Apr 17, 2018

Blood and Roses

While Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1897) is certainly the most famous gothic horror vampire novel ever cinematically adapted as indicated by important cinematic works ranging from F.W. Murnau’s Nosferatu (1922) to Tod Browning’s Dracula (1931) to Francis Ford Coppola’s somewhat uneven Bram Stoker's Dracula (1992), fellow Irishman Sheridan Le Fanu’s novella Carmilla (1872) has arguably been responsible for inspiring the most ideally idiosyncratic and erotically-charged of bloodsucker flicks. Indeed, Carl Theodor Dreyer’s semi-sound masterpiece Vampyr (1932), Roger Vadim's Et mourir de plaisir (1960) aka Blood and Roses aka Carmilla aka To Die with Pleasure, British auteur Roy Ward Baker’s Hammer flick The Vampire Lovers (1970), and Spanish auteur Vicente Aranda’s The Blood Spattered Bride (1972) aka La Novia Ensangrentada are all wildly divergent and mostly rather memorable vampire flicks that all happen to be based on the same somewhat ambiguously lesbianic Le Fanu novella. While I personally like all of these films aside from the uniquely idiotic The Vampire Lovers starring Hebraic hoe Ingrid Pitt (undoubtedly, Madeline Smith is much sexier), I have recently become completely obsessed with the imagery of Blood and Roses and I say that as someone that has a generally low opinion of Monsieur Vadim and his rather curious cunt-crazed sub-pornographic approach to filmmaking. In short, I have to concur with the book Rough Guide to Film: An A-Z of Directors and Their Movies (2007) where it says, “After the publication of his autobiography, BARDOT, DENEUVE, and FONDA: MY LIFE WITH THREE OF THE MOST BEAUTIFUL WOMEN IN THE WORLD, Roger Vadim had the gall to complain that his work had been overshadowed by his lovers, and that people had forgotten what a good director he was.” As the title of his (second!) autobiography demonstrates, Vadim was indubitably a shameless man (and probably some effete sort of narcissist) that put pussy on a pedestal and cared more about premium grade poontang than creating real quality cinema, though he somehow had some minor talent. As the title of the autobiography also demonstrates, Vadim seems to have nil respect for his second and least known wife Annette Strøyberg—a Danish dame that eventually banged such famous leading man as Vittorio Gassman, Alain Delon, Omar Sharif and Warren Beatty, among others international screen studs—yet she starred in two of his most notable films, including Les Liaisons dangereuses (1959) aka Dangerous Liaisons and of course Blood and Roses

 For those that ever wondered where vexatious French novelist turn cinematic auteur Alain Robbe-Grillet (Trans-Europ-Express, L'Eden et après aka Eden and After) borrowed his entire somnambulistic-babes-covered-in-blood aesthetic from, look no further than Vadim’s addictively lusciously kaleidoscopic, strangely somberly sensual, and overall gorgeous gothic horror melodrama where covert Sapphic supernatural obsession manages to effortlessly overshadow overt heterosexual incest despite the film's complete and utter lack of overt carpet-munching action. Indeed, forget the classic bean-flicker bloodsucker flicks of Jean Rollin, Jess Franco, and José Ramón Larraz, Blood and Roses is the film that started it all and female vampire Fantastique par excellence. As someone that has never had a particularly big hard-on for the whole lesbo vamp Euro-sleaze routine due to the innate phoniness and insipidity of it all, Vadim’s film reminded me that the first is oftentimes the best. Unfortunately, it seems that the film’s influence is greater than its overall popularity as a cinematic work that more or less sired an entire horror subgenre yet is not nearly as well known as many of the (largely shitty) films associated with said subgenre. Aside from showing Mario Bava the way and acting as a virtual template for Jean Rollin’s entire oeuvre, Blood and Roses was such a big influence of Japanese auteur Nobuhiko Obayashi of Hausu (1977) aka House fame that the auteur’s avant-garde short Emotion (1966)—a surprisingly aesthetically pleasing experiment in cinematic wizardry that somehow manages to be just as goofy as it is romantic—begins with a dedication to Vadim’s film. Considering that his film Lisa and the Devil (1974) features a death scene that is an obvious homage to the lead vampire Carmilla's death in Blood and Roses, one could even argue that goombah gothic horror maestro Bava virtually owes his entire aesthetic to Vadim’s vamp flick. Interestingly but not all that surprisingly considering his track record as a filmmaker that seemed to be most focused on putting his lover(s) on a pedestal, it seems that Vadim himself never intended or expected the film to be anything special, thus underscoring his overall lack of agency as a filmmaker. 

 While it does not all that surprise me that Vadim was so obsessed with premium grade golden pussy that he was willing to risk his then-budding career for it, it does somewhat surprise me that he seems to have saw Blood and Roses as a sort of worthless gift that he gave to his wife in an ultimately failed attempt to jumpstart her acting career, or as the filmmaker explained himself in Bardot Deneuve Fonda: My Life with the Three Most Beautiful Women in the World (1986) in regard to the quite dubious background of the film, “For Annette’s next film, I came up with the idea of having her play a female vampire. In a role of this type her beauty would conceal her lack of experience. I should have gone to an analyst to find out why I was sacrificing my career to fulfill the desires of a Danish beauty that had suddenly imagined she was an actress. After the success of LES LIAISONS DANGEREUSES, I received many offers and could have directed a major international production. But I didn’t see an analyst, and in the beginning of 1960, in Rome, I began shooting BLOOD AND ROSES with Annette Vadim, Elsa Martinelli and Mel Ferrer. It was a strange work, a little ahead of its time, but nevertheless well received by some because of its esthetic qualities.” Somewhat ironically, Annette Strøyberg—a cutesy blonde that could be mistaken by some as Brigitte Bardot’s somewhat moodier doppelganger—is undoubtedly one of the greatest aspects of the film, as she bleeds lovesick pathos and a certain distinctly feminine melancholy (also, one cannot blame her for wanting her cucked hubby to make her a star as the filmmaker previously did just that with Bardot in his once-scandalous And God Created Woman (1956)).

While Vadim somewhat admirably confessed that the film was just something that he put together to appease a woman that did not seem much more to him than a poor man’s Bardot, it is unequivocally a revolutionary horror film for a number reasons, not least of all because of its virtual elevation of perennial horror cliches to something strangely artistic. Indeed, aside from creating a sub-genre that would influence everyone from Rollin to the mostly artistically bankrupt Brits of Hammer horror, Vadim rather romantic celluloid orgasm also predates George A. Romero’s Martin (1978) in terms of presenting vampirism as a morbid psychological delusion brought about by some hereditary genetic taint. Luckily, unlike Martin, there is some ambiguity as to whether or not the lead vampire’s genetic problems are supernatural or simply psychological. Personally, I think the fact that Blood and Roses is a horror film is of little consequence, at least as far as its positive attributes are concerned.   In fact, I have to assume that it would appeal more to fans of Cocteau and Robbe-Grillet than Romero, Carpenter, and Craven fanboys, but I digress.

 While Vadim seems to have been rampantly heterosexual to almost a fault, he surely owes some of his greatest gifts to the crucial aesthetic influence of a fellow frog of the proudly cocksucking sort. Indeed, while poet and cine-magician Jean Cocteau might not have ever personally directed a horror flick, Blood and Roses is surely the second best thing as a cinematic work that manages to parrot the pleasantly primitive practical special effects from classic cinematic works like Le sang d'un poète (1930) aka The Blood of a Poet, Orphée (1950) aka Orpheus, and La Belle et la Bête (1946) aka Beauty and the Beast without seeming too ridiculous or shamelessly plagiaristic.  Additionally, not unlike Orpheus, Vadim's film features a seemingly seamless mix of ancient European myth and aesthetics with the modern. Simultaneously orgasmically oneiric and lugubriously phantasmagoric, the film straddles a strangely healthy line between wholesome pre-porn exploitation and surrealist pop art, as if Vadim wanted to prove that he could sire the most tastefully trashy film ever made (in fact, I would argue that his greatest attribute as a filmmaker was his special knack for injecting the artless with art and bringing class to the classless).

Of course, it pretty much goes without saying that, like any decent Vadim flick, the auteur is completely infatuated by the female lead as if he wanted to prove to the world (and, curiously, to himself) how ravishing and mysterious his wife is. Quite unlike the erotically ebullient Bardot in And God Created Woman, Strøyberg has a sort of painfully tragic and morosely mercurial essence that is slowly but surely unleashed on the viewer so when the film reaches its climax it is only natural that she succumbs to a heartbreakingly brutal yet fittingly absurd demise. Despite her lack of experience, Strøyberg seems like she was born to play a virtual human statue in an Ingmar Bergman or Werner Schroeter flick, as she is a painfully pulchritudinous diva that reveals with a mere slight glance much more than words ever could, hence Vadim's seemingly absurd faith in her as an actress despite her lack of experience. While Mel Ferrer is technically the lead, his scenes seem like frivolous filler anytime that Strøyberg exits the screen as she is virtually the entire soul and libido of the film. As for Elsa Martinelli, she seems like a self-conscious little girl when compared to the wantonly wounded womanhood and eerie grace of Strøyberg. While it might sound like puffery, I prefer Strøyberg’s performance to that of those given by Bardot, Deneuve, and Fonda in Vadim’s much more popular films. Of course, poor little rich girl Fonda would have probable made an even worse vampire than she did as a pinko commie revolutionary. On the other hand, it would be hard to imagine Strøyberg playing the lead in And God Created Woman or Barbarella (1968) as she does not seem like she could be moronically bubbly enough. 

 Say what you will about the film’s weak storyline or glaring lack of character development, but Blood and Roses is a hopelessly hypnotically beautiful film, which is largely the result of Vadim’s cinematographer Claude Renoir (as his name hints, he is related to French master auteur Jean Renoir, as his actor father is the nephew of the filmmaker). While it could be argued that the film is an exercise in high-camp kitsch, I sincerely doubt that Vadim was operating with the same mindset as a Werner Schroeter or Daniel Schmid. Indeed, Vadim might have put a premium on cinematic pulchritude, especially where statuesque Aryan women are concerned, but he was working from a strictly (and, some would say, hopelessly) heterosexual perspective. Apparently, the film, or at least its female lead, was even beautiful enough to catch the fancy of alpha-surrealist Salvador Dalí. As Vadim explained in Bardot Deneuve Fonda, “On September 28, BLOOD AND ROSES was shown in Paris. After the rather well-received screening, the guests were invited to a party at Maxim’s. It was an unusually brilliant evening. The cream of Paris thought that having supper with a female vampire was great fun. ‘I loved your cannibal with such pink skin,’ said Salvador Dalí.” Of course, the film is practically driven by pinks and especially reds; whether it be a red rose fading to a light pink after being touched by a vamp or a vamp bleeding deep carnal red via her supple bare breasts. As the film’s English title certainly hints, certain vital fluids have an erotic energy that transcends semen and natural vaginal lube. As for flowers, they are a symbol of purity and virginity, hence why the vampiress is able to drain a rose of its red with her mere touch. 

 Somewhat abruptly and unexpectedly the film begins (and ultimately ends) on an airplane destined for Rome with a somewhat unreliable narrator named Dr. Verari (René-Jean Chauffard) as he explains to some similarly insufferably swarthy colleagues the curious tale of a bizarre love triangle of the incestuous bloodsucking (and covertly bisexual) sort. Indeed, as the good doctor explains, a tall, dark, and vaguely handsome ‘Italian’ aristocrat named Leopoldo De Karnstein (Mel Ferrer) severely suffered from a complicated situation with his fiancée Georgia Monteverdi (Elsa Martinelli) and Austrian cousin Carmilla (Annette Strøyberg). While his fiancée clearly loves him and looks forward to marrying him, it is clear that Carmilla—a highly sensitive little lady of the somewhat antisocial and aggressive sort—loves him to an even more unsettling degree, as she seems to believe they are soul mates. Although less obvious, Carmilla also seems to have strong sexual feelings for Georgia, though one gets the impression that her sexual interest in her is largely because she loves her cousin and thus desires to sexually dominate the woman that has taken away the man that she so deeply loves. As Dr. Verari describes in regard to the darkly romantic atmosphere of the story, it is “…the most secluded parts of the Roman countryside. It’s a place that inspires daydreaming. And melancholy, as well.” A bad blonde bitch and proto-goth gal with an affinity for the dark and morbid yet has the rather misleading fair golden complexion of an angel, Carmilla is quite proud of the fact that she is supposedly descended from an accursed bloodline of vampires that, aside from the exception of a gorgeous girl named Millarca, were eventually ruthlessly exterminated with extreme prejudice by local townsfolk. As Carmilla brags in regard to her ancient undead ancestor, who bears a striking resemblance to her as revealed by an old painting, “She was called Millarca. She was a Karnstein from the heyday. She passionately loved her cousin Ludwig von Karnstein. She died before the wedding in Ludwig’s arms, who swore her an everlasting love.”  Dedicated to his deceased cousin, Ludwig built Millarca a special secret hidden tomb in the family abbey, hence why she was the sole member to survive the family vampire massacre. Needless to say, Carmilla sees herself as Millarca and Leopoldo as Ludwig.  Rather unfortunately for Carmilla, Leopoldo does not love her nearly as much as Ludwig loved Millarca.

 I might be an antisocial sadist of sorts, but I found myself completely and gleefully rooting for Carmilla, even after she ‘transforms’ into a vampire and begins killing hot young maid girls. While Leopoldo boasts in regard to his family, “We’ve ceased being vampires since 1775,” Carmilla—the only surviving member of the Austrian branch of the family—does indeed adopt a vampiric form of sorts after a big fireworks show that accidentally results in the Karnstein family crypt being opened, thus leading to the anti-heroine wandering in and being possessed by her ancient vampire relative Millarca; or so it seems, at least for most of the film. Indeed, somewhat unfortunately, the film pulls a ‘gotcha’ towards the end where the dubious narrator Dr. Verari explains to Leopoldo that Carmilla has degenerated into a literally bloodthirsty schizophrenic as a result of her soul-crushing lovesickness for her cousin. When Leopoldo complains in regard to his cousin’s deadly love, “I thought she understood. That we can’t always live like daydreaming children,” the doc explains, “She never stopped dreaming. She didn’t want to suffer. So she escaped from herself by neurosis. Traumatism, neurosis, split personality . . . The defeated Carmilla became the uncompromising Millarca; the one who hurt people. When she killed Lisa, she didn’t only obey the legend. She also identified herself to the woman you love.” Somewhat ironically (or not so considering the film leaves some slight ambiguity as to whether or not she is actually a vamp), Carmilla is killed in a freak accident via a stake to the heart after dynamite is quite conveniently and somewhat symbolically used to destroy the Karnstein family crypt. In the end, the film comes full-circle, albeit with the newly wed Leopoldo and Georgia flying together instead of Dr. Verari and his pals. In a twist, it is revealed that Millarca may or may not have also come to possess Georgia’s body. 

 Rather unfortunately, Blood and Roses has never been released on DVD aside from in Germany in 2014 and this French/German language kraut suffers from an infuriating lack of cool dream scenes that are included in the unfortunately low-quality dubbed EP-speed VHS that was released in the United States by Paramount a very long time ago. Indeed, for example, an iconic scene where Carmilla’s shirt becomes magically soaked in blood is inexplicably cut short in the German DVD version, as if kraut audiences could only handle so much blood. Additionally, shots of faded rose petals, which have lost their color due to being touched by a vamp, have been completely excised from the DVD. In fact, I would argue that the American VHS contains an all-around superior cut of the film as the unintentionally goofy character of Dr. Verari is only of minor importance and instead Millarca, who provides the film with its elegantly ominous tone, rather fittingly does both the opening and closing narration. For those that prefer pure literal horror to preposterous psychobabble, the American dubbed VHS is also superior as it confirms that the vampiress Millarca has indeed possessed the female characters. Considering they have already released Vadim’s inferior (but unquestionably more popular) film And God Created Woman, one can only pray that the Criterion Collection will spare Blood and Roses from the celluloid dustbin of history and release a nice complete print of the film on Blu-ray, but I am probably being way too optimistic (realistically, I would not be surprised if Kino Lorber eventually released the film as they have already released a couple Vadim films, including the proto-Nazisploitation flick Le vice et la vertu (1963) aka Vice and Virtue, Arthur Schnitzler adaptation La Ronde (1964) aka Circle of Love, and ultra-lame caper The Hot Touch (1981)). 

 Notably, Vadim actually intended to direct another vampire flick starring his ex-girlfriend Catherine Deneuve, but it was never made because the director put it on hold to direct the somewhat uneven Jeux de Nuit (1980) aka Night Games and for whatever reason never got around to getting back to it (of course, Deneuve would ultimately star in Tony Scott’s gorgeous goth chic debut feature The Hunger (1983) starring David Bowie)). As for horror cinema in general, Vadim’s only other contribution to the genre was his somewhat lackluster segment from the Edgar Allan Poe omnibus Histoires extraordinaires (1968) aka Spirits of the Dead also co-directed by Louis Malle and Federico Fellini (undoubtedly, Fellini's masterful concluding segment ‘Toby Dammit’ makes the rest of the film seem pointless by comparison). Always a sort of whore for publicity, Vadim also managed to attach his name to the horror genre by allowing publishers to use his celebrity for the short story collection Roger Vadim présente : Histoires de vampires (1961), which was a French translation of the Italian vampire story collection I Vampiri tra Noi (the same exact collection, which features Le Fanu's Carmilla, was later published in Britain in 1965 by Pan Books under the outstandingly generic name The Vampire).

Of course, considering that Vadim was not much of a filmmaker in general, one must give him credit for managing to virtually sire an entire horror sub-genre with a single stand-alone film, but one must also at least partially credit the heroine Annette Strøyberg for the film’s potency, as she not only brings a certain sensual melancholy to the experience, but also apparently inspired real-life dread and horror in the auteur, or as Vadim pathetically recounted in Memoirs of the Devil (1976), “Annette had a special knack for disappearing at the most inappropriate moments. She began with a master stroke. I had made ET MOURIR DE PLAISIR for her. It was her own film in a way, her first big part. The producers had organized a gala evening at Maxim’s for the premiere. Annette was the star of the evening and seemed happy, surrounded by friends and the press, who had liked the film. Before the champagne sherbet, she got up and left the table. I thought she had left for a couple of minutes, but she did not return. The cloakroom lady told me she had taken her coat. The vampire had vanished into thin air, leaving no message. She had answered her lover’s call. I could understand that she lacked the courage to tell me, but not even to stay for the end of the evening, which was my gift to her and for which I had worked so hard—that was graceless of her. Since I don’t enjoy drinking when I’m really depressed, I did not have the consolation of drowning my sorrows in liquor.” In short, Vadim demonstrates that a filmmaker that puts pussy on a pedestal and dedicates his entire career to glorifying the beauty of his wives is not a man at all, but a cowardly cuck, hence why all of these beauties eventually left him.  Of course, one could argue that it takes a true cuck to shamelessly cinematically expose his wife's finer traits to the entire world.  Naturally, when one thinks of Vadim, it is hard to think of any other signature auteur qualities aside from his virtual filmic wife-swapping (after all, even Godard eventually learned his lesson in that regard).

 Needless to say, I am not the only person that has a low opinion of Vadim’s flagrant womanizing and groveling for cunt. Indeed, in the featurette Reflections of Darkness: Del Valle on Kümel, Flemish auteur Harry Kümel—director of the rather resplendent lesbo vampire flick Daughters of Darkness (1971) aka Les lèvres rouges, which was clearly aesthetically influenced by Blood and Roses—states of Vadim and his vampire flick, “It’s not as sloppy as ET DIEU… CRÉA LA FEMME or all the other, harder [films]. He’s a sloppy filmmaker. He was not truly a filmmaker, Vadim. He was a womanizer. You can be both, but still, I think his main interest—his main interest in life was—was women.” In fact, it seems that Kümel believes that Blood and Roses was mainly good due to the cinematographer, or as he explained, “It’s a film which I like, but I thought Roger Vadim was always a bit sloppy […] And Claude Renoir did a lot in that movie. Naturally, if you have a cameraman of the caliber of Claude Renoir—Claude Renoir was one of the—Well, the French had such sensational cameramen. Alekan, who did the wonderful film by Cocteau LA BELLE ET LA BÉTE. Henri Alekan, a wounderful cameraman. The French had a sensational cinema which has been completely destroyed by the nouvelle vague, you know that. It’s a complete disaster for Europe, in fact.”

Undoubtedly, had Vadim not been a somewhat older filmmaker and thus familiar with French cinema’s classic ‘Tradition of Quality,’ Blood and Roses might not have been nearly as aesthetically orgasmic. In terms of frog vampire flicks from around the same era, the underrated black-and-white short Fantasmagorie (1964) directed by Patrice Molinard and starring Edith Scob of Eyes Without a Face (1960) fame seems like what might happen if a nihilistic member of the La Nouvelle Vague attempted to assemble an avant-garde gothic vampire flick that was completely extinguished of the warm blood red erotic vitality and Cocteau-eque pop surrealism that epitomizes Vadim's film. Either way, Blood and Roses seem rather radical in terms of form and atmosphere when compared to The Vampire Lovers, which is based on the same exact Le Fanu novella. As far as I am concerned, the only true spiritual sequel to Vadim’s film is Joël Séria’s Mais ne nous délivrez pas du mal (1971) aka Don't Deliver Us from Evil—a pleasantly pernicious piece of Baudelairian pastoral folk horror—as a cinematic the celebrates the very same sort of Sapphic evil that the other film less than sincerely attempts to condemn. In short, Séria’s film is the sort of cinematic work Vadim might have directed had he been more intelligent and iconoclastic and less focused on whoring out his wife (of course, auteur Séria did whore out his wife Jeanne Goupil for that film and a number of others, but he did it with more artistic integrity).  Although not a literal vampire flick, the Teutonic Heimat horror piece Nachtschatten (1972) aka Nightshade directed by Niklaus Schilling is like a morbidly nihilistic yet no less romantic response to Vadim's film where the filmmaker's wife Elke Haltaufderheide—a virtual Annette Strøyberg doppelganger—portrays a sort of metaphysical vampire of sorts that has a talent for effortlessly sapping a man of his energy, though she ultimately rightly succumbs to her own guilt-ridden spiritual sickness.  With its blood red roses, hauntingly beautiful rural setting, gothic essence, and lethally lovesick blonde anti-heroine, Nightshade unquestionably owes a heavy aesthetic debt to Blood and Roses.

 Undoubtedly, one can understand the film’s anti-heroine’s romantic plight when considers Arthur Schopenhauer’s wise words, “Belief is like love: it cannot be compelled; and as any attempt to compel love produces hate, so it is the attempt to compel belief which first produces real unbelief.” Out of her hopelessly impossible love for the male protagonist, Carmilla learns to both hate and embrace a virtual ancestral religion of blood, which is ultimately rather noble in its perversity, hence the poetically tragic nature of the heroine. Indeed, while Carmilla’s unwavering dedication to love is decidedly deadly, it also makes her a strangely admirable and sympathetic figure who seems like a lovely angelic creature compared to her all-too-bourgeois family members (to Carmilla's credit, she has seemingly nil interest in money as it is also revealed that she is much richer than her beloved guido cousin).  Indeed, when I think of Carmilla, I am reminded of National Socialist Expressionist poet Gottfried Benn's words, “Know this: I live beast days. I am a water hour. At night my eyelids droop like forest and sky. My love knows few words: I like it in your blood.”  Not unlike the eponymous lily-licking bloodsucker of the David Lynch produced Nadja (1994) directed by Michael Almereyda, Carmilla is a rare example female vampire that can compete with the great male vampires of cinema history in terms of memorability and tragic intrigue.  Of course, it was ultimately Monsieur Vadim that was the real victim of the nubile female nosferatu and for that alone, if nothing else, he deserves at least a modicum of reluctant respect for his sacrifice as both an emasculated man and hack filmmaker.  While Vadim's marriages and romances were short-lived, Blood and Roses is forever!

-Ty E


teddy crescendo said...

I always thought Roger Vadim was a great geezer, (a), because he was so rampagingly heterosexual, and, (b), because he wasn`t British, anyone who possesses those two vitally important character traits has my total respect.

John Carpenter said...

"The mostly artistically bankrupt Brits of Hammer Horror", that was my favourite line in the entire reveiw. And Roy Ward Baker was not an auteur, he was a hack, and a laughably bad British one at that, although i think he was heterosexual for all of his 93 years so that does redeem him obviously.

Tony Brubaker said...

I desperately want to perform literally every concievable and possible sex-act in the known universe on Madeline Smith (as the bird was in 1967 when the bird was 18, not as the bird is now obviously). Such a shame shes British rubbish though. BTW, what was she doing in "Up Pompeii" (1970) ?, her considerable charms would`ve been completely wasted on that ludicrous and pathetic British faggot Frankie Howerd.

teddy crescendo said...

Didn`t Adrienne Posta have the sweetest prettiest little face you`ve ever seen!, i`ve had so girl-y wanks about how fantastic it would`ve been to have spunked all over that pretty little face of hers in 1967 when the bird was 18, such a shame she was born British rubbish though because it girl-t she had to appear in endless unwatchable British made swill like "To Sir with Love", "Here we go Round the Mulberry Bush", "Up the Junction" and "Up Pompeii". Imagine what a big star she would`ve become if she`d been born an American especially with the Prettiest face of all-time, oh how i would`ve loved to have spent the entire year of 1967 spunking all over that incredible face of hers non-stop 24 hours a day, it would`ve been total heavenly perfection.


Aleister CROWLEY

"L'enfant de la Lune - Moon Child"
éditions Marathias, Athènes, 2001, pp.413

Ce roman du Grand Magicien anglais Aleister Crowley nous a donné la certitude que notre pays d'origine n'est pas si arriéré comme les journalistes français le décrivent. Ce roman n'a jamais été traduit en français et c'était le Magicien français Philippe Pissier qui nous a donné la confirmation. La première édition anglaise a été faite en 1929 par l'éditeur "Mandrake Press", un éditeur qui a fermé ses portes il y a seulement une dizaine d'années. C'est grâce à la magie de Crowley qu'il a existé plus que quatre-vingts ans.

Nous allons essayer de faire un résumé du roman pour les curieux. Plusieurs réunions de magiciens se déroulent en trois villes : à Londres, à Paris et à Naples. Les magiciens sont de religions différentes : "Jésus nous a oubliés" est un premier jugement sur la page 52. Quel est le but de leurs réunions ? C'est de créer un homonculus avec le support de leur Magie. A travers les pages du roman il y a le mélange des dogmes rosicruciens, théosophes ou autres par le biais de plusieurs artistes qui ont été illuminés par la doctrine de Crowley. En étudiant les Grimoires, les magiciens récitent des phrases en latin ancien. D'autres phrases comme "Le coté noir de la Lune" (c'est le titre d'un chapitre) nous font penser aux succès du rock que nous connaissions très bien depuis longtemps.

Dans cet univers magique et littéraire coexistent la poétesse Georges Sand (page 120) le producteur pas encore né juif Steven Spielberg et son "Poltergeist" qui signifie esprit frappeur en allemand, mais aussi l'occultiste français Eliphas Levi dont le nom nous revèle sa religion. Et le point culminant sera le mariage paganiste à quatre qui aura lieu sur la page 333 (c'est symbolique ? il faudra poser cette question à Monsieur Marathias ou à son impimeur qui a fait la numérotation des pages) et qui fournira l'homonculus lunaire du titre. Sur la page 146 fait son apparition l'acronyme magique SRMD que le traducteur grec laisse sans traduction. C'est sûrement intentionnel mais nous allons vous l'expliquer quand même. ça veut dire "Royal is my Race". Faut-il vraiment le traduire ?

écrit par Dionysos ANDRONIS