Nov 18, 2015

The Flesh (1991)

Despite the introduction of birth control, the success of the so-called sexual liberation movement, seemingly unending proliferation of pornography of every degenerate sort, and mainstream acceptance of even the most deleterious and dysfunctional sexual proclivities, people are apparently having less sex on average than their supposedly more puritanical ancestors. Of course, there are a variety of reasons for this, but one of the most obvious reasons is the institutionalized inversion of sexual polarities and feminization of political and social values and institutions via authoritarian style feminism, which has been spread like cancer throughout the West and has led to the divirilization of males and masculinization of females. The sexes are not ‘equal’ but complimentary just as a cock is complimentary of a cunt, so when the natural sexual order is artificially subverted by feminist and cultural Marxist social engineering, it inspires things like erotic dysfunction and impotence, among other things that seem increasingly common today, hence the rise and popularity of prick-powering drugs like Sildenafil (aka Viagra). Personally, I think that taking Viagra is innately emasculating and that using the drug is just as a fraudulent approach to fucking as if one were to use a strap-on dildo, but I digress. In the largely forgotten Italian absurdist romantic-comedy La carne (1991) aka The Flesh directed by Marco Ferreri (Dillinger è morto aka Dillinger Is Dead, Tales of Ordinary Madness), the film not only unwitting foretells the philosophical dilemmas involved with dubious drugs like Viagra, but also the various complicated problems that arise when a less than handsome downtrodden divorcee who has experienced much pain as a result of past loves begins an obviously one-sided relationship with an almost supernaturally stunning and seductive diva with DD tits.  Apparently partly inspired by the curious case of Jap cannibal Issei Sagawa, the film also depicts the problems that arise with Priapism, especially when you are a swarthy little man that becomes the virtual sex slave of an obscenely beauteous babe with an unquenchably voracious sexual appetite. Indeed, if there ever was a film that demonstrates why it can be particularly precarious to put pussy on a pedestal, it is Ferreri’s flick, which depicts in an oftentimes allegorical and sometimes convoluted fashion what happens when a man decides to give up everything, including his job and friends/family, for a physically and erotically immaculate woman who clearly has some serious emotional problems and lacks virtually all the ingredients that make for a good wife and companion. Indeed, the story of a middle-aged lounge pianist who randomly meets a big bosomed bombshell and decides to abruptly abandon his job, friends, and family and live a sort of perennial vacation of his vice with a quasi-femme fatale in his secluded beach house, The Flesh is a quite fittingly titled work that demonstrates in a sometimes aberrant way that some women are nothing more than an addictive carnal indulgence, even if they radiate a sort of goddess essence due to their sexual powers. 

 While a seemingly commercial effort due to starring then-popular Italian model Francesca Dellera (who was later set to star in Fellini’s Pinocchio adaption) and a soundtrack featuring pop songs by Queen and Kate Bush, The Flesh is an oftentimes esoteric flick that makes various references to Dante Alighieri's classic 14th-century epic poem Divine Comedy as well as obscure Catholic saints. In fact, it is arguably Ferreri’s most innately Italian work and not just where history and culture are concern, as the film is a virtual Guidosploitation piece in terms of its uniquely unflattering depiction of sex relations in Goombah-land. Indeed, whereas the lead of Luis Buñuel’s swansong That Obscure Object of Desire (1977) becomes a victim of perennial cock-blocking, the poor pathetic sap in Ferreri’s flick is drenched in so much premium guidette pussy juice that it eventually becomes quite painful for him to the point where he begs his lecherous lady friend to stop mounting his member. While female lead Dellera certainly cannot act, she is unequivocally a domineering diva that radiates so much wild and erratic erotic energy that she ultimately steals the show, hence why Ferreri hired her for the role in the first place. In fact, in the documentary Marco Ferreri: Il regista che venne dal futuro (2007) aka Marco Ferreri: The Director Who Came from the Future, Ferreri stated regarding Dellera’s sexual powers, “Every period, every two or three generations, a new type of woman appears. A woman is also a type because she constructs a way of speaking and acting. Once upon a time there was Muti, now there’s Dellera. I chose here because she went to the motor show in Bologna. She put herself on a stand in the street. Eight thousand people went to see her. She doesn’t dance, jump or recite poetry. This must mean something!” Indeed, Dellera is such a singularly stunning woman that it should be no surprise to anyone that has seen The Flesh that the model turned actress never needed to cultivate any sort of talent or skill to become famous, as her ass alone, among her other womanly parts, was an impressive enough asset to get her career going. 

 The Flesh begins in an almost curiously and seemingly intentionally misleading Spielberg-esque fashion with protagonist Paolo (Sergio Castellitto of Giuseppe Tornatore’s L'uomo delle stele (1995) aka The Star Maker and Sergio Castellitto’s Non ti muovere (2004) aka Don’t Move) hanging out with his children at a museum with various animatronic dinosaurs. Paolo’s grade school son is upset because his self-absorbed atheist mother will not let him take part in his Catholic First Holy Communion, which rather infuriates the protagonist because he not only hates his ex-wife, who he regularly calls “the hyena,” but also because he firmly believes that “No one should be denied the First Communion.” Indeed, even though his father was the head of the local commie organization when he was a boy, Paolo was able to have First Communion because his beloved mother stood up to her Marxist hubby and even received a black eye as a result. Paolo is fed up with women and romance for a number of reasons, as his ex-wife not only has custody of both of their kids, but also got his dog Giovanni, who the protagonist seems to value even more than his own kids. The only support that Paolo has is his shady sleazebag carny friends Nicola (Philippe Léotard of John Frankenheimer’s French Connection II (1975) and Aldo (Farid Chopel), who he works with at a local nightclub where he plays the piano. One night while at the nightclub, Paolo meets the woman of the dreams in the form of busty babe with big tits and lips named Francesca (Francesca Dellera of Tinto Brass’ Capriccio (1987) and Jacques Deray's L'Ours en peluche (1994) aka The Teddy Bear), who is a friend of the protagonist’s pal Nicola’s mistress Giovanna (Petra Reinhardt). Immediately upon talking to Paolo, Francesca says a number of things that raise a couple red flags about her character, including that she had an abortion fifteen days ago and that she was impregnated by her 22-year-old Tantric guru ‘Saynanda.’ With no home of her own, Francesca less than reluctantly agrees to accept a ride from Paolo and the two head to the beach.  Of course, as a less than handsome fellow with a somewhat puny frame, Paolo feels like he has hit the jackpot as a result of coercing Francesca into coming with him, but little does he suspect the savage sexual servitude that he will have to endure at the hands of a carnally carnivorous woman who never takes no for an answer.

 Upon arriving on the coast where the protagonist has a quaint two-floor beach house, Paolo becomes hysterical and makes the major beta-cuck pussy mistake of literally getting on the ground and kissing Francesca’s feet while sporting Hindu drag (!) and declaring in an insufferably meek fashion, “You are God” and “A moment like this should last an eternity.” Indeed, Paolo’s first major mistaking is putting pussy on a pedestal and groveling for Francesca, which is something that no normal woman respects, especially not a stunning dame who can have any dick that she wants. Despite Paolo’s declarations that she is god, Francesca seems totally unimpressed with his rather grandiose compliments and complains that she is hungry, so the two go by a food stand that is run by a boy with Down syndrome named Giuseppe and his bitchy mother, who acts as if the female protagonist is a wicked witch. Additionally, an old man at the stand warns Paolo to keep Francesca away from him and even calls her a “devil,” which ultimately proves to be true, at least in a sense. When they eventually go inside the protagonist’s beach house for the first time, Paolo has so much anxiety about having sex with a woman as gorgeous as Francesca that the little lady more or less forces him down on the bed and fucks him into submission. After the seemingly underwhelming fucking, Francesca shows he true face by degrading and emasculating Paolo by stating to him while maintaining an almost gleefully sinister smirk, “Now when I see you well you look like a monster […] You even have a beer belly. And, I, who have been with handsome men only.” Paolo is so upset with by Francesca’s cold and callous remarks that he runs to the ocean like an upset little girl and slits both of his wrists. Assumedly because she realizes the ridiculous power she wields over him, Francesca is visibly aroused by Paolo’s hilariously histrionic suicide attempt and even sensually licks up the blood that is dripping from his wounds and then proceeds to fuck him on the beach in a scene that demonstrates that, at the very least, the female protagonist is a psychic vampire of sorts who feeds off the energy of men. 

 It is obvious right from the very beginning that Francesca wears the pants in the relationship and, despite her exaggerated and extra curvy female figure, is quite masculine in her behavior. Indeed, aside from insulting Paolo’s appearance and lack of carnal talents, Francesca drives the protagonist’s car, applies mascara to his eyes, and courts him around in public like he is her girlfriend. It seems that Francesca has adopted male qualities because she is more or less a failed female who lacks what it takes to be both a wife and mother yet is, at the same time, every man's dream (or what Otto Weininger described as the prostitute type). Aside from aborting her child and being the personal whore of some sleazy shit-skinned guru, Francesca has a pathological obsession with the idea of the motherhood as expressed in the fact that she has a stork tattoo on her back. At one point in the film, Francesca happens upon a mother that is happily breast-feeding twins. When the mother allows Francesca to breastfeed one of her babies, it is quite obvious that it gives her great joy as she seems more genuinely happy and satisfied during this scene than at any other time in the film. Of course, beta-pussy Paolo is completely oblivious to Francesca’s internal wounds and true needs, thus their lurid love affair is predictably destined to fail miserably. 

 When Paolo’s pecker goes soft right before they are about to have, Francesca uses Tantric mumbo jumbo to help the protagonist rise to the occasion, but instead of obtaining a simple erection he not only develops Priapism, but also becomes completely paralyzed and is thus left perpetually bedridden. Indeed, as a completely physically incapacitated man with a unwavering hard-on, Paolo more or less becomes Francesca’s 24 hour sexual slave as she is free to mount his mighty member anytime she wants without his permission, even when he cries like a little bitch and begs her to stop. After initially causing Paolo’s Priapism, Francesca declares while staring at his extra stiff tubesteak, “Your body is a condenser of energy now. It’s huge now. It’s almost frightening. Well done” and then the two proceed to have sex ten times in a row. When Paolo vainly boasts of his extraordinary potency and how he managed to bust ten loads in a row, Francesca berates him by stating to him while simultaneously riding his ramrod, “If you have counted them, then, we didn’t make love. You only fucked me…With this phony thing. It was only a mechanical erection. The soul can also make a cock hard. If there’s no soul…” Indeed, as the title of the film indicates, Francesca is not much more than premium grade meat to Paolo and there is no real genuine love or affection between the two characters, as they are both emotional cripples that are not much more than glorified blowup dolls to one another, though the male protagonist is certainly the more soulless of the two. In fact, at one point in the film, Paolo points at Francesca’s derriere and various other body parts and asks a butcher at a grocery store what each part would be called if it were a cut of meat. Ultimately, Paolo’s carnal obsession with Francesca takes a more sinister and even carnivorous turn in the end in what is ultimately a reversal of roles where predator becomes prey and vice versa. 

 After getting fed up with the extra hard work that comes with Priapism, Paolo begs Francesca to rid him of the “curse,” though the little lady naturally takes her time and waits a day or two before she releases him from his sensual serfdom. Not long after being cured of his super boner, Paolo is visited by two obnoxious cops who inform him that they have been sent by his employer since he has not been to work in three months and five days. While Paolo self-righteously declares he needs a “rest period” since he is supposedly plagued by “nervous depression,” the protagonist totally breaks down when one of the cops reads him a letter from his ex-wife informing him that his canine comrade Giovanni just died of an apparent broken heart since he has not visited him in such a longtime. In an allegorical scene that seems to reflect Paolo’s status when it comes to romantic relationships, especially his current one, Paolo pays tribute to his canine companion by fucking Francesca doggy style in the dead doggy’s flamboyantly colored doghouse. Of course, jovial guido Paolo’s mourning does not last long, as he has a big party when all of his friends randomly come to stay at his beach house, though the protagonist spends most of his time with Francesca and his pal Nicola’s mistress Giovanna. Indeed, since Nicola dumped Giovanna, Paolo and Francesca decide to cheer her up by engaging in a short-lived ménage à trios with her, with the three even having a threesome on the beach at sunset. Of course, all good things must come to an end and shortly after Giovanna leaves, Francesca decides she wants to leave Paolo as well. 

 When Francesca spots a stork flying through the sky, she sees it is a sign that she must leave Paolo for good, not realizing he is an over-possessive maniac who refuses to give her up. In a scene that indicates that Francesca is upset that Paolo does not really understand her, she completely infuriates the protagonist when she hands him a vintage baby doll with a missing eye and somberly states, “She needs affection just like me.”  Naturally, the last thing that Paolo would ever consider is that Francesca might be something more than flavorsome female flesh, let alone that she might desire genuine love and affection. In a scene that truly demonstrates Paolo’s lack of empathy for Francesca, the protagonist violently throws the baby doll at a window and then proceeds to scream at her, “You should end up like Count Ugolino.” Of course, Count Ugolino was a real-life 13th-century Italian nobleman, politician, and naval commander of Germanic origins that was depicted in Dante's Divine Comedy and was the subject of many other great works of art who was convicted of treason by an Archbishop and who, with his sons and grandson, was locked in a tower and starved to death. Ultimately, Francesca suffers a fate that is as barbarically medieval as Count Ugolino at the hands of Paolo, who initially seems like a pathetic yet relatively harmless loser but in the end comes out looking like a uniquely unsympathetic momma’s boy from hell who treats women like shit because, in his deluded dago mind, no chick can compare to the overweight woman who gave birth to him and risked her life so that he could receive First Communion. 

 If Marco Ferreri remade Spanish auteur Jesús Franco’s classic La comtesse noire (1975) aka Female Vampire as a highly hermetic black rom-com with absurd commercial pretenses, that might begin describe the insanely idiosyncratic essence of The Flesh, which is surely the sort of film that could have only been directed by the man by such mirthfully mad cinematic masterpieces as La Grande Bouffe (1973) and Ciao maschio (1978) aka Bye Bye Monkey. Indeed, even a couple scenes from the film, especially when heroine Francesca’s face is covered in blood after feeding on protagonist Paolo’s self-inflicted wounds, seem like they were taken from Female Vampire. Of course, what Ferreri and Franco had in common aside aside from being distinctly unattractive men that somehow managed to surround themselves around beautiful women was that they seemed to both respect and fear the enigmatic ‘vampiric’ powers that certain beauteous (and not so beauteous) women have, but what makes the former different is that he was more sensitive to the pain and overall forsaken nature of such fatally forlorn feminine creatures, as if he saw them as victims of their own pulchritude. Despite unquestionably being one of Ferreri’s lesser works, The Flesh still gives more than a couple hints of the filmmaker’s singular genius, especially in regard to how the flick goes from initially making the male protagonist more empathetic than the female protagonist to the total opposite in the end, thereupon making the viewer conscious of their own misguided assumptions when it comes to certain beautiful yet bitchy women. Also, in arguably no other film does Ferreri better demonstrate why he once confessed that he was “50% misogynist and 50% feminist” than in his cannibal comedy, which is a rare film that dares to show great empathy to a female monster while also depicting the true inner depravity of an unimpressive and rather pathetic fellow. Aside from the fact that you can tell that the auteur absolutely worships Francesca Dellera due to the way his camera practically fondles her every curve throughout the film, Ferreri also demonstrates his inordinate sense of sympathy for the tragic real-life femme fatale, as if the entire movie was modeled after the model turned actress' own personal internal pain. In fact, in the doc, Marco Ferreri: The Director Who Came from the Future, lead actress Dellera describes how Ferreri took a special interest in her psychology, stating, “He often came to my house. We spoke about all sorts of things. He tried to get to know my character better. In the end he outlined the personality of the character he was creating.” Ultimately, it seems that Ferreri discovered a tragic little girl inside the body a singularly mature female adult body. 

 As far as darkly comedic cinematic works the link the carnal and culinary and depict a bizarrely dark and ultimately decidedly doomed romance between an attractive young women and a hardly handsome older man, the quasi-Lynchian Dutch flick Vlees (2010) aka Meat directed by Victor Nieuwenhuijs and Maartje Seyferth makes for a great double feature with The Flesh.  Undoubtedly, both films demonstrate that you're what you eat when it comes to relationships.  Indeed, if you suck the cock or eat the cunt of a shithead, you probably are a shithead.  While feminist brainwashing and white knight faggotry misleads people into thinking otherwise, women that are in relationships with abusive men are typically attracted to abusive men and vice versa, hence why it is not uncommon for a woman to start attacking a cop who is arresting her husband only minutes after she has called 911 on her beloved because he smacked her around a little bit.  Additionally, the female lead of The Flesh knows that she is a nice piece of flesh and she lets the protagonist treat her as such as they are both shallow and emotionally damaged individuals that have nothing in common aside from said vanity and emotional damage.  Somewhat intriguingly, I suspect that auteur Ferreri was projecting his own feelings toward Francesca Dellera onto the male protagonist, which is supported by the fact that the actress stated regarding the filmmaker and his somewhat unconventional approach to directing the film, “He wrote this script for me. He wrote it thinking about the way I exist. He’s a very clever person. When he works, he’s always changing things. He doesn’t follow the script.”  Judging by his portly physique, lifelong obsession with culinary motifs, and unwavering obsession with unbelievably stunning screen sluts, one gets that Ferreri would have loved nothing more than gorging on Dellera, as there is only so much you can do to a woman with your trouser mauser and tongue. While The Flesh features a rather extreme example of the overused metaphorical phrase “don't judge a book by its cover,” even the most sensible and restrained of men would surely find it impossible to ignore a woman like Dellera.  Of course, what's even worse is actually falling in love with such a woman, as she will slowly but surely cannibalize your soul without even giving it a second thought.

-Ty E

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