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Cannibal Holocaust (1980)
Debate your morals
This is a must-see for everyone over 16 to debate one´s morals. It is a pornographic film, which means it may excite you, and it´s very thought-provoking at the same time. Very dark in style, also dark view of mankind, very sexy performances, many ingredients which make up a cult classic...
My personal analysis:
Humor 3/10 Drama 8/10 Offbeat 10/10 Music 10/10 Violence 10/10 Sex 8/10
The music is overwhelming, it sounds pornographic most of the time in a seventies style; The apocalyptic chord arrangements are cruelly existentialist, I must admit the music has a very disturbing effect on me.
Of course it is a very cheap and repetitive score, but the effect is great, it strengthens the scenes.
The film is very extreme, more shocking than scary, it´s got a strong drama component as well regarding nature in general, mankind,... that won´t be appreciated if you cannot bear watching the bloody scenes (most people can, as I mention below, though most of us deny it).
It makes you feel pity of mankind, but at the same time I found it absolutely sex related, it even excited me. Some of the characters are depicted as civilised people putting out their most primitive instincts while being inside the savages environment. And it must be noted that it is not as a defence at all from the cannibals: The reporters film a fire they cause on purpose as if it was a real fight among the cannibals just for the sake of filming something of interest for american viewers when they return home,they rape a young girl from the jungle, they f*** in an exhibionist way with all the cannibals watching them just for fun, ... They are obviously getting mad because of being in the jungle for so long, and because they begin to understand they´re going to die in a short while. They are ultra competitive, they are anxious about filming every monstrousity real or not, to be more prestigious as reporters.
I really did not find the scenes so disgusting, but curious in style, very obscure, twisted and maddening. I liked most of the film camerawork, it´s very impressive. In Spain some medical TV shows are aired in which doctors perform live operations to patients. I hate this kind of show, it is even more raw than two cannibal holocausts together. I really find some of those scenes disgusting, everybody watches the show, and people don´t get so angry about it since it is about medical practises. People who don´t consider themselves as twisted or perverted find it interesting and entertaining (???). There´s too much hypocrisy, the same people would not bear watching it on films, as it seems a perverted portrayal of human nature or whatever to them.
Many of the bloody scenes are both entertaining, and not really exaggerated. They are not just pretentious, but gives hints to the plot. The scene in which a huge turtle is disenbowelled will provide a good example. The white reporters are starving and there´s nothing to it around, having spent a few days in the jungle. These people are in a very unusual situation, and that´s what I like the most. From their reactions you know more about them, the girl pukes (she is the most sensible of them); one of them giggles and plays with the turtle´s head in front of the camera, just for fun, as showing off a trophy, which means they are competitive, unsensible people. It is not a coincidence that later on, the cannibal women play with this man´s head as a trophy, celebrating his death. It´s a great paralelism.
Furthermore, whatever may shock you, might be a typical practise elsewhere. In Spain cows are still disenbowelled in small towns, because the tripe is sold afterwards as an edible product. Just imagine the scene, a cow´s intestine might be twenty times the turtle´s bowels. My parents don´t find that disgusting at all, as they´ve seen that through their lives many times.
I enjoyed the rape scenes, which took me by surprise, since I never watch porno, or enjoy such scenes in other movies. The actors are all very sexy. I would pay for a porno movie featuring these men for the first time in my life.
If you feel sick after watching it, I would recommend The double life of Veronica, just to get the impress that the world is more a magical place to be in, a more spiritual feeling of things and people... This is one of my cult favourites too, but it´s just the opposite view of the world. My election of a Kiewsloski film proves I´m not just a horror film buff when analyzing cannibal holocaust. I love Fassbinder, Bergman, Derek Jarman, and many art house films.
Which of the two views do you like the most? The horrifying, agressive, in Cannibal Holocaust or the religious, spiritual, magical, lyrical in The double life of Veronica??? Your personal view is up to you, but which one is a closer portrayal of mankind? Who knows?
La double vie de Véronique (1991)
Probably the best film of the decade. These are some keywords I think best suit this film: Religious, Fatherhood, Duplicity, Fullness, Sensuality, Offbeat
Due to the blasphemous american rants below (I can´t imagine a single movie from the USA in the 90s better than this one, sorry for that), I decided to write about this peculiar film. I think the film is more accessible for european viewers, the same way Dawn by law might be for american viewers (I can´t bear that pretentious american underground movies at all, with cool men swearing all the time, trying to be funny... I can´t identify with most of nineties american characters). There are many american art house films buffs as well, so I can´t say this is a general fact, it´s just my view anyway.
Regarding the development of the characters, Tsylia probably couldn´t understand at the beginning of the film how both women are described so poeticly. Weronicka is watching at the stars, while Veronique is watching the leaves fall. I see this is not evident but it says a lot about the two. Weronicka is more spiritual, magical, and Veronique is more practical, more "down to earth". If you cannot see the metaphores throughout the film you will not grasp anything about the development of the characters, that´s for sure. Furthermore, Irene Jacob performance is sublime, you can see on her face so many "difficult to express" sensations, she´s not just a beautiful face as it has been stated below (I can name hundreds of pretty american girls on stupid films, I was shocked to read Irene Jacob is just pretty, couldn´t these people see she´s a valuable actress as well). In any case she´s pretty in the sense Catherine Deneuve is, I mean she´s not the common beatiful woman, you can see by his gestures that she feels alone in the world, that she feels the fullness of life, ... She sometimes seems like an angel in this film (Weronicka).
I´m an atheist, but I admit the religious or spiritual feeling of the film engages anyone. The film evokes the idea that gifted people such this soprano singer have a spare part somewhere in the world, the same way the puppetier has a spare marionette for the one he uses most.
God is not mentioned but the scenes are revealing: Veronique caresses the bark of a thick tree in the very last scene, which could signify her real father as well, or just the idea of fatherhood.
The music is ten out of ten, if you feel nothing while listening to Preisner´s masterpiece, you´d better not say you´re sensitive anymore. This is his best for me alongside with the music for Short story of a killing and Damage soundtrack which sounds cruel and mysterious to me.
I can´t think of any other film more precious and lyrical than this one.
Pasolini´s most disturbing
Teorema is one of the most disturbing films ever.
I don´t think the members of the family really fall in love with Terence Stamp (their guest), but feel inexorably attracted to him, with a very strong sexual component in this attraction.
All of them after the super event of having sex with the guest find sex with this young man the most meaningful thing in their lives, they feel happy with his presence at home, he´s very handsome and adorable, he becomes their common obsession.
I don´t really know to which extent each of them are aware of sharing the guest with the others, and even if this awareness would matter to any of them at all.
So after his sudden departure they all feel absolutely empty inside, and do desperate things, since they´ve found their lives are senseless without that new sexual element such as the one Terence Stamp represents.
I identified immediately, I am a family-member type of person, there might be some guest type around. Terence Stamp character is such an enigma, you cannot possess him, he is independent and is sexually generous to anyone, I think the idea of sex and something divine is mixed up here. I really got convinced that keeping such a person with you in life is the most important thing, that nothing else matters. I felt empty too.