Nov 15, 2015

I Love You

There has never been a film directed by Marco Ferreri (La Grande Bouffe, Tales of Ordinary Madness) that I have seen that I did not like and I say that as someone that mostly loathes sex-comedies and rom-coms, especially the sort that is regularly vomited and defecated out by the cheap and uncultivated weed-and-wiener-obsessed kosher clowns of Hollywood.  Of course, though largely forgotten today, Ferreri was completely in a league of his own as a man that made savagely sardonic (anti)romantic-comedies that arguably make the cinematic works of the great Luis Buñuel seem like meaningless Dadaist diarrhea by comparison in terms of greater cultural and metapolitical significance.  If Woody Allen depicted what it was like to be a physically feeble and rather repulsive neurotic Jewish intellectual that somehow managed to bang hot shiksa sluts for good goy families, Ferreri viewed things from a distinctly European lens and focused on far more important things like cultural decay and the death of love, sex, and romance in the Occident, especially in regard to the bourgeoisie (or at least what used to be called the bourgeoisie). Luckily, Ferreri was not a politically correct pansy, as he had no problem gleefully reaming both sexes into oblivion as a man that once proudly described himself as “50% misogynist and 50% feminist.” Indeed, while the women of his films are oftentimes depicted as carnally carnivorous beastesses that know how to exploit their bodies and can turn a sexually virile alpha-male into a self-castrating beta-cuck pussy like Ornella Muti did to Gérard Depardieu’s happy-go-lucky lumpenprole character in La Dernière femme (1976) aka The Last Woman aka L'ultima donna, the men are oftentimes depicted as weak and ineffectual sexual cripples who are so patently pathetic that they can manage to die at far-left peace protests like Niels Arestrup’s insufferable character does in the rather fittingly titled film Il futuro è donna (1984) aka The Future Is Woman starring Fassbinder diva Hanna Schygulla as a woman that ultimately realizes that she needs neither men nor sex to become a mother and start her own sort of (post)modern family. Certainly if I were to credit Ferreri for any singular accomplishment as a filmmaker, it is being the foremost satirizer of the European sexual apocalypse, with his lesser known films from the 1980s and early 1990s demonstrating that the auteur only got all the more pessimistic about Europid sexuality as the decades passed. As demonstrated by the fact that his own homeland of Italy was declared a “dying country” in early 2015 by Italian Health Minister Beatrice Lorenzin due to the fact that it has the second smallest birth rate in all of Europe and that there are more elderly people than babies (which says a lot considering the fact the indigenous populations are dying out in virtually every single European nation due to the fact that people refuse to have children), Ferreri has ultimately proven that his films are more relevant today than when they were first released, so it is somewhat of a cinematic tragedy that the majority of his oeuvre is largely unknown outside of Europe and especially the United States, even among serious cinephiles and cineastes. Over the past couple years, I have been slowly but surely acquainting myself with all of Ferreri’s flicks and my most recent discovery is the Italian-French absurdist (anti)rom-com I Love You (1986) starring American-born French actor Christopher Lambert in his first acting role after his legendary performance as the eponymous lead in Highlander (1986). 

 While Lambert is not exactly known for his acting talents (notably, he once stated himself, “It may be a mistake to say this, but I know my limitations as an actor and I know what I can and can not do. Robert De Niro can do everything. I can't. […] I would love to do a RAIN MAN, but I think ultimately this is my thing.”), his lack of acting prowess comes in handy in Ferreri’s film where he essentially plays a male bimbo and meta-vain walking and talking vassal who epitomizes the modern day equivalent to the ‘alpha-male,’ as a male subject that has no problem procuring plenty of high-grade pussy yet is completely lacking in every other regard in his life, especially when it comes to having truly meaningful relationships with women that produce children.  In the documentary Marco Ferreri: Il regista che venne dal futuro (2007) aka Marco Ferreri: The Director Who Came from the Future, Ferreri even admits in regard to why he decided to cast the actor, “I chose Christopher Lambert because, to use a fashionable phrase, he’s a ‘hard man.’ He has tempos, expressions, movements, ways of moving his body and hands that he’s not aware of but that are harmonic. They’re determining.” Of course, by casting a fairly handsome organic alpha-male type, Ferreri, who was once rightly labelled by the press as “The specialist of the modern couple,” was better able to emphasize than effeminization and degeneration of European males than if he had hired some wimpy and unattractive looking actor like Dustin Hoffman. In fact, Lambert’s (post)modern alpha character is so ludicrously shallow and emotionally stunted that he falls deeply in love with a talking keychain in the shape of a beauteous female face that says “I love you” anytime he whistles, even though he has a virtual army of gorgeous chicks that regularly through themselves at him. Quite like the lead character portrayed by Depardieu in Ferreri’s dystopian cult classic Bye Bye Monkey (1978) aka Ciao maschio, Lambert’s character is a sort of hopelessly directionless man-child that seems afraid of having children and starting a serious relationship with a woman. Also like Bye Bye Monkey, the lead’s best friend is a thoroughly emasculated quasi-paternal figure who is fed up with his sorry lot in life, thus indicating that the degeneration of European males is intergenerational and nothing new. Somewhat fittingly, I Love You stars Marxist turned antifeminist/anti-Zionist sociologist Alain Soral’s cutesy blonde sister Agnès Soral as a dumb dame that Lambert’s character rebuffs so that he can remain faithful to his beloved waif-like keychain. Set in a cryptically dystopian world where TV commercials are more erotic than real-life, the only children are Chinese and black, middle-aged men live with their mothers, androgynous negroes do degenerate stripteases on TV, and not a single man or woman is in a stable relationship, Ferreri’s rarely seen flick, which is more or less an absurdist reworking of the ancient Greek Pygmalion myth, might not be one of the director’s masterpieces but it is surely an undeniably singular and highly worthwhile cinematic work that provides much farcical food-for-thought. A sort of long lost son film to Ferreri’s arguable magnum opus Dillinger è morto (1969) aka Dillinger Is Dead, I Love You is notable for a number things but probably most strangely for featuring the most aesthetically pleasing and eroticized shots of a keychain in all of cinema history, thereupon underscoring magical illusionary powers of cinema, which the auteur would notably later pay tribute to with his swansong Nitrato d'argento (1996) aka Nitrate Base

 Michel (Christopher Lambert) is a sort of perennial bachelor whose sole friend is an eternally unemployed pathetic old fart named Yves (rocker turned actor Eddy Mitchell) who loathes himself because he cannot find a job and who hilariously complains at the very beginning of the film regarding a nameless young dark-skinned Chinese boy (Hua Krung) that the two hang out with, “He wanted the comic book on credit! The ‘yellow peril’ exists. That Chinese boy always screws me up.” A sort of modern post-counterculture family as characters that seem to have no real blood relatives, Michel, Yves, and the Chinese boy like doing things together like feeding a black piglet with a baby bottle.  As the viewer soon discovers, Michel is afraid of having a real child of his own and thus acts as if the Chinaboy and pig are his surrogate sons, just as Depardieu's character preferred adopting King Kong's son over having his own child in Bye Bye Monkey. Indeed, at the beginning of the film, Michel is visited by his (ex)girlfriend Barbara (played by ‘Anémone,’ who adopted her stage name from the obscure 1968 TV-movie of the same name directed by Philippe Garrel) so that they can have farewell sex. When Barbara shows up at Michel’s flat, she immediately declares, “We have time to make love, then you’ll take me to the airport” and the two proceed to have sex, but not before the protagonist plays around with a giant tribal mask like a rambunctious child while making goofy animal noises. After they fuck for the final time, Michel takes Barbara take an airport where she attempts to have a serious talk with him and semi-somberly declares, “Had you asked me, maybe I would have stayed. Perhaps. No, I would have left anyway. You don’t want this baby and I want it too much. I don’t know if I will miss you. Of course I will miss you! You didn’t want to give me a son, but I have good memories.” In a demonstration of his apathy towards her and their stagnant dead-end relationship, Michel rudely walks away while Barbara is talking so that he can talk to some guys about his motorcycle. Before Barbara boards her plane, Michel unwittingly mocks her and her dream of having a child by handing her a naked baby doll and declaring, “At night it lights up, and it’s washable.” Needless to say, baby-obsessed barren woman Barbara is not happy with Michel’s juvenile antics, so she hits the protagonist over the head with the baby doll. 

While young, beautiful, and fertile women are incessantly practically rubbing their wet pussies in his face, Michel seems thoroughly disinterested in most members of the opposite sex and it is not because he is a homo but because he is an innately immature chap with a dubious IQ whose sole interest seems to be his motorcycle.  Undoubtedly, Michel is a true rebel-without-a-cause in the most redundant and literal sense.  While hanging out a fairly strange and colorful New Wave club located in an abandoned warehouse, a blonde chick named Isabelle (Laura Manszky of the celluloid turd Sweet Lies (1987) directed by Alain Delon’s onetime wife Nathalie Delon) complains to Michel, “What is it you don’t like about me? My name? You’re right. Isabelle sucks. I’m going to change it then. My name’s Camelia now: like it?,” to which the protagonist somewhat apathetically replies, “Camelia is cute.” While Michel proceeds to kiss ‘Camelia,’ he soon roughly pushes her away and abruptly leaves, as if he gets off to leading women on and then callously pushing them away. An overtly slutty pseudo-blonde prostitute (played by Bob Geldof’s current wife Jeanne Marine) who provocatively sucks on a banana like it is a cock also offers Michel her body free of charge, but he tells her that he would rather pay for her puss and then blows her off. Luckily, after scaring away two lovers that are having sex in a car and then declaring his hatred of relationships by stating “Lovers! Jerks!,” Michel manages to find his true love in the form of a talking keychain that he finds out of happenstance after randomly whistling to himself and hearing the inanimate object reply, “I love you.” Indeed, it is love at first sight with keychain as far as Michel is concerned, as the small plastic piece of junk has big beautiful blue eyes and large and full dick-sucking lips, not to mention the fact that it says “I love you” whenever he wants it to. When a beauteous young blonde named Hélène (Agnès Soral) shows up at the travel agency where Michel works (indeed, like many modern men, the protagonist has been reduced to doing what is probably best described as women's work), she cries upon hearing the protagonist’s keychain say “I love you” and declares, “I can’t afford going around the world, but at least I’d like one of those,” thus reflecting her desperate desire to feel loved and appreciated.  While Michel goes on a date with Hélène and even agrees to give her his beloved keychain, he ultimately reneges and chooses his keychain over the dumb blonde, even though she goes as far as dumping her boyfriend for him.  In an absurd scene that epitomizes the protagonist's delusional infatuation with a totally worthless piece of plastic, Michel stares lovingly at the keychain while Hélène bangs on the front door of his flat and demands to be let in.  Of course, Michel does not let Hélène in, as the pseudo-affection he receives from the keychain is a sure thing while a romance with a real living and breathing women is prone to end badly and cause much internal pain and misery, among other things.

When Yves begins dating a sassy guidette singer named Maria (Flora Barillaro) who has no qualms about speaking her mind, especially when it comes to the negative qualities of modern men, Michel faces criticism for the first time in regard to being in an ostensibly hot and steamy love affair with a keychain, but he is so deeply enamored with the pretty piece of plastic that he does not even care and barely notices the little lady's harsh remarks. Indeed, when Maria notices that Michel is more interested in whistling to his keychain than staring at her tits, she becomes infuriated, bitches at him, “You’d like a girl like that, wouldn’t you? You whistle and she…’I love you! I love you!’ Wouldn’t you like that? That’s what you’d want to have. A submissive girl, always ready. That’s your ideal woman. An object at your service!” and then slaps him in the face. Later that same night, Michel notices that a porn flick is playing on his TV, so he decides to place his keychain lover on the television screen and then proceeds to masturbate while staring intensely at the particularly odd object of his desire in a bizarre quasi-avant-garde scene that is not atypical of auteur Ferreri's films from the 1980s. The next morning, Michel sentimentally states to his keychain regarding the ‘sex’ that they had the night before, “It was nice yesterday. The first time is not always good. It went fine last night. Don’t get all worked up just because you made it. You are a keyholder and you must hold the keys,” thus indicating the patently preposterous state of the protagonist's psyche. When a dorky Jewish guy named Pierre (Marc Berman) comes by Michel’s work and demands a train ticket to Japan (!), the protagonist is surprised to discover that he is not the only man in town that is love with a talking keychain. Indeed, Michel and Pierre bond over their mutual love of their almost identical keychains, with the two drinking champagne and declaring a toast, “To our dreams.” Of course, Pierre becomes jealous of Michel when he whistles at his keychain too many times.  Later in the film, Michel goes by Pierre's house and not only discovers that his middle-aged friend still lives with his mother, who absurdly describes the keychain as “my son's girlfriend,” but also that he has a painting of his plastic lover hanging on the wall of his home.  Rather ridiculously, the only thing that bothers Michel in regard to Pierre's keychain painting is that the imaginary woman in the portrait has slightly different colored eyes from his own keychain.

 Ultimately, everything goes downhill for Michel when he makes the mistake of fucking a blindfolded babe who randomly shows up on his balcony and opens her coat to reveal she is not wearing any panties (notably, the woman has a shaved nether-region, which was not that common at the time the film was made). While mounting the almost hysterically horny mystery dame, Michel predictably attempts to whistle at his keychain lover, but is disheartened when he does not receive a reply. In fact, not matter how many times Michel whistles at the keychain after that, he cannot get a single, “I love you,” thus ultimately pushing the protagonist over the edge. Indeed, lovelorn keychain lover Michel becomes so upset that he becomes nihilistically self-destructive and nonsensically decides to drive his motorcycle through a warehouse wall covered with a giant degenerate painting of Jesus Christ in a scene that surely highlights the protagonist's gross emotional immaturity and complete and utter lack of self-control. Somewhat ironically, after crashing through the Christ wall, Michel fractures a premolar, thus causing him to lose his ability to whistle and, in turn, totally destroying any possibility that he will get another “I love you” from his keychain. Desperate for the imagined affection  that he used to could count on receiving from his plastic lover, Michel convinces the slutty pseudo-blonde prostitute that offered him free sex at the beginning of the film to act as a sort of pseudo-keychain and has her say “I love you” when he whistles. Of course, a living and breathing wanton woman is no match for the mechanical love of the keychain in Michel’s eyes. Luckily, a miracle of sorts occurs when the keychain eventually begins saying “I love you” again, but the happiness is short-lived because Yves, who was dumped by Maria and denied a job that he was initially promised, subsequently attempts suicide by drinking poison.  Somewhat hilariously, a young black boy ultimately finds and saves Yves before he can croak from the poison, yet the creepy colored kid later expresses regret to Michel over saving the old man, stating “He drank the poison, but he's out of danger now.  Too bad!  I have never seen anyone die.  It would have been interesting,” thus arguably emphasizing the lack of empathy that non-whites have for Europeans. While hanging out with Yves while he is recovering from his botched suicide, Michel becomes rather upset when the keychain says “I love you” after hearing Maria, who is now a superstar diva of sorts, sing on television. Indeed, after realizing that he is nothing special since the keychain will say “I love you” to anyone, Michel declares in regard to his cheap manmade lover, “They are all the same, a bunch of witches.” After Yves agrees with Michel and calls the keychain “a whore,” the two decide to take turns smashing the plastic lady to bits with a hammer. Luckily, after destroying the keychain, Dillinger Is Dead randomly appears on TV and inspires Michel to drive  to the beach on his motorcycle so that he can join the crew of a yacht ruled over by a hot dream babe just like Michel Piccoli's character did at the conclusion of the classic 1969 Ferreri flick. Rather inexplicably, the luxury yacht is indeed sailing the sea when Michel arrives at the beach, so the protagonist decides to ride his motorcycle into the ocean and then begins swimming to the ship. Unfortunately, the yacht is long gone before Michel has any real chance to board the ship.  Notably, before attempting to swim to the ship, Michel uses binoculars that he randomly finds on the beach to look at the diva on the yacht and he is quite satisfied to discover that she has the same exact full lips as the keychain, thus highlighting the fact that the protagonist's dream lover is indeed nothing but a delusional fantasy which he seems to have unconsciously created in his mind after watching one-too-many movies and TV commercials.  Undoubtedly, one of the morals of the wayward story that is I Love You is that, like protagonist Michel, modern young men are always liable to face disappoint when it comes to love because no real-life woman can possibly compare to the idealized imaginary immaculate woman that has been planted in their mind via television.

If there is anything to learn from I Love You and its importance in the context of the director’s entire oeuvre, it is that auteur Marco Ferreri felt that society had become all the more irreparably screwed up since the counterculture era, hence why he probably decided to incorporate excerpts from both Dillinger Is Dead and vintage erotic commercials featuring nude women into the film. While the true meaning behind the somewhat bizarre, ostensibly happy conclusion of Dillinger Is Dead is disputable (though it seems to insinuate that the bourgeois protagonist played by Piccoli has gone completely insane and has embraced a sort of Utopian fantasy realm was inspired by TV commercials), I Love You ends in an unequivocally unhappy fashion that makes it quite clear that Ferreri thought that even the escapist fantasy realm was no longer a possibility for disillusioned men due to the glaringly culturally apocalyptic reality of Europa during that time. Of course, it is only fitting that the film takes place in France, which is the land of decadence par excellence, especially where social and sexual matters are concerned. After all, despite being a handsome chick-magnet with an Adonis-like physique, the lead protagonist of I Love You is completely lacking in even the most rudimentary virtues of masculinity, not to mention the fact that he is an arrogant dolt and virtual walking hard-on whose delusional love for a keychain is probably the direct result of his infantile narcissism as a mensch that becomes stupidly happy as a result of being told “I love you” at anytime of the day simply by whistling and not as a result of certain desirable character traits that he might display. I also do not think it is a coincidence that Lambert’s character loathes the idea of having a child of his own and instead shows quasi-fatherly affection to both a seemingly autistic Chinese boy and black piglet, as such behavior epitomizes the sort of cultural cuckoldry, ethno-masochistic altruism, and hysterical animals rights activism that has become synonymous with contemporary neo-liberal Europe, especially France, over the past couple of decades. After all, a healthy race of people strives to procreate and sire new generations of all the more strong progeny to take their place so that their legacy can continue and would never dare dream of wasting their time and resources on hostile alien races, yet France, like much of Europe, has senselessly become the adoptive parent for the world’s most unlovable untermenschen and now it is finally beginning to really bite them in the ass, hence the escalating towelhead terrorist attacks that have occurred in 2015.

It should be noted that in the documentary Marco Ferreri: The Director Who Came from the Future, Ferreri prophesies the Islamic Arab-negro menace in an interview where he states in regard to the pathological naivety and arrogance of white liberal Europeans, “We think we know everything thanks to the airplane. Instead, we don’t know…We don’t know anything. We think we know it all. We arrive by plane somewhere with lovely hotels and we think we’ve known that place. Now we’re entering a period of religious wars. The Muslim Brotherhood and Islam are coming to the fore. It’s a more political voice than Catholicism.” Notably, in the same doc, Ferreri would also prophetically state, “Geographically, Europe is very small. It’s a fortress that thinks it’s invincible, but it isn’t. It’s surrounded and under siege by peoples who are less technologically advanced but more motivated than we are.” Needless to say, Ferreri would have probably been the most fit director to cinematically adapt the racially-charged and oftentimes satirical dystopian novel The Camp of the Saints (1973) aka Le Camp des Saints by French novelist Jean Raspail which depicts an eerily probable near-future where France and the rest of Western Civilization are destroyed as a result of political impotence and left-wing support of the flooding of Europe with (sub)human rabble from the third world. In his little seen flick Ya bon les blancs (1988) aka How Good the Whites Are where a couple of hopelessly naive European do-gooder ‘activist’ types are eaten by a tribe of cannibalistic sand negroes who could care less about the supposedly humanistic ways of the white man, Ferreri would ultimately foretell the sort of mayhem that would ensue as a result of so-called multiculturalism, globalization, and liberal altruism, among other socially suicidal metaphysical afflictions that have only gotten all the more worse since the film was originally released over a quarter of a century ago.

Of course, the overall massive decline of Europe is a direct consequence of the progressive emasculation and moral degeneration of European man as is depicted in I Love You. While Ferreri oftentimes rightly described himself as an anarchist, he certainly subscribed to a sort of quasi-Spenglerian Weltanschauung where he obsessed over the progressive rotting of the Occident, especially when it came to the worsening disharmony being the sexes and the disintegration of traditional European mores and customs, hence why the filmmaker once matter-of-factly stated regarding his own work, “The values that once existed no longer exist. The family, the bourgeoisie – I’m talking about values, morals, economic relationships. They no longer serve a purpose. My films are reactions translated into images.” Of course, as a man that made a film about a fellow who falls in love with an artificially beautiful keychain, Ferreri would probably not be surprised to know that we now live in an era where people are so vain and artificial that it is not common for girls get their labias chopped off or receive ass implants and lip injections.  Certainly, one cannot also forget the rise in popularity of porn, sex toys, and sex robots, among other dubious pseudo-erotic inventions that indicate that people are becoming increasingly sensually autistic.  Despite being totally forgotten today, I Love You ultimately predates Spike Jonze’s obscenely overrated film Her (2013) by almost three decades in terms of its depiction of a spiritually castrated virtual automaton who pathetically falls in love with a piece of manmade technology and thus it is begging to be reexamined by contemporary cinephiles, even if it is one of Ferreri’s lesser works. In an intrinsically culturally and socially suicidal era where it is trendy for Hollywood celebrities to adopt black African spawn as personal accessories and Europeans are refusing to get married and have kids while their criminal socialist governments tax them to death so that they can subsidize the bastard brood of hostile illegal immigrants of the mostly Islamic Arab and negro sort who breed like rats and transform cities into crime-ridden no-go-zones where rape, especially of white women, is considered a virtual god-given right, Ferreri’s films are more important than ever but unfortunately, as Spengler once wrote in regard to the fragile nature of art, “One day the last portrait of Rembrandt and the last bar of Mozart will have ceased to be — though possibly a colored canvas and a sheet of notes will remain — because the last eye and the last ear accessible to their message will have gone.” 

-Ty E

No comments: