Anselme as le chanteur de faïence in Avida (dir. Gustave de Kervern and Benoît Delépine, 2006).

Velvet as Avida.

Claude Chabrol as le zoophile débonnaire.

At eighty-three minutes, Avida still feels long. There are a few inspired moments, notably a brief appearance by Claude Chabrol as an aged connoisseur of roebuck flesh, the performance by one Anselme of a grating yet somehow eerie and compelling synth ballad about faience dinnerware ("nice and stored away"!), and a taxidermy scene that will test the endurance of pet lovers in a manner similar to Gummo. The casting of Velvet (whom I understand to be in her extra-cinematic profession some sort of online BBW courtesan) as the titular Avida is hit or miss depending on your tolerance for extreme amateurism. She can't act even when she's pretending to be unconscious.

The surrealism throughout is strained and mostly tired, flashing only occasionally, as I said, into arresting visual and conceptual vignettes. Totally worth seeing, however, for the elements mentioned. Thanks to Lanny for loaning me the DVD!


Lacey Hunter said...

"Aged connoisseur of roebuck flesh"= BEAUTIFULLY SAID!

Don't forget about the special features. Velvet has dancing skills beyond anyone's understanding of movement.

phaneronoemikon said...

I thought the two ketamine freaks
were pretty interesting
and also the rhino bullfighting
scene with director Fernando Arrabal
and his endearing memoria to his crazy friend Roland Topor

whose imagery is used in the beginninng of many of Arrabal's films like I will walk crazy like a horse..

I like the way the film was a wry
and exquisitely ironic portrait
of the afterlife of surrealism

the two ketamine freaks
symbolize the degrading of surrealism into a 'retarded' world
of drug users

and the mythic
has been replaced
with the psychotic

as is evidenced
by the whole plot line
with the dog trainer / frankenstein character..

the film was thematically brilliant
as a commentary on Surrealism's aspirations now just another element of noise in a psychotic zoo
ran by private owners and tended by wierdo drug addicts.

this isn't too far from Peter Schloterdyck's recent characterizations of the world
for which he received criticism.

All that being said, my favorite part is still the glass dish song.

This was sort of a grotesque
send off for surrealism
like playing with its corpse

and there was a good deal
of dead flesh play

and the particularly disturbing

taxidermy scene which only bothered me

because the guy kept saying

is it good?
does it look okay?

this seemed like a message about the ultimate futility of art
but then just seem like its
own futility

I dont weird

That film is weird

get it out of HERE!