In American cinema “smart” and “sexual” don’t live in the same neighborhood, never mind star in the same movie. But after watching Philippe Diaz’s provocative, gorgeously photographed new drama, NOW & LATER, I can say that I’ve witnessed a new kind of American movie heroine, one who is as comfortable with her political beliefs as she is with her body. The erotic beauty of Shari Solanis takes free, uninhibited sexuality to a new level and the result is one of the most passionate pieces of cinema I’ve ever seen, and I mean that in all senses of the word “passionate.”
NOW & LATER takes you to a place you’ve probably never been before as a moviegoer, and its effect will linger. This movie performs the Houdiniesque feat of seducing you with images of carmel-colored feminine curves in full-throttle “fuck-me-harder” sex, and then gets you to think about American imperialism and exploitation in almost the same gasp.
Diaz has invented a new genre because NOW & LATER may truly be the only movie of its kind in existence. It was brave filmmaking by a director who isn’t afraid of blazing his own trail. Years ago Zalman King ventured into this territory but he fell far short of what Diaz has done: his cinema is unabashedly sexual and cerebral at the same time, which is really quite a stunning accomplishment.
I know it will stay with me for a long time, which to me is always the mark of great art.
Like the old joke about reading Playboy for the articles, this is a flick you can bring home to your wife because of its generous portion of thought-provoking subject matter while you enjoy a free serving of kink on the side. And if you happen to be trying to bed some lovely, left-leaning co-ed sooner rather than later, you will not find a more ideal date movie than NOW & LATER.