magazine's justification of such a blatantly exploitative shot? "Lorena is, after all, property now."

Carlaftes' film vividly exposes the bitter exploitation by recasting the story's main characters in opposite genders, and the resulting drama is gut-wrenchingly funny. As with all of his work, behind the laughter is a Vonnegut-like sense of compassion, and bemusement that even as civilization continues its descent into oblivion, a few moments of bliss remain.

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