The image above is Xanadu in Calpe, Alicante (1969-1983), a surreal structure designed by Ricardo Bofill where the action of Jess Franco‘s 1980 Sade appropriationEugenie, historia de una perversión is set. Robert Monell remarks that “this labyrinthine structure boggles the eye and teases our sense of perspective. This interior can be seen, shot from a radically different angle, in 1973’s The Perverse Countess.” Bofill’s design for the Catalan resort of Xanadu consists of a seven-story block with cubical living spaces arranged around a central utility core. Franco used this structure several times , .
“I WRITE in praise of miscellaneity, and in particular of assortment and variousness in books; of motley volumes; of mixed-up, impure works which nevertheless accord with the mess & disorder of nature, of life.”
I’m not sure Je t’aime… moi non plus would work if it was made today. I saw at the local art house cinema in my mid twenties. At the time I was as much in love with the yellow truck as with the decadence of the film, the performances of Jane Birkin, and Joe Dallesandro and the cameo by Gérard Depardieu. As a fan of Serge Gainsbourg, I’m glad to showcase it here today. The striptease scene at the beginning is very typical of this film. Towards the end of this Youtube clip, the footage is underlit.
My series “world cinema classics” is usually dedicated to fictional feature films. This film is short, and documentary, but nevertheless, the poetic qualities of the French language original give an air of uncanny fictionality which made me consider it for the series. An excellent film if hard on the stomach.
“La Prière” , 1930 is a black and whiteerotic photograph by French surrealist Man Ray. It shows the buttocks of a woman, through her legs extend her hands with which she shields her sex. Her hands are folded in the manner of a prayer, hence the title.
The clip is directed by French photographer Jean-Baptiste Mondino (1983). It is an homage to the movie Querelle by Fassbinder. To us, in the early eighties, Querelle was the quintessence of the macho/gay sensibility and it was copied by musicians such as Luc Van Acker on the cover of The Ship album. Jean-Paul Gaultier appropriated this seaman’s aesthetic and celebrated it all through the early eighties.
Fassbinder’s adaptation of Jean Genet’s novel features surreal sets that underscore the dreamlike quality and abstraction of the novel. It was Fassbinder’s final and, by his own words, most important movie.
Digression #1: Axel Bauer is not related to John Bauer: