Jazz, film, and improvised culture.
We Are the Flesh: Mexican Extremity
is sort of a Mexican cross between Tool
Time Tim Allen and the Marquis de Sade. He has no use for bourgeoisie morality,
but he sure goes through the duct tape. Desperate siblings will be caught in
his madness during Emiliano Rocha Minter’s nasty bit of extremity, We Are the Flesh (trailer here) which opens this Friday in New York.
is hard to follow his futzing, but it appears Mariano is trying to turn a
post-industrial loft into a womb-like lair, mostly through the liberal
application of duct tape. Into this heart of darkness wander a waifish brother
and sister in search of food. Of course, simple supplication will not suffice. Instead,
Mariano will sink his hooks into the siblings, forcing them to commit incestuous
sexual acts and to act as his accomplice in the ritual murder of a captured
language reminiscent of Sade’s puerile paeans to perversion, Mariano gains a
Svengali-like hold over his guest, particularly the sister. He also dies and
comes back during rave, because Rocha Minter will not spare us any symbolic
provocations. To top things off, he delivers a twist ending that was a groaner
when M Night Shyamalan used it in the mid-2000s.
is no question Rocha Minter is a powerful visual stylist, but his desire to
shock is often counterproductive. Any intended commentary on Mexican society is
lost in the not-so simulated outrageousness. Still, you have to give the cast
credit for so willingly shedding their clothes and their dignity, especially María
Evoli, who really goes for broke as the sister. It is a bold performance and a
bold career move, since she will have something that will probably be considered
in the same general neighborhood of A
Serbian Film on her resume.
So, we’re still building that wall, right?
Suddenly, it doesn’t sound like such a bad idea. A lot of talent and effort
went into Flesh, including Yollótl
Alvarado’s dream-like cinematography and the off-the-wall work of art director
Manuela García. That is why it is so frustrating the final film does not
inspire more feeling than cold, clammy distaste. Not recommended, We Are the Flesh opens this Friday
(1/20) in New York, at the Cinema Village.
Labels: Cult cinema, Mexican Cinema