SATAN BOUCHE UN COIN (JEAN-PIERRE BOUYXOU, 1968)
It's hard to imagine that when Jean-Pierre Bouyxou made Satan bouche un coin he imagined anybody outside of his close friends seeing it. It's a very peculiar film, somewhat amateur, yet carrying the spirit of the films that Bouyxou was more or less renown for supporting- the fantastique, the erotic horror film, the films that most of the critics of the time (and even today) overlooked. And possibly for that specific reason, it exists as a brilliant ten minute film.
The film is a series of images, shown in short takes (anywhere from a few frames to 30 seconds), of more or less fetishistic imagery (something Bouyxou was particularly fond of). After a credit and title sequence written on naked human flesh, the viewer sees the brilliant Molinier standing sanctimoniously in front of a screen. Soon he is joined by a woman, and he fondles her breasts while retaining his signature grin. Molinier seems to almost be the 'ringmaster' of the incidents, with almost every minute episode cutting back to him. His presence is one thing that makes this film remarkable; the same sort of aura that exists in Moliniers famous self-portraits and cut-ups is present here, on screen. The man truly is remarkably charismatic doing little but grinning and standing.
Other images that follow include a nude woman being bathed in blood as she writhes on the ground, a little girl staring in awe and terror, individuals grinning almost maliciously at the camera, a nude man wrestling the head of a statue after he finishes whipping it, and eventually, models of the human body, and fake cadavers. It is these images at the end of the film, the medical diagrams and models, that ultimately bring full circle the age old concept of sex and death. Sex seems to be the theme of the first third of the film, pleasure (indicated mainly by the malicious grins) the second thirds' theme, and then death, the final theme. Taken as a whole the viewer in enveloped in the films atmosphere, left to deal with the implications of what he's just scene.
The film moves at an energetic, jovial pace, and in tone feels very similar (yet almost remarkably darker) than Kenneth Anger's later films like Inauguration of the Pleasure Dome and the more chaotic, interior parts of Lucifer Rising. Another connection can be drawn from Anger's satanic intentions and the "satan" of Bouyxou's films title. Aside from the chaotic array of images, the film is also accompanied by a bizarrely grandiose score, heightening the ecstatic mood. While conceptually, I'm not exactly sure if there is anything deeper than the connective images and aforementioned themes, but that doesn't stop the film from being wildly entertaining to a person like me. Also despite the occasional image being terribly underexposed (of course, the darkness of the image could also be due to the print that I saw), there exist a large number of amazingly composed and memorable images throughout.
As I hope I've implied, the film is actually a remarkable piece of work that is definitely of interest to anybody who thrives off of the decadent, chaotic, and erotic existence of films like those of Jean Rollin, Renato Polselli, or even Kenneth Anger. All in all a very rewarding piece of history.