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1 The Left  Fri, Nov 19, 2010 7:02:33pm

Just reading about this now. Much as I love horror films (I'll defend Cannibal Holocaust any day) this one might be too much even for me.
I'm also reading that the makers are in fact explicitly claiming it's supposed to be a political allegory, but I'm not sure I buy it (admittedly this is without having seen it, only reading some of the spoilers).

2 CuriousLurker  Fri, Nov 19, 2010 8:25:25pm
The film-making is stylised and self-conscious. The most notorious scenes (the rape of the new-born baby...

That's as far as I got. I can't conceive of any circumstances under which watching something like that would be desirable or beneficial.

WTF? Is this supposed to be defended as some sort of "artistic" metaphor? To hell with that. If the best way you can think of to get your point across is by portraying sadistically depraved savagery being inflicted upon the most innocent & helpless among us, then you're a piss poor excuse for an artist. Scratch that—you're not an artist, you're a sick POS who can only be considered human due to your biology.

If this is what passes for cultural enlightenment these days, I'm opting out.

3 Interesting Times  Fri, Nov 19, 2010 9:57:59pm

re: #2 CuriousLurker

That's as far as I got. I can't conceive of any circumstances under which watching something like that would be desirable or beneficial.

And you've just encapsulated exactly how I feel about any so-called "horror" film or other such exploitative garbage. If I want to be exposed to an endless expanse of rape, torture, and human depravity, all I need to do is read news stories about the world's war zones. Why should I give up valuable time, money and mental health on fictional renditions as well?

4 CuriousLurker  Fri, Nov 19, 2010 10:10:20pm

re: #3 publicityStunted

I with you on that. I love a good creepy, suspenseful horror movie or novel, but anything with gratuitous, mindless gore & violence totally turns me off. As you said, there's quite enough of that in real life already.

5 The Left  Sat, Nov 20, 2010 3:25:04am

re: #2 CuriousLurker

I almost always feel uncomfortable condemning something I haven't read/seen on the basis of a synopsis or summary of its most shocking moments out of context. I remember being up in arms about Ellis's American Psycho before it was published, on the basis of a couple of notorious excerpts.

But then I read it, and had to admit there was something there. (I still don't think it needed to be quite as graphic as it is in places or that the violence needed to be as sexual as it was. If you haven't read it and don't know the passage I'm referring to you don't want to.)

Apparently the makers' excuse for the rape of the baby is "In Serbia you're fucked from birth to death." Now, isn't there a way to convey that sentiment without raping a newborn or ending with an act of pedophiliac necrophilia? Uh, probably!

I read a few more reviews and a plot summary and while the rape of the newborn is what's being mentioned most, there's much more. One of the reviews is from a site that does nothing but review horror, and ended with "You don't want to see this movie." It wasn't a bad review per se, it was a warning.

Anyway, despite my discomfort with the notion of making these sorts of judgements without viewing/reading the work, this time I don't think I need the context to say No thanks.

re: #3 publicityStunted

And you've just encapsulated exactly how I feel about any so-called "horror" film or other such exploitative garbage. If I want to be exposed to an endless expanse of rape, torture, and human depravity, all I need to do is read news stories about the world's war zones. Why should I give up valuable time, money and mental health on fictional renditions as well?

That's EXACTLY what I said to Jimmah last night about it! (It's funny, the first conversation he and I ever had was on this site about a french horror film called Martyrs-- we both agreed we hated it and thought it had no redeeming value, heh.)
The filmmakers' excuse for this film is 'these acts of sexual violence have all taken place at some point in the history of the world'. Bollocks. I said to Jimmah, I know perfectly well that I'm privileged to be female at this time and place in the world, and that terrible acts are occurring all over-- one of the privileges I'm not in a hurry to give up is that of living somewhere where I don't have to watch armies rape my kids or my neighbours or me. I don't need to watch this crap to learn something specious about Rwanda, or Serbia, or anywhere else. I know quite enough already, thank you, and I don't need a fictional graphic reenactment.

6 Lord Baron Viscount Duke Earl Count Planckton  Sat, Nov 20, 2010 3:47:28am

A (formerly obscure) Serbian horror film is being discussed all over the net. Without these scenes it wouldn't have happened, so probably this is what the filmmakers' intent was, and they succeeded.

As for what the films should or should not depict - I leave that to the authors, since I have a choice to watch or not to watch, to read or not to read. I don't really know whether this film is so nasty or not, since descriptions do tend to emphasize certain parts, usually dealing with sex and violence. Salo, or 120 days of Sodom also sparked outrages in its time, but when I watched it, I was like "Meh, could have been worse". I mean, opening a man's skull, scooping up brains, frying them and feeding to the man is also pretty sick, but the reviews of Hannibal were merely "mixed".

The main thing is not to engage in censorship. When the pro-Kremlin youth movement Idushchie Vmeste organized that destruction of Vladimir Sorokin's books, they counted on an anti-Sorokin outrage, since the books contain scenes that are much more graphic and depraved than what's in this Serbian film. They only managed to beclown themselves.

7 researchok  Sat, Nov 20, 2010 4:36:35am

Can Hollywood be far behind?
/

Seems to me this is a slasher type movie for adults.

8 steve_davis  Sat, Nov 20, 2010 6:57:40am

John Gardner once said that the ultimate value of fiction is its morality. He explains what he means by that, but my take has always been that one doesn't create titillation solely for the sake of titillation, or one is involved in pornography. Sadly, our society is so thoroughly f--d up that I suspect this particular film could run uncut in a primetime slot, but if anyone says "shit" they will bleep it out, so as not to offend the delicate senses of anyone cheering on the torture.

9 The Left  Sat, Nov 20, 2010 7:12:32am

re: #8 steve_davis

[...] but if anyone says "shit" they will bleep it out, so as not to offend the delicate senses of anyone cheering on the torture.

Brilliant.

10 Lord Baron Viscount Duke Earl Count Planckton  Sat, Nov 20, 2010 8:31:05am

re: #8 steve_davis

John Gardner once said that the ultimate value of fiction is its morality. He explains what he means by that, but my take has always been that one doesn't create titillation solely for the sake of titillation, or one is involved in pornography. Sadly, our society is so thoroughly f--d up that I suspect this particular film could run uncut in a primetime slot, but if anyone says "shit" they will bleep it out, so as not to offend the delicate senses of anyone cheering on the torture.

Or, to take it further, I expect many people to be up in arms about these fictional images that then would go and openly defend those who ordered and performed real torture.


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