Oct 22, 2014
Unquestionably, Roland Lethem (La Fée sanguinaire aka The Bloodthirsty Fairy, Les Souffrances d'un oeuf meurtri aka The Sufferings of a Ravaged Egg) is one of the most anarchistic and hopelessly ill-restrained auteur filmmakers that Belgium has ever produced, which is saying a lot considering he is from the same country that spawned the curiously coprophagia-crusted celluloid nightmare Vase de Noces (1974) aka Wedding Through aka The Pig Fucking Movie. Indeed, from the cutesy cock-castrating pixie bitch of The Bloodthirsty Fairy to the anti-Catholic Cocteau-esque approach to maggots in rotting cunts in The Sufferings of a Ravaged Egg, Lethem is certainly a wonderfully mad mensch who knows how to get a subversive cinephile’s attention and luckily, despite being an old geezer in his 70s, he still manages to direct iconoclastic and totally original films featuring beauteous young babes being sexually brutalized. Indeed, for his latest film, Le petit bonhomme vert (2013) aka The Little Green Man—an absurdly fucked and fiercely fetishistic yet farcical 11-minute short about a cute chick’s daunting date with a rather romantic cacti—Lethem demonstrates that he has not gone soft over the past couple of decades, even if the film lacks the graphic depictions of bloody cunts and castrated cocks that inspired foremost American cineaste Amos Vogel to pay tribute to the auteur in his classic text Film as a Subversive Art (1974). Dedicated to the memory of Japanese ‘pinku eiga’ auteur Kōji Wakamatsu (Go, Go, Second Time Virgin, Ecstasy of the Angels)—another aberrant-garde filmmaker who liked to make films about nubile little girls being used and abused in a variety of highly imaginative and eclectic ways—Lethem’s little slice of celluloid lunacy is a short but sweet piece of playfully pernicious perversity that somehow manages to be simultaneously humorous, erotic, and exceedingly absurd. It also happens to be probably the only film where a woman performs coitus with a talking cactus.
Valérie (Vanja Maria Godée) is a crypto-horny French-speaking Belgian babe in her 30s who seems to like plants more than people and one would guess from her flagrant bitchiness that she might be more than a little bit sexually starved. While at a plant nursery, Valérie is asked by an employee if she needs help but she says nothing and looks at the well meaning fellow as if he is the world’s single biggest asshole. When Valérie spots a beautiful bouquet of flowers, she becomes so enamored with the sight and smell of the plants that she rubs her face into them as if it is a nice and savory crotch. Of course, Valérie naturally becomes especially intrigued when she spots a small white phallic-like cactus. When Valérie picks up the cactus and hears some unseen person say “you’re so beautiful,” she becomes so startled that she pricks her finger on one of the plant’s thorns. When she hears the same seemingly invisible fellow say “you smell so good,” Valérie looks around and eventually realizes that the small white phallic-like cactus is actually talking to her. After the cactus introduces himself as “the little green man” and proceeds to hit on Valérie, she gets quite bitchy and makes the following heartless threat to the rather charming cacti, “it looks like you want me to mash you like a dirty little crap. All it takes is a good squashing with my heel.” Of course, the ‘Little Green Man’ is a sort of Don Juan of cactuses and he eventually coerces Valérie into dropping her panties and sitting on top of his thorny head. While Valérie cries like a little girl while riding the cactus, complete ecstasy is written all over her face. Valérie is also fed bullshit by the cactus about how they are going to have a baby together like, “It’s gonna be a wonderful baby” and “our great child.” As it turns out, the Little Green Man is more interested in stealing Valérie’s panties than having a mongrelized human-cactus hybrid baby with her.
Aside from its cute, if not unflattering, depiction of the innate passive-aggressiveness of the ‘fairer sex’ and the tendency of women to say “no” when they really mean “yes,” The Little Green Man features no great revelations or insights about mankind, but it is quite eccentrically erotic and manically mirthful as a work that is certainly in the spirit of auteur Roland Lethem’s earlier works, albeit more lavishly directed. In terms of a cinematic equivalent to some sort of salacious activity, the film is like a ‘blow and go’ as a short but sweet and highly sensual affair that lasts about 10 minutes. While I was somewhat disappointed that Lethem did not opt to show the Aryaness lead’s post-cactus-coitus meat curtain (after all, he showed the eponymous ‘red cunt’ in Le Sexe Enragé aka The Red Cunt), the film is ultimately more potent due to the fact that it does not show anything aside from the sadomasochistic delight on protagonist Valérie’s face as she moves in and out of the prickly plant pecker. For Belgian cinephiles, it should be noted that veteran actor Jean-Louis Sbille (Wait Until Spring, Bandini, A Promise) makes a somewhat cryptic cameo in the film. Ultimately, The Little Green Man owes a large part of its potency to Vanja Maria Godée’s performance. Despite the fact that she had only appeared in one other short film before appearing in The Little Green Man, Godée demonstrates in Lethem's film that she is an unrivaled master at simulating mounting a cactus and certainly more believable than 99% of the top female porn stars when pretending to derive pleasure from the seemingly unpleasurable. After watching Lethem’s work, I will certainly never look at cacti in the same way again. For those couples that use ultra ribbed condoms, The Little Green Man is probably a film you might want to steer clear of, but then again, I am sure that the short will inspire some debauched little dame to stick something sharp and prickly inside herself that might leave scars (or worse).
Posted by Soiled Sinema at 3:52 PM
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