Friday, September 09, 2011

I'm going to jump the gun here and give you a wee chunk of this month's movie list 20 days early: Over the past few days I've climbed off my Crap Italian SF Tits and Arse Zombie Horror Movie treadmill and watched some real films. With subtitles and proper acting. No zombies. No spaceships. People. (Okay, sometimes they're naked people but it's ART naked, not Tits and Arse naked; there's a difference.) Two nights ago:
Le Mépris (1963) - Jean-Luc Godard is another one. I mean he's another 'great' French film director I just don't get. In Le Mépris we get to watch Bridgette Bardot and Michel Piccoli walk about a lot, climb in and out of the bath and wander about some more as they spend 70 minutes trying to work out whether to go Jack Palance's villa in Capri (or not), eventually they decide to go then spend 20 minutes being unhappy when they get there, "Why do you hate me?" - and then one of them dies in an off-screen road accident.


Because the copy I watched was a VHS on the BFI Connoisseur label (50p inc. postage on eBay) I slipped out the insert to read the extensive notes printed therein:

'Following the gleeful iconoclasm of his early features, Godard achieved maturity in a string of masterworks interrupted, post 1968, by a decade of Laocoon-like struggles with Marxism and cinematic deconstruction.'

Laocoon it turns out (I looked him up) was a Trojan priest who got smitten by the gods for fucking in church. First blinded, and then strangled by a snake. (And I hereby repent of the quickie I had in that baptist church in Cardiff all those years ago with a Swedish girl whose name I forget.)
As you may have gathered I had never come across this Laocoon feller before in my puff.

This Laocoon Feller mid-smite.
Arty T&A (and willies)

Tonight, in the bath reading the final entry in the Dilys Powell Film Reader (which has been my bathroom book for the past couple of months), I read:
'Suddenly, as I recall whole days spent with eyes trained on a Laocoön-complex of heaving pectoral muscles and shoulder blades...'

Or not. Maybe it's some sort of badge of honour for film critics to mention him. Maybe it's part of some elaborate arty in-joke. The Laocoön Complicity, isn't that a Robert Ludlum? Now that I've cracked it I expect Alexander Walker to turn up on my doorstep with a bucketful of money and the key to the Sight and Sound executive bathroom.

Or not.

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