Tag Archives: European culture

Some recent discoveries: the cinema of Walerian Borowczyk and music of Bernard Parmegiani


De Natura Sonorum (1975) by Bernard Parmegiani


Sometimes I can’t even remember just how I stumbled upon something. Maybe it was a suggestion by YouTube that brought me into contact with Bernard Parmegiani maybe it was something I was reading. I just can’t trace it. However it may be, I stumbled upon Parmegiani simultaneously with his connection to Walerian Borowczyk. Parmegiani did the soundtrack for at least three of Borowczyk’s films: Les Jeux des Anges (1964), Docteur Jekyll et les femmes (1981) and Scherzo infernal(1984). I’d seen Scherzo before but I had not seen Les Jeux des Anges[1] nor the Jekyll film. You can watch the Jekyll film over at YouTube[2] in an English version with Dutch subtitles.

Neither had I seen that holy grail of transgressive cinema The Beast  (way up there with Le Sexe qui parle by Claude Mulot and The Image by Radley Metzger, both from the same year) which you can see here[3] in a dubbed Spanish version. An uncut version, it appears. You can read its British censorship history somewhere online, it’s extensive. Both Docteur Jekyll et les femmes and The Beast are obsessed with large beast-like phalli. In the case of Jekyll ripping open the abdomen of its victims, in the case of The Beast as seen in copulating horses (with gorgeous shots of dripping horse vulvae) and of a bear-like-constantly-ejaculating huge hammer-shaped penis raping and making love to Sirpa Lane.

As for Parmegiani’s art music. I listened numerous times to the incredible piece De Natura Sonorum[4] (1975) which is really remarkable at being soothing while appearing chaotic. I cant’t get enough of it. Caribou mentions it in his Caribou 1000 and apparently it has been of some influence on Aphex Twin. From what I know of him, that may be true.

Finally, at 4:40 of Chants Magnétiques[5] (1974) you can hear ASMR bits. For those of you unfamiliar with ASMR, it stans for autonomous sensory meridian response and it are sounds that give goose bumps, cold chills.

RIP Rita Renoir (1934 – 2016)

Via research on the King Mob Echo magazine, which led me to Chris Gray which led me to Conrad Rooks which led me to Chappaqua (in which Rita had a part), it has come to my attention that Rita Renoir has died.

Rita Renoir was a French exotic dancer, sex symbol, nobrow figure and actress.

Above you can see Rita Renoir performing a striptease to Serge Gainsbourg’s “Sois belle et tais-toi“, a song from the album Serge Gainsbourg N°2 (1960).

But…

The clip is actually from from Il mondo di notte numero 3 (1963), a typical mondo film and the music by Riz Ortolani. The scene is superb.