Friday, September 17, 2010


Flavia the Heretic (1974)
dir: Gianfranco Mingozzi

Haha. I'm still chuckling from just typing that name. Italy, LOL. This was a pretty perfect movie for me to watch right now, as its very existence and the experience of viewing it sort of mirrors the late-20's end-of-college personality crisis in which I seem to be currently stuck. I'm about to hammer the final proverbial nail into the shitty proverbial coffin that is the "college experience," albeit my own has been very different from that of most young Americans because I'm kind of old and I hate pretty much all young Americans, but nonetheless I find myself in a rut that is very common, I'm sure, to what most of them go through at this exact moment in their educational timeline. I'm sort of like "fuck school" right now (senioritis) but I'm also kind of "fuck everything else, too" (angeritis). For the past few years I've dedicated the majority of my time and sanity to the historical and analytical study of international cinema, with the occasional segue into the realms of that ubiquitous language of beggars and thieves (jk) Espanol and the surprisingly inclusive fart-cloud that is known as "Religious Studies." Here enters Flavia, itself an obvious example of said international cinema that, unlike the majority of its nunsploitation brethren, actually offers up some analysis of its own both in regards to the art form of cinema and the perpetual dialogue between all of man's religions. Far from just another titillating exercise in religious-inspired sexual depravity, this film actually has a lot of interesting things going on in it that don't revolve around the supple flesh of long-repressed (read: horny) nuns or the erotic torture they receive at the hands of other totally hot naked nuns. In fact, there isn't much here in terms of thoughtless titillation. I dare even say that as a nunsploitation title it sorely disappoints. What we do have is a borderline successful observation on the interplay of multiple religions (primarily Catholicism and Islam) in the historical context of female repression, mostly successful because of the fantastic performance by Florinda Bolkan, who you may (should) remember from Lucio Fulci's unheralded and best film, Don't Torture a Duckling. It certainly never reaches the point of a reasonably well-researched term paper on the topic, but it does at least inject its dreary proceedings with some degree of genuine insight. Of course, I barely remember a fucking second of it. For all of the film's best efforts to engage me in a compelling discourse on these topics the only thing I really remember is some woman having her nipple sliced off and some other lady crawling nude into the hollowed out chest cavity of a dead cow (see above, holy shit). And therein lies the problem: I don't give a shit. About film analysis. About religious study. Even about Spanish (it's hard). Here I am about to graduate with what is supposedly a successful education in three different areas and I barely remember shit about what I was taught, nor do I really care all that much. I certainly have no idea what I plan to do with any of it. Teach other people a bunch of shit about the German New-Wave that doesn't really matter all that much in the grand scheme of the universe? Mediate arguments between interfaith couples? Hang out in El Salvador? I don't know anything about El Salvador! I don't know anything about myself! Was school just a huge waste of time and money, just like I decided it was when I was 21 years old and dropped out the first time? I seriously hope not. But in the meantime I will continue to enjoy movies like Piranha 3-D despite the best efforts of my film professor to turn me into a snobby, joyless connoisseur. I just had to look up how to spell that word. I might be dumb. And I think I'm pretty alright with that. This December I will end up with a BA in International Studies, but my brain has had a PhD in Weird for as long as I can remember. We'll see which one I use more.

1 comment:

  1. I feel you on the anxiety nebula. I think we should probably go back in time (2005) at the peak of our cut-and-bludgeon discussions and release some sort of supervirus or some shit and then cut and bludgeon our way to happiness, or die trying. Also after the release of "The Most Known Unknowns." Let's plan a apocalypse.