Saturday, December 20, 2008

The Worst Scene from a Bad Movie I Just Watched

Perhaps this will become a regular segment. The worst scene this week comes from Bertolucci's The Dreamers, an amazingly pretentious film even by his standards that tries to weave together, and thereby equate somehow, film buffery, revolutionary politics, and taboo sexuality. Now there are numerous bad scenes from which to choose, but the clear-cut winner of worst scene is the one in which the American boy has sex with the French girl on the kitchen floor while her brother alternately watches them and makes breakfast. After they finish the brother comes over, kneels next to his sister and stick his hand in her crotch. He brings his hand up to see that it is covered in blood. Apparently the free-spirited French girl was a virgin! Heavens! I never saw it coming! Then the American boy does the same thing, sticking his hand between her legs then bringing it up to his face where he can see the blood. He holds his hand between their two faces as the both sort of marvel at the wonder of it all, then they kiss passionately as he carelessly smears the girl's blood all over her cheek.


This movie is very obnoxious. Does anyone think this is good? It's really little different from Brando's "I-want-you-to-suck-the-dying-fart-from-the-pig" speech in Last Tango. I mean it is no different in terms of why it's supposed to be interesting. At some point Bertolucci decided that transgression, audacity and sensationalism where somehow related to sincerity, courage and truth. Of course they are not, but it is amazing how people will continue to fall for it. Take Michael Haneke as another example. Cache is the most intellectually offensive film I have seen in years (and mind you I watched Children of Men a few weeks ago), and all the accolades showered upon the film basically amount to praise for it's outrageousness. Even Jonathan Rosenbaum accepts the conceit of its preposterous allegory because the message delivered is ultimately so important. Again, this is mistaking audacity for courage. Haneke and Bertolucci seem to think you have to touch on taboo to be interesting. To me it just seems like another form of dishonesty.

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