June 30, 2008

Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom

I don't think I mentioned it here, but I got my hands on a cop of Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom. Now I can join the ranks of Snobby Movie Lovers, I think.

I'm not totally done watching it (I think I've got about 30 minutes left on it, I started last night) but I figured I'd do a reviewlette of what I've seen so far.

Anyway, I'm only going to talk about 3 things, as in the only 3 things that matter. Those 3 things are plot, acting, and hype. Uh, I'm trying to structure myself so I don't run off on a tangent for no reason.

Pfft. Anyway, plot. I became familiar with the Marquis de Sade, oh, a few years ago let's say. I honestly don't know. I think it was about 2 or 3. Anyway, I was very interested in all the controversy behind this crazy ass French dude so I read the 120 Days of Sodom and part of my humanity died over a week because that's how long it took me to get through the first chapter more or less. And then I gave up. I give this to say that, yeah, I'm familiar with the damn book and I'm insane for actively seeking this movie. I became familiar with it...last year. Yuh.

So all that out of the way, in terms of plot both the book and the movie are about, to summarize, some whacked out libertines kidnapping some teens (more or less) and doing increasingly depraved acts. And that's about it in a nutshell minus the Wikipedia article.

To get this out of the way, the more I think about it, the less I consider this merely a "gross" movie or a shock film as people will sometimes bill it. And the book is the same way, it's not there for you to dare your damn friends to read it and feel all hip, it's rare that someone will write something just to write it (I'm not saying it doesn't happen though :P oh we know it does).

Let me talk again about the movie version of the plot. In Pasolini's vision, the libertines are fascist and the story is set in Salo, 1944. I think I mentioned some of the Nazi/Fascism undertones and they're not undertones like I thought, they're unavoidable and in your face. I think what this does for the movie and the book is really...highlight how absurd the book is if, for some reason, you didn't catch it the first time. Pasolini doesn't alter lines or plot (much) from the book and, should you choose to interpret it like I did, somehow it becomes a satire of all things. And I think of the book and the depravity of the officials/dignitaries and suddenly it makes perfect sense. And I think that gets lost in the...

Hype! Whoo-hoo, I made it to another point! Uh, obviously because of the explicit pr0nz and notorious shit eating (in the appropriately titled "Circle of Shit") and just the general nonsense that happens in the movie (not to mention that Pasolini was, uh, killed not too long after he made it) its gained a fair amount of notoriety and controversy. Which is really a shame, because once you hear all the bad things about the movie and you actually choose to watch it, it turns out its not nearly as bad as you could have imagined. I mean yeah there's lots of nudity and sex and Pasolini shies away from...nothing, for some reason I was expecting it to be way more graphic than it really is.

Now as for it being extremely disturbing and uncomfortable, that's all true. All of it. This movie is made for no one and anyone at the same time :/ but once you get past that there's the...

Acting! That was awkward. For some reason towards the end of my watching of the movie (well, to my stopping point) I just kinda blocked everything out and focused on the acting. I don't know why either. Uh, for the acting I just wanted to say that I thought it was pretty good considering what the characters were working with. Again, Pasolini didn't alter de Sade's dialog at all so those poor guys had a lot of awkward and grandiose lines, but the actors & actresses pulled them off like it was child's play. And the kids acted victimized. So much so you'd think that shit wasn't staged.

So that's it, my journey into Salo :P de Sade isn't my favorite person and this isn't my favorite movie ever, but I honestly can't say it's bad watching.

Powered by ScribeFire.

1 comment:

  1. While using the young children, job, and all around life it is not only hard
    to allow it to be to the fitness center but it is often an enormous squander of cash also.

    My website Top


Please share some knowledge. Or amuse me at least :O