Jan 2, 2011

La Bouche de Jean-Pierre

A film to do with the strictest imitation from mother to child, La Bouche de Jean-Pierre is a film directed by Lucile Hadzihalilovic, the wife of Gaspar Noe. Early on, I pointed out the directorial inspirations of La Bouche de Jean-Pierre to be that of French psychodrama, I Stand Alone. After discovering that Gaspar Noe was not only the cinematographer but charitable husband to the lady director, let's just say that some pieces finally fit into place. Opening this 52 minute short is the introduction of an unstable woman first forcing a man out of her house only to decide that she really wants him to stay. A female prioritizing is domestic suicide, so it seems. What originally tempted him to leave is unknown. Perhaps the mental fragility of his once little whore. Upon his exculpation of what was likely a terrible and domineering relationship, the mother, the woman with sole responsibility of her daughter, decides to swallow a mouthful of prescription medication. Like the average youngster in cinema, the little girl observes, unknowingly, as her mom attempts to take her own life. As most of these (generally) young adult tales begin, Mimi is sent to live with her callous aunt in a small apartment.

Smart idea, slut.

Once the adorable little girl settles into the closet of this squalid flat, no sooner is she introduced to the namesake of the film, Jean-Pierre. Her innocence catches the eye of Jean-Pierre and upon his instincts catching onto the vestiges of what was once a "normal" young girl, his eyes flicker into a predatory state. After the exposure of the pitiless Solange sinks in, the emotions that are already mutilated begin to bleed again. Being forced out into the hallway, young Mimi is greeted by a group of friendly teenage musicians. Housing in their apartment while Solange ignorantly vacuums, the silent, vulnerable girl smiles, for the first time in ages, while these boys strum on their guitars. After Mimi is scolded by this pseudo-father figure, Jean-Pierre storms to the next door, threatening grievous bodily harm on the boy. Most likely because he feels his territory was impeded on. This leads to the next pivotal scene, arguably the most discomforting, in which Jean-Pierre attempts to force himself on the impressionable girl. Touting Gaspar Noe's name was the logical thing to do in case of releasing a French experiment in continued nihilism. While the look and camera-work compliments the aesthetic of Noe's, the tone is inexplicably lighter, as Noe would never feign from displaying the cruelties of life. Lucile Hadzihalilovic dips her foot into the pool of madness in which her husband occupies but the horrors within must have frightened her as she quickly withdraws. La Bouche de Jean-Pierre is an unwillingly doubt of female directors and their optimistic escapism. Rarely has a female director been brazen enough to tap into a primal discourse in which men find so natural.

Begging for a kiss, hence the title (which roughly translates into Jean-Pierre's Mouth), Jean-Pierre fondles the girl as her pupils reflect only an emptiness, an emptiness that even as soulless as she currently is, could never mask just how glazed over and miles away she is. The performances within are incredible. The young female lead must have familiarity with sexual abuse as her passive resistance seemed to be such a fluid reaction to the advances of men, and Jean-Pierre dominates as one of the slimiest men in sinema. Although the pieces are all present, much of the sympathy doesn't seem directed properly. While the ending was mildly heart-breaking, it's noticed that the handling of this "doll" wasn't delivered to full effect causing much impact to wander about and audience interests aloof. Seeing such a sweet girl sunken to trauma so swiftly shouldn't be enjoyed by anyone and as usual, the women are blind to the abuse as it doesn't involve heirlooms or hairbrushes. La Bouche de Jean-Pierre is nowhere near a marvel but adjacent to Sodomites, concludes what is an excellent campaign towards the aberrant nature of sex in the hands of the weak.


No comments: