Monty is a bodybuilder. His gym is the very heart of his existence. He is aggressively male, outrageously narcissistic and a bigot. Sharing this strange world is Monty's cerebral and emotionally wounded younger brother, Bertin. One stormy day, the brothers' bizarre but settled lives are suddenly disrupted by the unexpected arrival of Lilith, a Catholic nun collecting contributions for an unusual cause. Lilith's arrival is the catalyst required to generate a momentous change in Bertin's relationship with his brother, a change that results in the astonishing and gruesome downfall of the vainglorious Monty. Written by
The film took over 14 years to complete due to the deaths of the original producer and the lead actor during the production process. The film started shooting in 1994 and was finally completed in 2008. It was Trevor Goddard's first starring role when the film began. In a twist of fate, it was also his last acting role as he died weeks after finishing his final scene in the film in 2003. Due to financial restraints, the remainder of the production and post-production process took a further 5 years to complete. See more »
The cast is listed "in order of appearance" but it lists Rudi Davis first. Trevor Goddard as Monty appeared first before the opening titles, then Rudi Davis as Bertin appeared after the title and credits rolled. See more »
I crave fires. I light them whenever I can. Huge devouring flames, their white heat caressing my flesh. It's more exciting then being touched by hands.
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Simphonie: From the old French; The plant Henbane; A poisonous herb See more »
This film, coming out of nowhere, really astonished me. For starters, the Samuel Beckett staging immediately makes you expect surreal and strange things. But the filmmaker takes the surrealism into really dark and unpleasant realms. Monty is a loud-talking narcissist, and Bertin is so self-absorbed that he's even less human or likable. Bertin's true feelings for Monty are clearly problematic, and the film plays a terrible game with the audience as it seemingly drags us to the edge of incestuous carryings-on, on screen no less. Goddard's body is used to great effect in the filming. After watching it, I found myself trying to think of a film that exploits the male body in the same relentless way. Monty's body carries the film, to whatever extent the film works (for some viewers, it won't work, clearly); Monty's endless flexing and preenign and posing draw the viewer's attention relentlessly, and there is a compulsive and uncontrolled nature to the camera work here. Many people are put off by the homoeroticism and intense homophobia of the film, but I think it's important to see Monty's strange rants about homosexuality as a pitiful and broken man battling against his own sexual hungers. Some viewers come away with a sense that Monty has taken advantage of a gay man who hires him as a hustler, but that interpretation is open to debate. The man pays for rough trade to verbally belittle him, and Monty does physically subdue and verbally degrade the man. What happens when the cameras leave, before Monty leaves the man's house? Note that he arrives early in the afternoon and leaves late at night -- Monty seems to have been playing his role for many hours, a fact that many Puritanical viewers seem to miss. The ending is horrific, of course, and I wish that some of the Lilith material had been excised from the script. There are many things that could have been done better, but when the main actor and the producer/writer/director pass away, you end up with not only an inability to refilm scenes but an inability to take the director's vision from his mind and to the screen. For these flaws, I take off a few points, but for its incandescent sensuality and stunning atmosphere, I give it an 8.
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