Friday, July 2

Review: Conspirators of Pleasure

Before I begin my review, I want you to look at this very short fragment of film:

If you don't find this strangely fascinating, don't even bother with Conspirators of Pleasure. But for those weirdo's who can enjoy surrealistic, sick stuff (yes Kruun, you), Svankmajer's film is pretty much as good as it gets.

Conspirators of Pleasure doesn't really have a story. Instead, it follows six people around whose lives more or less intersect throughout the film. Their interactions with each other are always non-verbal and shallow, and no-one seems to really care about the others. They all quickly retreat to their private lives, where they live out their strange fantasies. All of them have some sort of elaborate scheme to get their pleasure (mostly in a sexual way) which we see them carefully prepare and act out. The least weird of those is a woman who gets an orgasm from fish nibbling at her toes.


The film is surreal in the true sense of the word: dreamy, unsettling, and profoundly strange. The people themselves seem to be functional members of society, but in their private lives they go completely nuts.
Is this a bad thing? Their preferences, however strange, don't seem to hurt anybody. And so what if they like to do stuff like that? It's a free country. Svankmajer shows a remarkable mercy with his subjects: they are never pictured as being perverted. Most of them actually seem to be rather sweet and probably quite insecure.

That same mercy is not granted to the audience, however. Everything these people do is shown in really, really close-ups, and every sound they make is turned up a little beyond a level that could be described as "comfortable". Svankmajer definitely found an accomplice in the sound designer of this movie. And no matter how open-minded you think you are, Conspirators of Pleasure will make you feel uneasy some way or the other. The content is not really explicit for modern standards (the worst you will see is some dude's bum), but it's profound weirdness will probably unsettle you anyway. But if that's what you want once in a while, this is a great way to go.

Also, watch closely when the credits roll. There are some names there that will be awfully familiar...


P.S. I have removed some old newsposts that weren't interesting and edited some of my earlier reviews. They are better now. Just so you know.

The only artist I know who can turn seemingly strange and unconnected things into something beautiful and fascinating is Beck.

1 comment:

  1. "Their preferences, however strange, don't seem to hurt anybody."

    I dissagree with you on this point. Brush-man hurts carp-woman's feelings a lot and though I didn't really get the ending, it made the impression Chicken-batman's adventures weren't exactly harmless.

    Why can't there be a Chicken-batman superhero/villain movie? His origin story is already more interresting than spider-man's.