Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Circle of Shit

Last night was a full-on sensory assault. Having just returned from the loudest show I've ever been to (Mogwai/The Fuck Buttons @ The Regency), I decided I should finally sit down with Pasolini's Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom, which had arrived in the mail via Netflix last week. Like any cinephile, I had heard a lot about this movie before watching it. Most offensive film ever made... most disturbing film ever made... et cetera. I was half-drunk on overpriced beer, had a high-pitched ringing in my ears, and was up for a challenge. And it must be said... Salò was a challenge, if nothing else. All exaggeration aside, it was the closest I've come to vomiting during (because of) a movie. Even closer than Window Water Baby Moving. Apparently the only thing I find more disturbing than birth is coprophagia. Who knew? (Two Girls One Cup certainly never elicited a response like that... I guess that says something about the nature/power of fictional engagement. Also about how shit isn't gross as long as it looks like delicious chocolate ice cream.) Sade has never been handled this way on film before, and when married to Pasolini's particular pedantic (political) playfulness, something exciting is born. Too bad he got run the fuck down by his own car before we got a chance to see what might have come next.

Long story short: I think I'm going to have to disagree with Julia Kristeva's notion that what happens in Sade isn't abject. Salò is abject as hell.


Joseph B. said...

Interesting. I'm seeing the F*ck Buttons/Mogwai show here in Dallas this Saturday night if hurricane Ike doesn't wash out their arrival. Good to know I need earplugs. I'm not familiar with Buttons and really seeing it for Mogwai... how were they??

elgringo said...

I thought the shit looked more like a Wendy's chocolate Frosty.

I also think the "2 Girls 1 Cup" title really left out a couple of the film's core elements.

Keith said...

Hehe... I love Wendy's frosties. That's probably why I was cool with 2 Girls 1 Cup.

[Warning: not about film at all]
The Fuck Buttons put on a great show, though I don't think most of the crowd really knew what to think. I only discovered them myself earlier this year. I think they complemented Mogwai well though. They toured with Caribou last time around, which didn't really make sense to me.

But yeah... the show overall was pretty brilliant. Hearing "Mogwai Fear Satan" live in particular was even more affecting than I expected... especially because I forgot my earplugs. It seemed like most of the stuff they played was from Young Team, now that I think about it, which is kind of a mixed blessing. Oh yeah, and they didn't play an encore, which was weird... but their set was really long so it wasn't a huge loss.

Anyway... that's enough music ranting for me. I hope the Dallas show is at least as awesome as it was here in SF! (And that it doesn't get washed out...)

whitney said...

Oh no! I promised myself I would watch this and write about it soon and I was really hoping that it was over-hyped (as in not as disgusting as everyone says).

Window Water Baby Moving was the most abject thing we watched in that class, I think. Birth is alien and disgusting and I don't know why my mother did it.

Keith said...

I'd say there were only a few parts that were really disgusting... but I guess it just depends on what you find disgusting.

And I definitely agree with you about birth. If I ever had something living inside of me, my first instinct would be to kill it.

elgringo said...

Hey Keith.
I'm hosting a blog-a-thon in two weeks.
The "My Best Post" blog-a-thon, in fact.

Full details are at: http://he-shot-cyrus.blogspot.com/2008/09/big-announcement-best-post-blog-thon.html

You should participate.