Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The Naked Zinester (now available to watch online)

Review by Bob Ignizio

Columbus native Aaron Tsuru is sort of like a low budget Hugh Hefner. Tsuru, subject of the short documentary THE NAKED ZINESTER, takes photos of women in various stages of undress. Some wind up in his self published fanzines, some on his website. His subjects, including girlfriend Cherry La Voix, are not the standard cookie-cutter models one sees in Playboy, but what Tsuru describes as “real” women. Personally I think that's kind of unfair, seeing as the Playboy girls exist, too. They don't necessarily live next door to me like the fantasy Mr. Hefner is selling, but obviously they live next door to someone. Perhaps it would be more fair to say that Tsuru photographs a different kind of woman than one usually finds in Playboy, women who aren't quite as made-up, have a few more curves, maybe some tattoos and piercings. His models are kind of in the vein of the Suicide Girls, but a little more down to earth.

THE NAKED ZINESTER gives viewers ample opportunity to see Mr. Tsuru's work and judge it for themselves, making this film most definitely “Not Safe For Work”. Tsuru is a good photographer and seems like a fun guy, and the girls he works with appear smart and confident and very much comfortable with what they're doing. In the great spectrum of erotic entertainment available these days, Tsuru's photography (what we see of it here, anyway) is fairly tame and harmless, although those who find nude photography of women exploitative or offensive regardless of how it's done will likely disagree.

As for the documentary itself, director John Nix has made a good looking film, and his editing insures that it moves along at a lively pace. At just a little over ten minutes, there's not a whole lot of depth here, though. It's basically an infomercial, a nice way to discover Mr. Tsuru's work if one is interested in that sort of thing, but with no real insight into what drives him or why he as a person should warrant a film. One gets the impression based on what we do see that, even at feature length, there wouldn't be a whole lot more to cover. Still, worth a look for fans of alt erotica with ten minutes to kill. 2 1/2 out of 4 stars.

I won't embed the film because it does feature nudity, but if you want to watch it for free, you can at the Turnstyle Films website.

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