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Aleksandr's Price [Import]

Pau Maso , Anatoli Grek , Pau Maso    Unrated   DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 28.08
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Aleksandr's Price [Import] + Out in the Dark [Import] + Monster Pies [Import]
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Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Good but sad. March 27 2014
By Kit
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
It wasn't what I thought it would be, turned out to be better. So sad what the main character had to endure, we'll worth a watch.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A touching film Nov. 23 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I think Pau Maso has created a very moving and touching film - all of the cast is excellent. A very worthwhile addition to my DVD library !
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.5 out of 5 stars  11 reviews
18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Independent Oct. 11 2013
By CBC - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Pau Maso is a director to watch. This film, with Maso as director, lead actor, writer and more represents an original voice. Telling a story around a character, though having suffered much, who is essentially reactive to his circumstances, is an achievement. Lots of the film is very sexy, but it never retreats from the focus, this man trying to make a life that he can respect. I was very engaged by it, and I am sure others will be as well. Not five stars? I cannot make up my mind whether a little more editing was required, or whether the cyclic nature of the dilemmas Aleksandr faces require the full 108 minutes. Nevertheless a great film, and Paul Maso playing Alelsandr is a treat. Despite being a low budget film, the cinematography is terrific.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Paul Maso Shines! Nov. 16 2013
By Samuel Augustus Jennings - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Interesting and sad story about one of many illegal immigrants who prostitute for a living. Paul Maso wrote, produced, directed, and starred in this timely piece of reality. Paul is incredibly beautiful and believable as the naive young Russian immigrant trying to survive in a very hostile and indifferent new world. He possesses great sensitivity, charisma, and a stunning pair of luscious lips. In fact Maso is the only one in this tasty film who can actually act. The rest are real amateurs. Authentic New York City scenes like the High Line are a nice touch. I hope Paul Maso will make more films that appeal to gay movie fans like me.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Writer - Director & Actor Feb. 12 2014
By Bill Jr - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Had some feelings that this was going to be another plain gay movie. NOT! It took a few minutes to get the story line in place and went up into a great film from that point forward. It is really a believable story. Well written and acted by the same person. Well cast and I guess you know by now that I did like it.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Overly-dramatic story of a nice boy turned hustler. Jan. 8 2014
By Bob Lind - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
Aleksandr is an illegal Russian immigrant, stranded alone in New York City after the death of his mother. After meeting a guy at a bar and going home with him, he starts working as an escort, and seems to attract more than his share of con artists and abusers. In sessions with a counselor, he whines about being lonely, sexual confusion, depression, wanting to build a friendship with some of the men who only want him for sex. It is a variation of a story that has been told before, many times, and I even guessed the climatic final scene.

Writer/director Pau Maso cast himself in the starring role, which is usually a bad idea. His overacting occasionally seems like he is trying to do a poor impression of the late comic Andy Kaufman, but manages to come across as sexy in most scenes, when he is not going off on a drug or depression-fueled hallucination. The most annoying part, to me, was the constant nerve-rattling music, including a single bar repeated endlessly for the last fifteen minutes of the film. (The music actually drowned out the dialogue in some scenes on my screener copy, which I would assume were corrected in the final DVD.) DVD has cast interviews and deleted scenes. A fairly good effort, but falls short in my opinion. Three stars out of five.
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Hustler Kitsch Dec 5 2013
By Drew Odom - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Any sentimentality displays emotion in some way excessive to the circumstances that incite it. It can take many forms. The most common is to gush, to overdo feelings of love or friendship, to exaggerate how much one cares, to say more about one's feelings than the feelings themselves convey. One of the less remarked upon is the kind that exaggerates the awfulness of things. Instead of painting the famous rosy pictures, it sees everything darkly, morosely, punishingly. This is the sentimentality of many melodramas that turns what might have been tragedy into kitsch. Aleksandr's Price is that sort of kitsch. Degradation follows degradation, each one more cruel than the one before. Nearly everyone behaves abominably. Those few who don't merely act insensitively, stupidly, or foolishly. Much of the dialogue is cliché. The convention of the psychiatric office is used so obviously, with so little sensitivity to language and dialogue, relying almost completely on other bad movies for how such sessions might sound and look, that it turns, if not comic exactly, certainly into scenes that are nearly ludicrous in their implausibility.

Some viewers seem to think that this might be a gay movie. The director, in an interview included on the DVD, says that his title character is straight. That would seem an odd way of understanding him from what the movie itself presents of him; in fact, it would seem to contradict that depiction. But what is certain is that all the gay men in the movie are depicted as utterly self-interested, mean-spirited sexual predators, largely incapable of anything resembling kindness, sensitivity, or gentleness. The one halfway decent gay man in the movie turns on Alekandr, too, in the end, when he nears his most desperate.

This is the sort of movie that might bill itself as dark, daring, risky, cutting edge. It is none of those things. It is in fact, disturbingly old fashioned, especially in its huge cast of loveless, sexual prowlers who abuse Aleksandr repeatedly for their gratification. The movie, in short, is dully repetitive, despite the downward movement of all Aleksandr does. What is worse, though, is that it seems to imagine itself as hard-hitting and honest when in fact it offers mere melodramatic sentimentality and excess. And its depiction of gay men, especially if the director's own point of view on his main character is to be taken seriously, is reprehensible for its singleminded concentration on cruelty and degradation.

This is the sort of melodrama one might have read in rotten underground pulp novels, the sensationalized and fabricated stories of hustlers, back in the dark ages of the forties and fifties. Rechy's City of Night was an attempt to turn such fiction into literature. But it is odd to find it seemingly reborn in this movie, bad not only for its weak dialogue and characterization, but also for its sentimentality. It wallows in what it pretends to despise.
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