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The Monday

It appears that on Thursday and Friday I'm running a workshop. I hadn't gotten any confirmation about it, so I was glad I checked.

At any rate, has anyone seen Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom? I came across it today and it has me a little curious, but I'm always a bit leery about films that are banned and controversial. Mostly, they're just boring.

There's more and more in the news about the Haiti disaster. Today, I saw a news program talking about how they identified the first Australian to die there. I don't know, but that stuff just always shits me--as if it really makes the awfulness of the tragedy somehow more real to think that someone from your own country was involved. To me, it strikes of being the most selfish and inconsiderate of statements to make. As if the awfulness of seeing countless people homeless, hungry, sick, injured, dying and dead is somehow not enough for anyone of a different race or nationality to feel basic compassion.

(crossposted)

Comments

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norilana
Jan. 18th, 2010 09:37 am (UTC)
That's exactly hat comes to mind here too. Every time they say something like, 3 Americans or whatever foreign nationals killed/missing/etc, I think, aren't we even ashamed to be mentioning specific individuals when 100,000+ HAITIANs are dead???
benpeek
Jan. 18th, 2010 09:39 am (UTC)
yeah, i know, its not even compariable. i really wish they'd stop with it.
king_espresso
Jan. 18th, 2010 10:04 am (UTC)
Someone suggested that I review Salo for my podcast. I said that Pasolini's criticism of the aristocracy is overpowered by the coprophagy and general unpleasantness of the movie. Alienating the audience might be avante garde but not when I'm the audience. Knocked back the opportunity to review it mostly because I didn't want to watch it again.
benpeek
Jan. 19th, 2010 01:22 am (UTC)
ta.
ashamel
Jan. 18th, 2010 10:25 am (UTC)
We saw Salo in the week it was actually legal to do so. I thought it was a pretty good movie, in its confronting fashion.
benpeek
Jan. 19th, 2010 01:22 am (UTC)
cool beans.
ashamel
Jan. 19th, 2010 01:40 pm (UTC)
By legal, I mean it was shown in a cinema in Sydney. A week later, someone realised what they'd done and reinstated the ban. It was certainly the only cinema screening I've been to that lost over half the audience throughout the session.

Being a literate yob at the time, I was mostly comparing to the book. It's not cinema-friendly source material, with the explicit detail and complete lack of narrative sense. But I think Pasolini captured a mood of grim futility (and pointless rebellion, not from the book) that worked well.
ironed_orchid
Jan. 18th, 2010 10:34 am (UTC)
Yep, I feel that way too. I was especially livid after the Bali bombing when every single detail about every scratch an Australian had received was front page news whereas if it happens elsewhere to others it's simply "12 died in bomb blast, others injured".

OTOH, one of Oxfam's press releases is that an Oxfam employee was killed in when the office was damaged, so that thing of "one of our own" is clearly at work there. On the magical third hand, he is a Haitian, and would not be considered newsworthy as an individual had he not worked for an international NGO with a serious media section.
benpeek
Jan. 19th, 2010 01:24 am (UTC)
ah spin.

you know, i heard today that walmart buys back some of the aid stuff from organisation on the cheap. when its stuck in warehouses and not going to people. isn't that awful?
mastadge
Jan. 18th, 2010 01:35 pm (UTC)
Here's my capsule review of Salò from a family-friendly message board:

Marquis de Sade novel updated for fascist Italy. Four Nazi libertines collect eight boys and eight girls, children of subversives, and take them to an isolated retreat where they torture and humiliate them, sexually and scatologically, for 120 days. One of the icons of "shock" filmmaking. This is a difficult movie to watch. It's chock full of completely nude attractive young men and women, but it's not at all erotic. Its defenders go on about its artistic virtue: it's a reaction against capitalism/consumerism, showing the end result of objectification of other humans, etc. etc. Maybe it is. To me it was mostly garbage. The villains come across as ludicrous buffoons, and even some of the lesser of the young actors have trouble keeping a straight face in some scenes. The poopfest came across as just plain idiotic. Others, involving the dog scene, the first poop scene, and some of the final tortures are among the most uncomfortable movie-watching experiences I've ever had. Gorehounds will be disappointed, but if you're more into the degradation than the blood this movie might do it for you. It didn't do it for me. (** out of *****)

So. Not my cup of tea. There are better ways to get the message this movie is trying to make.
benpeek
Jan. 19th, 2010 01:22 am (UTC)
sweet. thanks, man.
nick_kaufmann
Jan. 18th, 2010 04:10 pm (UTC)
Salo isn't boring, but it is a bit messy, choosing random scenes of torture over a coherent plotline. But if you like avant-garde film, you might dig it.
benpeek
Jan. 19th, 2010 01:22 am (UTC)
someone who says its not bad!
nick_kaufmann
Jan. 19th, 2010 04:08 am (UTC)
It's not, it's just difficult.
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