Ktismatics

25 August 2010

Serbian Film by Spasojević, 2009

Filed under: Movies — ktismatics @ 9:13 am

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94 Comments »

  1. Excellent! These are exactly the shots I would have chosen as well, as this scene provides the key to this film being more than just exploitation pulp. Your first impressions?

    Comment by parody center — 25 August 2010 @ 9:54 am

  2. It’s quite a straightforward horror story, not so much predictable as inevitable once the wheels are set in motion. Excellent visual storytelling, with dialogue mostly auxiliary rather than essential to advancing the narrative thrust. Revolting in the extreme of course, though I’m beginning to wonder at my own jadedness for not being more appalled. I didn’t find it particularly erotic, though in a real sense this is the sort of “art porn” the director portrayed in the film is talking about. While that filmed director insisted on the political import of his work, and while I suspect that Spasojevic too regards his Serbian Film as political, I find that particular abstract justification to be strained, with the themes being more universal, along the lines of Cronenberg’s Videodrome and of Haneke.

    As a political parable it’s a bit problematic. I can certainly see how torturing the other is libidinally invested, and how it’s actually an act of self-torture and family torture. But were the perpetrators of war atrocities equally victims? Were they unaware of their crimes, having been “drugged” by the war-directors into perpetrating these awful crimes against their will and outside of their own consciousness? And who is it that benefits from it all, when even the director is killed? This wasn’t clear at the end of the film: who is it that keeps the cameras rolling? Is there just always somebody there to take on that role of continuing the violence porn?

    Comment by ktismatics — 25 August 2010 @ 11:12 am

    • “though in a real sense this is the sort of “art porn” the director portrayed in the film is talking about. While that filmed director insisted on the political import of his work, and while I suspect that Spasojevic too regards his Serbian Film as political, I find that particular abstract justification to be strained,”

      I agree. I don’t think it’s political in any important sense. The director has made a kind of ‘film-within-a-film’, and while it may be possible that this is ‘quintessentially Serbian’, the reason it seems so good is because it seems as good as standards applied to all film–as such, talk about ‘Serbian victimhood’, one of Dejan’s hobbies, as well as ‘appropriation of Serbia by the keppatalism’ of Western Europe has naturally, as usual, paid off (the latter–here we have a film as good as the vicious imperialist countries always make, and ONLY when they’re at their MOST exploitative in real life–most of you people never notice the contradiction that you wouldn’t have these ‘wonderful films’ if ‘conditions improved’, so just stick with that. I’m sure the Swiss are just fine with never having made more than one film (La Salamandre with Bulle Ogier, that might be comparable in quality (that I know of), and that I would probably not pick as the better of the two if compared to this one, but only because it’s so ‘all the way’ and pulls all the stops out. This movie shits all over the place unapologetically.

      You must have misery and suffering to produce a great art, and this goes unnoticed by those who just decide how wonderful to have great art in our suffering countries where conditions must be improved so we won’t need these great works of art. So, enough suffering has gone on in Serbia that we get a reckless embodiment in artistic form of many international and universal themes, and really great Sadeanism, such that Foucault would have probably loved to watch it during an acid-accompanied passive sodomy.

      Comment by quantity of butchness — 27 August 2010 @ 6:39 pm

  3. This wasn’t clear at the end of the film: who is it that keeps the cameras rolling?

    Well from the fact that the police in the end is shown to be a part of the porn network, you see that it’s an omnipresent network. Though I also had a hunch, similar to ”Inland Empire”, that there is another (fourth) dimension of surveillance, for which all actors in the network are working, and that is the exploitative nature itself of being-in-society, of being a social actor.

    But as I mention above what makes this interesting for me is the metaphor of child abuse, the idea that the exploitative network stems from this primary violation, which makes the film moving (in a sick kind of way). All wars start in the family, as psychoanalysts would say.

    Comment by parody center — 25 August 2010 @ 11:21 am

  4. though I’m beginning to wonder at my own jadedness for not being more appalled

    I don’t think it’s that, Eloise, it’s that you CAN’T SEE depravity because you’re just too decent.

    But honestly, I don’t think there is more depravity here than in any HOSTEL or SAW series, what I found far more disturbing is the libidinal pulse behind it, especially in those scenes where Milos is being drugged up and thrown at various asses. These have a hallucinatory power not unlike Bret Easton Ellis’s novels.

    Comment by parody center — 25 August 2010 @ 11:23 am

  5. Inland Empire did come to mind. If it’s the police who are behind everything, then that’s a political message, but it certainly wasn’t overt. I think you’re right: there’s a broader “4th-dimensional” conspiracy at work that implicates all and victimizes all.

    While the in-film director insists on political meaning, he’s a child psychologist before he’s a director. That the studio is a converted orphanage points to a society where parents are either perverse or absent. And the film begins inside the porn-star’s family unit, with the first scene foreshadowing the horrific family tortures to follow. It’s curious that the son, watching his old man’s porn flick, interprets the fucking scenes, with the actors’ violent lunges, dominant-submissive poses, and aggressive facial expressions, as “fighting.” Maybe there is a political message distinctive to Serbia here, related to your personal insistence on the catastrophic loss of symbolic efficacy,

    Comment by ktismatics — 25 August 2010 @ 11:47 am

    • “that there is another (fourth) dimension of surveillance, for which all actors in the network are working, and that is the exploitative nature itself of being-in-society, of being a social actor.”

      “I think you’re right: there’s a broader “4th-dimensional” conspiracy at work that implicates all and victimizes all.”

      Don’t agree with these assessments. ‘Being-in-society’ is hardly ‘exploitative’ in itself, and ‘4th dimension’ is quite wishful as a ‘broader conspiracry’, you might think that it was even an ‘alternative reality’, perhaps ‘portalic’, no, as the bleugers always question? Well, I think decidedly not. Everybody has always been a social actor, and a good one at that when he could be, or a mediocre one if that’s the best he could do. All else is deciding not to be a ‘social actor’, and I really can’t see that that’s possible except by being a Lesb’an at an ashram. ‘Social actor’ as 4th Dimension? ‘Social actor’ is so basic and ordinary you can’t make of it something exotic enough to be conspiratorial. I suppose it’s time to start saying ‘I didn’t ask to be born’ again. Being a ‘social actor’ is something you don’t have to fuck a baby to do. And god knows, even saints like Arpege don’t last more than 2 or 3 days at the Lesb’an ashrams, and go off sneaking cigarettes. As an aside, though, I have, however, found that smoking is something that needs to be always done less and less often–I’m now down to 2 packs a month, and never smoke except when we’re partying here. They make me depressed. I am SURE of it.

      Comment by Quantity of Butchness — 27 August 2010 @ 6:59 pm

    • So who are the guys at the end running the cameras? Is it just layer upon layer, so that even if these guys get blown away somebody else will walk in the door filming their corpses too? No fourth dimension outside the frame, no final Director of the mayhem, just more of the same? I think that’s a plausible interpretation of the last scene, but I think getting fucked even after your dead does point to some eternal inescapability fucking you from the 4th D. It reminds me of the end of Graham Greene’s The Heart of the Matter, where the main character’s self-sacrifice gets revealed as a scam after he’s dead, as if it’s a final judgment of God on his corruption. Greene was very Catholic; I don’t know about the director of Serbian Film, but his alter-ego tells us in the film that he sees himself as a kind of monk.

      Comment by ktismatics — 27 August 2010 @ 9:27 pm

      • Well, that’s a little hard to follow, but this: “but I think getting fucked even after your dead does point to some eternal inescapability fucking you from the 4th D” is seen from the viewpoint of not being dead. It seems much less pleasant to get fucked when you’re dead when you’re alive, but when you’re dead, you may well be in the 4th Dimension! So that it won’t matter whether you’re getting fucked or not. Unless there’s all the immense variety in death that I lament frequently that there isn’t!

        Comment by quantity of butchness — 27 August 2010 @ 9:33 pm

      • Maybe I didn’t understand what either of you meant by ‘social actor’ being a ‘Fourth Dimension’. I thought that one was pretty much the starting point, and even including those realms which don’t involve conspiracies and wheels-within-wheels.

        And, after a few hours, another weakness that wasn’t solvable was that the drugs had to be continually administered. This doesn’t really make him seem the Unstoppable Sex Machine, as he wasn’t always obsessed with phallic pleasure in compromising situations, e.g., dreadful gory things, just awful, you know, based purely on some innate godlike ability. His brother watches him on the old ‘crap’ and is amazed that he can ‘keep it up forever’, but that’s the case with some porn stars. But in this development into the ‘syndicate’, he’s got to be drugged with ‘cow something’, some ultra-Viagra to just compulsively fuck anything. There’s something about the drug-induced hard-ons that don’t quite work. I was amused when he was first doing his yoga to ‘get in shape for the project’ that he kept looking at that bottle of Jack Daniels.

        Comment by quantity of butchness — 27 August 2010 @ 9:39 pm

      • “fucking you from the 4th D” is seen from the viewpoint of not being dead.”

        Right, but for the whole movie we’ve seen everything from the viewpoint of the porn star. For a few days he blacks out, not remembering what happened, so he has to tap into the camcorder to see what happened to him, what he himself was causing to happen. Even though we watch everything from the porn star’s subjective POV, there’s always someone outside the frame who’s capturing his POV even when he’s unconscious or, ultimately, when he’s dead. This 4th D could be a God’s eye view, or Serbian political bosses, or the German-American-Russian bosses who control the Serbian bosses.

        Your observation about needing the horse aphrodisiac to get the stud to perform: the woman at one point remarks about this to the director, saying that he’s wasting the guy’s innate porn genius. This was where I was trying to understand the implicit political message. Is the writer/director saying that the Serbs did war crimes not out of their innate genius for being torturers but through the artificial stimulus instilled in them by their governmental bosses? I.e., the war criminals couldn’t be held responsible for their actions, even though they seemed to be enjoying themselves their wills were being controlled by outside forces? In effect they didn’t even realize what they were doing?

        Comment by ktismatics — 27 August 2010 @ 9:55 pm

      • “Is the writer/director saying that the Serbs did war crimes not out of their innate genius for being torturers but through the artificial stimulus instilled in them by their governmental bosses?”

        Well, he does say that ‘the whole nation is victim’, when he’s doing his victim speech (the in-movie director), but, you know, maybe, I can’t see those specifically national characteristics in these metaphors, not knowing enough of the history. In other words, I see it as working as ‘non-Serbian’ as well, although in calling it ‘A Serbian Film’, it does seem rather as though he knew he was doing something incredibly powerful, but once you’re up in that kind of stratosphere, it just can’t stay provincial no matter how hard it tries. It definitely works right through any comparable work, at least in film, that any ‘governmental bosses’, whether the Serb heads, or the German/Russian/American heads could do. It takes a nerve to call a film ‘A Serbian Film’, but it’s sure packin’ enough to make somebody come back for more (although I can’t envision a sequel, exactly.) Didn’t you think it was phenomenal? The images of the fucked family (including Milos, fucked by one of the policeman when drugged unconscious, and saying it to him on tape ‘I saved this one for you’, the surveillance seems opaque till he and his wife shoot and kill the bad guys) in bed after they get away are astonishing. Still, it wasn’t absolutely necessary that Milos kill them all three, but that was probably the best way to make sure that the sense of oppression, conspiracy and beastliness were still opaque. But the very last scene, after the ‘new police’ or what have you come to fuck the family ‘start with the little one’, was not necessarily inevitable. That was just the perception he wanted to emphasize. Actually, they may have ‘gotten away’, the very last scene is not 100% inevitable–because the wife forgiving him and the three ‘coming together again’ already proved that the conspiracy was not opaque, does that make any sense. Of course, EVENTUAL death precludes indefinite postponement of some sort of opacity, or something that we imagine isn’t always escaping, but that’s across the board. Not to be flippant, if the family went even that long after their most extreme humiliation, it’s possible that they could have gone further. That’s proved by the very effective ending of the ‘History of Violence’. That could be the best reason for ending it this way, is knowing that that kind of ending would seem too obvious, even if it never had before History of Violence. And he obviously wanted it, in this particular narrative, to seem unending. But he could change his mind in the next picture, or the following one after that. Directors have done that since time immemorial. D.W. Griffith made the very racist ‘Birth of a Nation’, and most don’t want to realize that he immediately followed it with ‘Intolerance’, which is usually considered his masterpiece, and really is about all kinds of intolerance.

        Comment by Quantity of Butchness — 27 August 2010 @ 10:27 pm

      • Yes I agree: startling, captivating, grotesque to be sure, well-acted, well-filmed, well-told. “Inevitable” was overstating the case about the ending, but it does make the strongest possible statement about the inevitability of exploitation: even when you think it’s over, it’s never over. If the “newborn porn” is what kept the film from being screened in London, I think they could have cut that scene without seriously compromising the overall effect. If they wanted to cut parts of the family fuckfest, which was even more horrifying in context of the story, then the censored version wouldn’t have worked.

        Comment by ktismatics — 27 August 2010 @ 10:40 pm

  6. “you CAN’T SEE depravity because you’re just too decent.”

    Why does this sound like an insult, pc?

    Something I found a bit overweening was the film’s persistent insistence that it isn’t just a movie: it’s REAL! I understand the artist’s desire to get beyond the constraints of artificial media, but the “this is real” self-reflexivity winds up imposing even greater distance between viewer and film. At the same time, most if not all of the action in this film is simulated, in contrast to the real fucking/sucking that goes on in online porn. Do I feel disappointed or cheated that it’s not REAL pedophilia and murder and necrophilia? Clearly this is a jab at audience/societal decadence.

    Comment by ktismatics — 25 August 2010 @ 12:20 pm

    • Maybe I didn’t understand what either of you meant by ‘social actor’ being a ‘Fourth Dimension’. I thought that one was pretty much the starting point, …

      Maybe the Fourth Dimension was the wrong term (I do tend to overuse it). But because the screen is constantly ”spatialized” by the use of various televisions, camcorders, computer screens and the like, you get a sense that there is an endless ”hall of mirrors” and that what you see at any given point is merely a portal, a rabbit-hole, to yet another room of the labyrinth. Like Last Year in Marienbad, or the rooms that Lynch’s Laura Dern keeps going in and out in INLAND EMPIRE. Remember also when Milos commits suicide he does it by shooting a bullet THROUGH the family, I think this because he is aware that the problem is in the third dimension. Because of this I got a very strong visual sense that the invisible structure of exploitation is beyond all the actors performing it and that it would exist even when everybody is dead i.e. that it doesn’t depend on which actor perpetrates it and that it is therefore the very fabric of society.Otherwise you could also think of a Deleuzian concept of ”control society”, not Foucault’s Panopticon (where surveillance is centralized and you can pin it down to a single source), where there are endlessly deferred, networked control nodes without a proper center.

      Comment by parody center — 28 August 2010 @ 1:20 am

      • I’ll just reply to this remark vis-a-vis Inland Empire, which I hope Serbian Film has cured you of–do you know I even looked up on IMDb the running time of SF, because of dread that it might be as long as that infernal series of noir lamps that annoyed me because I don’t know where to shop for one (they really were pretty, and ‘very designer slut-motel). Well, I just haven’t time for Laura Dern’s neuroses. She was ridiculous enough in ‘Blue Velvet’.

        Comment by quantity of butchness — 28 August 2010 @ 10:25 am

      • What I meant to say is that, ultimately, Serbian Film has enormous vitality, even with all those repulsive images (and although I find the libido-intensity very exciting, those particular images, except that first blow job he gets when he firsts starts working and before he’s started getting drugged, that he finds irresistible–that’s hot, but not the slut who he turns over and she’s goes bitingly for his prick, she’s just odious, and NO, I do not find her sympathetic either, unless you meant by ‘slut’ the old-friend porn girl who ‘doesn’t need plastic surgery yet’, but she’s a terrible wermin too in this, although attractive. The kissing by the brother of this porn girl right in the outdoor cafe was quite obscene, I did like that–esp. since that brother is not only really goodlooking (really great body in jeans in the kitchen with his slut sister-in-law with that ridiculous ‘sin apple’, and that’s funny when she pretends, as Eve, that he really had wanted to ‘eat a real apple’ instead of just look at her ass), but I think he had a touch of jewelry, a pierced ear only maybe, that made him ‘seem fairy’ at first, but then made him seem only the more butch–he was hot even when, in ‘desperation’, he jerked off in the mirror (he’s hardly impotent, just not priapic), and so it was not just ‘desperate’, frankly, it was the wermin’s fault for not putting out.

        There was no sense of libido in Inland Empire, it was a decaying and putrefying organism from start to finish, it doesn’t matter that both had smelly images–in SF, they ‘buried the bodies quickly enough’, even if ‘nobody knew where the bodies were buried’, etc.. IE has zero dynamism, which is a bit surprising, because MD definitely still did, and I think is Lynch’s best film, easily.

        Comment by quantity of butchness — 28 August 2010 @ 10:36 am

  7. Why does this sound like an insult, pc?

    No I seriously think you’re the kind of a person who sees good in all things, which is a rare and precious gift.

    Maybe there is a political message distinctive to Serbia here, related to your personal insistence on the catastrophic loss of symbolic efficacy,

    Well certainly a lot is made in the movie out of the necessity of Milos’s dick remaining constantly hard, and Serbian society (like most other Eastern societies) is fairly patriarchal, too. This is ironized to no end as Milos’s brother appears impotent and Milos almost falls victim to a psychotic grandmother who is looking for someone to ”breed” Lolita because there aren’t any men around. All in all the Phallus is a murder weapon.

    was the film’s persistent insistence that it isn’t just a movie: it’s REAL!

    I think what this was saying is basically the object-oriented message that all levels of reality and fantasy have an equal ontological status, hence exploitation is ubiquitous.

    Comment by parody center — 25 August 2010 @ 1:09 pm

    • “Milos almost falls victim to a psychotic grandmother who is looking for someone to ”breed” Lolita because there aren’t any men around. All in all the Phallus is a murder weapon.”

      She wasn’t psychotic at all, just practising good sense. It was one of his best offers throughout the film, and he shouldn’t have passed it up. After all, she’d already been trained in voyeurism, or was the director just doubling up on actresses? I mean, that girl could have done far worse, as Milos was never vicious when he was allowed to engage in his profession with reasonable Terms & Conditions. And god knows, she looked like she could use it right then.

      Comment by quantity of butchness — 28 August 2010 @ 10:39 am

      • No I agree ultimately, I think I made a mistake in even considering the film ”socialist” in any significant sense (although as I said a right-wing reading is ALSO not justified); the wirmern, even the kindly slut, who is in fact stupid, have no redeeming qualities and I think their victimization is part of the parody, relating to what the scriptwriter said about politically correct movies sponsored by the EU in which you must have victims (wermin, Albanians, other minority groups) and a savior angel, usually in the form of UN troops, instead of openly admitting the De Sadean reality that everybody’s in it together and that the only demarcation line may be drawn between those who know how to fuck and those who don’t.

        Comment by parody center — 29 August 2010 @ 8:02 am

      • Yes I was just going to say that these children at least had a good taste of some sound rear action, which is more than you can say of African kids like the case that NB mentioned

        Comment by parody center — 29 August 2010 @ 8:10 am

  8. Remarkable similarities in subject matter with Porno Gang, so there must be something in the collective artistic sensibility of these Serbian filmmakers, including you too, pc. I saw less redemptive possibility in Serbian Film than in Porno Gang. The Serbian Film director called himself the Monk at one point, claiming to be able to coax from this staged perversion a delicious treat that all would love.

    Comment by ktismatics — 25 August 2010 @ 2:27 pm

  9. I primarily wanted to show this because it shows you where the parody comes from, that it’s part and parcel of a certain milieu. I think these authors also communicate with their audiences through exaggeration, and beyond.

    What sold the movie to me however is that I think it is at heart a tragedy, which you best see in the sub-plot (borrowed from De Palma) about the kindly hooker, the actress who brings Milos to the porno producers, who at some point makes an appeal to decency, and then has to suffer horribly in punishment before she is murdered. There is a sense that all kindness has been banished from this world, for the sake of profit.

    I wish I could now thoroughly discuss the Spectacle Society with Chabert as the theme relates to these new cinematic developments. But the Cobra is never going to swallow her pride; she’s not that kind of a cobra.

    As for the politics, it’s quite interesting that this German studio that was supposed to transfer the digital recording to 35mm refused to finish their job, because they thought the film was too depraved, or that it was real snuff. Scriptwriter Radivojevic commented that ”burning books never goes out of fashion in Germany”.

    Comment by parody center — 25 August 2010 @ 3:46 pm

  10. Me and a friend were going to see it at the Frightfest, but it was sold out. I doubt whether it will ever get a release in the UK. The UK version of Cannibal Holocaust has something like five or six minutes missing, even now.

    The films it puts me in mind of are Salo and Sweet Movie. I doubt it’s as good as either, but it’s probably still pretty good. Salo was finally given an uncut cinematic release in 2000. Sweet Movie has always been unavailable in this country, and I have a CD-R of a Brazilian copy of the film, which I got before Criterion re-released it.

    Even if A Serbian Film was passed, heavily cut I’d imagine, UK councils can ban cinemas from showing a film. Westminster, where Frightfest is happening, banned Cronenberg’s Crash. Many councils banned Life of Brian in the seventies. I used to work at an arts cinema in East London that tried to show a season of “arty” seventies porn like The Devil in Miss Jones and Deep Throat. The whole season was canned after a ruling by an offended Lib Dem councillor. They show Hostel and Saw, of course.

    Comment by NB — 27 August 2010 @ 12:36 pm

    • Nothing like revisionist history. Neither of those films is even remotely ‘arty’ by standards of the time, and was never shown in anything but porno houses. Russ Meyer’s ‘vixen’ and ‘Beyond the Valley of the Dolls’, maybe…but not even his other things like ‘Beyond the Valley of the Ultra-Vixens’ (yes, the two are different). ‘Deep Throat’ and ‘Miss Jones’ are just famous, they were never good, and are just famous because of their historical significance. Gay porno like Peter DeRome’s film ‘Adam and Yves’ (which has Ned Rorem-type ‘Paris music’ and pretty good photography of Paris as well, and fabulous jerking-off by Bill Young at ‘Oscar Wilde’s grave’ to music of Saint-Saens–yes, the ‘Organ Concerto’) is embarassing, but definitely better than ‘Deep Throat’. Linda Lovelace of ‘Throat’ fame (the ads used to just call it ‘Throat’, there was this chic thing of calling movies by abbreviated names, like the Charles Busch fagplay ‘Vampire Lesb’ans of Sodom’ was known, in smart circles as just ‘Vampires of Sodom’, but those days are long-gone and porno theaters showing first-run films were a purely 70s thing. They still had real movie screens till about 1990 (or one did in NYC at least), but most just had big video screens by the time Jeff Stryker became the big ‘star’ (John Holmes, etc., had been long-dead by then.)

      I’ve got ‘Crash’ on vhs, this sort of thing is occasionally sexy, as when Spader and his boyfriend kiss in the car purely for ‘perversion’s sake’, yes, that’s hot, but it’s a stupid movie, and a lot of Ballard is bullshit. I can’t believe people take it seriously, although I’ve enjoyed reading ‘Cocaine Nights’ and ‘Supercannes’, although they’re the same kind of basically cartoon thing. ‘Dead Ringers’ IS pretty fantastic, though, and the pain is palpable. Irons is superb in it.

      Comment by Quantity of Butchness — 27 August 2010 @ 1:44 pm

      • “Nothing like revisionist history. Neither of those films is even remotely ‘arty’ by standards of the time, and was never shown in anything but porno houses.”

        I agree, I just couldn’t think of anything else to describe them when I wrote that comment. I wasn’t the cinema’s programmer/curator, but I still think it was stupid of Hackney council to ban the season.

        “they were never good, and are just famous because of their historical significance”

        I think this was the rationale behind the season. Whether that’s a good rationale to show them, I don’t know.

        I also agree about Crash. It is an amazingly stupid film in the main. I haven’t read the book, but I hear it’s much better. It’s also set around Heathrow, Ballard’s home, and is probably amusingly dreary. I didn’t like the cool-blue look of Croenberg’s film. Too obviously sexeee.

        By the way, I watched Wild Palms. I have to say that I found it pretty bad in the main. Perhaps I couldn’t get into the sort of hyper-reality of the dialogue. There was a moment when Kim Catrall talks about Robert Loggia’s plan, something about mystical crossing-over, when she seemed to be looking at the floor in embarrassment. However – and this is a big however – there were quite a few brilliant moments. Josie’s killing of her daughter and the different relaying of this virtually, first to her horror, second to her sexual amusement, was stand-out.

        Comment by NB — 28 August 2010 @ 3:28 am

      • “I think this was the rationale behind the season. Whether that’s a good rationale to show them, I don’t know.”

        Oh no, that was a good rationale to show them. They’re important, but then so is ‘Casablanca’ important, and that’s no masterpiece either. I hear there are Zizek Film Festivals where ‘the Sound of Music’ is shown, due its status as Highest Grossing Filmed Mediocrity of All Time. And Slavoj says ‘I joost LOAF zee part about the Sixteen Going on Seventeen’.

        “I didn’t like the cool-blue look of Croenberg’s film. Too obviously sexeee.”

        I didn’t like it either, but didn’t find it sexy. Those girls like Deborah Kara Unger and also Holly Hunter were just overdoing the ‘slut-eyes’ when they’d get…*penetrated*…although some of the talk about the traffic, and ‘yes, it’s gotten worse’ is strictly Ballard-talk, the rest of us tend to deal with it as it comes up, although that corporate bleug DID have one interesting feature recently, about a truly horrific traffic jam lasting a week and more, but I haven’t got air time for that. I didn’t really like seeing Rosanna Arquette as somebody with prosthetic limbs either, she was too good for this. A few years later she was in the film of Bruce Wagner’s ‘I’m Losing You’, which that bland NYTimes critic Janet Maslin said was a poor adaptation of a fine book. Wagner himself wrote the screenplay, I thought it was very good, but I won’t recommend anything of Wagner’s to most people, it’s a fairly ‘provincial-cosmopolitan’ taste. That novel was the first of a ‘trilogy’ by Wagner, and in that first one, he used real movie names (always does, in fact) in the action, including ‘Calliope’s office doors disgorged Laura Dern’. I happen to find that dreadful writing, but he’s graceless in a number of ways, but still effective. I’m pretty much finished with him.

        I still think ‘Wild Palms’ is brilliant, but not as sinister as when it first came out. The change after all these years (when even the ‘futuristic’ date of 2007 is even passed) is that it lingers in memory as ‘all Angie’, and that’s why the loss of MOVIE STAR to ‘Fine Acting’ (which exists more today than in the Hollywood Glamour Days) is hardly all good: Angie was the ONLY real movie star in the miniseries, the others were strictly TV stars or minor movie stars. When Angie tells the blind one ‘don’t kill me, we’re like a couple of old generals…I can give you TECHNOLOGIES..’ she is very effective. Kim Cattrall is lucky for the parts she’s gotten, and has even become a celeb for that idiot part in ‘Sex and the City’ (Sarah Jessica Parker even more outrageously enriched, and they’ve even let her sing on B’way, a terrible trend, they also let Melanie Griffith do ‘Chicago’, WITH the Fosse choreography! and she can’t dance for shit, it was purely cynical casting, and Ms. Reinking, who’s a big powerhouse by now, ought to quit some of her more indulgent habits and stop praising Ms. Griffith for things she can’t do–but these sellout things do happen with age, Leonard Bernstein started concentrating too much on money toward the end, everybody does, you know), and James Belushi has no charisma. I thought the little boys very good, and the network of sewers under LA swimming pools imaginative, but if you didn’t like those ‘early addictive tapes’ (I think there are some more like this a few years later in ‘Strange Days’ with Ralph Fiennes–now that is totally worthless and outdated by now, I don’t know how they even made it, one might as well watch Zsa Zsa in ‘Queen of Outer Space’, at least her own high-call girl number is intact) or such things as the Wilderzone–how about the way Angie knows how to get out of the posh zones and into the Wilderzone to offer the blind guy tapes? The Josie character seems a kind of parody of the tough politician, say Bill Clinton, who is never flustered by scandal, until he’s scot-free–and after he stayed out of jail, you’ll remember, he was THEN apologetic for his use of ‘droit de seigneur’ on Monica Lewinsky. Who says this wasn’t more cynicism? He needed to run some political rackets with Hillary, and these paid off, oh yeah, they did, she’s threatening any ‘illegal govt.’ she gets ready to. But that’s that about ‘Wild Palms’, and interesting that Angie only gets maybe 5th billing after these minor actors like Cattrall and Delaney–after this many years, it’s more an image of her as an aggressive snake slithering through the whole series and practising sadism with a vengeance as often as possible, and celebrating with either a fuck, a glass of Champi, or both.

        Comment by quantity of butchness — 28 August 2010 @ 11:06 am

  11. “What makes this interesting for me is the metaphor of child abuse, the idea that the exploitative network stems from this primary violation, which makes the film moving.”

    I think this is at the heart of Chinatown too, which is what makes it such a powerful film for me, and such a sad film.

    On other matters, the death of Satoshi Kon also makes me sad. A great animator and great film-maker.

    Comment by NB — 27 August 2010 @ 12:53 pm

  12. Me and a friend were going to see it at the Frightfest, but it was sold out. I doubt whether it will ever get a release in the UK. The UK version of Cannibal Holocaust has something like five or six minutes missing, even now.

    An uncut screener is available for download on the internet, so you don’t have to wait for the cinema release. I’m sure the movie is ten times as powerful on the big screen, but you gotta live with what you have in this situation.

    The film has various influences, but I mostly noted Brian De Palma (Dressed to Kill, Body Double), Carpenter (soundtrack, editing style), Friedkin (Cruising), Cronenberg (Videodrome) and a dash of David Lynch, which for me is like a cinematic wet dream assemblage. And I think it does take things one step further than the sources because of its self-reflexive study of surveillance.

    Comment by parody center — 27 August 2010 @ 4:43 pm

  13. I’ve got ‘Crash’ on vhs, this sort of thing is occasionally sexy, as when Spader and his boyfriend kiss in the car purely for ‘perversion’s sake’, yes, that’s hot, but it’s a stupid movie, and a lot of Ballard is bullshit.

    Retroactively I find both ‘Crash’ and ‘Dead Ringers’ outdated in comparison to ‘A Serbian Film’ because they seem to enjoy their own death porn, sort of fetishizing the same technology towards which they’re ambivalent. ‘A Serbian Film’ marries the libido with the death drive, which makes it more frightening as well as more relevant for the times. As I wrote above, the Phallus is literally a murder weapon.

    Comment by parody center — 27 August 2010 @ 4:48 pm

    • ‘A Serbian Film’ marries the libido with the death drive, which makes it more frightening as well as more relevant for the times.

      Especially YOUR times, you know. It’s a great film, but it does no such ‘marriage’. That’s the fucking drugs, BUT…it’s a masterpiece.

      “As I wrote above, the Phallus is literally a murder weapon.”

      Is that why you so worship it and are always begging for it, and insisting that the gold-skirted ‘aggressive bleuger-type’ that makes Milos jerk off while exuding only ‘I just love to wear short skirts on slum streets, it makes me feel just so DOM, it’s not like I want to get fucked or nothin’. I just wanted to come here and relate to horny men on the street and tell them about how many wimmerns have been raped and all.”

      Comment by Quantity of Butchness — 27 August 2010 @ 5:21 pm

      • Of the predecessors in the field, only Lynch of the ones you named came to mind. There’s something of ‘Lost Highway’ and ‘Inland Empire’, but nothing of ‘Mulholland Drive’ in it. For me, it also is like 70’s B-movies like ‘The Hollywood Man’ with biker-movie star William Smith (which almost nobody has seen, and I just found a copy by accident in an outlet when Jack and I discovered was closed yesterday; you can’t even get this on eBay), with Mafia filmmakers and the ‘uncertainty angle’ which is very subtle in ‘Serbian Film’. Oh no, I notice you did say Cronenberg, but no, it’s very much derivative of ‘History of Violence’, but considerably better–although I thought it was going to sell out in the end (although, in this case, a ‘happy ending’ would have been quite as effective, as the one in ‘History of Violence’ is the spookiest of ‘happy endings’. This was probably the better choice, though, considering you’re led to think that it’s going to be a ‘happyish ending’, because they’ve reconciled, even while having all gone crazy forever, and without hope of getting enough affordable parodic therapy any time soon enough! Also, there’s another film, but this one I’ll withhold because I’m IN NO MOOD for lip–it’s on a level with ‘A Serbian Film’, but has more style and is not so black, but that doesn’t make it the less profound, and it’s long ago PLUS it’s American, so, as I said, I’m IN NO MOOD! If there’s a serious tiny flaw, that’s when the director is, in beheaded regalia, saying ‘That’s cinema’, which is cheap and campy like Tarantino’s total garbage in ‘Inglourious Basterds’, an utterly atrocious film. All this talk about ‘capitalism’ is for shit, and Milos was even right when he told the director who kept saying ‘we are victim’ and
        ‘nothing sells like victim’, and Milos should have noted his remark ‘No, we’re just RETARDED’.

        This guy was quite good in the film, because he makes you question the one totally implausible thing by his facial acting: That he would have ever taken the job with all that uncertainty, since ‘cash-strapped’ definitely did not, in their case, mean living on Skid Row, or even in particularly low-income housing. But the motif of ‘the dick enjoyed it’ and ‘he always knows’ was very good, because it would always come across as a total suddenness, as Milos would relax into the pleasure–although this was more effective the earlier in the movie it happened. In fact, the best was, I thought, when his wife teased him about the whole porno/love/fucking business and he proves he ‘loves’ her by ass-fucking the hell out of her.

        The film proves the innocence of the Phallus, or the Vagina’s equal guilt, at least. It’s superbly patriarchal and anti-wermin, because even the most beautiful of the wermin (and there are quite a few) are all perfectly appalling, including his wife. The ‘doctor’ reminds me of that Mary Warunov, I believe her name is, that was in ‘Eating Raoul’ and also in ‘Hollywood Man’, she had some reputation at one point, is very coarse and vulgar. The ‘Mama Mia’ who’d been fucked by her father and who was offering the daughter to Milos was a nice echo of Mafia wermin in ‘the Sopranos’ (Tony’s mother), as well as the appearance of Mafia types in various David Lynch things (even if they’re not literally Cosa Nostra ones, they operate along the same lines, I guess there were some in ‘Eastern Promises’, that’s the name of that, isn’t it? I wasn’t so impressed with that, ‘History of Violence’ was better–but this is quite extraordinary.) I did wonder why the blood was always black even when fresh and almost never red. Maybe there was some tie-in with shit, as it often looked more like shit than blood. When the guy pulled the baby out, it all looked very brown-coloured, and that slut-mother who got excited by the baby being fucked.

        Comment by Quantity of Butchness — 27 August 2010 @ 5:41 pm

      • The superficial predecessor is ‘Boogie Nights’, and Mark Wahlberg, doing the porn star loosely based on John Holmes, also uses a stunt dick, which is ludicrously featured at the end. That was more nostalgia for the 70s even when it came out about 1998, although it’s a good picture, and early Julianne Moore as a slut in it. Heather Graham is good as another slut ‘Roller Girl’, and as usual, the whores always want those ‘Sprinkles’ on their ice cream from Baskin Robbins, and blah and blah.

        This is, however, a better film that ‘Salo’, which was adventurous in that Pasolini did go all the way with Sade, but still pretty much Sade’s vision. This has LOTS of Sade in it, but it’s new as well, I didn’t see ‘Sweet Movie’ nor ever heard of it even. But this is far better than most films I’ve seen in recent years. ‘History of Violence’ does come close, though, if only because of its own weird and surreal choice of ending after all that dug-up past. I wouldn’t say it was quite as thorough as this, though.

        Comment by Quantity of Butchness — 27 August 2010 @ 5:59 pm

      • It’s a great film, but it does no such ‘marriage’.

        I had to wait for you to see the film to discuss this, but I knew all along it would excite you as much as it did me. What I was talking about is that when things get rolling – concretely when Milos wakes up from coma and discovers the camcorder, and then remembers what happened – in that whole sequence of scenes there is an incredible diabolical RUSH, but I don’t mean in some cheap commodified ”leather bar” sense, where people theatrically enact torture or being tortured; there is a genuine sense of perverse attraction, a Satanic sort of sexuality that makes you completely identify with his continuously hard tool and when the child psychologist screams ”Hit the bitch!” you’re hitting her together with Milos. I think THIS is what really upsets and raises eyebrows, not those grand guignol moments, or even the baby, which played for me more like black comedy than horror. It’s that we enjoy it, in a way we would never dare admit to anyone. This is what I meant with libidio married to the death drive, that there is within all of us such a destructive yet sexual force, is what makes us uncomfortable about the movie.

        I wrote something Deleuzian/Marxist at the Parody Center about it, but that was just to avoid thinking about this central issue, which I think is the real driving force of the story.

        Comment by parody center — 28 August 2010 @ 1:33 am

  14. Eloise you’re mentioning some ”war crimes”, as you know those are highly disputable in reality, but this is not so much related to the war (which after all never took place in Serbia proper, but in Bosnia) as it is a kind of a meta-parody of Western movies, e.g. the endlessly dumb HOSTEL series, about the Western torture chambers in Poland, in which the American meets his Eastern European ”guilty Unconscious” but which also invariably perpetrate all the Eastern Euro stereotypes against which they are ostensibly pitted. Like the Serbian critic Ognjanovic noted, the movie seems to be saying ”So you think we’re a nation of bearded monsters? You HAVEN’T SEEN ANYTHING YET!” These American torture porn movies deeply believe in the goodness of the social order and that justice will prevail in the end, while I think A Serbian Film is saying that both these things have long ago collapsed or that they were semblances all along.

    One of the most disturbing images for me was when they’re driving a drugged-up Milos and he looks at the desolate urban landscape through the window, and he sees in the middle of the darkness, under a cold light, some billboard advertisement with yet another bimbo image, and there’s nothing else – everything else is just darkness. I understood perfectly what he was saying, because on one of my recent visits to Serbia, after the bombing business subsided, billboard ads started popping up like mushrooms until the whole city was cluttered with them. Particularly in this moment it becomes clear that there’s no difference between what’s happening in ”reality”, in the streets, and in the torture chambers.

    Comment by parody center — 28 August 2010 @ 1:48 am

  15. The film proves the innocence of the Phallus, or the Vagina’s equal guilt, at least. It’s superbly patriarchal and anti-wermin, because even the most beautiful of the wermin (and there are quite a few) are all perfectly appalling, including his wife. The ‘doctor’ reminds me of that Mary Warunov, I believe her name is, that was in ‘Eating Raoul’ and also in ‘Hollywood Man’, she had some reputation at one point, is very coarse and vulgar. The ‘Mama Mia’ who’d been fucked by her father and who was offering the daughter to Milos was a nice echo of Mafia wermin in ‘the Sopranos’

    Can you even IMAGINE what Arpegere would say about the misogyny in A SERBIAN FILM? I think the Outrage is beyond even our considerable imaginations. So sorry the film didn’t come out in 2007, while she was still on talking terms with the Parody Center.

    The only sympathetic female character in the film is THE SLUT (and here’s the reference to Brian De Palma that you missed), who at least pleads for honesty before her mouth is, erm, sealed. For the rest the movie is unapologetic to say the least about the wermin’s desire to get fucked.

    Comment by parody center — 28 August 2010 @ 1:58 am

    • Arpege would be so furious she would not be able to sit through this one, that’s why before I saw it, I saw your thing about how you wished you could discuss it and Spectacle Society with her. She has no ability whatsoever to assess this film without her copies of Spivak and Marx out. She’d probably say it’s like when Zizek calls Chavez a clown, while ostensibly ‘being on his side’, as, you know, the world’s most famous Marxist.

      I can’t say that I’m at all a DePalma fan. None of his films mean anything to me as whole works, although fragments in ‘Dressed to Kill’ work (that’s a combination of Angie and director, she’s one of those who always has to have a strong one for it to work) and the porno loops in ‘Black Dahlia’. But there were porno loops in ‘Mulholland Falls’, with Nick Nolte, and I thought that better than anything by DePalma. Sorry, I just don’t buy it.

      Comment by quantity of butchness — 28 August 2010 @ 11:14 am

  16. are all perfectly appalling, including his wife.

    I especially loved it how when she talks to the studly brother she’d clearly rather be in bed with him than the flabby Milos, but she’s with Milos because he has a bigger dick & more money, yet while she’s delivering the lines she’s munching on an apple, like Snowy White, all homey decent Serbian housewife and innocent. If he raped her in that moment she would surely tell the Department of Lesb’an democratic rights that she was ”coerced” or something.

    Comment by parody center — 28 August 2010 @ 2:04 am

  17. Re political parable: I think both Marxist and Nationalist readings would miss the point (and I include my own rather lame ”Deleuzian” take on the incest in the mix) completely precisely because it is impossible to pin down either the point of control, the source of torture, or the ”perpetrators”. Even capitalism isn’t on the table, even though there are clearly condemnations of consumerism scattered around the story and I’m sure the makers have no sympathy for Serbia’s status as a ”transition economy” in which there are only part-time contracts. Rather I think we’re talking about THE POLITICS OF THE PHALLUS, whose power is divine/diabolical and unstoppable.

    I think this also explains the plot holes that Bitchness has singled out, for example, that Milos’s isn’t compelled to this out of poverty (as he would be in a socialist drama) but because he enjoyed that time he put a mongoloid in the microwave owen so that she could suck him through the glory hole.

    Thinking about the aphrodisiac device (which I agree with Bitchness was not fully convincing) I thought the solution would have been that at some point Milos realizes that he’s not drugged anymore, but he still has a hard-on. Though this is a bit of a moot point because in the film’s delirious system such things as ”fact” and ”logic” aren’t really the issue.

    Comment by parody center — 28 August 2010 @ 3:13 am

  18. Bitchness you said nothing about THE SOUNDTRACK while I think it accounts for at least 90 percent of the film’s power, and don’t you dare put it in the same genre as the hollow dumbstep because it also has emotion, very palpably so, and combines the motives of traditional Serb music delightfully esp. in the family scenes at the beginning.

    Comment by parody center — 28 August 2010 @ 3:15 am

  19. Thanks for the tip, PC. I had noticed that it is available in streaming segments via Google videos. I was keen to see it on the big screen though.

    Here’s the latest from a comment piece in today’s Guardian where the author argues that A Serbian Film may kill off the torture porn cycle (he considers A Serbian Film to be torture porn’s nadir):

    “After this weekend’s screening [obviously written before the ban], all bets are effectively off for torture porn, because it’s fair to say that A Serbian Film, will be impossible to trump for sheer, unremitting foulness, cruelty and squalor. By all accounts – and accounts are pretty hard to come by, since most people who have seen it in the US or Canada find it difficult to actually put what they have just witnessed into words – A Serbian Film is simply beyond any rational certification.

    Its few-and-far-between defenders cite Srdjan Spasojevic’s film as not TP at all, rather an articulation of the horrors that the Serbian nation has had to live through in recent times. Hmm. What one hopes, at least, is that it provides an effective point for us all to reflect, weigh things up, and decide that – once the shagging of vacated eyeholes comes into the equation – it might be time to fold up the tables and call it a day.”

    Here’s the whole piece http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/2010/aug/28/torture-porn-frightfest-quiz

    This is very much like the Daily Mail’s* outrage against Antichrist last year, where the commentator proudly admitted that he hadn’t seen the filthy, clit-snipping film but that it was so depraved that it should never be seen, or thought, by anyone. I haven’t seen any “torture porn” myself; ie Saw, Hostel, L’Interior etc. However bad these films may be, the epithet and the whole outcry smacks of the video nasty crap from the early 80s. Cannibal Holocaust, which was a headline nasty back in the day, is a problematic film, it creaks a bit these days, but it’s definitely got a serious point to make. This also seems to be the case with A Serbian Film.

    I compare it to Salo (obviously without seeing it yet – a bit like the Daily Mail!) because of the commentary on Sadism that seems to be in A Serbian Film, though A Serbian Film’s scopophilic emphasis is probably what gives it it’s contemporary power, particularly in the context of internet porn and “civil” wars; ie Yugoslavia and the Congo, the Lord’s Resistance Army etc. That is, nothing in A Serbian Film is beyond what has been reported in reality. Baby rape also occurred in South Africa as folk wisdom suggested that HIV+ sufferers could be cured by raping an infant. I suppose that someone may be driven to commit such an atrocity because they have been drive into a kind of mania by their position, ie the injustice of becoming HIV+. Pornography is a kind of mania maybe. One that appeals because you can switch it off. Of course, someone pays somewhere along the line. Both Salo and 120 Days of Sodom are more exhausting an ordeal than horrifying eventually. Sadism becomes a kind of absurd comedy, utterly ridiculous in its vacuity. Reading Sade’s fantasies, as horrible as they are, is like listening to someone relate their childish dreams. It is the (phallic) drive at its most infantile and most horrific. Everyone pays, including the director. But there’s always a story to be had from it. The more prurient the better, so the repetitious drive continues.

    Sweet Movie is a flawed film (it’s not half as good as WR). But the brilliance of Makavejev is that he manages to convey what Pasolini was doing in Salo as a comedy. The emphasis in Sweet Movie is what we do with bodies in an institutional or personal context.

    PC, I don’t know whether you saw The Day Today, but the fifth episode has a brilliant satire on how civil war is pruriently shown on TV (it was made during the Bosnian war).People running from sniper fire are described in serious BBC tones as “confusedly running about like idiots”.

    *The Daily Mail is celebrated/reviled for being the exemplar of public morality as repressed racism/sexism/sexuality. It attacks absolutely everything and subsists on public healthcare fears/wishes, such as bad science stories on pills that give you cancer/prevent cancer ad infitinum. Its primary source of income is fear, as in this film will destroy what is left of your morality.

    Comment by NB — 28 August 2010 @ 4:10 am

  20. I was keen to see it on the big screen though.
    I’m recommending a beamer to everyone; I bought it recently at an amazing bargain price, 200 euro or something like that, and ever since I watch movies on it – there’s barely any difference except that the cinema image is of course crisper. But the loss of quality isn’t nearly as bad as you’d think. In the case of Serbian Film I think you’ll have to reconcile yourself with the screener, because Britain is never going to show it unrated.

    the author argues that A Serbian Film may kill off the torture porn cycle
    – He may be unwittingly right, because as I wrote above, the SF is like a meta-parody of that genre, in the sense that it caricatures (and throws back in the faces of foreign spectators) the stereotypes of Eastern Europe depicted in American torture porn. But neither its sophisticated aesthetics, nor its production values or its intelligence have anything to do with the exploitation genre as seen in The Hostel. It’s a social drama just as much as it is a parody just as much as it is a grotesque horror film.

    Salo and 120 Days of Sodom I remember mostly for its very-current message that fascism becomes possible at that point where the ruling elite is able to control your pleasure (I remember only the imprisoned kids who tried to have sex on their own outside of the Party’s rules ended up murdered in the final torture sequence). But as I explain extensively above, there is no ”ruling elite” in A Serbian Film, what you call the ”infantile Phallic drive” is shown to be the very functioning of the psychic apparatus and therefore also of society.

    I remember with a mixture of digust and irritation how there was tremendous hoopla in Britain around the legal consumption of marijuana, which as you know is completely de rigeur in the Netherlands. The Dutch lesson in this regard has always been that the actual rate of soft drug consumption FELL DOWN since it was legalized, because it no longer has the aura of the forbidden. But the undying British spirit of Puritanism is hard to break.

    Comment by parody center — 28 August 2010 @ 4:39 am

  21. “But the undying British spirit of Puritanism is hard to break.”

    The Labour Government downgraded cannabis to a grade C drug, ie like alcohol, although it was still illegal. The media began a campaign talking about how dangerous cannabis is these days: Skunk is much stronger than the 60s doobie etc. It’s now back at class B grade. The Victorians made us and destroyed us! The Daily Mail is the torture porn version of Victoriana penny dreadfuls.

    “what you call the ”infantile Phallic drive” is shown to be the very functioning of the psychic apparatus and therefore also of society”

    I think this is what Sade shows, but he still wants to be in charge of it, the one who enjoys, even if that’s impossible when one gives vent to one’s drives so completely. The director in SF believes that he has created a new art form, no? He stupidly, or madly, believes that he is father to a new art form. By contrast, the Otto Muehl scenes in Sweet Movie are an Actionist attempt at caricaturing society, showing what it really is via parody. However, the Carole Laure character is eventually traumatised and alienated by this.

    Comment by NB — 28 August 2010 @ 7:18 am

    • “think this is what Sade shows, but he still wants to be in charge of it, the one who enjoys, even if that’s impossible when one gives vent to one’s drives so completely. ”

      Not at all impossible, that’s the whole point, if he hadn’t singled himself out, nobody would have even had the experience (who could also write it up). It’s ONLY possible when you give vent to your drives so completely. But the ‘solution’ should be to have only a few who are able to do this, and not even all of those would necessarily get off on some of these images; after all, the ones in Sade and Serbian Film all look quite smelly. It is not necessary to adore squalour to ‘give vent to your drives so completely’. I have recently ‘given vent to some of my drives completely’, and they never involved the ‘perfumes of stench’ to be realized fully. But although you don’t want to know about these, I won’t be recounting them anyway, as I am quite tired of the fucking surveillance of the internet, and the interwoven cooperation of the bleugers to disrupt la volupte, IF you know what I mean.

      “The director in SF believes that he has created a new art form, no?”

      I’ve just been thinking about that again a day later, and the real director may have been parodying such ‘THIS IS CINEMA! THIS IS FILM!’ talk because the in-film director seems to be smiling while bleeding to death, as if to say ‘I’ll suffer for my art unlike any other, hey looka ME!’ To some degree, that’s the truth, or the new real works won’t be made at all, but this does separate him from the director of ‘SF’, at least at this point in time. Of course, we might hear of him at some point having decided to really get stereotyped and go do the usual fun things, as Gore Vidal might say, by working his way up the corporate ladder of the Hare Krishnas and starting a drug ‘n’ sex ring when the lotus position wasn’t enuf.

      In caricaturing the director’s pretentiousness, the real director has also shown consummate control, because he knows he has a streak of that himself, but probably drives a Ferrari and wants to live like BHL (if he doesn’t to some degree already.)

      Comment by quantity of butchness — 28 August 2010 @ 10:20 am

  22. So the director is a child psychologist; he hires a renowned dick artist as lead actor but then overrides Milos’ natural libidinal genius, as well as his conscious moral act of renunciation, with aphrodisiacs and memory-loss aids. Why? The director advocates unrestrained libido for all ages, which proves to be a thoroughly destructive urge for all concerned, including Dr. Libido the director himself — certainly not a good advertisement for Reichean orgone energy release. If Milos had been a thoroughly cooperative professional throughout it would have been a more chilling movie, more like Crash I suppose. He’d have killed his wife and son, collected his pay, and gotten on with his upwardly mobile life.

    Comment by ktismatics — 28 August 2010 @ 11:34 am

    • “The director advocates unrestrained libido for all ages, which proves to be a thoroughly destructive urge for all concerned, including Dr. Libido the director himself — certainly not a good advertisement for Reichean orgone energy release.”

      No, it’s a marvelous advertisement for it, because the urge is in the movie ITSELF–is dat what day calls immanence or sump’n. But it doesn’t seem like a good ad to British and American bourgeois, because they don’t realize that to show an extreme case like this doesn’t mean that it would manifest itself like this upon release very often. the problem is hardly ‘unrestricted release of the libido’, it’s not being able to at all in most cases. So this is a GOOD PRIMER, and should be shown in ALL KINDERGARTEN (he loved that word, remember.)

      “If Milos had been a thoroughly cooperative professional throughout it would have been a more chilling movie, more like Crash I suppose. He’d have killed his wife and son, collected his pay, and gotten on with his upwardly mobile life.”

      That’s been done, that ‘coldness’, a lot before, in ‘American Psycho’ or even better in Robert Altman’s marvelous ‘The Player’ with Tim Robbins. This is much more interesting because he really IS guilty and really IS amoral once his dick starts getting worshipped, and he can never really decide which one tips the balance. Maybe he shoots up the family just because he can’t get any sleep after all they’ve just been through. Certainly, THEY seem to be sleeping, although I don’t know if they’re quite to ‘deep sleep’, probably the kid is. And there are, btw, worse things that have happened to children in real life than this kid may have seen or experienced. There are, in fact, so many, that just in a year, I’ve read of several horrible things happening to children. There was one Texas mother who castrated her infant and flushed the scrotum down the sink, etc., she was only 26-7 or something. I was simply dumbfounded, and I’ve even tried to forget about it. Of course, that’s NOTHING compared to Structural Sexism, so everything this bitch did was ‘understandable.’ Now the child will have to be brought up as a girl.

      Comment by Quantity of Butchness — 28 August 2010 @ 12:03 pm

  23. “the urge is in the movie ITSELF”

    Fine, but why the drugs? You already observed the shakiness of this premise, and Dejan doesn’t think it refers to politically motivated war crimes. Does libidinal release depend on suppression of reason and conscience, because if the rational mind remains engaged you get cold porn rather than hot? Just looking for story coherence here.

    Comment by ktismatics — 28 August 2010 @ 1:01 pm

  24. then overrides Milos’ natural libidinal genius, as well as his conscious moral act of renunciation, with aphrodisiacs and memory-loss aids. Why?

    Well because Milos refuses to cooperate; after he sees a movie in which his very own desire to make his child’s ass shall we say slightly more supple, which let’s face it can only have positive pedagogic implications for this cruel market-driven world, he starts with the drugs.

    Re censorship, something else comes to mind: I think SERBIAN FILM is unashamed with a license, because indeed nowadays there are no laws and morals other than those of sale. The lame acts of censorship in this sense are acts of auto-censorship; the censors are lamely pretending not to acknowledge everyday reality and are turning their festivals into bastions of Puritanism (paradoxically, as they are supposed to be ‘transgressive’).

    Comment by parody center — 28 August 2010 @ 1:04 pm

  25. The director in SF believes that he has created a new art form, no?

    I’ve been wondering about this myself, maybe ‘creating a new art form’ here means that his reality art-porn project is the only thing that can lift Milos out of his victimized status on the market (at one point he tells Milos ”don’t you see that only YOU are not the victim in this film?”)

    Comment by parody center — 28 August 2010 @ 1:28 pm

  26. I suppose I should watch the sequence again, but it seems to me the film went like this: Milos starts doing some fucking, but wants out when he’s not prepared to perform while the young girl is watching, and he doesn’t want to participate in deflowering her. Milos walks away, only to find that he’s blacked out for four days. He finds the videocam and the tapes, where he watches himself performing unspeakable perversions under the influence of drugs that the director slipped into his drink 4 days ago. He goes back to the “studio” and finds his brother and the director dead. This scene causes him to flash back to the family fuckfest and Milos and his wife’s murderous vengeance, all of which apparently also took place during the 4 lost days when he was drugged by the director. The only act Milos does while in his right mind is the family suicide. Isn’t that how it went, where all the full-throttle non-victimized murderous libido happens under pharmaceutical influence and is shown to us in flashback?

    Comment by ktismatics — 28 August 2010 @ 1:52 pm

  27. I guess you’ve already addressed any and all coherence issues, pc:

    “Though this is a bit of a moot point because in the film’s delirious system such things as ”fact” and ”logic” aren’t really the issue.”

    The director has drugged the viewers too, causing us to lose memory of what happened when and why. This way our vicariously murderous libidos can flow unrestricted.

    Comment by ktismatics — 28 August 2010 @ 2:30 pm

    • I’m sincerely sorry the film depressed you so, John. I frankly found it very uplifting and edifying.

      While outside just now, it occurred to me that I should mention ‘Antichrist’. ‘Serbian Film’ probably was not influenced by ‘Antichrist’ per se, unless it really was definitely made after the former and at the very end of 2009. To wit, the Phallus is sacred in ‘Serbian Film’ and is never allowed desecration, not even when Milos momentarily bursts out of the pleasure and into one of his ‘guilt stages’ when the drugs may be wearing down, and starts to butcher himself (I remembered Dominic’s slide rule thing regarding his jellies), but he’s not allowed to mutilate this. Arpege and other wermin, could they elect to watch something this rough (and they couldn’t), would say that that was because the Superb Cock was profitable and therefore precious to the keppitalist system, and also that it was even desirable only because it had been MADE profitable, unlike her werminism. My opposing theory is that this penis was profitable because it was so desirable, and that is because the film fucking says so, above and beyond one’s personal tastes.

      You just feel ‘drugged’, John, because you live a quite life of restraint and nice people, but we must applaud your courage and intelligence at being able to see the appeal of this brilliant film (and no, it doesn’t matter what the chronology of events are, as it usually does).

      I should say also that it’s the Phallus PER SE that doesn’t get mutilated or murdered, even Milos would usually rather just jerk off in a back alley than cut it off (this only occurs to him once, so far as we know), and even his own personal phallus ‘does die’, it’s not really as if he’s killing the phallus, but rather the family, and his cock is just one of the casualties of this action.

      Comment by Quantity of Butchness — 28 August 2010 @ 3:14 pm

  28. “The only difference between so-called reality and so-called dream is that our days are linked together by memory, while our nights are not.”

    This is the sentence I just read in Left-Handed Dreams, a novel by Francesca Duranti.

    Comment by ktismatics — 28 August 2010 @ 3:08 pm

  29. I don’t know what you’re talking about any more, Quantity. Trying to interpret the film rationally is a sign of depression or of feeling drugged or of living the life of restraint? Of course I want to know how the story played out sequentially. Did I recount the film’s sequence accurately or not? If no, what did I get wrong? If yes, what is the meaning of that sequence? Never mind: obviously you’re too drugged by the movie to know or care.

    “it’s not really as if he’s killing the phallus, but rather the family, and his cock is just one of the casualties of this action.”

    LOL

    Comment by ktismatics — 28 August 2010 @ 3:30 pm

    • Never mind: obviously you’re too drugged by the movie to know or care.

      I probably am, but it’s an odd side effect that I was ‘feeling so good’ from getting drugged by this film, that I went up to the General Theological Seminary Garden for two hours and read two superb short stories by Louis Auchincloss, before embarking on another Martha Stewart Cake. Plus, I oughtn’t to get excited over saving $2.50 for the Ground Pork for the Danish Meatballs after such heady matters as are discussed in Serbian Film, but I was just THRILLED. And I’ll serve them with Parsley Cream Sauce on some goddam noodles…

      Comment by Quantity of Butchness — 28 August 2010 @ 3:50 pm

  30. K and I made two (2) small chocolate cakes last week for A’s birthday: a flourless one, and a traditional variety with chocolate icing, both superb.

    Last night we watched Reservoir Dogs, which closes with that goofy song Lime in the Coconut, but which brought to mind my favorite Nilsson song I Guess the Lord Must Be in New York City. Listening to this song in turn reminded me of Midnight Cowboy, which I’m now downloading for tonight’s viewing.

    Comment by ktismatics — 28 August 2010 @ 4:03 pm

    • http://find.myrecipes.com/recipes/recipefinder.dyn?action=displayRecipe&recipe_id=554774

      Now THIS sounds like a different kind of Chocolate Cake from any I’ve made, although the Sacher Torte I made recently was one of the best I’ve done. What I like is the combination of Caramel Filling and a Chocolate Icing on an already rich Chocolate Cake. My mother used to make Chocolate and Caramel Cakes as separate things, and I never thought (nor ever heard) of combining the two–and no reason why it won’t work.

      ‘My commiserations, John’, that the recipe is from Southern Living, where I guess you could improve it by making your own Sour Cream, and making sure to find Pecan Trees to pick them more naturally. I think I’ll do this for one of the holidays, as I am quite sure it’s sensational, makes me think of German Chocolate Cakes, which I’ve never done, but my sister used to, that was divine. I should do one of those too.

      Oh, there’s nothing like ‘Midnight Cowboy’. Poor Mr. O’Herlihy. What a great movie they made from this book (which I’ve never read, but think I might now.)

      Comment by quantity of butchness — 28 August 2010 @ 5:00 pm

  31. I wonder if they’ll be showing Serbian Film at this year’s testicle cooking festival in rural Serbia.

    Comment by ktismatics — 29 August 2010 @ 6:59 am

  32. bull’s testicles have been on the national menu for ages (and they’re delicious), this guy apparently decided to cash in, hence the kangaroo testicles

    Comment by parody center — 29 August 2010 @ 7:39 am

  33. I don’t know what you’re talking about any more, Quantity.

    What do you mean you don’t know what she’s talking about, this movie is like a visualization of the past year at the Parody Center, what with Milos’s horsepisser totally unbound and squirting all over the place. I found it completely uncanny how these people were doing the same thing on film that we were doing on the interactive blawg, or maybe they lifted it all off the CPC and I should demand royalties. Or maybe it’s all in my Serbian genes. Even the reaction of the censorship board is the same as that of the Lefty blawgosphere, who wanted to lynch us in the time of the Parody Oscars.

    By the way look out for ”Tears for Sale”, which is scriptwriter Radivojevic’s other great movie, about a Serbian village where there are no men so wimmern undertake a search of mythological proportions. Right now there is no subtitled copy but it comes out on American DVD in October. It’s a totally different genre, a surrealistic comedy slash melodrama, but the scriptwriter’s versatile genius tackles it beautifully. It was produced by the French company that is behind the Luc Besson films.

    Comment by parody center — 29 August 2010 @ 7:44 am

  34. Serbian Film is just an updated version of Damn Yankees, wherein the hero makes a pact with the devil in order to achieve his fantasies, then feigns surprise when the devil demands his due. Instead of dance choreography by Bob Fosse we get fuck choreography. In Damn Yankess Joe has his cake and eats it too: he becomes a hero, beats the Yankees, and spends the night with Lola, yet afterward he manages to return to his square life. Framed in a more modern sensibility this return to normalcy might be regarded as the punishment, with Joe being cheated out of joining Lola in eternal pornomania. In Serbian Film the devil insists on carrying out the bargain to the end. Milos must have known what he was signing up for: he wanted to be forced into doing despicable deeds, wanted to wreak vengeful havoc on the devil and his crew, wanted to kill himself and his family. We might presume that the other “actors” also signed up, wanted to be tortured and killed, etc. However, we have no way of knowing within the story itself whether this is so, whether the victims too made a devil’s bargain in which they intuitively knew they would die. And the director is just one incarnation of the devil; there are always plenty more to come, as we see at the end.

    Comment by ktismatics — 29 August 2010 @ 8:59 am

  35. Midnight Cowboy was taking too long to download, so we watched Three Kings instead. We’d seen it before, and I remembered liking it well enough, especially the whited-out desert cinematography and the controlled chaos of the action, which unfolds immediately following the Iraqi cease-fire in Gulf War One. This time it seemed sillier and more blatantly neocon in its politics. The director/writer is David Russell, who subsequently made I Heart Huckabees, which I didn’t like at all when it came out. Maybe one day I’ll give it another go.

    Comment by ktismatics — 29 August 2010 @ 9:03 am

  36. NB said: “Reading Sade’s fantasies, as horrible as they are, is like listening to someone relate their childish dreams. It is the (phallic) drive at its most infantile and most horrific. Everyone pays, including the director. But there’s always a story to be had from it. The more prurient the better, so the repetitious drive continues.”

    John said: “Framed in a more modern sensibility this return to normalcy might be regarded as the punishment, with Joe being cheated out of joining Lola in eternal pornomania. In Serbian Film the devil insists on carrying out the bargain to the end. Milos must have known what he was signing up for: he wanted to be forced into doing despicable deeds, wanted to wreak vengeful havoc on the devil and his crew, wanted to kill himself and his family.”

    Dejan, can you believe these two? Still squirming in fear that they might sign a Faustian pact.

    Well, you know, it NEVER occurs to these people (and these aren’t nearly as objectionable as the other bleugers we encounter when we’re talking about important things, at least they force themselves beyond their learned revulsion–not that I don’t find the images revolting too, or rather I can see that they’re just on film by now, and I wasn’t always able to) what would happen if everyone DIDN’T pay for these beautiful sins? And yet both NB and John wish to get rilly, rilly close to it, but want to make sure they don’t *quite* go to hell…this makes them adventurous intellectuals who are still good citizens within neoliberal sassiety. Of course, we know why I would actually WANT the snuff parts to be simulated rather than not: I want to keep fucking without guilt.

    NB says it as ‘everyone pays, including the director’ but ‘there’s always a story to be had from it’. Et alors? Whadda you want, inertia? ‘Serbian Film’ just gives you an outline of how to do it by using an extreme case, but in no way does this get you off the hook not to go all the way YOURSELF, and just be the voyeurs you’d rather be for your Protestant/Catholic consciences.

    “Milos must have known what he was signing up for: he wanted to be forced into doing despicable deeds,”

    It’s not that simple, I would like to respectfully suggest (as they say on the ballet board) that that is your fundamentalism resisting ALL of your natural urges for DICK! Just ax Gore Vidal, she already proved that we are ‘all bisexual’ in her essays back in the 50s, although the term ‘bisexualist’ is still very annoying. She’s cool, though, nobody ever moved from Rome to the Hollywood Hills at such an advanced age. Just didn’t want to end up like Pasolini.

    So Milos does and does not know that this is going to happen. One thing that was interesting in the early family scenes is that there is even a whiff of the old porno amateur acting style when he and his wife are talking. This disappears, but it was uncanny. He is suspicious, obviously, and that’s made clear. But he HOPES(abetted by his obviously wimmern-devil wife, who is excited by the whole porno scene herself, and she has to be object of ‘J’accuse’ herself, since she pushes him right back into it, and those campy scenes with her on the cellphone in the car talking to him in the sinister project as if it were ‘just another day at the office, honey, not too stressful, huh? I’ll give you a backrub when we get home, so why don’t we try to think of some dinner plans for tonight, and I’ll ring you back after I’ve parked?’) that what it will really mean is that he’ll get da MONEY! He thinks there is a possibility that he’ll get a lot of pleasure PLUS all that big money, or that at least it’s a risk worth taking. Once that doesn’t materialize, well, he makes the best of it (which is none too good, even by his standards), and there are no more Cupcake Parties, just blood (purposely?) shit-coloured and other dreadfulnesses.

    “return to normalcy might be regarded as the punishment, with Joe being cheated out of joining Lola in eternal pornomania.”

    THAT is heaven, at first I read it as ‘pomomania’, which is pretty funny too. ‘Same difference’, as the hicks used to say in Old Alabama.

    And how about NB saying ‘Pornography is a kind of mania, maybe’? Dejan, neither of our crows here wants to do anything but play ‘Concerned Closet Voyeur’, now don’t we? Serbian Film just proves that porno really IS an art, because Serbian Film IS pornographic itself. So was ‘Salo’, and of course, all this ‘ability to be fucked or not’, as Dejan said, is true, and it’s just one more metaphor–you can ‘just fuck and/or be fucked’ in many other ways besides sexual, you can know how to do financial rackets, be born talented and beautiful (that’s always nice work if you can get it), or even intelligent, say, like Graham Harman, and she proves perhaps more than any other that there are many other ways other than the traditional ones that will help you to ‘rate in sassiety’….I don’t know whether it’s really ‘intelligence’ in the Harmaphrodite’s case, though, or rather ‘market-savviness’, as Dejan calls it.

    Comment by Quantity of Butchness — 29 August 2010 @ 10:17 am

    • Christ, that’s amazing about the printing on here. I’m not even sure John DIDN’T mean PoMomania (that way it’s clear what I thought I saw) rather than PorNoMania. I like the idea of Joe and Lola living in PoMoMania back in the 50s, though.

      Comment by Quantity of Butchness — 29 August 2010 @ 10:23 am

  37. “It’s not that simple”

    Oh dear.

    “what would happen if everyone DIDN’T pay for these beautiful sins?”

    Well of course they do pay for their beautiful sins, unless being murdered or committing suicide are themselves beautiful sins which they’ve been given the liberty to enjoy. Otherwise it is just the beautiful sin of voyeurism, isn’t it?

    “resisting ALL your natural urges for DICK!”

    If the urge for dick entails getting forcibly raped in asshole, detoothed mouth, and emptied eye socket, then speaking strictly for myself I’d have to say it doesn’t take much effort to resist such urges.

    Comment by ktismatics — 29 August 2010 @ 10:53 am

    • I’m SURE it doesn’t (lol).

      Listen, just to let you know, that ‘rue de lille’ thing from the Dr. Z. ‘virtual plaque’ thing is controlling one’s loading to a great degree of distraction, it automatically goes there every time. Just sayin’, as the nerds say.

      Comment by Quantity of Butchness — 29 August 2010 @ 11:06 am

      • “Well of course they do pay for their beautiful sins, unless being murdered or committing suicide are themselves beautiful sins which they’ve been given the liberty to enjoy. Otherwise it is just the beautiful sin of voyeurism, isn’t it?”

        God, that’s dizzy. No, YOU think that unless you stick to just voyeur-good-citizen then naturally only being murdered or committing suicide would be the only alternatives. There are many enjoyable recreations between the beautiful voyeurism, and the beautiful carnage. It is these ‘healthful fornications and sodomies’ that all of the world’s murderers know about, that’s why Arpege really was right when she said that ‘Andrea Dworkin thought sex and violence are one, and the violence is the good part’. Most Americans feel this way, in their puritanism (even when they give way to the more sensual pleasures, which most of us don’t consider to include eye-socket fucking, or baby-fucking).

        But it’s Sunday, give youse-self a break. It’s okay to go to Sunday School too, you know, some of my best friends go to Sunday School, and even I’d go back to the Seminary Garden today, if Sunday weren’t the only day it’s closed (you can go to services, but not just read and write in the jardin.)

        Comment by Quantity of Butchness — 29 August 2010 @ 11:13 am

  38. You mean the virtual tourmap thing slows the loading, and appears in places other than in the plaque post? If so I’ll remove it forthwith. Please advise.

    Comment by ktismatics — 29 August 2010 @ 11:13 am

  39. Yes, it definitely does. Thanks, if you thought it was important, I didn’t care that much, but it will be much better for the loading (somehow it made it much slower, as when you’d try to flick on somebody’s comment, it would first go str8 to that map, and then you’d get to ‘stay there’ and experience the ‘drama’ just as that Temptress was saying–now I see what Dejan meant about the ‘Tentacles’, she was even infecting bleug transactions..)

    Comment by Quantity of Butchness — 29 August 2010 @ 11:16 am

  40. MUCH better.

    Comment by Quantity of Butchness — 29 August 2010 @ 11:23 am

  41. Thanks for the advices, Quantity — that link was kind of snazzy but not worth bogging down the blogging.

    Comment by ktismatics — 29 August 2010 @ 11:26 am

  42. Well of course they do pay for their beautiful sins, unless being murdered or committing suicide are themselves beautiful sins which they’ve been given the liberty to enjoy. Otherwise it is just the beautiful sin of voyeurism, isn’t it?

    I felt that ending was pasted on the story because if in the end Milos decided to pursue his true calling, letting his wife and kid work for the company, the movie wouldn’t have even made it to the Fantasia festival. They may think they’re beautifully perverse, but even Canadians can’t take that much honesty in a row. Still because Milos’s suicide (and killing of the ”perpetratos”) doesn’t make a bit of difference,the message is still hammered home that Lust shallt prevail. If they get to do a sequel, they can always use the ‘newborn’ to continue Milos’s glorious legacy.

    Eloise here’s the Serbian bull’s balls recipe:

    http://www.yudu.com/library/3639/Ljubomir-Erovic-s-Library

    Comment by parody center — 29 August 2010 @ 11:42 am

  43. Recipes for “Testicle Pizza”, “Battered Testicles” and “Bull Testicles With Bechamel Sauce” are among 31 dishes served up in the world’s first testicle cookbook.

    “The Testicle Cookbook: Cooking With Balls” (http://www.yudu.com/testicles) is published today as a multimedia e-Book on YUDU (http://www.yudu.com), which lets anyone publish, share, buy and sell their own digital documents. It comes complete with video demonstrations of the author cooking dishes including Testicle Pizza, Testicle Pie and Testicle Goulash.

    Ljubomir Erovic, the book’s author, is a testicle cook and gourmet from Serbia, where testicles are a traditional delicacy. He is also the founder, organiser and driving force behind The World Testicle Cooking Championship (http://www.ballcup.com), which has been held annually in Serbia since 2004.

    “This book is a small step for testicle cuisine but a giant leap for cookbooks as a genre”, says Richard Stephenson, CEO of YUDU. “Multi-media cookbooks open new possibilities – such as, in this case, being able to watch the author peel and slice testicles.” (The book includes a how-to video on slicing frozen testicles.)

    Erovic, 45, has been cooking testicles for over 20 years. Although self-taught, he is probably by now not just Serbia’s but the world’s leading authority on testicle cuisine.

    The ingredients for his testicle pizza recipe include cheese, onion, pepper, bacon and bull’s testicles. “It’s Italian pizza with Serbian balls”, explains Erovic. His recipe for omelet with calf testicles starts, “Remove fine veins from the testicles and put them in boiling water for 2-3 minutes”.

    But the book also contains more cordon bleu recipes, such as “Calf Testicles In Wine” (white or red but not sweet) and testicles with bourgignon sauce.

    His book contains recipes for testicles from over a dozen different animals: from bulls and pigs to rams, stallions and ostriches. Recipes range from “Pig’s Testicles With Potatoes” to “Bull Testicles With Bechamel Sauce”.

    The tastiest testicles, says Erovic, come from bulls, ostriches or stallions. “Sheep testicles are also delicious”, he says. “But I don’t like boar testicles.”

    “All testicles can be eaten,” says Erovic, “except human, of course.”

    Some of the recipes, such as the one for “Pig Testicles”, come with both serving suggestions and learned footnotes, such as:

    1. During and after the meal, home-made dry white wine is recommended with a good song and music.

    2. Note: The pig castration season is May or June.

    The book has recipes for not just battered testicles but also for breaded and fried ones, plus for testicle stew and testicle pie. There are two recipes for testicle goulash, including one called “Erovic-Style Goulash With Stallion or Bull Testicles”. Only testicle quiche is missing.

    Most of the recipes have been devised by Erovic himself but some have been contributed by others. Most are from Serbia but there are also a few from Macedonia.

    Aphrodisiac

    Testicles are rich in testosterone. Everyone from the Serbians to the Chinese to Erovic himself consider them to be a powerful aphrodisiac. The Chinese believe that eating them on a regular basis can boost a man’s libido and cure impotence. “The best for aphrodisiac properties are sheep and stallion testicles”, says Erovic.

    The World Testicle Cooking Championship has become an international culinary event attended by chefs from countries including Serbia, the Republic of Srpska, Greece, Finland, Norway, Hungary and Australia. It has also entered the Guinness Book of Records as the event where a record amount – one metric tonne – of testicles are prepared.

    Countries other than Serbia with a tradition of testicle cuisine include USA, Australia, India, Pakistan and South Africa.

    “Testicles have been a delicacy in Serbia for as long as anyone can remember”, says Erovic. “And the same is true across much of the world.”

    – The ancient Greeks thought that eating sheep’s testicles before battle
    made a man stronger.
    – The Romans believed that eating the testicle of a healthy animal would
    cure health problems with a man’s own testicles.

    Says Erovic: “Testicles have been enjoyed for so long by so many peoples in so many places that the only strange thing is that no-one before now has ever compiled a comprehensive testicle cookbook.”

    Comment by parody center — 29 August 2010 @ 11:46 am

    • The Ghoulash ones sound like they’d be of most culinary interest. I have found that with the more exotic organ meats (as Filipino Intestine and/or Cow Stomach), they have a stronger flavour than muscle meats, and should be well-blended with ingredients that are also strong. Like liver, which varies from animal to animal but still tastes like liver, I imagine testicle dishes would be the same. I have never had Beef Liver but once in which it was really delicious. Chicken Livers CAN be very good, but I never eat them any more, although there’s nothing better than Duck Liver Pate, that I’ll take any day, but too expensive for regular consumption. Pork Liver is supposed to be very disagreeable indeed, so I won’t go near it. Sweetbreads are pancreas, and also therefore organ meat, and brains–these are great delicacies in French cooking, but they are a lot of trouble, and I’ve never thought they were all they were cracked up to be. My mother used to even make ‘Brains and Eggs’, she loved them, but I didn’t care much for them, nor even the fancy Brains au Beurre Noir. I like the idea, in these cases, better than the reality–a really good Beef Wellington with a good Bordeaux is a thousand times better than any organ meat I’ve ever eaten. Of course, I could probably overlook this with the Testicles, but if you don’t actually like the taste, it’s doubtful you’ll keep eating them.

      Allow me the indulgence of one more recipe:

      http://simplyrecipes.com/recipes/beef_wellington/

      I have decided to do this one for Xmas, because Dufour Classic Puff Pastry is supposed to be as good as homemade (which is ENORMOUS trouble), and you can get it at Whole Foods here, and probably in Boulder too, unless you like to go to the trouble of making pastry. I usually can go through those torments, but once I found that experienced cooks were saying that the Dufour was even better than the best homemade they knew, I knew I’d never bother.

      “1. During and after the meal, home-made dry white wine is recommended with a good song and music.”

      Dejan, that’s a bit ‘Balkan Festival’. The point is to find a Testicle dish so delicious you’d want to have it with at least a Margaux or other great Bordeaux or a good Burgundy with the Testicles Bourguigon, STILL…not convinced the taste isn’t too strong, but the Testicle Pie, like Elizabethan English Meat and Fruit Pies, does sound possible, I’ve made Mowbray Veal Ham and Egg Pie, and also other English pies that are superlative, this is probably the best way. If one is going to do one with a white wine, one needs to have a lot of champagne, as testicles are not everyday diner fare, and I’ve never had a decent ‘home-made wine’, forget that shit–that’s for Lesb’ans, and Arpege wouldn’t touch it either. The charming ‘home-made white wine’ with ‘a good song and music’ might be applicable to the Milos family when they are celebrating their first big succest in Incest Porn, but for the rest of us, folk music is only if you really are going to get things all ‘barnyard’, which I seem to have left behind.

      Comment by Quantity of Butchness — 29 August 2010 @ 12:22 pm

  44. From Wikipedia:

    “Rocky Mountain oysters, also known as prairie oysters, are a North American culinary name for edible offal, specifically buffalo or bull testicles. They are usually peeled, coated in flour, pepper and salt, sometimes pounded flat, then deep-fried. This delicacy is most often served as an appetizer.”

    I’ve never tried this delicacy, and I don’t recall ever seeing them on any cafe menu, even here in the Rocky Mountains.

    Comment by ktismatics — 29 August 2010 @ 12:04 pm

  45. You also have the slightly lesser-known American Stranger Caviar, popular as a cold side-dish in Manhattan:

    500 grams Tiny Taiwanese ”American Stranger” testicles
    1/3 liter liquid Viagra powder
    minced dietary lettuce

    The tiny testicles are so tiny that no peeling is necessary, and they produce a rich concentrated sauce which is a delicious dressing on the lettuce.

    Comment by parody center — 29 August 2010 @ 12:30 pm

  46. “1. During and after the meal, home-made dry white wine is recommended with a good song and music.”

    That sounds a bit ‘Balkan Festival’, now doesn’t it? I suppose for the zoophile pornistes, and I’m sure Serbia has a large population of these.

    Of the ones you names, the Ghoulashes sound best, as organ meats simply are not as sweetly delicious ever as muscle meats, IMO. I do not even really adore brains or sweetbreads in the most delicate French way, but can imagine liking good Stallion Testicle Pie occasionally, and this might even take to some of the Elizabethan sorts of cookery that I’ve done a fair amount of with fruits and meat–I’ve done Mowbray Veal Ham and Egg Pie and several other English Spicy Meat Pies (and had a fabulous Sage Chicken Pie in L’pool), but even organ meats like liver are rarely truly palatable. Chicken Livers, yes, but I notice that I’ve even stopped doing those. Once I had good Beef Liver, at a restaurant in Aspen in the 60s. Pork Liver supposed to be hideous.

    John, if you’ll allow me to put one more receipt upon this illumined manuscript: http://simplyrecipes.com/recipes/beef_wellington/

    I plan to do this for Xmas, now that I have found that Dufour Classic Puff Pastry is available at Whole Foods and that fine cooks have decided it’s even better than their own homemade, which is a LOT of trouble. You may like to do those things, and I will do them, but not if the prepared is on that level (it’s not like Sandra Lee’s bullshit about mixing pineapple juice into cake mixes, the bitch).

    The testicle receipts would be only good at a restaurant, and ought to be the kind that would have a fine Margaux or Burgundy as accompaniment, I can’t see white wine for anything as heady as Balls-Eating. The resto is to force proper behaviour and to discuss the ensuing fucking, rather than have beastly behaviour as at keggers, etc., with redneck actions occurring. If there is a such thing as a light-tasting testicle dish, then a lot of CHAMPAGNE is called for. I’ve never had a good ‘home-made wine’, it’s all shit, and only for Lesb’ans at the ashram, I’m sure Arpege wouldn’t touch it either.

    I basically like the whole idea of eating Stallion Balls regularly (should keep me from sucking any in Central Park, although I’ve yet to go that demented), although whether they’d be actually of real culinary interest, is too difficult to find out–you’d have to be devoted to it and spend big bucks. That’s why I think Beef Wellington will do find, and just keep the fornication within vaguely civilized pervert bounds.

    Comment by Quantity of Butchness — 29 August 2010 @ 12:36 pm

  47. This is no longer taking my comments. Testing.

    Comment by Quantity of Butchness — 29 August 2010 @ 12:37 pm

    • Quantity, your prior two comments got deleted by the automatic spamcatcher; don’t know why. I’ve now restored them.

      Comment by ktismatics — 29 August 2010 @ 12:47 pm

  48. Yes, twice it wouldn’t, but that one it did. I’ll abbreviate this one, as it’s not worth it, and copy beforehand this time, how oboxious.

    http://simplyrecipes.com/recipes/beef_wellington/

    Just indulging one other recipe for Xmas, John, you might want to do it at some point too. Mainly, Dufour Classic Puff Pastry is supposed to be as good as chefs’ homemade, and so I’ll do that, because you can get it at Whole Foods here, and you can probably in Boulder too.

    These Testicle Recipes are a wonderful idea, whether they are actually delicious would matter if one persisted in serving them in a culinary context, otherwise I suppose you could just blend them in some sort of Murky Health Shake. I like the idea of Stallion Testicle Pie in the Elizabethen Style, such as Meat and Fruit Pies I’ve made from that period, and also such english pies as Mowbray Veal, Ham and Egg Pie. Otherwise, the Testicle Aphrodisiac might be better taken in pill form. But, they should be amenable to execution as Haute Cuisine, and as organ meats of any kind are usually stronger than muscle meats (and if they’re mild, like brains or sweetbreads, they’re still very different and you don’t usually want them all that often), they’d need to blend well and be very savoury and rich with many ingredients that could enhance them–then I think usually a great Bordeaux or Burgundy sounds wonderful. If you did a white wine, it should be Champagne, because this: “1. During and after the meal, home-made dry white wine is recommended with a good song and music.” really sounds a bit ‘Balkan Festival’ with ‘indigenous instruments’, when the point is to get a ‘Sade’s Justine’ sensation going at the restaurant and discuss in detail what the fucking is going to be like while there, not wolf it down in the barnyard, where everything stinks of livestock.

    ‘Home-made wine’ is almost always pure shit, enjoyed only by organic Lesb’ans at their ashrams, and Arpege wouldn’t touch it either. People who don’t eat Testicle Dishes for sex really oughtn’t to have them wasted on them. I think the Milos Family, in a new film incarnation, could do the home-made wine and pig testicles to celebrate the World Premiere of their newest Incest Porn Celebration without any of them going out to the stables and misbehaving. That’s why I’d like to find a steady supplier of Stallion Testicle Dishes, so I can eat them on a regular basis, and that will keep me from sucking any in Central Park (which I have not done.)

    Comment by Quantity of Butchness — 29 August 2010 @ 12:49 pm

  49. Oh gawd, John, talk about overdone. You can delete the first two, please, this one stayed, I don’t know why. They all say about the same thing, I’m not trying to be a HOG, whatever else I am.

    Comment by Quantity of Butchness — 29 August 2010 @ 12:50 pm

    • Enlightening to watch the evolution of the comment through three iterations; like testicle veins, certain choice bits have been removed for a more refined dish. But okay, the first two will be reconsigned to the flames.

      Comment by ktismatics — 29 August 2010 @ 12:52 pm

  50. Nobody could make the ”white kidneys” like my grandma did – I ate them profusely throughout childhood and I assure you, they’re delicious.
    As for English cuisine, I found it surprisingly tasty in London, in fact much better than the completely identity-less Dutch varieties.

    I CAN imagine Arpeggio involved in an Andrea Dworkinesque remake of ”The Serbian Film” where the reality porn theater is run by lesb’an gangsters and the film’s superstar is an immoral wench with an endless gash in her, terrorizing young studly Serbian models. Speaking of which, I told you before and I’ll say it again, Milos’s brother is no ”movie supermodel” – you can see guyz like this in the streets every day – while the wemin (I mean of the sort that stars in Milos’s old porn) are also hardly any exception to the rule. This explains why every male expat who ends up there on business decides to stay ”just a little bit longer”, even if his daily allowances could be higher in Slovenlia.

    Comment by parody center — 29 August 2010 @ 12:57 pm

    • Speaking of which, I told you before and I’ll say it again, Milos’s brother is no ”movie supermodel” – you can see guyz like this in the streets every day –

      Tedious, I might as well start talking about the superiority of Alabama Barbecue to Carolina style. Milos’s brother is simply goodlooking by any standards, as is his wife. When you talked about ‘this guy is no supermodel by Serbian standards’, you were talking about that idiot in that mechanical Serbian music video (one of them was good, but the one you were talking about was strictly Madison Avenue nerd with a little taste, and that was it). I really don’t want to hear it.

      The Serbian porno-pal at the cafe was also quite attractive. But then how would any of them ever match up to KYLIE? You have no credibility or logic, Dejan.

      Comment by Quantity of Butchness — 29 August 2010 @ 1:02 pm

    • I did have a magnificent Steak ‘n’ Kidney Pudding in St. Mary’s, Isles of Scilly, with Christian in 1987, and then made one myself (with real suet too) here shortly afterward. Those are great, and even a pub one I had in London was okay, but just heated-up commercial, I think. I used suet in a Xmas Cake that I kept for 3 months before boiling for 6 hours, I believe. Marvelous, but that was the end of that.

      Comment by Quantity of Butchness — 29 August 2010 @ 1:06 pm

    • No, she should be very chic, as in the other cartoon, it’s just she would wear no pants nor panties, just a ruffled bustier or Auntie’s corset, and thigh-high boots. Assistant Womyn could actually man the ticket booth as well as answering the phone ‘Arpege Chabert’s Office, Assistant Womyn Speaking’…’Yes, the theater is closed on Mondays’.

      Comment by Quantity of Butchness — 29 August 2010 @ 1:09 pm

  51. I hoped you’d pick that up, I was thinking that as I re-read them (I copied and pasted them, of course.) But no reason to keep them. It was interesting to see the few sentences and/or that were always repeated verbatim, since I couldn’t see them to refer to. A toute a l’heure.

    Comment by Quantity of Butchness — 29 August 2010 @ 12:58 pm

  52. Which Serbian porno pal at the cafe?

    Comment by parody center — 29 August 2010 @ 1:09 pm

    • The girl who offers him the job. She’s quite beautiful.

      Comment by Quantity of Butchness — 29 August 2010 @ 1:10 pm

  53. She is Katarina Zutic, the daughter of a renowned actress – Svetlana Bojkovic – who is our local ”aristocratic beauty” type character actress that was also incredibly good in just about every role she did, here are some pictures:

    http://www.google.nl/images?q=svetlana%20bojkovic&hl=nl&prmd=o&um=1&ie=UTF-8&source=og&sa=N&tab=wi&biw=1004&bih=638

    Especially because her mom has such a respectable reputation, I found Katarina’s decision to star in the Serbian Film courageous.

    Comment by parody center — 29 August 2010 @ 1:21 pm

    • She’s charming, as in the younger, first one (I tried to put up the link for just that photo, but it was 8 lines long and didn’t click), but the daughter has the more obviously gorgeous face. The mother has a Gallic Champagne charm, I immediately thought of Piaf, Chanel, and Colette.

      Comment by Quantity of Butchness — 29 August 2010 @ 1:28 pm

  54. Yes she’s exactly in that register, plus she always speaks with perfect diction and exudes ”respectability” without being a bourgeois snob… something like Helen Mirren, although she is more beautiful. This now took me on a nostalgic trip into the past where I realized the sons and daughters of these famous people all have huge gaps in their CVs in the period 1991-2001, which was the apex of the economic and political crisis. We’re really a lost generation, in a sense, and many young ones migrated like me.

    I’ve been out of touch with the local fashion scene, but I found on the net that this one is currently in the top of the charts:

    Comment by parody center — 29 August 2010 @ 1:36 pm

  55. This is ’bout the only review I could find on the net (besides this place) which goes beyond a mere registration of the shocked reactions in the audience and the intrigue surrounding ass taboos:

    http://www.thekuleshoveffect.com/index/2010/3/17/sxsw-2010-review-serbian-film.html

    The message it conveys is that our socio-economic system is not merely flawed, it is inherently evil, a prison in which not even the perpetrators of injustice are in control of their own actions. The drive to make money, the willingness to sell oneself for a check or in the name of art, can never lead to anything but victimization.

    Comment by parody center — 29 August 2010 @ 9:49 pm


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