Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn

Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn ★★½

Winner of the 2021 Golden Bear directed by Romanian filmmaker Radu Jude, the weirdly titled Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn is a mishmash of things: social realism drama, a documentary, and a farce that all exposes the deep hypocrisies of our society. The film follows the story of a teacher who comes under fire, after her personal sex tape gets uploaded on the internet. Beware, Jude opens his film with the porno itself and not knowing this as an audience can cause an alarm in any living rooms viewing it!

Bad Luck has some frustration to vent, not just about its own societal issues but world-at large as well. The first chapter runs like a social realist film just following his protagonist walk from building to building. The second is a montage (pictures and videos on various related concepts or objects) that clearly attacks the puritanical perceptions of society to sex and relationships. The third is a farce about the subsequent parent-teacher conference. All of these developments usher Jude’s critique on his own nation’s hypocrisy and the irony behind our obsession to be the “most perfect” image in life.

In all of its absurdity, Jude finds common ground in establishing his themes but I’m not sure if this is an efficient way of handling it. I found the film to be too self-aware, hollow, and gimmicky in terms of narrative structure. It’s a polarizing choice from Jude, and it certainly test the limits of one’s attention in viewing a film like this. Overall, Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn has got some audacious ideas on hand, however it all boiled down for this not working to my favor.

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