Aug 22, 2016

1000 Rosen

If you ever wondered how the Netherlands became a seemingly forsaken land that is mainly associated with great legal weed, prostitution, euthanasia, government subsidized sex changes, and virtually any and every form of disgustingly degenerate neo-liberal socio-cultural rot, the little known Dutch feature 1000 Rosen (1994) aka 1,000 Roses aka Duizend Rozen directed by Theu Boermans will certainly lead you in the right direction.  In fact, it is the only film I can think of that tells it like it is and—instead of portraying Americans as the great liberators—exposes the fact that the United States turned Western Europe into its own museum-cum-whorehouse after the World War II.  Based on the 1990 play of the same name by Austrian playwright Gustav Ernst—a man probably best known in the cinema world for penning the Austrian cult flick Exit... nur keine Panik (1980) aka Exit... But No Panic and it’s sequel Exit II - Verklärte Nacht (1995) aka Exit II - Transfigured Night—the film was fairly critially successful in the Netherlands where it won three Gouden Kalf in 1994, including Best Actress, Best Actor and Best Film, yet it remains completely unknown even among seasoned cinephiles outside the Dutch speaking world.  Indeed, despite winning the Dutch equivalent of an Oscar in three major categories and various other coveted prizes in other festivals, Boermans’ film, like the seeming majority of great Dutch cinema, has never been released outside of the Netherlands, which is rather unfortunate considering it features an absolutely scathing socio-political message that is very much relevant to contemporary Western Europe and various other parts of the world.

A political parable disguised as a black dramedy featuring bittersweet moments of lusciously colored magical realism that somewhat ironically symbolizes the collective death of an entire population and it's history, 1000 Rosen depicts the swift and savagely painful yet nonetheless beauteous death of a long dying town as a result of a devilishly duplicitous American company coming to town and completely dismantling the entire place. Depicting a necrotizing microcosm plagued by rampant fatherlessness, alcoholism, pedophilia, and various other forms of all-too-common social dysfunction and cultural decay, Boermans’s striking debut—a cinematic work based on a play that the director began performing in 1990 with a troupe of actors that would partly make up the film's cast—is a pleasantly political incorrect work that depicts American hegemony and globalization as something akin to a nuclear holocaust, albeit somewhat more aesthetically pleasing. A fairly amazing debut for a theater actor and stage director with seemingly nil film directing experience, the film can be certainly compared by cinematic works by Alex van Warmerdam, Adriaan Ditvoorst, and Roy Andersson in terms of their aesthetics and darkly comedic depiction of the decline of the Occident, yet Boermans’ film can hardly be described as derivative, even if seem Dutch film critics have criticized it for being supposedly too contrived and formulaic. Ultimately, 1000 Rosen reveals why Francis Parker Yockey was right when he wrote in 1953 in his book The Enemy of Europe regarding the decidedly deleterious effect of America on Europe, “The Europe of 2050 will be essentially the same as that of 1950, viz. a museum to be looted by barbarians, a historical curiosity for sightseers from the colonies; an odd assortment of operetta-states; a reservoir of human material standing at the disposal of Washington and Moscow; a loan market for New York financiers; a great beggars' colony, bowing and scraping before the American tourists.” 

 While I have never even visited the Netherlands, I have known my entire life that something horrible happened to the tiny Lowland nation as a result of the Second World War because my grandfather was a Dutchman who regrettably left his homeland for the United States of America in the 1950s. Indeed, I was always told as a child that my grandfather came to the U.S. because he was thoroughly depressed by what had become of his homeland, but it was only until I was much older that I truly began to realize how the Netherlands degenerated from a relatively powerful empire with colonies all around the world into becoming an overcrowded neo-liberal hellhole that is being invaded by third world barbarians and savages that would love nothing more than to exterminate the country and people that subsidize their mostly parasitic existences. While the Germans—a longtime foe of the Dutch despite their shared blood and history—typically gets the blame for the Netherland’s decline due to the Nazi occupation during the Second World War, 1000 Rosen demonstrates in a wonderfully wicked sort of way that it was ultimately the Americans that raped and destroyed the country and turned it into, not unlike the rest of Western Europe, a servile vassal state with no true sovereignty of its own. In its depiction of a classically tall, dark, and handsome Clark Kent-esque American businessman from Minnesota named Mr. Marshall who comes to a destitute Dutch town as an elusive all-powerful savior and ultimately proves to be the worst sort of wolf in sheep’s clothing by buying out the main factory and deindustrializing the entire area, the film reveals in a fantastic allegorical fashion how the so-called Marshall Plan (aka the European Recovery Program, ERP) dismantled the country’s infrastructure, industry, culture, traditions, and self-determination, among other things.   Indeed, 1000 Rosen is anything but a tribute to the false song of globalism and it's assorted social afflictions like multiculturalism, pop culture, feminism, and various other forms of deracinating nation-destroying degeneracy.

 Depicting a morally inverted world where unmarried mothers put their own petty concerns over that of their much loathed fatherless bastard daughters and featuring an extra eerie conclusion where a little girl and a pedophiliac banker that is obsessed with said little girl are the only survivors and thus leave town together in what is indubitably a hauntingly sardonic conclusion, 1000 Rosen might be rather dark and depressing yet it also quite entertaining, humorous, and aesthetically pleasing, not to mention a rare quasi-mainstream Dutch flick that dares to reveal that post-WWII Netherlands became the desperate whore of the pernicious bloodsucking pimp that is the United States of Zion. Indeed, a rare piece of anti-American cinema that, quite unlike a bombastic agitprop piece by archetypal American liberal slob Michael Moore, is not innately insipid, juvenile, or cynical in an impotent leftist sort of way, the film depicts in a semi-surreal fashion the last gasp of the land that produced Rembrandt and both van Goghs in a manner that can be understood by children yet appreciated on a deeper level by pretentious art fags. While I hate to quote the old bitter kosher commie culture-distorter, the film is also thankfully a rare cinematic work that manages to contradict Adorno's statement regarding modern art, “[A]rt no longer has the task of representing a reality that is preexisting for everyone in common, but rather of revealing, in its isolation, the very cracks that reality would like to cover over in order to exist in safety; and that, in doing so, it repels.” In fact, 1000 Rosen features both literal and figurative cracks of a rather grim reality regarding the slow and painful secret ethnic cleansing of Western Europe by generic looking American men with phony smiles that operate under the pernicious guidance of hidden forces that would love to transform every church into a McDonald's and replace every native Dutchman with an automaton-like Indian or Chinese slave-wager. 

 Rather fittingly, 1000 Rosen begins relatively wholesomely with an unseen dipsomaniac putting the finishing touches on a wooden mouse maze. The maze was created by a working class zero named Harry (Jaap Spijkers) as a birthday present for his longtime girlfriend’s daughter Liesje (Tessa Lilly Wyndham). As the film eventually reveals, no one seems to know who Liesje’s biological father is, but it is hinted that her so-called ‘uncle’—a sleazy and creepy bank director named ‘Otto’ (Hannes Demming)—might be the little girl's true progenitor. Likewise, it is also hinted that Otto is the father of Liesje’s mother Gina (Marieke Heebink), as he apparently as a sexual history with both the mother and daughter.  Indeed, not only is Otto a predatory capitalist, but he is a also a unabashed sexual predator who has no problem feeling up a prepubescent girl while in the company of said little girl's grandmother.  As a self-absorbed bitch that hates her life and wants someone to blame, Gina naturally resents her daughter Liesje because she has no life as a result of getting pregnant at 18 and being forced to work at the local wiring factory instead of pursuing her dream of studying languages and traveling abroad.  Despite hating her life, Gina is better off than most people in the area since she is the manager of the local factory, which is the town's main source of income. Not surprisingly, Gina’s mother (Marianne Rogée) also resents her for similar reasons, though she loves her granddaughter Liesje and even confesses to the little girl, “When you were born, I knew right away…that the best part of my daughter was you.”  As the mouse maze at the beginning of the film alludes to, all of these characters are trapped in a perennial maze of insufferable redundancy and, not unlike the mice, they will inevitably die mostly slow and painful deaths in their proletarian prison, though not before suffering the misguided delusion that they might escape after the yanks come to town and ostensibly save the day. 

 The film is set in an anachronistic world with aspects of both the early 1960s and early 1990s where Low German (aka ‘Nederduits’)—a dialect of Northern Germany that can be understood with relative ease by Dutch people—is spoken and children are virtually nonexistent. Little Liesje—an inordinately adorable yet tragic child that has already clearly suffered much suffering in her short and seemingly rather static life—seems to be a mute as she does not speak at all and seems to be quasi-autistic yet at the same time she displays almost mystical insights that, quite unlike the dysfunctional adults that surround her, give her the capacity to realize that her town is on the brink of a catastrophic disaster. Obsessed with staring at a painting of a red rose on her blood-colored bedroom wall, Liesje notices everything that the adults cannot seem to see, including random appearance of quasi-apocalyptic cracks in the earth and plants sprouting in the most random of places. When a group of Americans led by an almost mythical figure named Mr. Marshall (Rik Launspach)—a shadowy yet handsome and seemingly all-powerful character that is always symbolically depicted standing behind doors and windows—the plants become more prominent and random citizens begin coughing up blood for seemingly no reason as if consumed by some sort of mysterious plague that ultimately seems to be more metaphysical than physical in origin.

Indeed, the unexpected arrival of the Americans, including a couple well dresses negroes, completely corrupts the equilibrium of the town, especially in regard to romantic and familial relationships. For instance, Liesje’s mother Gina soon drops her longtime boyfriend/pseudo-husband Harry—a sub-literate forklift driver that seems to mean well but is just too much of a dumb and dangerous drunk to ever be a truly decent husband/father figure—for a meek, weak, and pathetic white knight computer nerd named Kernstock (Bert Geurkink) who is married to a large, masculine, and grotesquely overly domineering nurse named Rita (Marisa Van Eyle) who calls him “little bear” and gives him unwanted blowjobs.  Aside from giving distinctly disgusting blowjobs where it seems like she might suck off her husband Kernstock's cock, Rita does think think twice about giving passive handjobs to elderly patients while simultaneously carrying out wifely duties like frying eggs.  As Kernstock reveals regarding his life ambitions, “I always thought one half of me would work…and the other half would prepare for a Canary Island. One half sold to the factory and the other half able to live.” Unfortunately for Kernstock, like virtually everyone in the town, his dreams are about to degenerate into a horrendous nightmare that makes the final days of the German occupation seem like a gentle stroll in the park by comparison. 

 Aside from Liesje, her grandmother, who is a stereotypical old-timer that hates change of any sort, seems to be the only other person that has a strong feeling that the Americans will bring disaster to the town. Indeed, grandma even reacts violently when her daughter Gina buys a used computer from Kernstock for accounting purposes at the wiring factory. Grandma has dedicated her entire life to working at the factory and as she proudly screams at Harry and Gina regarding her seemingly indomitable work ethic, “At your age I was up at five! You’re weaklings! No Bones! […] I’ve stood all my life! I never laid down! Even when I laid down! I remember myself as only being upright.” When Gina goes behind her back and gets a large loan from ‘uncle’ Otto so that she can buy her own land and house, grandmother kicks her out of her home, which is incidentally located inside the same building as the factory, and throws all of her belongings into the street, thus forcing her to sleep in her work office.  Not surprisingly, Gina does not seem to concerned with the fact that her daughter Liesje continues live inside her mother's home.  Meanwhile, Harry is left seriously hospitalized after crashing his work truck into a billboard after getting in a fight with Gina over her relationship with Kernstock and her refusal to move inside his Winnebago.  While Harry originally purchased the Winnebago so he would not have to live under the same roof as Gina, Liesje, and the grandmother, the loss of his ladylove to Kernstock finally made him realize how important she was to him, hence his desperate suicidal decision to crash his truck into a billboard advertising to “invest now” in the dubious American corporation.  Of course, Gina is one of the fools that opts to invest and her banker uncle Otto even gives her a fairly decent sized loan which she suspects is an attempt for him to make amends for the fact that he molested her when she was a little girl, though he charges her 11% interest because, as he matter-of-factly states in a slightly sinister fashion, “Only death is for free.”  Needless to say, Gina and virtually everyone she knows will receive this once-in-a-lifetime freebie by the end of the film.

Not long after hotheaded Harry's rather convenient accident, Kernstock gets completely fed up with his raunchy ratchet wife Rita and leaves her for good after she gives him a rather nasty involuntary blowjob from under his computer desk. Notably, while receiving the completely grotesque unwanted face-fake, Kernstock states to Rita in a rare moment where he displays some level of testicular fortitude, “It’s slim legs I think of, if you must know…and tight cunts I think of…and not your barn hole.” To add insult to injury, Kernstock not only takes Harry’s woman but also takes residence in his beloved Winnebago. When she and her mother later visit Harry in the hospital, Liesje confirms that Gina is fucking Kernstock, even though they have not technically sealed the sexual deal yet (as is quite apparent throughout the entire film, Gina has her eye on Mr. Marshall and is simply using poor cuckold Kernstock as a sort of slavish life-planner due to his supposed economic intelligence and prowess behind a computer). Eventually crippled Harry and Rita proceed to begin a grotesque ‘rebound relationship’ where they both declare to take murderous revenge against their ex-lovers. Indeed, while Harry vows to kill Kernstock in a most gruesome fashion, Rita brags in a rather venous fashion how she plans to kill her hubby in his own bed whilst giving him one of her infamous handjobs.  Meanwhile, Gina and Kernstock are so happy about their would-be-bright future together that they literally slow dance together on top of graves in the local graveyard in a darkly humorously symbolic scene that seems to reflect the absurdly misguided, blind enthusiasm that the post-WWII Dutch had for mindlessly of disposing their nation's entire history and culture and forgetting their ancestors in the hope that they would monetarily benefit from the Americanization of their homeland.  Of course, in the end, the scheming Americans, who have no organic kultur and are solely monetarily motivated and thus anti-Occidental, not only bring them deindustrialization and destitution, but death and total destruction.

 In the last 30 minutes or so of the film, 1000 Rosen takes a sort of fantastic apocalyptic turn for the worst that has its genesis in the American corporation secretly dismantling the industry of the entire town literally over night and leaving to go back to the United States in what is undoubtedly a symbolic depiction of America's pernicious predatory effect on a rather vulnerable post-WWII Western Europe. When Liesje’s grandmother witnesses firsthand the dismantling of the factory that she has slaved away at her entire life, she hysterically screams, “I knew it! I knew it right from the start!” and then sets her eyes on treacherous banker Otto and rightly yells at him while he watches pathetically from the comfort of his office window, “And you did too! You’ve ruined us! All of us. The town, me, Gina! You and your bloody friends!” just before killing herself by throwing herself in front of one of the trucks that is hauling away the equipment from the town as her haunted granddaughter looks on.  Notably, while all this is going on, Gina is spending a splendid vacation at the beach where she finally gives Kernstock what he wants by less than passionately fucking him.  Indeed, instead of being there for her traumatized daughter Liesje, who has just witnessed the brutally tragic suicide of her grandmother, Gina is busy riding the cock of a cuck that she seems to have nil sexual or emotional interest in, but of course one should not expect anything less from a modern liberated woman who puts self-interest above all us.

The next day after the Americans have completely abandoned the area and shipped all of the local factory's machines and equipment to some shithole on the Dark Continent (notably, when Gina later asks Otto why the Americans would be interested in such “junk” machines and equipment, the sleazy pedo banker replies that they are, “Good enough for Africa”), the town is in a fully apocalyptic state where every single person is trying in vain to evacuate the region before they croak.  Indeed, when Rita finally arrives back to town from her vacation with Kernstock, she is somewhat startled to find corpses hanging from ropes, dead bodies in the street, buildings on fire, and everyone in acting with the utmost animalistic desperation. In the film’s somewhat surprisingly ultra-violent and forebodingly atmospheric climax, little Liesje takes a sort of prophetic revenge against the adults that failed her by locking her mother Gina, pseudo-father Harry, Kernstock, and Rita in the abandoned factory and unleashing two black hellhounds on them. Notably, before the Americans left the area for good and the entire town went to hell, Liesje seemed to have a premonition of the tragedy that would ensue after looking at the maze mouse she received for her birthday and discovering that all the mice were dead.  Both distressed and angered by the sight of the dead mice, Liesje smashed the maze to bits in a rather violent fashion, as if she had a reluctant emotional longing for the destruction of the people and entire world that failed her.

Now trapped in the mazelike factory like scared rodents, the adults in Liesje’s life have become the mice and of course now they must die, or so Liesje seems to believe as demonstrated by her actions. Indeed, after Harry brutally slaughtering Kernstock with a chainsaw, Liesje’s dogs maul Rita to death while she is sobbing and caressing the corpse of her dead hubby. When Gina dares to rebuff his love and declares she is making a new life for herself in America after he corners her in the factory, Harry, who has become murderously lovesick, uses a forklift to crush her body against a wall. As for Harry, his fate is no less gruesome as Liesje blows his brains out with his own shotgun, which is somewhat ironic considering he was the one responsible for teaching the little girl how to shoot in the first place. In the end, the entire town transforms into a sort of inordinately beauteous and dreamy graveyard after it is completely overgrown with wild plants and red roses. As for little Liesje, she tragically but not surprisingly follows in the footsteps of her grandmother and mother by becoming Uncle Otto’s whore and leaving the town with him in what is ultimately a hauntingly stunning conclusion to a deceptively dark and morbid film where lecherous humor and raunchiness is cleverly utilized to make the prospect of the slow and painful American-funded extermination of an entire Dutch town easier to swallow. 

 While undoubtedly a decidedly dark and grim cinematic work that might possibly drive more sensitive and vulnerable minds to suicide, 1000 Rosen is unequivocally a classic of Dutch comedy, though it would be unfair to describe it as simply a comedy as it totally transcends both genre conventions and expectations as an unpretentious arthouse work that seamlessly weaves elements of comedy, melodrama, romance, fantasy, and even horror in an elegant yet nonetheless ultimately brutal fashion. In terms of depicting a post-WWII Dutch town as a culturally and morally decaying hellhole in a strangely humorous fashion that reminds the viewer why the Netherlands has never recovered from the Second World War but instead mutated into a virtual Americanized graveyard, the film is comparable to works like Adriaan Ditvoorst’s quasi-biblical anti-liberal epic De Mantel der Liefde (1978) aka The Mantle of Love, Rudolf van den Berg’s somewhat uneven Gerard Reve adaptation De Avonden (1989) aka Evenings, Alex van Warmerdam’s De Noorderlingen (1992) aka The Northerners, and Martin Koolhoven’s Suzy Q (1999), yet it also features surprising moments of magic realism comparable to the films of Belgian auteur filmmakers like Harry Kümel and Baron André Delvaux (incidentally, the film was mostly shot in the historical town of Bois-du-Luc in southern Belgium). Interestingly, contemporary Belgian auteur Koen Mortier—a filmmaker whose debut feature Ex Drummer (2007) takes a darkly comedic approach to depicting the abject moral and cultural deterioration of contemporary Belgium—worked on 1000 Rosen as a location manager and it seems that being involved with this film inspired his entire approach to filmmaking.  It should also be noted that auteur Theu Boermans was born in the ‘Dutch Caribbean’ of Netherlands Antilles, thus he probably has a somewhat different and distinct perspective on the decline on the Netherlands. Boermans, who is certainly better known as an actor and stage director than as a filmmaker, would demonstrate his versatility with Dutch dialects by portraying a tragic Limburg farmer in Frouke Fokkema’s underrated anti-Heimat piece Kracht (1990) aka Vigour, which features a number of the same actors as 1000 Rosen and was produced by the same production company. If Ex Drummer, Kracht, and 1000 Rosen all have something in common, it is that they depict a sick, senile, and decrepit Europa where even small towns and villages in the countryside are not immune from the spiritually, culturally, and economically deleterious effects of Americanization. 

 In his arguable magnum opus Histoire(s) du cinéma (1988-1998)—a highly personal 8-part video project about the history of cinema that the auteur took over a decade to complete—French alpha-auteur Jean-Luc Godard brings forth the rather reasonable yet rarely acknowledged historical thesis that both Germany and the United States were in competition during World War II for total world domination, or as kosher film critic Richard Brody noted in a typically whiny Judaic fashion in his tome Everything Is Cinema: The Working Life Of Jean-Luc Godard (2008), “Though Godard was obsessed with the Holocaust as an unparalleled horror, he relativized the monstrosity of the political force that brought it about. As Godard asserted in ALL THE STORIES, the war resulted in not one but two attempts at world dominion—Germany’s unsuccessful military conquest, and America’s successful cultural one: just as ‘after the First World War, Hollywood destroyed French cinema, after the Second World War Hollywood destroyed all the cinemas of Europe with television and money.’ On-screen, Godard flashes the word Endlösung (final solution), suggesting that, while Hitler had used the cover of war to try to exterminate the Jews of Europe, the United States had used it to wipe out the national movie industries of Europe. He shockingly presented these two deeds as parallel, as motivated by a similar sense of national self-righteousness and drive for hegemony. Thus, rather than considering Germany alone to have been the invaders and the United States the liberators, Godard saw wartime France and the other European nations as innocent victims caught between these two behemoths.” Of course, Brody’s glaring hysterical Hebraic outrage aside, Godard is mostly right, hence the importance of a film like 1000 Rosen that dare to propose that America has had a largely catastrophic effect on Europe and European culture. It should also be noted that Godard rightly believes that Hollywood is largely run by Jewish gangsters and criminals, so naturally Americans movies should be considered nothing more than toxic culture-distorting trash that is used be an alien people to not only deracinate and debase Europeans with degeneracy, but also the American white majority and virtually every other group of people in the world. 

Indeed, while the United States might have officially won the Second World War, it was ultimately a loss for Western Europe and European-Americans in the long run as they came under the influence of a hostile anti-Occident people, or as Francis Parker Yockey noted in his magnum opus Imperium (1948), “The result of all this is a powerful spiritual influence on the American people.  This people reads the books which aliens write or edit for it.  It sees the plays and cinemas it is allowed to.  It thinks the thoughts that are put into its head.  It is thrown into wars against American interests, which it can only lose.  The issue of war and peace, life and death, is decided for America by the Cultural alien.  America has been given a semitic countenance.  Americans who hold power hold it in the deference to the alien.  To oppose him dare no public men.  Americans were told that they must be concerned with the partitioning of Arabia, and no national channel existed through which an American could deny fundamentally the world-picture which supported such a policy.”  While Yockey wrote these words in 1948, they clearly ring true today.

Notably, Godard, himself a lifelong leftist and ex-Maoist, also believed that the Third Reich had the last truly and organically European cinema, even once stating in a 1991 interview with Le Monde, “The German cinema under Nazism is the only cinema that wanted to be European . . . The German cinema is the only one that fought against America, that did what Jack Lang would like to do.”  Undoubtedly, one of the things that makes 1000 Rosen such a liberating cinematic experience is that it is innately anti-Hollywood and, in turn, totally Judenfrei (somewhat ironically, the French politician that Godard mentioned, Jack Lang, is descended from a family of Jewish freemasons, thus hardly someone that you would expect to be an advocate for a Renaissance of a truly French cinema).

 While 1000 Rosen subtly credits the Marshall Plan as destroying Western Europe, the film fails to mention a much more pernicious and malefic conspiracy known as the Coudenhove-Kalergi Plan that entails the ‘passive extermination’ of the indigenous European peoples as envisioned by the demented and philosemitic half-breed Austrian-Jap aristocrat Richard von Coudenhove-Kalergi, who might be best described as the spiritual father of the dystopian anti-imperium known as the ‘European Union.’ Like many racially mongrelized individuals, von Coudenhove-Kalergi—a staunch philo-semite whose friendship with Baron Louis de Rothschild led to him being funding in his anti-Occidental political pursuits by Judaic banker Max Warburg—was rather sensitive about his dubious pedigree and arrogantly sought for the systematic destruction of the indigenous European races via race-mixing while at the same time hypocritically advocating Jewish racial purity as reflected in his unhinged words like, “The man of the future will be of mixed race. Today's races and classes will gradually disappear owing to the vanishing of space, time, and prejudice. The Eurasian-Negroid race of the future, similar in its appearance to the Ancient Egyptians, will replace the diversity of peoples with a diversity of individuals […] Instead of destroying European Jewry, Europe, against its own will, refined and educated this people into a future leader-nation through this artificial selection process. No wonder that this people, that escaped Ghetto-Prison, developed into a spiritual nobility of Europe. Therefore a gracious Providence provided Europe with a new race of nobility by the Grace of Spirit.” Rather curiously, von Coudenhove-Kalergi’s hateful anti-Aryan dreams have largely become true and it should be no surprise that he was the first to be awarded the so-called Charlemagne Prize, which has been only awarded to the most treacherous of Zionist-approved leaders like Henry Kissinger, Tony Blair, and Angela Merkel. 

 While 1000 Rosen does not depict the flooding of Europe with hostile aliens from the third world, it does hint at the racial hostility of the shadowy leaders of the United States in a scene where American negroes in fancy business suits pay off the leaders of the town with suitcases full of cash, thus reflecting the racial treachery of the U.S. and how white Americans disgraced their own peoples by treating them lower than American blacks after the Second World War. Needless to say, the film has never been released in the United States despite the various prestigious awards it has won as such a provocative film goes against the interests of left-wing and largely Jewish-owned foreign film distribution companies like the Criterion Collection, Kino Lorber, and Cohen Media Group. Of course, it is no surprise that the Netherlands is also the country that produced Theo van Gogh, who was assassinated for directing a short that simply exposes the brutally misogynistic character of the Koran.  Van Gogh was notorious for his vocal criticism of both Jewish and Muslim influence on the Netherlands, thus making his death all the more tragic yet unsurprising. Likewise, the nation is also responsible for Edwin Brienen whose feature Revision - Apocalypse II (2010) features a female protagonist that argues that contemporary neo-liberal West is worse than any of the horrors of the Third Reich. After all, although they might have been deeply impacted by American hegemony, the Dutch are among the most brutally blunt people in the world and largely lack the naivety and delusional guilt that plagues their German neighbors, though the country still certainly has it's fair share of leftist lunatics, cucks, and exceedingly emasculated ethnomasochists.  In its delectable combination of morbidly dark humor, uncompromising anti-American political incorrectness, magical realism, brutal violence, and beautiful surrealist flower arrangements, 1000 Rosen is not only one of the most important and entertaining Dutch films of its era, but also a pure and unadulterated reflection of the best and worst aspects of the Dutch national character, thereupon making it mandatory viewing for anyone with an interest in true Western European cinema. 

-Ty E

Aug 12, 2016

Numéro deux

While La Nouvelle Vague alpha-auteur Jean-Luc Godard (Alphaville, Pierrot le Fou) is credited with many singular accomplishments as a filmmaker, including discovering and defiling Danish diva Anna Karina and inspiring multiple generations of filmmakers in terms of how they looked at and created films, few people seem to realize that he has directed what is undoubtedly one of the most epically banal and uniquely incoherent yet nonetheless somewhat intriguing fuck flicks ever made. Indeed, Numéro deux (1975) aka Number Two is an insanely inept anti-erotic abortion of the oftentimes infantile sort where the viewer has the distinct voyeuristic misfortune of spying on the sexual habits of three generation of one family under a single roof in a very cramped apartment where the children regularly pay witness to their mouthy Marxist mother’s rather bushy beaver and impassioned rants about her irregular bowel movements and lack of sexual satisfaction. Originally ostensibly intended as a remake of the director’s legendary debut feature À bout de soufflé (1960) aka Breathless, the film has virtually nothing in common with its black-and-white predecessor aside from being also produced by Georges de Beauregard on a fairly meager 6,000 franc (or $120,000) budget. In fact, it was de Beauregard that originally proposed that Godard direct the remake, which the filmmaker agreed to do, but like many of his film projects, he had no real intention of honoring his agreement with the producer and instead ultimately sired something totally different with decidedly dull and innately materialistic and sexually pathetic Marcusian undertones. As Godard stated himself in regard to the importance of utilizing the same exact 1960 budget as Breathless for naughty non-remake, “the originality consists in saying that the cost of living has increased by a factor of four, but we are making a film with . . . the same budget.” Made after the director’s two failed marriages, declaration of the death of cinema in Weekend (1967), foolish adoption of then-trendy culturally corrosive scam of Maoism, less than artistically fruitful five-film collaboration under the quite fitting name ‘The Dziga Vertov Group’ with young Jewish communist Jean-Pierre Gorin between 1968 and 1973, and troubled recovery from a life-changing motorcycle accident that resulted in the loss of one of his testicles and the development of various psychological problems like agoraphobia, Number Two was intended as a big comeback film of sorts for Godard, but it was, somewhat predictably, an abject failure that remains fairly obscure to this day even among the filmmaker’s die hard fans. Of course, Godard should not have expected anything less when he deceived his fans by agreeing to remake his first and arguably most popular film, but instead created what seems like a quasi-feminist family film for the hopelessly sexually autistic and vaguely incestuous. 

 Once described by Godard himself in 1975 in Politique Hebdo as an “ethnological film” that could literally be named “The Sexual Economy of the Inhabitants of Lower Grenoble,” Number Two is ultimately an unintentionally absurd and bizarrely comedic anti-erotic cinematic experiment where the auteur demonstrates his pathological obsession with both Marxism and sexual perversion by crudely attempting to link poverty and unemployment with sexual impotence and constipation. Indeed, centering around three generations of one family living under the same roof in a white prole ghetto in the southeastern France city of Grenoble, Godard’s somewhat creepy and oftentimes embarrassingly ridiculous film depicts a patently pathetic microcosm of (post)Marxist moaning and bitching where a young mother complains that she has not shit in two weeks because she cannot find a job, an elderly grandfather plays with his tiny shriveled up penis while recalling the good old days of communist activism and his friendship with kosher commie leader Henri Krasucki, and a young father confesses his minor shame in regard to a sad and pathetic “family affair” involving his prepubescent daughter witnessing him brutally sodomizing his cheating wife. A film featuring perennially flaccid pricks, close-up shots of a little girl’s vagina, and a mother and father that give their children a rather intimate lesson about their genitals and what they describe as ‘love,’ Number Two is a film that is unmistakably the work of a pathetically perverted sexual cripple and tiresomely pedantic intellectual with a strange talent for draining out all of the joy, magic, and intimacy of sex, hence why he was probably divorced by two of the cutest French film stars of their era. 

 Aside being a comeback film for Godard, this piece of unintended kitsch was also intended as the director’s first attempt at creating a new type of cinema that had completely transcended anything that he or any other filmmaker had done before. Armed with a new film studio full of then-state-of-the-art video equipment (in fact, a good portion of the film’s budget went into said equipment) and a new central collaborator in the form of his photographer companion Anne-Marie Miéville, Number Two—a film that’s title indubitably announces the second big phase in the filmmaker’s uniquely uneven filmmaking career—is the sometimes intriguing and almost always awkward failed first cinematic experiment of an artistically desperate auteur in the middle of both a personal and artistic rebirth. As his American Judaic biographer Richard Brody noted in Everything Is Cinema: The Working Life Of Jean-Luc Godard (2008), Godard began publicly attacking his former comrades from Cahiers du Cinéma in 1975 by accusing them of being nothing more than derivative hacks as indicated by remarks like: “I am amazed that people who lack ideas for new films (including some old friends like Truffaut, Rivette, who don’t have any more ideas than the guys whom they denounced twenty years ago), continue to adhere to the one and self-same system of filmmaking, which is easy to describe: a sum of so many million, multiplied by so many weeks, multiplied by a certain number of people.” Suffering the supreme and seemingly aesthetically retarded delusion that the new video technology of that time was a superior medium to actual film, Godard was convinced that, not unlike a megalomaniacal mad scientist in his laboratory, his new film studio would lead to revolutionary cinematic creations that would change mankind, yet Number Two is anything but groundbreaking unless you look at it as a rare example of a quasi-incestuous family film for politically active pedophiliac art fags. Indeed, not unlike Anthony Aikman’s The Genesis Children (1972) and Pier Giuseppe Murgia’s Maladolescenza (1977) aka Puppy Love starring Eva Ionesco, Godard’s film is a patently preposterous post-counterculture cinematic oddity that some might describe as kiddy art-porn. Thankfully, unlike Aikman’s and Murgia’s films, Godard’s cinematic work is relatively conservative when it comes to the naked naughty bits of children. 

Seemingly partly inspired by the plotless and naturalistic gutter realism of Andy Warhol and Paul Morrissey, Number Two could easily be mistaken as a piece of eccentrically assembled cinéma-vérité were it not for the random mundanely executed and clearly contrived Marxist and feminist diatribes that are sprinkled throughout the film.  Indeed, the commie dialogue and narration in the film is so phony and inauthentic sounding that it is as if Godard included these things in the film to convince himself of his own misguided and clearly abstract politically beliefs. Somewhat giving the viewer the impression they are watching security footage that was shot in a claustrophobic apartment with little room for movement, the ‘film’ features the tiresome gimmick of having one or more video monitors in virtually every single frame, with Godard himself immediately breaking down the fourth wall by appearing at the very beginning in an extended introduction from the comfort of his own film studio and babbling pretentious pseudo-hermetic twaddle about how it is a “factory” where he is the “boss,” thereupon underscoring his glaring post-Maoist psychosis.  In short, Godard wants the viewer to seem him as a ‘worker’ in the commie sense who has achieved the bolshevik dream of owning and controlling his own factory where he produces true blue prole cinematic products via his own extensive self-directed ‘labor.’  Somewhat ironically, Godard’s old school Hollywood hero Nicholas Ray would beat him to the chase in terms of cinematic innovation with his similarly experimental multi-monitor swansong We Can't Go Home Again (1973), with a rough cut of the film having its Cannes premiere in 1973. Additionally, Jane Arden and Jack Bond’s extremely underrated final collaboration Anti-Clock (1979) makes Godard’s film seem like both literal and figurative child’s play in terms of its clever and fairly idiosyncratic utilization of archaic video technology as a tool of dark voyeuristic intrigue. On the other hand, Number Two still proves to be quite the shocker to anyone familiar with the director’s early overtly cinephiliac classic cinematic works like Breathless, Le Mépris (1963) aka Contempt, Bande à part (1964) aka Band of Outsider, and Alphaville: une étrange aventure de Lemmy Caution (1965), among countless other examples, as the film seems like it was created by someone with a deep-seated contempt for cinema, especially of the genre oriented sort.  Indeed, one certainly gets the sense that Godard's one-time leading man Jean-Paul Belmondo was right when he declared in 1980 in retaliation for his former collaborator unkind public remarks, “There's no doubt that the person I saw who called himself Godard, with his lies and his little tricks, has nothing to do with the auteur of BREATHLESS, PIERROT LE FOU, or BAND OF OUTSIDERS.  The Godard of the 1960s is dead forever.”

 If Godard’s foremost object with Number Two was to alienate his audience in a most obnoxious fashion to the point where they want to violently smash their TV, he indubitably does a splendid job at the beginning of the film where he rambles on in his film studio while his four-eyed face is visible on a monitor that is sitting a couple feet from his partly headless body. Indeed, Godard spends about the first ten minutes of the film speaking in a somewhat unnervingly self-righteous fashion about his new and hardly improved form of pseudo-metaphysical Marxist filmmaking, stating, “I’m the boss. But I’m a special kind of boss because I’m also a worker. And I’m not alone as a worker. We’ve taken power […] I was ill for a long time and that made me think about the factory. I’d say what’s wrong here is, there’s too much DNA, not enough RNA. We learned it in school. You can’t ever use what you learn in school. It’s a pain in the ass. The government has closed half the schools in the area. They shove us into school and teach us useless things. If I say ‘DNA, biology’ to you, you wonder what I’m on about. I’m talking about you and your program.” According to Godard, “wordplays” and “puns” can cure illnesses, thus they are not “worthless.” While Godard makes vague reference to having been “ill,” he neglects to mention that he lost a testicle during said illness, which may or may not explain his new sense of cinematic perversity in the form of obsession over the interfamilial sexual habits of card-carrying commie proles.  Undoubtedly, if Number Two convinced me of anything, it is that Godard only understands sex in an abstract and intellectual sense, as if he was born without the capacity to get aroused by the smell or curves of a woman and thus looks at the flesh of the so-called fairer sex with the cold detachment of a space alien, hence his quite questionable sexual interest in prepubescent children.

 While Godard’s strange introduction is oftentimes incredibly intolerable, it is nothing compared to the repugnant narrating of an unseen female narrator that follows him who asks many redundant questions and then sometimes includes equally redundant answers as indicated by the following innately irritating piece of intellectual masturbation, “This film, Number Two, shows all of this. Unbelievable things. Things in close-up. Ordinary things. Shitty things and pleasurable things. Where does it happen? Pleasure is complicated. I think so anyway. I think pain is simple, but not pleasure. I think unemployment is simple. Not pleasure. And you see, when you find pleasure in being unemployed, it leads to Fascism. Number Two. This films is not left or right, but before and behind. In front are children. Behind is the government. The children of the homeland. Of the homeland. In school, you learn it’s a factory. Cinema is a factory, too. A factory that manufactures images. Like television. There was once an image. There were once two images. There was twice a sound. There were once two sounds. Number one and number two. Number Two. A film by Anne-Marie Miéville and Jean-Luc Godard, with Sandrine Batistella, Pierre Audry and others. Number Two. Coming to this screen son. And this screen is on a wall. What do you think this wall is between? Another political film? It’s not politics, it’s sex. No, it’s not sex, it’s politics. So is it about sex or politics? Why is it always either/or? It can be both sometimes. Sometimes. Which times? We always say, ‘There was once.’ Why don’t we ever say, ‘There was twice.’ This film, you see, is called Number Two. What does it talk about? Talk, talk. You can listen sometimes. You can watch. You see, Number Two, is a film you can watch. Watch peacefully. Watch what? You don’t always need to go far. There’s quite a lot to see.” As the above quote clearly demonstrates, the female narrator is not only redundant, but exceedingly obnoxious, not least of all because she a fiercely grating frogrette voice. 

 When the ‘feature presentation’ finally begins and the viewer no longer has to suffer Godard and the female narrator's pseudo-esoteric ramblings about mostly pointless nonsense that rarely provides insight as to what will follow, the viewer is introduced to a precocious little girl named Vanessa who asks her more or less completely naked mother Sandrine Battistella, “Will I bleed between my legs when I’m big?,” to which she receives an affirmative “yes” and is told to watch out for boys because they can be “hard work.” While Sandrine describes boys as “hard work,” her hubby Pierre Oudrey has a lot trouble just getting a proper hard-on.  Of course, as the viewer might have predicated, Godard attempts to link Pierre's impotence with capitalist tyranny and poverty, among other asinine absurdities, even though everyone knows the Bertolucci-esque stereotype of peasants making for passionate and virile lovers. Notably, towards the beginning of the film, Pierre pisses in a sink while his hysterically horny wife bitches, “I love your cock. But it’s always you who decides! It’s hard work” and then tries in vain to get his cock hard by stroking it. In fact, Sandrine is so desperate for dick that she apparently cheats on her husband Pierre, who naturally decides to get revenge, or as he states himself in regard to his wife while sounding rather pathetic, “I wanted to rape her. She let me, so I fucked her in the ass. She started screaming. Afterwards we realized Vanessa had been watching. Family affairs, I suppose.” Somewhat curiously, an image of little girl Vanessa is superimposed over a shot of Pierre sodomizing his wife, thus underscoring Godard’s dubious fetish for awkward interfamilial fucking. Needless to say, it is no surprise when Vanessa confesses, “Sometimes I think it’s pretty, Mummy and Daddy, sometimes I think it’s caca.”  After all, a child cannot help but think of the perils of poop after seeing their enraged father penetrate their mother's bunghole with a pulsating pecker.

 Out of everyone in the family, Sandrine, who is always flashing around her tits and dark bushy beaver in front of both of her kids, is easily the most insufferable and just all around repulsive, which largely has to do with her whimsical bitchiness, lame leftist sloganeering (e.g. “Anarchy isn’t a bomb, it’s justice and freedom”), self-absorbed fits of rage, and overall anti-maternal behavior. Indeed, aside from giving her daughter a bath while talking about her vagina and giving her kids a fucked up form of sexual education that involves exposing her aroused genitals, Sandrine does virtually nothing for her children and instead spends most of the time trying in vain to arouse her unsurprisingly impotent husband, who seems to know better than anyone that there is no greater turn-off for a man than a bitchy broad that loves to pontificate about her poop problems. In fact, when Sandrine is not bitching about her lack of cock intake, she is yammering on about the fact that she has not had a proper bowel movement in two weeks. In what is arguably the most overtly ‘tender’ moment of the entire film, Sandrine calls her kids into her bedroom while she is completely naked with her husband, touches her vagina, and then states while playing with her labia, “See this? They’re lips. My sex lips,” to which Pierre replies in a fatherly fashion while touching his peter, “See here, it’s a kind of mouth. And with this mouth, you kiss your lover’s sex lips.” After showing off her pussy to her kids, Sandrine states, “It’s called love. Love teaches us to talk” and Pierre adds, “And when it’s all over, Death put its finger to its lips and tells us to be quiet.” Unfortunately, it seems no one has ever told Sandrine to be quiet, as she is always talking even though she has nothing to really say. As for Sandrine’s thoughts about being a mother, she makes things fairly clear when she states in regard to the birth of her son, “I shitted him out from between my legs. And now everything’s blocked. I had to stuff myself. Even gladly. But it’s too strong. My tissue is torn. I get the feeling that everything I say is shit.” 

 In what is arguably the most grueling segment of the entire film, Godard juxtaposes footage of ‘grandma’ (Rachel Stefanopoli) bathing using a wet rag and a sink with insane feminist (translation: anti-female) quotes from loathsome female eunuch Germaine Greer like, “Women do not realize how much men hate them. Punished, punished, punished for being the object of hatred, through her orifices, her mouth and cunt, poor Taralala. Women never commit sexual crimes even when they are enacted upon the bodies of men. The male perversion of violence is an essential condition of the degradation of women. Women cannot be liberated from their impotence by the gift of a gun, although they are equally capable of firing them as men are. Men are tired of having all the responsibility for sex, it is time they were relieved of it. The vagina must come into its own. It’s worth repeating. The female attitude to violence is inseparable from this problem.” As subsequent narration indicates, Godard seems to believe that a woman can only be truly happy if she revolts against traditional female norms and traditions, which is somewhat ironic when one considers that Sandrine—a reckless mother and intolerable wife that puts her sexual drive before her own children—seems to be totally miserable, but of course the viewer is expected to blame her misery on capitalist tyranny and imaginary bogeymen like the patriarchy.  Of course, as a sad impotent cuck that can only get an erection upon feeling enraged that his wanton wifey has cheat on him, Sandrine's husband can hardly be described as a tyrannical patriarch.  In fact, in Sandrine's family, the grandfather is even berated by his grandchildren without the children having the slightest fear that they may be punished for their less than respectful indiscretions to their elders.

 If grandma seems to be a little bit senile, grandpa (Alexandre Rignault of Jean Renoir’s La Chienne (1931) and Georges Franju’s Les yeux sans visage (1960) aka Eyes Without a Face) is strikingly sharp by comparison for an old school Marxist true believer, but then again, as he proudly describes himself, he was a revolutionary at a time when it was not exactly safe to be a revolutionary and thus he can hardly be compared to the candy ass ‘bobos’ (aka ‘bourgeois bohemians’) that became Maoists during the late-1960s like many of Godard's friends and acquaintances.  Unfortunately for grandpa, he gets little respect from his rather ungrateful family and even his own grandson will not let him use the television so that he can watch a Soviet propaganda film (or what he describes as a “Russian film”).  As Grandpa remarks in regard to his past employment at Auschwitz, “You don’t tell anyone you worked in a death camp and the CEO was Hitler, or that you took the wages simply to survive.” According to Grandpa, he was once a loyal shabbos goy deputy of French Jew commie and trade unionist Henri Krasucki, but clearly he never received even a tiny degree of the power or prestige of his ex-boss, as he now spends his golden years rotting away in a tiny apartment with children and grandchildren that treat him like he is a great nuisance. During a slightly humorous scene where Godard seems to mock the viewer for enduring his softcore family sitcom, Grandpa sits completely naked at a table while telling old commie stories about his glory years as a frog Bolshevik and eventually remarks with gusto while grabbing his tiny shriveled penis, “Instead of watching movies, I watch my prick.” One certainly gets the sense that if Grandpa had not raised his kid(s) to be Marxist morons, his film would be, at the very least, slightly less fucked up. In short, Numéro deux might fail in many regards, but it indubitably makes for a great case against commie parenting and virtually every form of the Marxist Weltanschauung.  Indeed, the Marxist lumpenrproles of the film do not seem to believe in anything aside from their own misery.  Rather fittingly, Godard reappears at the conclusion of the film while looking fairly dejected and distressed, as if he has realized the film he has just realized he has produced the artistic equivalent of diarrhea and he is not happy or comfortable with what he sees.

 While I am somewhat hesitant to accuse him of being some sort of proud pedophile based solely off of Numéro deux, I cannot ignore the fact that Godard would continue to demonstrate with subsequent films that he has some of little girl fetish and that he hardly seems to be ashamed of that fact.  Indeed, for one of the episodes of his largely forgettable 12-part TV series Six fois deux (1976), Godard directed a disturbing scene of his companion Anne-Marie Miéville’s then-10-year-old daughter doing a completely naked ballet routine. Arguably even more disturbing, Godard blackmailed 9-year-old Camille Virolleaud to get naked for his TV miniseries France/tour/detour/deux/enfants (1977-1978) by threatening to stop the shoot if she refused to comply with his serious demand for completely unclad preteen titillation. Not surprisingly considering that virtually all of her classmates would see her naked after the miniseries was broadcasted television, Virolleaud was totally traumatized by the self-described “hyperviolent” experience to the point where she denied ever even being part of France/tour/detour/deux/enfants for two decades.  Of course, it should be no surprise that Godard was a comrade of kosher commie Daniel ‘Daniel the Red’ Cohn-Bendit, who is infamous for describing in his book The Great Bazaar (1975) aka Der grosse Basar how he engaged in erotic encounters with 5-year-olds while a teacher at a so-called ‘anti-authoritarian kindergarten.’ Rather disturbingly, Cohn-Bendit’s pro-pedo views were not exactly atypical, as it was a common belief among both intellectuals and layman alike associated with the student movement of 1968 that children should not be forbidden from anything sexual, including child-adult relations. One must also not forget that both Miéville and Camille Virolleaud’s mother gave their full consent to Godard to direct scenes featuring their unclad prepubescent daughters, thus underscoring the warped parenting trends of that time. Either way, it is unequivocally creepy and alarming when a middle-aged four-eyed ‘intellectual’ is so concerned with getting a little girl disrobed that he threatens her in the sort of manipulative manner that one would expect from a craven sexual predator, but then again Godard does not look like a sort of frog Woody Allen for nothing (incidentally, Allen would have an uncredited cameo in Godard’s preposterous cinematic disaster King Lear (1987)).

While not plagued with child nudity, Sauve qui peut (la vie) (1980) aka Every Man for Himself is another example of where Godard exploited a child for sexual reasons. Indeed, apparently Godard developed a strange infatuation with Swiss auteur Alain Tanner’s daughter Cécile Tanner and, not unlike the stereotypical scheming pedo, attempted to appeal to her by promising to direct a film about her involving her favorite sport of soccer. While Tanner would eventually get to play a soccer girl in Every Man for Himself—Godard’s self-described “second first film” and, unlike Number Two, his true comeback flick—when she was 12-years-old, she had no idea it would be in an incestuous pedophiliac context.  Indeed, as Richard Brody noted in regard to Tanner’s response upon first seeing the film and realizing that Godard had exploited her in a cinematically sexual fashion without her knowledge, “When I saw it, at the private screening for the crew, I crawled under my seat, I was dying of shame.”  Of course, considering that Godard is a long celebrated figure among film academics and a good number of respected mainstream film critics and virtually all of these individuals are staunch leftists, if not downright communists, he obviously gets a pass for his dubious sexual proclivities just like Allen and Polanski.  In fact, Godard's Judaic biographer Brody spends more time in Everything Is Cinema: The Working Life Of Jean-Luc Godard complaining about the filmmaker's supposed antisemitism than his more overt and well documented little girl fetish, but I digress.

 As a result of my somewhat recent discovery that Godard is a longtime enemy of Zion, noted critic of Claude Lanzmann’s singularly overrated Zionistic pity party Shoah (1985), and fan of great alpha-antisemite Louis-Ferdinand Céline (whose classic novel Voyage au bout de la nuit (1972) aka Journey to the End of the Night he once attempt to adapt), my general disdain for Godard began to wane over the past couple months, yet after watching Number Two—a virtual vision of prole parenting purgatory as directed by a man that seems to think that carnal knowledge and crapping are of equal significance—I cannot help but feel overcoming disgust for the auteur. Still, at the same time, I somehow cannot help but to feel a bit of pity and Fremdscham for old man Godard, as his film strikes me as the product of a socially and sexually inept emotional cripple who has retreated to a hopelessly lonely inward realm of worthless and outrageously outmoded quasi-Marxist abstractions and debasing aberrosexual fetishes because he can no longer stomach the metaphysical pain of living in the real world. Indeed, Number Two is ultimately the curious product of a childless unmarried family suffering from a curious combination of neurasthenia and delusions of grandeur who looks at a nuclear family with less passion and intimacy than a microbiologist would look at bacteria, hence why he has probably never had a family of his own (apparently, he once got his first wife Anna Karina pregnant, but she had a miscarriage). Undoubtedly no sane man sexually healthy father with a daughter would have a sort of self-destructive urge to direct nude little girls or depicting them in sexual situations with naked adult men that are fiddling with their cocks. Ultimately, Number Two features about as much socio-political insight and carries about as much cultural weight as Godard's somewhat autistic remark, “Once we know the number one, we believe that we know the number two, because one plus one equals two. We forget that first we must know the meaning of plus.” Of course, one can never truly trust the art or thoughts of a goofy looking guy who let a marriage to a great beauty like Anne Wiazemsky go to shit because he devoted most of his attention to a young Jewish communist like Gorin.

Forget inbred Appalachian meth heads, Detroit wiggers, and oxy-addled second generations polacks from Baltimore, Number Two features what can be described as the ultimate white trash family in what is the post-Sartrean intellectual equivalent to literal poverty porn.

-Ty E

Aug 5, 2016

The Smell of Us

If you are an American ‘artiste’ that has some degenerate sensational garbage you want to peddle and pass off as legitimate art, your best bet is probably to go to France where artistic alchemy is the norm and worthless shit is oftentimes highly revered as provocative cutting edge art. Indeed, from the film critics turned filmmakers of the Cahiers du Cinéma like Jean-Luc Godard and François Truffaut that re-evaulated Hollywood trash and declared it high cinematic art of the auteur oriented sort to the frog love of obscenely obnoxious American kosher comedian Jerry Lewis (who some regard as “Akin to Godard”), the French have a curious appreciation for lowbrow yank trash that even most ‘cultivated’ Americans do not even seem understand, as if they are attempting to rationalize the fact that they have been culturally colonized by an inferior mongrel (anti)culture. Needless to say, I thought it was a match made in heaven (or hell) when I discovered that debauched American photographer turned cinematic auteur Larry Clark (Kids, Wassup Rockers) directed his most recent film in France for a French production company using a seemingly completely French cast and crew (incidentally, his previous and most pornographic flick, Ken Park (2002) written by Harmony Korine and co-directed by cinematographer Edward Lachman, was a American-French-Dutch coproduction).

Of course, considering that France is currently at the forefront of producing pornographic arthouse films with oftentimes unsimulated sex as reflected by cinematic works by Catherine Breillat, Leos Carax, Virginie Despentes and Coralie Trinh Thi, Patrice Chéreau, Alain Guiraudie, Gaspar Noé, Laurent Bouhnik, and Jean-Claude Brisseau, among various others, there is no question that Clark picked the perfect place to make a film featuring incessant sleazy sex scenes featuring scrawny and oftentimes racially ambiguous teenage skater boys that seem just as excited about trying out a new dick as they do a new skateboard deck.  In fact, not only is The Smell of Us (2014)—the director’s last film since his somewhat mediocre racially-charged Mestizo twink fest Marfa Girl (2012)—arguably Clark’s most decidedly debasing and just all around sexually deranged film to date, but it is indubitably his most flagrantly faggy, as if the auteur felt he could only get away with achieving his dream of making a full-homo flick if he created it in France. If his trademark motif of shirtless armpit-scratching and ball-grabbing skater boys in his previous films was not evidence enough of Clark’s affinity for fresh young cock, the filmmaker’s latest film unequivocally demonstrates that he is hot for sweaty skater twink twat. While somewhat aimless and devoid of a storyline like most of Clark’s films, the film’s most prominent subplot involves a doomed love affair between an emotionally detached and exceedingly epicene skater boy with serious mommy issues and his gawky Quadroon-like comrade who is emotionally tortured by the fact that his best friend sells his bunghole to dirty old men but refuses to be his lover or even have sex with him.  Part skater crypto-porno and part hysterical homo romantic tragedy, The Smell of Us is, for better or worse, the sort of joyously debasing and rudely in-your-face art-porn trainwreck film that only a dirty old man like Clark could have assembled.

 Notably, French right-wing theorist Guillaume Faye—a controversial politically incorrect thinker who, as a man that briefly worked in the porn industry, can hardly be described as a prude—describes in his book Sexe et Dévoiement (2011) aka Sex and Deviance how he believes that his forsaken nation and its media are plagued by what he describes as “general sexual obsession.” Undoubtedly a superlatively sick sort of “general sexual obsession” certainly plagues the fiercely fucked frog purgatory of Clark’s film where a group of teenage skaters become collectively involved in both straight and gay-for-pay prostitution after two of their friends happen upon an escort website while watching internet porn. Featuring an extremely pedomorphic male quasi-lead who is so irreparably psychologically damaged that, despite being more or less a child, is incapable of initiating a real emotional relationship with the best friend he loves despite the fact that he allows dirty old man to brutally sodomize him for quick cash, The Smell of Us—a unwaveringly sleazy piece of fairly literally titled sinema that is unmistakably a Clark product—is arguably the director’s darkest and most disturbing and damning film yet as the sort of film that John Wayne Gacy would have loved to stroke his wrinkly old choad to. Indeed, while there might be no mention of a teenage AIDS epidemic like in Kids (1995) or a brutal drug-addled orgy of braindead murder and mayhem like in Bully (2001), the forsaken post-Reichian Parisian youth of Clark’s latest film have not even the slightest chance of hope or redemption and the worst part is that they do not even seem to realize it as they are too concerned with ordering the latest new skate deck or surfing porn sites to ever consider that there might be more to life than skating and fucking.

Somehow both decidedly dejected and enthralling, the film is probably the best example of Clark’s expertise when it comes to both exploiting and exposing the forlorn fates of a group of supremely shortsighted and oversexualized frog fuck-ups whose self-destructive sexual promiscuity seems to be their only true reason to live.  Also, somewhat ironically, despite being an arthouse flick where the American auteur demonstrates his ostensible artistic cred by making a film in France, the flick confirms the vaguely misguided American belief that all Frenchman are faggots and all frog broads are lecherous and cunty whores, as The Smell of Us ultimately reveals Clark to be the stereotypical American philistine. Listed as one of the Top Ten films of 2015 in Cahiers du Cinéma and beloved by none other than John ‘Pope of Trash’ Waters, Clark's film might even be described as underrated in the sense that it more or less remains unreleased in the United States and is more interesting and entertaining than the majority of critically acclaimed films that have been defecated out of Hollywood over the past couple years.

Rather fittingly considering the course of the director’s filmmaking career as cinema history's foremost skater boy fetishist with a somewhat sexually aberrant form of Peter Pan syndrome, The Smell of Us begins playfully enough with footage of Clark, who portrays a largely inanimate wino weasel named ‘Rocker,’ lying in the middle of a Paris city center while a dozen or so skaters ollie over his beat-up elderly body. Even though he rarely speaks or does much of anything aside from vomit and mumble incoherent gibberish, the skaters seem to consider ‘Rocker’ to be a sort of respected mascot for their crew, as if they subconsciously realize that they too will one day reach such a patently pathetic and tragic state if they happen to have the honor of living long enough. Acting as a sort of vaguely enigmatic Greek chorus to the film, Michael Pitt, who previously starred in Clark’s Bully as a borderline mentally retarded teenage sex beast, portrays a dirty unnamed street musician whose all-but-totally-insufferable blues guitar and singing playing provides a strangely fitting soundtrack to the loser lives of the skaters depicted in the film as indicated by his lyrics like “streetwalking zombie.” Undoubtedly the central character of the film is a boyish twink with blond curls named ‘Math’ (Lukas Ionesco) who spends the beginning of the film closely inhaling the sexual fumes of a male friend while he fucks a lecherous high yellow negress named Céline (Eva Menis-Mercier) during a party. When Math goes to a large rave later that night, he allows his cock to be freely groped by a creepy bearded fat man and then, as if aroused as a result of being briefly molested, proceeds to smell the river of sweaty male bodies that surround him. Despite the fact that he is clearly a latent cocksucker that loves taking in the youthful BO of his fellow skater boys, Math is in denial of the fact that he has the hots for his best friend JP (Hugo Behar-Thinières)—a rather racially ambiguous chap with a strange phenotype that hints that he has an unfortunate combination of European, negro, and Arab blood—who is rather upfront and forthright about his undying homoerotic feelings. Instead of giving into his fairly obvious gay feelings for JP, Math opts to follow the lead of some of his non-white comrades and makes the ultimately psychologically catastrophic mistake of beginning to peddle his little man-pussy to largely creepy and physically grotesque old homos that clearly have a predilection towards young and relatively despoiled adolescent meat.  Indeed, while there is no indication that he is hurting for money or has some deep dark daddy complex, Math decides to become a gigolo that, unlike most of his friends, sells his flesh to old men instead of old women.

 Considering there is really only one girl in their group, the skater crew in the film is what one might described as a real ‘sausage fest,’ though none of these young men would have trouble getting pussy from their little female friend if they actually wanted it.  Indeed, despite being a hot sassy little frogette bitch with sensual lips, fairly nice tits, and wildly lecherous eyes that practically beg to be buggered, virtually none of the skaters boys seem interested in sexually ravaging skater slut Maria (Diane Rouxel), who dumps her asshole boyfriend ‘Pacman’ (Théo Cholbi)—a sadistic bully who beats and robs his ‘friends’—at the beginning of the film and then begins looking for new dick.  Aside from the fact that they are afraid that her (ex)boyfriend Pacman will beat their asses, the skater boys do not seem to be interesting in sexually servicing Maria because they seem more interested in fucking each other when they are not being fucked by less than youthful paying customers. Like all her friends, Maria loves smoking fat blunts and is prone to seduce her friends while stoned, including gay boy JP, who she coerces into fucking her after getting him to dance with her naked while Math gets lost in a videogame. As Maria tells Toff (Terin Maxime)—a young skater that films everything his friends do, including skating, sleazy sexual encounters, and various pretty crimes they commit—regarding the aberrosexual nature of young French boys in a line of dialogue that seems to say a lot about writer/director Clark, “…it is 2013. All the guys are gay.” While Toff naturally denies he is a homo, that does not stop him from later filming Math being violently sodomized by an agitated bald john that slaps him in the face while screaming “wake up.” Indeed, as JP states of his friend to Maria in regard to Math’s tendency to fall into a quasi-comatose state at the strangest of times, “Sometimes he disappears,” to which she replies, “It’s like talking to a retard.” Of course, the more Math allows himself to be anally pillaged by predatory perverts, the more he succumbs to a sort of impenetrable catatonic state that especially disturbs loverboy JP. Naturally, Math’s psychological deterioration is not just the result of him being a self-loathing homo, or so the film eventually reveals. 

 While she might be a dangerously lecherous little lady with an insatiable thirst for cock who complains regarding her mostly seemingly gay male friends, “I’m tired of the stereotypical skaters who believe they have swag,” Maria eventually becomes quite concerned with the fact that her male cohorts are selling their cornholes for cash and attempts to intervene. Indeed, when Maria follows Math one night and discovers that he is about to peddle his flesh to an exceedingly effeminate and nearly elderly frog pervert with similarly curly hair that looks like he could be his grandfather, she calls JP in the hope that he will come to the rescue of their mutual friend. When JP arrives at the old john’s apartment, he discovers that Math, who is clearly not concerned with the health or mortality of his clients, has caused the pervert to pass out by giving him an overdose of wine, Viagra, and various other drugs. When JP attempts to proclaim his love to Math by telling him that he will “follow him anymore” and kissing him, the mentally damaged teenage gigolo punches him in the face and then shouts in a less than believable fashion, “I’m just gay for the bucks! Just for the money.” Naturally hurt that his love has been so rudely and crudely rebuffed, JP yells at Math, “you’re damn toxic. You’re shit” and then declares he is heading “south” to the assumed homeland of his maternal racial kinsmen (while JP's father is revealed to be white, it is quite clear that his mother, who is not in the picture, is not).  After JP leaves, Math has a large party at the unconscious john’s lavish apartment, which is completely destroyed by the young skaters. Naturally, when the john wakes up the next day and discovers that his flat has been completely wrecked, most of his possessions have been either destroyed or stolen, and someone has driven a large piece of glass into his flesh, he is more than a little bit irked, but he is unable to do anything about it since virtually all of the culprits are already long gone. 

 When lovelorn loverboy JP makes one last ditch effort to simultaneously save Math from his own self-destruction and declare his love for him, he is disturbed to find his friend being more or less molested by his own mother (Dominique Frot of Alexandre Bustillo and Julien Maury’s À l'intérieur (2007) aka Inside), who both looks and acts like a sexually sadistic witch as she rants and raves in a raunchy fashion about the innate selfishness and sex appeal of her son while the large pulsating veins on her chest and neck seem like they could explode at any second. Naturally, after describing her own son as sexually “irresistible” and doubting his self-proclaimed love for him, JP becomes rather disturbed by Math’s mother’s behavior and eventually leaves while in great emotional distress, thus leaving his exceedingly emotionally forlorn friend a victim to a most disturbing scene of mother-son incest that ultimately reveals the central source as to why the male protagonist is incapable of love and is so emotionally and sexually disturbed. As a troubled young man that is heartbroken that his one true love will not reciprocate his love and instead sells himself to dirty old men that clearly have nothing to offer to him in terms of love and sexual satisfaction, JP throws in the towel on life and opts to commit suicide by passively jumping off a large ledge in a pretentious art gallery where his much hated white stepmother (Valérie Maes)—notably the only parent in the entire film that seems concerned with their children’s self-destructive behavior, even though she is not his actual biological progenitor—works. In the end, the surviving skaters sans Math demonstrate their nihilistic spirit has not died despite JP’s suicide by collectively taking part in a display of mindless destruction by destroying and setting a car on fire, which perennial cameraman Tuff dutifully films.  Somewhat bizarrely, the closing shot of the film looks almost exactly the same as the final shot of the late great Christoph Schlingensief's satirical horror-comedy Das deutsche Kettensägenmassaker (1990) aka The German Chainsaw-Massacre aka Blackest Heart, but somehow I doubt Clark has ever seen that film.

 Featuring boys rubbing their sweaty balls with their hands and then wiping them across their friend’s face, a young skater selling a used cum-filled condom to a bearded old bear, a girl pissing in a bucket in public as urine drips off her meaty labia, an elderly pervert sucking the toes of a teenage boy and then using said toes to violently fuck his own nostrils with glee, a boy licking his computer screen as he watches another boy masturbate on webcam, and various other largely ugly and fetishistic displays of aberrant sexual dysfunction that probably give perennially lascivious Larry Clark a giant Viagra-induced hard-on, The Smells Of Us ultimately unwittingly reveals a number of obvious reasons as to why Muslims hate France and why the French have become so pathetically passive, inept, and otherwise incapacitated when it comes fighting the Islamic terrorists that freely lurk around the no-go-zone areas of Paris. Indeed, if Clark’s film has anything to do with reality when it comes to French society and especially French youth, one can only assume that Frogland is on the brink of both a racial and sexual apocalypse that is only being sped up by primitive jihadist degenerates that should not be anywhere near the country in the first place. Featuring a cast that covers all of the colors of the mostly dark racial rainbow, including mongrel actors that defy any discernible racial type, the film also unwittingly celebrates the surrealistic racial nightmare that is postcolonial France where the degenerate descendants of the colonized are now engaging in what one might describe as reverse colonization that can only end badly for all parties involved.

 Like with many of his films, Clark attempts to spread the patently absurd idea in The Smell of Us that all males are bisexual and that every man has an inner faggot, but as Guillaume Faye noted in his book Sex and Deviance regarding this sick and outrageously libelous propagandistic lie and its relation to other big leftist lies, “One of the basic ideas of the whole homosexual lobby and homophile ideology is that everybody is bisexual by birth and that homosexuality is a lifestyle choice like any other, purely cultural and not indicative of any inherent difference. This idea is not merely false but pernicious. Such a mental perversion is a symptom of the most extreme development of egalitarian dogma, that is to say, the negation of natural differences between humans. Not only do races not exist but, taking things to their logical conclusion, neither do the sexes or sexual attraction. It is the androgynous reign of homogeneity and undifferentiated uniformity. Those who serve up these hallucinations do not believe them for a second, but it is of the very character of totalitarian language to not believe what one says.” Of course, what makes Clarks different from the Hollywood and mainstream media homophile propagandists is that he seems to actually genuinely believe that all people are sexually malleable and that every teenage boy dreams of being buggered by their best friend, or so one would assume after watching his fiercely foul smelling yet nonetheless fairly entertaining frog skater flick. While Clark has children, one might naturally assume he was a flaming faggot simply by watching his films, especially when one considers Faye’s remark, “Heterosexuals do not put their own sexuality at the centre of their personality or their works; homosexuals do. It is the very definition of obsession: one is a homosexual before one is oneself. The homosexual’s sexuality governs him, precisely because it is pathological and non-reproductive.” 

 To Clark's credit, The Smell of Us make great use of ancient French architecture and sculptures, which seems somewhat absurd when contrasted with the teenage sexual savages that loiter around such classic artistic works that were clearly made in saner times when French leaders still sought world domination instead of flooding their nation with culturally corrosive, low IQ aliens from the third world that do not take too kindly to fag, dykes, and other sexual degenerates.  Undoubtedly, Clark's incorporation of various ruined angel and child statues also gives the film a surprisingly eerily tragic feel, as if these ancient works of art are looking down in sadness at what has become of France and especially French youth.  Additionally, Clark included a number of shots of vintage bourgeois family photos of elegantly dressed individuals as if to provide rather obvious yet effective stark contrast to the dysfunctional non-families that exist in France today (indeed, it is no coincidence that only one of the character has anything resembling a traditional family, albeit with a stepmother as opposed to a real biological mother).  One could certainly argue that Math's mother—a seemingly senile yet somehow sexually savage bitch of a witch of the unabashedly incestuous son-sucking-and-fucking sort—is symbolic of France as a whole as a once powerful empire that has degenerated into the apocalyptic dementia-ridden and sexually dysfunctional motherland that it is today that welcomes all the bastards and rabble of the world.  Indeed, instead of great cocksuckers like Cocteau, who was fairly restrained when it came to his gay pederastic tendencies, France now has the luxury of ugly Americans creating pornography disguised as art featuring lurid interracial twink action, but then again I am sure André Gide, who had a weakness for underage brown boys, would have loved Clark's film. Then again, there is probably more truth in two seconds of one of Clark's gratuitous crotch shots than in all 180-minutes of Tunisian turd Abdellatif Kechiche's patently preposterous lily-licker fantasy La Vie d'Adèle – Chapitres 1 & 2 (2013) aka Blue Is the Warmest Colour.

In terms of classic frog flicks about prostitution, The Smell of Us undoubtedly makes Godard's classic Vivre sa vie: Film en douze tableaux (1962) aka My Life to Live seem like an archaic Lifetime movie by comparison in terms of sheer energy and audacity (though, to Godard's credit, he also played the dual role of the director-pimp when he directed his then-wife Anna Karina in that film).  Indeed, Clark may be an odious sexual deviant of sorts that has made a living out of exploiting mostly screwed-up and oftentimes drug-addled adolescents during their most vulnerable and unflattering moments, but I cannot think of a more able filmmaker when it comes to capturing the volatility, spontaneity, sexual goofiness, and raw energy of youth.  Additionally, for all the film's ugliness, it manages to capture the beautiful spirit of youth, which is something that I think that most people can admire, even if they do not want to admit it.  Notably, the great reluctant fascist turned meta-nihilist philsopher Emil Cioran once described his adopted hometown of Paris as an “apocalyptic garage,” which is indubitably both a literally and figuratively immaculate way to describe the foredoomed urban pandemonium of perversity depicted in Clark's film.  Slightly more than just an all the more debauched frog Kids, The Smell of Us is an unsentimental look at some of the youngest and most irredeemable members of a dying nation as seen from the somewhat cockeyed perception of an American Vietnam War vet who sure loves his shirtless boys, even if they are not exactly worthy of love, let alone sympathy.  In the end, for various reasons that relate to both the film and my own skateboardcentric youth in relation to said film (incidentally, I initially discovered Clark and Korine due to my juvenile love of skateboarding and not because of cinephilia, which came much later), I cannot help by recall French Symbolist poet Arthur Rimbaud's words, “Idle youth, enslaved to everything; by being too sensitive I have wasted my life.”

-Ty E