The real showstopper, though, is in Abel Ferrara’s “Go Go Tales.” As an exotic dancer — introduced as the “scariest, sexiest, most dangerous girl in the world” — she storms a strip-club stage, pet Rottweiler in tow, and proceeds to entwine tongues with the slobbering dog. – NYT
“Having already provoked parents, women’s groups and the ratings board with explicit ads for the coming torture movie “Captivity,” Mr. Solomon and his After Dark Films now intend to introduce the film, set for release July 13, with a party that may set a new standard for the politically incorrect.
For starters, Mr. Solomon has ordered up what he calls the three “most outlandish” SuicideGirls available from the punk porn service, even if they’re as frisky as the ones he is told once set a Portland, Ore., restaurant on fire. Some lucky fans will get to take the women as dates for party night, July 10, on two conditions: “People take the date at their own risk, and everybody on the Internet gets to watch.”
Cage fighting too is likely. Mr. Solomon’s planners are angling for Kimbo Slice, the bare-knuckle bruiser whose vicious backyard brawls are a Web favorite and who made his Mixed Martial Arts debut on Saturday.”
I was pleased to see that IT’s KinoFist group (or here) is going to be showing Dušan Makavejev’s WR – Mysteries of the Organism, since, by an amazing coincidence, I just watched WR myself. It is impossible to take against a film in which a glacial female voice in something that sounds like Serbo-Croatian encourages all Comrades to take full advantage of the 4,000 orgasms we experience, on average, over a lifetime, as a sepia iconostasis of revolutionary fucking flickers encouragingly before us.
The film’s protagonist chief actress and protagonist – if it is possible to be the protagonist of a scrap book – Milena, seeks that moment in which the convergence of revolution and transgression produce… well, not the zipless fuck that Americans in the 70s were so bent on procuring, but a moment of bliss that would knock down the sedimented oppression of old, exploitative economic and patriarchal ties. Fucking, here, is the revolution’s sympathetic magic – by relieving the productive norms that weigh like nightmares on the fuckers, we will relieve the productive norms that weigh like nightmares on our industrial system, wedded, as it has been since Hitler’s eureka moment, to war. New War is not an accident that happens to the system, a snafu, but a positive element of the economy, a central value. The looting associated with old war is replaced with an inherently mobile, never to be realized goal legitimating all waste. Not that looting becomes obsolete, of course, but it is put on a business basis. Is it possible that this is simply a neurotic disposition writ large? Can we fuck our way to rationality?
A good question - but let's admit there is a bit of an antique glaze about the film. It was made at a time when transgression was undergoing a sea change. Where transgression had been the great weapon of the outlaw up until the sixties, it was becoming the marketer and coolhunter's great weapon in the sixties. Transgression, in other words, was being annexed by the ethos of Happiness Triumphant.
A small personal interlude. I was sitting in the University library at Montpellier in the early eighties. I had the first volume of Georges Bataille’s OC in my hand. I was reading the Story of the Eye. I’d never heard of either Bataille or the Story of the Eye before. For those who don’t know the book, The Story of the Eye involves a series of improbable events, linked together by a claustrophobic erotic urgency, in which the narrator and his lover Simone, who are in their teens, perform a number of sexual and sexually metaphoric acts, insinuate the shy Marcelle into their activities and basically turn her into a catatonic, and then flee their parents’ houses and join up with an English lord. At one point, the group arrives at a church. They lure the priest of the church from the confessional. Simone seduces him, and then the priest dies of a strangulation/ejaculation combo – at which point Sir Edmond kindly cuts the priest’s eye out and gives it to Simone. She playfully stuffs it up her cunt. The narrator says:
“Now I stood up and, while Simone lay on her side, I drew her thighs apart, and found myself facing something I imagine I had been waiting for in the same way that a guillotine waits for a neck to slice. I even felt as if my eyes were bulging from my head, erectile with horror; in Simone’s hairy vagina, I saw the wan blue eye of Marcelle, gazing at me through tears of urine. Streaks of come in the steaming hair helped give that dreamy vision a disastrous sadness. I held the thighs open while Simone was convulsed by the urinary spasm, and the burning urine streamed out from under the eye down to the thighs below.”
Unfortunately, I don’t have the book with me, so I am quoting from the English translation. It is hard, in English, to convey the … the elegance of Bataille’s prose. If I were to translate that passage, I would probably write “guillotine waits for a neck”, not a neck to slice – sometimes, you have to bow to English bluntness to convey the more abbreviated sense of the French. In any case, I remember the total shock I felt, reading Bataille. The book reached out and pulled my nose, stroked my cock, and bit me on the ass, all at the same time.
After all, I’d come to Montpellier from Shreveport, Louisiana. I wasn't used to this kind of thing.
So in the early eighties, Bataille’s notion of transgression was truly important to me. However, looking back, I can see how retarded I was – I never paid any attention to what was happening in popular culture back then. Not only did I not own a tv in the eighties, I rarely even glanced at one. I just didn't care. I didn't give a fuck about Reagan kultur. Thus, I had no clue that transgression had become a sitcom norm – it was a farting, nosepicking, let’s stuff body parts up my asshole world out there, and transgression had settled in to become just a b movie plot, before one moved on to action movies and the like. The Surmale quickly became the everymale, and the everymale immediately sought out his own. While, on the one end, political correctness sent up a fog to disguise the reality of the Gated Community, on the other end, it was endless tits and ass, not, of course, as fuckable matter, but as platform for incredible business opportunities in aesthetic surgery. The time was right for rubber, for pod happiness, for a Burroughs routine that swallowed all other routines:
“But the warren of live torture rooms is a must. As Mr. Solomon envisions it, individuals in torture gear will wander through the West Hollywood club Privilege grabbing partygoers. All of which is a prelude to an undisclosed main event that, he warned last week over slices of pizza a few doors from his company’s new offices on the Sunset Strip, is “probably not legal.”
“The women’s groups definitely will love it,” Mr. Solomon hinted. “I call it my personal little tribute to them.”
Mr. Solomon, a fast-talking 35-year-old, and his genre-film company were barely noticed until outrage at the “Captivity” billboards — which chronicled a young woman’s torment, with frames titled “Abduction,” “Confinement,” “Torture,” “Termination” — led to a rare censure by the Motion Picture Association of America this spring.”
The Motion Picture Association of America finally put its foot down about torture … for pleasure. Torture, as the MPAA knows, should only be seen, enjoyed, and distributed for the sake of duty. Hence, 24. But never masturbate after you torture Moslems. We do have some codes left in this country, after all!
That abjection has become kitsch does make me laugh. Behind Bataille’s elegance, perhaps, there always lurked the gag. In Norman Klein’s Marx-y reading of 1930s cartoons, Seven Minutes, the golden age of cartoons – the age that produced the ageless diva, the Simone of cartoonland, Betty Boop - is discussed in relation to the transposition of the gag – a vaudeville routine – to the machina versatilis that produces the elastic cartoon body. The dreamlike liberation of objects from their objecthood is one way of viewing the goal of Bataille’s via negativa – one sinks as far as one can into becoming a big toe, a dislocated eye weeping urine in a teenage cunt, and at that moment one becomes … a cartoon, much like Porky Pig or Paris Hilton. For a moment, toonville characters think they can escape...
And who am I to say they can't? I was going to give this post a nice dying fall, a little pessimistic sendoff, a little hint that the system is total, we are doomed, no exit, all that shit, but really, I'm not going to take the bait, get into the outrage orgy, care... care in the least about the fast talking thirty five year old Mr. Solomon. I'm just going to collect him here, in this post, and then forget all about him.