Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Movie Review: The Whipping Machine

Pain4Fem (released in 2008)

Entire Story In Fewer Words Than Are In This Sentence:
Offenders receive automated CP, this time, with whips

Victim Appeal:
When I reviewed The Spanking Machine a year ago, I found it more exciting than I had expected, precisely because there wasn't any direct interaction between the top (the supervisor operating the machine) and the victims. This made the scenario psychologically intriguing, and moreover, there was the novelty value of the machine itself. So I gave the video a favourable critique, but I also noted: "For now, the presence of the sinister new device is enough to hold the viewer's attention for most of the time, but if Pain4Fem decide to produce a sequel, they should put a little more story in."

They did produce a sequel, "The Whipping Machine", and today, I'm going to take a look at it. Let's see in which ways, if any, it differs from and improves upon the original. For one thing, there are three girls in this one rather than two. Kelly aka Katerina is a seasoned P4F and Spanking Server veteran. The others, going by the names of Lea and Taylor, are new - one blonde, one dark-haired, both fairly pleasant to look at. Like most other models from this producer, they are probably Czechs or Slovaks with a career in vanilla porn. I didn't find anything about them on Eurobabeindex (I assume they use another name for their "mainstream" work), and frankly, I was too lazy to search much. If any of you expert porn addicts among the readership know more, feel free to add the info in a comment.

Gratuitous Sadism:
Like its predecessor, "The Whipping Machine" doesn't have a story as much as a premise (so much for my illusion that spanking video producers might start listening to my suggestions one day!). The film opens with some text explaining that, in the fictional society depicted herein, corporal punishment can be voluntarily accepted by offenders as an alternative to prison time. The canings and whippings are administered by machines instead of human functionaries to ensure that they are all of the same severity. We are about to see three female prisoners who have volunteered to get whipped as test subjects for this new method, in order to have their sentences reduced.

So much for the background - which is still an improvement over part one, actually, where we learned even less about what is going on. After the introductory text, it's business as usual: one girl after another is lead into the punishment room (where the entire movie takes place), tied up, robo-flogged, and escorted out again. First Lea, then Taylor, then Kelly. A supervisor (Peter Schober) and his female assistant are in charge. The pace is slow and everything is heavy on procedure, as in many other Pain4Fem titles. In each segment, it takes a solid five minutes from the moment the scene opens to the start of the actual punishment. Handcuffs are removed, the victim undresses, her hair is tied in a ponytail so it doesn't get in the way of the whip... Afterwards, lotion is applied to her freshly chastised back, she gets dressed, handcuffs go on again, et cetera... As for me, I enjoy a drawn out, detail-laden buildup (and aftermath), but I expect that less patient viewers will find themselves fast-forwarding a lot.

The whippings consist of 50 lashes each, and they are pure back whippings. Consequentially, the girls only strip to the waist. I have no complaints about that - while full nudity would have added more humiliation to the ordeal, the lack of it adds realism (as long as you ignore the fact that two of the "prisoners " are wearing jeans - what kind of penitentiary is this, if I may ask?). The punishment position of choice is quite sexy indeed - hands above the victim's head, feet spread apart with a bar, the body slightly bending forward over a kind of pillory / pole. The machine dishes out the lashes at a slow, deliberate tempo, systematically covering the girls' backs with what I would call medium severity - hard enough to produce red tramlines, but no darker marks or broken skin.

Best Reactions:
I liked Lea's scene best. A wiry, willowy blonde and quite easy on the eyes, she also shows the sadistically most enjoyable reactions. Very agitated and subdued at the same time - she flinches mightily after each lash, often letting out a sharp yelp, gasping and contorting her face in grimaces of pain. But then, she immediately struggles for control again, biting inwards and not wanting to let too much show. In other words, it's roughly the kind of reaction I, as a top, like the most. Lea is crying by the end of the whipping. But only a little!

Best Line:

From the opening text: "In an effort to assure the public that the corporal punishment of offenders who voluntarily accept this sentence as an alternative to prison time is equitably administered, the State Ministry of Justice has begun testing mechanical caning and whipping machines."

Note the bit about "assuring the public" and "equitable administration". The beauty of it is that, if CP were ever brought back into our judicial system for real, we would have debates exactly like the one implied here. Why, in this hypocritical society of ours, full of BS and double standards - you bet! We would bring back whippings, and then, for the sake of fairness and humanity, we would make sure that they are all administered with exactly the same, automated force. God forbid, everything else would be barbaric!

Nice Psychological Touch:
I liked how in each scene, before the punishment, the supervisor instructs his assistant to let the machine do a few "test lashes" in the air ("Check out the swing arm!"). The girl, already tied up with her hands in the air, looks over fearfully while the whip attached to the device whistles close by her. Again, Lea is the one doing the most enjoyable preparatory flinching.

How Good Is It Really?
Here is a fine, recommendable video from Pain4Fem - yet another one, I'm tempted to say! Of course, that is a good thing. But frankly, what frustrates me a little about this producer is that, unlike their lesser competitors, they frequently have all the basic ingredients in place - a reasonably interesting premise, gorgeous girls, professional technical craftsmanship, and CP action that should appeal to a wide variety of viewers, being neither excessively harsh nor outright lame. And then, they only manage to make a good film with these ingredients, rather than a truly great one.

It's the same with "The Whipping Machine". Everything is there, and the result is fine, no major complaints. Better, in fact, than what many other producers are capable of. But one feels that still more could have been done with the material. Just a tiny bit more "flesh and blood" in terms of setting, story or character background - who are these women, why are they in prison? One or two small additional scenes, a few lines of dialogue. Nothing spectacular, but already an improvement. Sure, one might say it's only fluff. But trust me, it adds to the sadistic fun.

What You Learned:
Even though the novelty value of the machine is beginning to wear off (as I predicted), I still want to see the third part. This time, they had the device running on "intensity 2". I wonder what the intensities 3, 4, 5... look like - and how high it goes?

Friday, June 26, 2009

The Doubly Annotated Lupus Tweets

I'm back from "the dance" aka the Lupus Pictures shoot in Prague, and what a lovely time it was. Exploring the sights of a picturesque central European city with lots of history and culture, then spending Saturday at a garden party and thrashing some gorgeous girls, that's pretty close to my idea of a perfect holiday. I'll tell you all about it soon in a detailed travelogue and behind-the-scenes report. At the moment, I still have academic work to catch up on, so I'm leaving you with some first impressions (and pictures).

Adele Haze, my fellow international guest star, has already blogged about the shoot. In The annotated Lupus tweets, she collected the messages she had sent to her Twitter hotline on Saturday and added further commentary to them. She followed that up with Remembering the Pain, a more in-depth treatment of her caning / whipping scene. I suggest you check out both posts, they make for good reading as usual from Adele, and even in the year 5 AES ("after The Exchange Student"), it's not often that you get such a first-hand account from a Lupus victim.

What I thought I'd do today is take Adele's Twitter messages with commentary, then add my own commentary on top (add it below, actually, but you know what I mean!). I want to see what such a "doubly annotated string" looks like, it should be interesting and a bit of a novelty. Moreover, by shamelessly grabbing Adele's hard work, I don't have to write as much text myself, and I can get back to my academic work sooner (then get back to "proper" blogging afterwards).

So here are a couple of selected messages where I felt I had to add my own perspective. The italic text is the original from Adele, the normal text below is mine:

June 19: The Day Before

8:13am Woke up at stupid o’clock, freaking about the shoot. Do I still remember how to do it, it’s been several weeks! LOL Silly sleep brain. [I was oddly more worried about the acting than the pain. Which attitude last until, oh, about Saturday afternoon.]

By the time Adele was packing her bags in the UK, I had already been in Prague for a couple of days (and met the Lupus crew on Thursday evening for a first chat and a costume trial). It was nice to have some time to acclimatise, together with my mysterious Klingon mate to keep me company. Before the shoot, I was also more worried about the acting than about the action scenes. You might say: "Sure, obviously, because you don't get thrashed!" But you know how much I obsessed over dishing out a perfect, accurate, stylish caning before my first CP film with Mood Pictures, so this was a bit different. With hindsight, maybe I should have been more worried about the action, too (I'll get to that in a minute).

8:05pm They are asking Ludwig to shave his beard. He’s had it for 10 years! I think he’ll cry. [He was, in fact, very brave about it when the time came the following morning. Aw. Even when they shaved off his real moustache, only to stick on the fake, historically appropriate specimen.]

Yeah, Adele sent that message Friday evening, when we met up and had dinner with the Lupus guys - who broke the news to me that, you know what, the beard probably should go! I initially played coy, for the fun, but it wasn't a big drama for me, actually. Having a different (fake) beard was undoubtedly better for the role, and moreover, as a self-admitted sadist and severity freak, who loves this type of movie where the girls take excruciating beatings for the amusement of the audience, the least I can do is contribute a small sacrifice of my own. I mean, it's nothing, is it? The beard grows back in two or three weeks, which is shorter than the life expectancy of an average Lupus cane mark...

June 20: The Shoot

8:53am Ludwig and I are learning our Czech lines. [Of which, in fairness, we didn't have many.]

Still, it was a challenge, especially on such short notice. In my previous correspondence with Lupus, I had always been told that my lines would be in German. Can't remember how many times I asked them about this: "Are you sure? I can do some Czech as well if you like, just let me know." But no, they said, German is great. Until the evening before the shoot, that is, when I was suddenly informed: by the way, we'll do it all in Czech! Oh well.

9:52am Ludwig’s first scene! His Czech is very… German. [As is the rest of him. Naturally.]

Actually, the uniform was supposed to be Austrian. But what can I say. I was still getting used to the fake moustache, which itched like hell and smelled of glue. Kind of difficult to do a convincing seduction / love scene when you feel totally awkward like that. Truth be told, I would have felt awkward, anyway: it was the scene I had been most nervous about after reading the script, and naturally, as it turned out, it was the first one to be shot. Swim or die! But on the other hand, it was great to have it out of the way early. From then on, everything was a cakewalk. And, speaking of cakes:

11:45am Resetting the scene. It’s a garden party now. I’m the maid and serve cakes. [They smelled so good. And guess who was the only person whose role didn't require eating.]

They were indeed delicious, yes. But in all honesty, I think it was even more difficult to sit there with the plates in our hands for hours and hours while we were hardly ever able to take a bite, except when the cameras were running. A touch of Greek drama there, Tantalos with the fruit branches.

2:32pm The first smacks have sounded. Gearing up to the canings of the other two girls. [And birchings, as it turned out. The girls were Ester Slaba and Vera Vranova, which I didn't mention at the time because I didn't know their screen names.]

Shame on you. I've been a fan of Ester for ages, ever since first seeing her in The Nightmare in 2003 ("Very cute, that redhead! And she acts well, too."). Imagine how happy I was when I learned (on Thursday) that she would be one of my victims! I didn't know Vera's screen name, but I had also seen her previously, in Friday the 13th. They were both great to work with, and commendably brave girls.

5:11pm Ludwig is done for the day, and so are the Czech girls. Just me to go. [I'll let him tell the story, but note that he was a lot better at it than he'll ever admit.]

Well, in a nutshell, the story is that the girls were tied up on a bench, flat on their bellies, which is a caning position I had never practised for, and one I didn't expect (reading the script, I had pictured a different kind of bench and position). So I didn't feel fully comfortable, I started out pretty tentatively, and I later missed a couple of the harder strokes. While the canings weren't exactly a catastrophe (producer Thomas Marco assured me that he was happy), they were nowhere near as good as I wanted them to be. Grrr! It's back to the drawing board for me (or back to the practice pillow, I should say).

5:17pm Oh my dear fucking baby Jesus, I just saw the whip they’re using on me. [Lars Moebius showed up on set nonchalantly waving it around. Mr Haze could have acted less amused.]

A classic case of be careful what you wish for, I suppose. No wonder that I was just as amused as Mr. Haze. Adele did a scintillating, emotive CP scene afterwards, kudos to her and the two tops! Again, I recommend you read her own account.

June 21 and 22: The Aftermath

10.09pm Subdrop has failed to come - probably because the film was a comedy. Bum is shredded though.

As for me, it was interesting to compare how I felt this time to how I had felt after the Mood shoot in February. Back then, I had been in equal parts exhausted and exhilarated, totally and utterly (obviously, part of the reason was that we had filmed through the night!). This time, I was no less happy, but in a more quiet and composed way, and I had a much smoother "come down". Maybe because the film was a comedy (albeit one with some rather severe CP in it), maybe because it was my second film already, maybe because having dinner with everyone afterwards made the transition back to "the real world" less abrupt than suddenly finding myself alone in my hotel room at 5 AM.

I suppose I'll speculate about it some more when I give you the full behind-the-scenes report, in early July. Before that, though, you are getting a regular movie review, and then I have some more great and exciting news for you next week. Better than the Lupus shoot, even.Stay tuned!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Going to the Dance

I'm putting this text in the automatic queue again, as I did with my Easter holiday post Monks and Roses. So, by the time you read this on Thursday evening, I will already be embarked on another journey into darkness - combining a holiday in Prague with some hard (or should I say, "severe"?) work. Yes, indeed! Those of you who are even somewhat familiar with the spanking movie scene already know what I'm talking about: to borrow a famous phrase from a friend, I'm going to dance with werewolves.

This project has been in the pipeline for ages, it seems. The initial "Maybe we could do something together?" email exchanges between Lupus and me go back more than a full year. But then, the various little coincidences and scheduling difficulties that always happen in the profession of filmmaking crept in, and we had to postpone the date several times. I'm thrilled and excited that everything finally seems to be coming together this week. Knock on wood!

I don't really want to disclose anything more at this stage. First off, it's better not to count unhatched eggs, and moreover, I have to keep a little suspense for you gals and guys. Right? Well, okay, since you give me that puppy dog look, here are a few small, vague details at least: I have a minor part in terms of dialogue, but the character works better that way, and I think it's a character I'll enjoy playing. Some comedic potential there. Still, as opposed to the shoot I did with Mood Pictures in February, this is an actual speaking role (in German, and maybe a little Czech, we will see). In other words, more fun and challenge as an actor, but also more opportunities to mess things up.

One "detail" I'm looking forward to in particular is the fact that Adele Haze will be there, too (those of you who are new to the blog might want to read the interview I did with her last year). She will be making her second movie with the wolves and it will be great to see her. Adele, of course, has both a speaking role and a screaming role. But before anyone asks: no, we will not do an actual "action" scene together. Lupus have a special gift in mind for Adele, an instrument I am not too familiar with myself, so somebody else will be wielding it to make sure that she gets her full enjoyment (heh heh...!). As for me, I get to use my own personal favourite, the cane, and I aim to make sure that two lovely Czech actresses will receive the thrashing of their lives.

So, basically, the whole thing will be a joint venture between Czech, German and UK-based spankophiles. I'm not sure, but this is probably the first time that such a triple collaboration takes place (Pain4Fem have worked with UK models, but they are Austrians and Slovakians). We're making our own little piece of CP movie history, ladies and gentlemen! What a nice change of pace for me, given my background - usually, I only write about history. Let's hope that we will prove worthy of the occasion. I will do my best.

Before the shoot, however, I am looking forward to a few days of sightseeing in the beautiful old city of Prague. All the more so because I will be travelling with a very special and unique friend, to whom I have already mysteriously alluded in the past - more than the movie, even, this is what makes the trip awesome for me. And when we are back, it's about time to lift the mystery (since so far none of you seem capable of solving the Klingon riddle).

In the meantime, I suggest you keep an eye on Adele's Twitter Hotline (or Twitter Feed, or whatever you call the bloody thing). Last I heard, she is planning to live-tweet the shoot, so if we manage to somehow get that working, there should be some interesting updates on Saturday.

(Adele Haze and company - dancing? exercising? doing a werewolf impression? - in her first film with Lupus Pictures, The Red Reformatory: Old Friends.)

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Website Review: Spanked Schoolgirl

Spanked Schoolgirl is one of the sites in the Xerotics network. I have already reviewed their "flagship", Spanking Online, a while ago. The sister site I'm going to cover today has a very similar feel and content, but with an obvious focus on schoolgirl-themed material.

It also shares many of the same strengths and weaknesses. The design is flashy and somewhat "spammy" looking, with garish colours and between one and three advertising banners on every page inside the members area (there's nothing wrong with promoting other sites in your network, but keep it reasonable, alright?). The overall appearance could benefit from a bit of cleanup. On the plus side, the content is decent and some of the videos are quite excellent, actually. Fans of this particular CP sub-genre, the time-honoured "naughty students vs. strict, cane-happy teachers" scenario, will find some good material to add to their collection.

Once logged in, you will see a "Quick List" of the latest updates with direct links, as well as three main areas you can go to: "Movie Downloads", "Photo Galleries" and "School Life Ezine". The movies are split into older (2004 to 2006) and newer productions, the galleries also have two sections, "School Girl Discipline Sets" (showing the actual chastisements) and "Girls Uniforms & Knickers". The latter focuses on clothing and attire, so uniform fetishists can get their fix there. As for the Ezine, it was seemingly discontinued after a total of fifteen issues, with fourteen of them until 2005 and only one more update since then, in July last year. The section contains extra movies and pictures, plus the occasional model interview or behind-the-scenes report. Since this is interesting info you don't get on every paysite, it's a pity that they don't do any new issues. Maybe they will resurrect this feature in the future, I for one would enjoy seeing it again.

The site went online some five years ago, so there is quite a bit of content. At the time of this writing, there are 135 videos and 144 picture galleries in the archives, if I counted correctly - well, it's close to that amount, in any case! Updates are added every three or four days. The videos can be downloaded as single files or in several parts. The old ones are in Real Media format with bitrates around 400 kb/s, the new ones are .wmv's with a resolution of 360 x 288 pixels or, later still, 960 x 540. Some of the most recent productions are also available in a high-quality version with 1280 x 720 pixels. The average video is somewhere between five and fifteen minutes in length, a few are movies in their own right that go on for half an hour.

In terms of action, one gets what one can expect from a schoolgirl spanking site: scenes with pretty self-explanatory titles like "Jodie's Detention", "Prefect Caned" or "3 Girls in Tears", in which an assortment of implements (hand, slipper, strap, cane etc.) is used on an assortment of models, usually in a setting that resembles a classroom, a locker room or a teacher's office. There is a reasonable amount of variety, though, with both M/F and F/F punishments, sessions that involve one or several recipients, and different numbers of instruments being used in a scene, sometimes one, sometimes more. A few clips feature full nudity, which isn't necessarily realistic in this kind of scenario, but always a crowd pleaser (no complaints from this critic). The severity ranges from light to medium, and there is a fairly good mix of lecturing and spanking overall.

Not all of the material is exclusive to Spanked Schoolgirl - I already knew some of it, or at least excerpts, from other Xerotics sites. However, there is much which I hadn't seen anywhere else, especially the new material. Among the spankees, there are familiar faces like Pandora Blake, Catherine Corbet, Nicky Montford and Sarah Collins. One caning video with a pretty model named Tara (sometimes credited as Isis, and now retired, I believe) stood out for me - great bottom, great reactions. A handful of older - and rather good - clips with my friend Niki Flynn were another nice find. They were new to me. On the top side, I spotted Aegean, who runs his own site at Sound Punishment, Mistress Valkyrie, and various others whom I know by appearance, but not always by name. I think Pandora's boyfriend Tom was there, too.

In summary, this is a good but not spectacular site. Schoolgirl CP aficionados will like it, as will fans of one of the aforementioned actresses who want to complete their collection. If you fall into one or both of these groups, I recommend you check it out.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Pets, Bullwhips and Russian Roulette

(This is part two of my behind-the-scenes report on SM-Circus. You can read the first part here.)

Pony play was next on the list of exercises that would transform Miss Blake into a well-trained pet girl. Pandora told me afterwards that she had prepared for this part in particular, paying close attention to what Niki Flynn and Amelia-Jane Rutherford had reported about their experiences the year before. It showed - she high-stepped over the obstacle course forwards and backwards as if she had been doing this all her life. There wasn't a single mistake, even though she was blindfolded most of the time. Twenty minutes and a change of recording tapes later, Herr Direktor Sands had to ask Pandora to "get angry" and stomp on one of the bars on purpose, so he could insert a little bit of punishment into the clip.

I recommend you take a look at Pandora's own account of the shoot, which makes for great reading as usual. She titled it "defiant obedience" after a concept we talked about the next day. Instead of saying "Screw you, I'm not going to do what you tell me", a sub can go into a scene with the mindset: "Screw you, I'm going to do exactly what you tell me, just the way you want it - you won't have anything on me!" I can relate to that line of thinking pretty well and I find it a lot more interesting, psychologically, than the stereotypical, childish "brat" behaviour we see in many CP videos. During the pony play, I was silently rooting for Pandora myself. Not because I didn't want to see her get spanked (I certainly did), but because my desire to see her do well was even greater. Her performance was so impressive, I was excited to find out how much further she could take it. It was like watching an athlete in action. I didn't want the tension to end.

Later on, it was time for the customary SM-Circus feeding of the pets with yummy cold rice pudding. Marlin's injured knee obviously wasn't a hindrance here, so she could take part again. The two girls had visible fun making a mess of things and progressively turning the scene into a food fight (Marlin got a piece of beetroot inside one of her boots in the process). Before long, Direktor Sands stepped in, bellowing: "You think this is funny?" Pandora's and Marlin's giggles stopped abruptly while they exchanged sheepish glances. Spankings ensued. During the previous SM-Circus shoot I attended, the Direktor had asked Niki and Amelia-Jane the exact same question. "You think it's funny? Hmm?" I'm still waiting for a pet girl to reply: "Yes, I think it's bloody hilarious, and how do you like that?" What I wouldn't give to hear that line someday and see the aftermath!

Somewhere along the way, we also found time for another brief cameo from yours truly. After all, someone had to introduce Pandora to the circus in the first place, provide a reason why she was there. I quite like the idea that I am now responsible for trafficking both Miss Rutherford and Miss Blake. Especially because, unlike last year, I didn't have to lose a stupid game of dice this time. The premise was simply that Pandora was my pet girl (my newest acquisition, or something), but I couldn't get her to obey German commands, so I left her to the tender mercies of the Direktor for a day or two to train her. When I came back, she had of course mastered everything that was required of her, I tried out a couple of orders ("Sitz!", "Bei Fuss!", et cetera), and we happily went home.

But the highlight of the shoot was, of course, the bullwhipping with the Gladiator from Hell. It was the first time Pandora tasted this implement, and SM-Circus worked something else into the scene that was new to them as well: Russian roulette. Well, not quite the kind of Russian roulette you see in The Deer Hunter, but an exciting setup nonetheless. Here is how it went: Direktor Sands, who is an accomplished sports marksman, would be shooting at a balloon. With a real gun, using real bullets! Actually, there would be only one bullet in the chamber - so at the beginning of the game, the probability that a shot would go off and pop the balloon was 1 in 6. With each successive round, that probability would increase.

Now, the interesting part in all this was that Pandora would be holding the balloon over her head - not quite a reenactment of Wilhelm Tell's famous "crossbow and apple" stunt, but close enough to produce a bit of adrenaline. Or, if she was afraid to hold it, she could opt to put the balloon aside so the Direktor could shoot at it while she watched from a distance. However, in that case, she would get strokes with the bullwhip from the Gladiator, and the number of strokes would increase every time she chose the "chicken" option. Are you still with me? It sounds straightforward and easy when you write it down like this, but on site, during the actual filming, the Direktor had to explain it to me twice before I understood what exactly he was trying to do. In turn, I took another two or three attempts until I had successfully relayed the plan to Pandora in English! Who says porn can't be complicated.

I don't want to spoil anything for you, you'll have to pay SM-Circus a visit yourselves. Suffice to say that it was an exciting scene. And totally safe with all the precautions we had in place, I assure you - but don't try this at home! I couldn't help but wonder whether what we were doing would be illegal according to Britain's recent extreme images law, with the presence of the gun and all that. All kidding aside, the bullwhip did make an impressive sound. Having recently mastered Eastern European-style canings, I suppose I'll have to practice with these monster implements someday, as the next step towards becoming the ultimate corporal punishment sensei. Well, not until I get a bigger garden (probably one with high hedges around it, too).

The Gladiator had only used the very tip of the bullwhip during the Russian roulette scene, which barely left any marks. Much to Pandora's (and my) disappointment! She pointed out that she had made a great big announcement post about the dreaded whip on her blog and needed something more to show to her readers, and besides, after having travelled all this way to Germany, she wanted the full experience for her own sake as well. What can I say, I love that spirit! So, we decided to do another, somewhat harder scene to round out the shoot. SM-Circus were kind enough to post it for free on Spankingtube:

Unfortunately, the original widescreen format is stretched to 4:3 during the processing, so everybody in the video looks rather tall and slender now. But as an appetiser, it serves its purpose. As for me, I've become a convert to pet play, anyway. Especially when it involves lovely actresses like Pandora and Marlin, who were both great to get to know and work with. If Direktor Sands ever needs a translator (or a human trafficker) again, I will be available.