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Case Number 09396: Small Claims Court

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Sex And The Celts

Pathfinder // 2004 // 141 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Eric Profancik (Retired) // June 6th, 2006

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All Rise...

Judge Eric Profancik found that this flick had more corollaries than mammaries.

The Charge

Answer: Watch this DVD.

The Case

Question: How do you turn the exciting, lurid, and sensational topic of sex into a monstrously dull viewing experience?

Sex and the Celts, the title screams it out in colossal letters. SEX! Look at the cover. See how the word "sex" jumps out at you? Did you happen to notice the blonde vixen and her creamy body enticing you to come explore…the topic? It's all there waiting to tease and titillate you. But don't be fooled. Sex and the Celts is not want you think it is; at least it's not what I thought it was. This DVD contains not one second of any smattering of any type of soft-core (or even naughty) material; it barely shows any "T" and there's certainly no "A." It is only sexual by default.

In spite of the saucy cover, I was shocked to discover that Sex and the Celts is an honest-to-goodness, real documentary on sex throughout Ireland's history. Broken down into two time periods, the first from 5000 B.C. to 1100 A.D. and the second from 1100 A.D. to present, the evolution and change in sexual behaviors in Ireland is discussed in amazing detail.

Amazingly boring detail.

Expecting something a bit raunchier, I was not prepared for the collegiate discussion on the mating habits of Celtic warriors, Mother Earth, or the effect of World War II on sexual behaviors. What we have here, ladies and gentlemen, is a sincere documentary for those who have the deepest fascination with Celtic sexual history. It's that simple. Without any tawdriness, the female narrator gives an incredibly detailed analysis of where it's been but not necessarily where it's going. And I was bored out of my mind. I have a certain affection for sex but not the history of sex…in Ireland. I cannot begin to fathom why such a documentary exists. Was there some cry let out asking for this? Is it an offshoot of another documentary? Did someone do this for his or her doctoral dissertation?

For whatever the reason, we have Sex and the Celts. Yet its name was not always this, for the opening credits state The Land of Sex and Sinners. (In either case, neither title exists on IMDb.) In an effort to spice things up, we have the title change. Maybe it's not as blatant as that. Maybe its new name infers a more specificity to its content, for those outside of Ireland may not be aware of which "land" is being discussed; but everyone knows who a Celt is.

As I struggled to stay awake during this production, I kept hoping for something to interest me. I waited with bated breath for the "dramatic reconstructions," but when they appeared, I only saw three pairs of boobies. In the end, nothing interested me, and I felt like I was back in college, forced to take one of those classes that I didn't want to take. How could sex be this boring? I tried to use a current topic to connect myself to the DVD, but that only fleetingly worked. As Sex and the Celts spent some time on Mother Earth and the power of the female in Ireland's sexual history, I couldn't help but think of Dan Brown's "The DaVinci Code" and the sacred feminine. I found some momentarily interesting corollaries, but that wasn't even to keep me awake for long.

Finally, in the waning minutes of the program, the rationale for this journey began to make itself clear. Why are we delving into this sexual history? What is the point? I believe the point of all this is to demonstrate the dramatic shift in sexual openness over time. In its early history, Ireland was an open, carnal society. In the recent past, that has completely changed where Ireland is puritanical, so conservative and ensnared in Christian dogma that the population of the country is shrinking significantly. Things have changed so much that the country is in actual danger.

The story is not the only problem with the DVD, for the transfers also leave much room for improvement. On the video front, you get a picture that is too dark with blacks running together, a washed out palette, poor details from an overall softness, and a touch of shimmer, aliasing, and flickering to round it out. For the audio, I originally thought the screener was defective as the "MPEG" encoded track dropped out every few seconds. On a whim, I popped the disc into my older player and it went on without a hitch. With it working properly, the audio was acceptable, with the narrator's dissertation being clean and clear. Tangentially related to the audio is the odd choice of background sounds. The occasional moaning, screaming, or other noises seemed completely fake, too loud, and out of place.

So there you have it, an informational documentary on the history of sex in Ireland. It's so clinically informative that I have to wonder why the historical recreations showed any breasts and gyrations. They seemed remarkably out of place. Regardless, if this history is of interest to you, then you will love this disc. For those of you preferring to avoid the classroom, avoid the DVD.

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Scales of Justice

Judgment: 60

Perp Profile

Studio: Pathfinder
Video Formats:
• Full Frame
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
• None
Running Time: 141 Minutes
Release Year: 2004
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
• Documentary
• Foreign
• Independent

Distinguishing Marks

• Trailer


• Official Site

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