A conceptual film from Italian artist Francesco Vezzoli, first shown at the 2005 Venice Biennale and later traveling to the Whitney Museum of American Art. The work is conceived as a trailer for an imaginary remake of the infamous Tinto Brass/Bob Guccioni sexploitation fiasco that was 'Caligola'. Instead of shooting in the ruins of Rome, however, his location is a tacky Roman-lite villa in Hollywood. Instead of striving for historically accurate costumes, he has Donatella Versace design him some glamorous togas. And like Matthew Barney, he's able to talk a whole host of known (and unknown) actors to star in a an artwork that will rarely, if ever, be seen outside of a gallery (or online). The casual viewer can choose to read it all as a comment on the timeless nature of gluttony and excess or simply laugh out loud at Courtney Love's full-bodied reading of Gore Vidal's overwrought language - "I have existed from the morning of the world and I shall exist until the last star falls from the night" - egomania as fitting for a Hollywood star as it for a Wall Street executive or an insane Emperor. Which, or course, is the point.
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