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April 10, 2014

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The Egregious Bowel

Ha! Fair enough. I did kinda want to beat him up, too, though I don't remember the kid. I do remember it opening up with a woman eating a flower, and each bite made a big "CRUNCH CRUNCH" Foley sound. And I rolled my eyes and thought, "oh boy," then proceeded to repeat those exact words to myself for the next 90 minutes.

But I figure you gotta go after the institutions to earn the riot, right? The big stink over "L'age d'or" was the de Sade allusion at the end... right? Or was it all that sexy toe sucking? Then again, what *really* was the issue with "Un Chien Andalou?" Its... irreverence...? The jokey intertitles? Eyeball violence...?

Sure, Jodorowsky attacks Catholicism and conquistadors and all that, but... starting in 1968, not 1929. Now, I'm just a deeply and perpetually flabbergasted young man with no direct experience here, but surely, by 1968, a few flip flicks of the teeth to the Pope did not buy you an all-out riot...?

I know I'm being insouciant, but these reports of rioting always sound like such silly myth-making to me. I've only ever found one citation, from a Rosenbaum compendium no less, that "Fando y Lis" actually caused riots. Even with the most famous example, "Le sacre du printemps," research suggests that its Parisian audience rioted because they hated it aesthetically, not because it shocked them. After all, these were the same folk otherwise getting off on Rimbaud and Pierre Louys --- it was the dissonance, not the content, that enraged them.

On the flip-side, I've always wondered why folks *didn't* riot after "Lisztomania." In all seriousness, it has one of the most lucidly, outrageously offensive endings imaginable. It's irreverent, and Dada, and nonsensical, and openly contemptuous to both structure and mores; all the qualities that seem to send audiences into a destructive tizzy. And, of course, it offers the image of Hitler as Frankenstein's monster, wielding an electric-guitar-machine-gun, leading a fascist army of young girls in Supergirl outfits, and mowing down wailing Hasidic Jews as they flail about in comical sped-motion. I guess the Brits are just too cordial for a good riot?

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