Limitless Cinema in Broken English

February 25, 2008


Filed under: Uncategorized — celinejulie @ 10:01 pm

–Jeremy Richey on Robbe-Grillet

–Mike Dekalb on Robbe-Grillet

–Mike Dekalb on SLOW SLIDINGS OF PLEASURE (1974, Alain Robbe-Grillet)

One of the films I would like to see very much is SLOW SLIDINGS OF PLEASURE. I found a review of this film in the magazine LITERATURE/FILM QUARTERLY, 1995, No.1. The article is written by Roch C. Smith.

These are some quotes from the magazine:

“Not surprisingly, perhaps, given Robbe-Grillet’s source, he makes use of various images of blood and flames to incorporate the motifs of the vampire and the sorceress. Such images are associated with a red kneeler, a shoe, a broken bottle—sometimes filled with red liquid—the sea, a metal bed and other objects of “punctuation,” as Robbe-Grillet calls them. All these images become part of a narrative contest between the young female protagonist—called Alice in the cine-roman, but never named in the film itself—and a cast of authority figures: the magistrate, the lawyer, the nun, and the priest. For the forces of authority and order, these images and objects become pieces of evidence that would establish Alice’s guilt.”

”The magistrate, the priest and the nun seek to impose a coherent story, one that would account for the disparate elements, by establishing that there was a crime and Alice was guilty of it. They seek to reestablish the reassuring and conventional world of traditional narrative. The character of Alice is scandalous to these figures of traditional authority, as it might be to like-minded spectators. Through her rebelliously playful responses, Alice subverts all efforts to impose a closed narrative by multiplying the possible meanings. Hers is the scandal of the open work.”

–There is a very interesting scene in SLOW SLIDINGS OF PLEASURE, in which nude Alice covers the front of her body with the red paint and presses herself against the white wall in four different spots, leaving imprints of her body on the wall.

This scene is clearly an homage to Yves Klein’ “Anthropometrie de l’epoque bleu (ANT 82)” (1960). Coincidentally, the Alliance Francaise in Bangkok just showed a short TV documentary about this artwork in January. The TV documentary is called SUIVEZ L’ARTISTE, in each episode of which a famous person got to choose his/her favorite artwork. In the episode I saw, it is Agnes Varda who chose Anthropometrie de l’epoque bleu (ANT 82).

In that red painting scene in SLOW SLIDINGS OF PLEASURE, there is also an interesting conversation between Sister Julia, who is the nun in charge of the convent, and Alice. I quoted this dialogue from LITERATURE/FILM QUARTERLY:

SISTER JULIA: You asked for paint and brushes to do that?

ALICE: Yes, Sister. You don’t find that pretty? Maybe you don’t like modern art?

SISTER JULIA: Don’t touch me, you disgusting, shameless girl, you criminal! Anyone can tell by looking at you that you’re the assassin.

ALICE: I don’t see the connection Sister. Jesus was innocent. He was condemned to death because he had the gift of exaggeration. I’ll speak to my lawyer about your libelous statements…Here Sister, here’s Veronica’s veil. [Alice holds up a red cloth which virtually fills the screen.]

–For more information on VERONICA’S VEIL, please read:

–Yves Klein’s artwork and that scene in SLOW SLIDINGS OF PLEASURE make me feel interested in works which use human bodies as paintbrush. I found that Ana Mendieta also created some artworks by the imprints of her body, and Nicolas Guagnini also had an exhibition called “77 TESTICULAR IMPRINTS”, in which he used his testicles as paintbrush.

This is the description of 77 TESTICULAR IMPRINTS:

“The paintings were produced with oil paint applied directly to the artist’s testicles and imprinted on various bound and ephemeral printed matter including: mainstream magazines such as Time and Life; art market staples such as Artforum, Art in America and Art News; exhibition and auction catalogues; rare magazines and artist’s books; personal letters; and lastly, on an assortment of original artworks, poems and studio notes by Vito Acconci, Simon Bedwell, Alejandro Cesarco and Dan Graham.”


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