Saturday, May 19, 2012
Moju- Blind Beast (1968)
Call it what you will, but what ever you know the film by I am almost certain that it will disturb you greatly by its end.
Haunted by an image in Philip Hardy's Encyclopedia of Horror I have been looking to see this movie for the past 20 or 25 years. The image of a blind Japanese man touching a woman who is close to a quiet orgasm haunted me as did the description of the film. I did not get it on DVD until a few years ago when I managed to secure a used copy.
The plot is simple a blind sculptor kidnaps a model so he can make a statue of her. Where it goes is best described as David Lynch meets Peter Greenaway with Greenaway winning.
This is a strange strange film that is very straight forward yet not. The twists and turns are at times comical yet very real. At times its over the top and you want to laugh but at the same time whats happening underneath everything is very very disturbing. This is a bleak bleak allegory on modern society with the constant striving for the next sensation. The only difference between it having been made now versus having been made then is that there is no pubic hair. This film is as fresh today as it was 40 years ago when it was made, possibly more so.
My only complaint is that the music is sometimes a bit too happy. Perhaps this was intentional so as to keep the audience distanced from the darknesss on screen.
This is not a film for the faint of heart or easily offended or for radical feminists. There's kidnapping, sex, nudity, rape, violence and lots of ideas that people don't want to talk about. While I'm certain feminists wouldn't have a problem with the underlying drive of the film, they would probably not be too happy with some of the plotting, for example seeming the objectivication of women with the sculptor's studio's walls upon which nothing hangs except giant body parts... The film is not that shallow as to reduce women to that level and indeed its done to make a point.
Should the film be seen?
Yes. This is a film to see if you can handle dark subject much like the films of Peter Greenaway. But Like Greenaways films it is not for all tastes.
I'm sorry if I've been rather vague about what happens, I don't want to tell you since I'd rather have it wash over you, besides the details including the rather grotesque ending can be found elsewhere...(And I agree with Philip Hardy, once things get moving, to a large degree the details of what happens aren't really important)
This is a head trip and then some...
If you think you can approach it with the right frame of mind see it. (If you see it in the wrong frame you'll either turn it off or find it very funny for the wrong reasons)
A bunch of stars, don't bring the kids...