Doris Wishman, USA, 1968, JM, Sexploitation

“By 1968, director-writer-unknowing-sage Doris Wishman was onto something big. So big, in fact, that her glum, sex-infused slant on cinéma vérité has taken decades to wholly appreciate in value. And by appreciate, I mean this: Scratch the cocky intellect of Jean-Luc Godard’s A MARRIED WOMAN. Erase the stark humanism of John Cassavetes’ FACES. Insert naked people, black-hole dubbing and ashtrays which speak in split-second edits. That’s Doris in the late 1960s. Urgent. Aloof. Truly not of this universe. Thank god.

Ah, Zeb. You’ve got INDECENT DESIRES and you’ve got ’em bad. Jettisoning his dumpy New York apartment, Zeb finds a toy doll in a trash can. There might also be a ring of some sort in there. Naturally, all of this enables Zeb to supernaturally molest the highly sexcessful Ann -- via the doll. Ann thinks she’s crazy. Zeb falls in love (and reads Esquire). And Ann’s co-worker Babs has random ‘encounters’ with a guy named Monty (‘He’s so...continental!’). This being a Doris film, nobody wins.

This film rightly stands behind DOUBLE AGENT 73 and A NIGHT TO DISMEMBER as an archetypal Doris Wishman experience. It’s all here. Voices rarely match mouths (or human beings). Any sort of forward movement, be it plot-centric or technical, is inexplicable and therefore beautifully surreal. Cheap jazz blankets the soundtrack, providing a nice foil to the jagged edits and the aesthetics of Doris’s living room. INDECENT is brief, unapologetic, and pervertedly abstract.” (Joseph A. Ziemba, Bleeding Skull)

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  • 75 min.
  • B/W
  • 1.37:1