Whores’ Glory Screen 13 articles

Whores’ Glory

2011

Whores’ Glory Poster
  • What bugs me is the fact that "Whores' Glory" uses actors (at least two that I recognise) to pose as customers who visit the fish bowl, and they say lines that sound forced and banal and that do not add to anything we've understood, rightly or wrongly, about the profession. By the way, I doubt if the film will ever get to play in Bangkok, not even at film festivals, because the censors would fly into a rage at some of the images depicted here -- and I don't just mean the acknowledgement of the sex trade.

  • Throughout, Glawogger’s shooting style is powerful and effective, even enticing. Despite this, I have doubts about the direction of the director’s gaze, as well as our position as viewers. Was Glawogger trying to witness, and to understand, or was he just looking for something to show, to exploit, or even—given the hellish vision at the end—exhibit nothing more than profanity and damnation?

  • Glawogger’s camera absorbs so many intimate details of the day-to-day drudgery of prostitution, interviewing girls, madams and johns alike, that one marvels at what it took to gain such degrees of access. The only regrettable element are the musical impositions of rockers PJ Harvey and CoCo Rosie on the third world proceedings; Glawogger does so much to immerse us directly in these worlds that it’s a puzzle why he leans on the music to convey meaning.

  • Making his directorial hand felt in his aesthetic choices (why, one wonders, is PJ Harvey playing over shots of destitute Bangladeshi hookers?) and his decision to directly interview both the prostitutes and their clients, Glawogger alternates uncomfortable observation with questionable shows of auteurist presence. It's not always an easy mix, but the director generally manages to capture enough richness of detail to justify the project's more problematic moments.

  • Whores' Glory is vital not because of its human-interest stories, but because of the things it tells us about the transfer of resources from one party to another, how we sell ourselves and buy the same from others, even if we're not doing so in a physical sense. Like the director's best work, it's an acute portrait the shifting status of traditional markets in an ever-changing world.

  • Why watch something so awful the director didn't even have the guts to film directly? The most obvious reason is that Whores' Glory is, if not great, at least very good, attuned to the specifics of its three different locations and the many different types of misery and misogyny in the world.

  • The film looks amazing; Glawogger must be the world’s foremost visual poet of cities at night, of sodium- and strip-lights. Like his previous films Megacities and Workingman’s Death, it’s a complex, multifaceted, non-judgemental study of working conditions and what it takes to survive in these environments. There are horrors, for sure, but also pleasures, and a great deal of exuberance and togetherness.

  • If you believe that a society should be judged by the way it treats its poor, be sure to catch this bracing, at times horrifyingly intimate documentary triptych on the prostitution industry from Austrian director Michael Glawogger.

  • Subtlety may not be Glawogger’s strong point (see: a dog-mounting-dog scene; the use of PJ Harvey’s “Snake”), but his treatise on the female body reduced to a commodity wallops its points across with stunning, sickening effectiveness. A young woman begs to know if “there[’s] another path for us…is there a path at all?”

  • If there’s an ideological point (and a smidgen of hopefulness) to be found in “Whores’ Glory,” it lies in the film’s insistence that the women Glawogger meets in Thailand, Bangladesh and Mexico remain defiantly individual, even in the face of a system of sexual and economic exploitation they cannot (or at least do not) resist. Indeed, “Whores’ Glory” has a surprising double focus on the women’s economic lives and on their spiritual and religious pursuits.

  • You have to love a film that deliberately pisses on 'documentary ethics' and plays PJ Harvey over footage of women actually selling their bodies in real time. Glawogger's cool view of reality is such that he views everything as if it were the stuff of great cinema. The lingering impression is that if the world didn't tie itself into such abysmal knots then it wouldn't so easily become worth filming.

  • [The film] is a critique that almost seems at times to be an homage. In trying to tear away certain illusions held by people living in the developed world... Glawogger practically ends up making icons of his subjects: they are the wretched of the Earth. And it is their general indifference to the filmmaker in their midst that truly authenticates this status. So destroyed are these workingmen by the extremity of their daily grind that they can’t... modulate their performances for the camera.

  • A non-judgmental, eye-level representation of prostitution that gives a voice to those practicing the oldest profession. This is no standard talking heads doc, although that stylistic choice is both used and transcended. Rather, the late, great Glawogger (gone too soon at the age of 55 from malaria) presents the work and the workers as a triptych, globe-hopping across the world to three red light districts with a thriving market.

More Links