Precious Bodily Fluids



If Begotten does anything well, it’s showing the interconnectedness of abjection with suffering. Very little in this unusual piece doesn’t evoke ideas connoting the death drive: repulsion, disgust, horror, confusion, and that priceless feeling of tasting your own stomach bile. However gross this description might be, the only way one could avoid feelings much worse while watching the film is by having a keen eye for discerning the fake props used in Begotten. (One way to get through it is to think of it as a production and guess at what had to be ketchup, coffee grounds, and the like.) The film ends with a bit of a cheat: concluding credits describing the scenes as allegories (e.g., the “God killing himself” scene). For all the effectiveness of overexposed film and some really killer sound effects (no joke), some fairly formulaic tropes are used, with referents in the horror and science fiction genres. Religion is certainly a target, both explicitly and implicitly. Though I can’t be sure exactly what is being said here, or what on earth its appeal could be, it remains fascinating to observe such deeply incredulous alternative metanarratives to religion. While the latter has its rites and traditions to negotiate the abject, an utter embrace of the abject is, by its very definition, an immersion into a boundary-less realm of horror and suffering.

Not sure about this, but it seems to be viewable here.

This entry was published on March 18, 2009 at 9:45 pm. It’s filed under 1990s Cinema, American film and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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