Friday, December 21, 2012

Exploitation - original soundtrack LP

Out now through Enfant Terrible Productions: Exploitation - original soundtrack. A double LP featuring 90 minutes of minimal electronics and (post) industrial music. Next to Enfant Terrible's familiar sounds, the album also moves to different styles such as IDM, techno, angst pop and even a chanson, while always keeping a dark and cold mood and/or a dream state feeling without.

Featuring artists: Neugeborene Nachtmusik, Europ Europ, Saralunden, Nihiltronix and many others. A German cinema release date is set for February.


Thursday, December 13, 2012

Soiled Sinema review of "Hysteria"

Dec 13, 2012

Edwin Brienen's Hysteria

Taking a drastically different approach to his 5th feature-length film Edwin Brienen's Hysteria (2006) – the first film in the director’s “Apocalypse Trilogy” (the second beingRevision - Apocalypse II and the third remains to be seen, although some believe that his most recent work Exploitation is the final chapter) – a soundly singular and striking silent film directed by Dutch auteur Edwin Brienen that does not feature a single shot of full-color footage, but a variety of one-colored tinted scenes, the most prominent of which being blue for a rather interesting reason. In part inspired by the infamous Italian flick Blue Movie(1978) directed by absurdist auteur Alberto Cavallone (MaldororBlow Job), Hysteria – like the artfully sleazy scatological wop shocker it pays tribute to – follows a lonely woman in a horrified and ambiguously delusional lady named Lara (Brienen’s always nude regular Eva Dorrepaal) – the sort of unstable woman that a depraved psychoanalyst would love to get their hands on – in a state of hysterics who has taken sanctuary in the worst possible residency imaginable after a forced encounter with an unwanted date with a ravenous and rampaging rapist. Quite conceivably the world’s most unlucky girl in the world, not unlike the deranged anti-heroess of Abel Ferrara's Ms. 45 (1981), Lara soon realizes the gorgeous Gothic castle that she decided to shelter in is full of coxcomb lunatics, quirky sadomasochists, aberrant aristocrats, and – the worst of all, at least for already severely sexually abused and misused Lara – rapists. More meticulously stylized and ‘anti-erotically’ extreme than even the uncut version of Cavallone’s erratic exercise in naughty and mostly nonsensical nihilism, Blue Movie – a virtual arthouse flick for serial killers and coprophilia junkies – Hysteria is more than a tribute to an obscure sub-cult classic, as the film also pays equal tribute to the silent era, most specifically German expressionism, as if Satanic German National Socialist Renaissance man Hanns Heinz Ewers (writer of such horror classics filmed for the silverscreen as The Student of Prague and Alraune) and Deathrock pioneer Rozz Williams (co-writer/co-director of the S/M serial killer short Pig (1999)) came back from hell and collaborated on an unclassifiable low-budget horror utilizing both archaic and state-of-the-art filmmaking techniques. Indeed, Edwin Brienen's Hysteria is probably the only film ever made that features violent leather-fag fisting (an oddly memorable scene for my girlfriend who later dreamed of shadow people fist-fucking each other in dark corridors of the most unholy and hole-y of dimensions) and a scene of German expressionist opera performed by a Gothic transvestite dyke in a Victorian suit all in one film.

 Literally a “Blue Movie,” especially in regard to the various phantasmagorical rape scenes performed by a positively perverse perpetrator that wears what seems to be a Ronald Regan mask, Brienen's Hysteria manages to pay tribute to Cavallone’s improvised masterpiece of the atmospherically aberrant in a relatively subtle and discreet way, so much that despite being a huge fan of the Italian film, I did not initially recognize the influence in the defiant Dutchman's film. Also featuring classical music by Johann Sebastian Bach – a favorite of the scat-sanctifying anti-hero of Blue Movie – Hysteriautilizes the same music but under more fitting circumstances, mainly during scenes of the debauched blueblood degenerates partaking in morbidly amusing games of the rich and flagitious, including reanimating dead friends in coffins, encouraging one said dead friend to beat a naked girl with a mallet like the impotent cadaver-like grandfather from The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974), and forcing the same untimely guest to eat shit out of a dog bowl while absurdly wearing a plastic bag over her head. Hysteria also features an eclectic but consistently haunting score composed by Hanno Hinkelbein (Null Records/Aeox) and IO that features everything from industrial noise compositions to ambient neo-classical tracks, so there is no mistake that the film is a modern flick that is not merely a pomo puff piece like the sort you would expect from tired old guys like Guy Maddin and Brothers Quay as Edwin Brienen realizes he lives in the present and not some glorified and intangible past. Wallowing in wantonness, but of the determinedly anti-erotic and scatological sadistic sort,Hysteria will be a grueling challenge for the majority of modern philistine horror whores because instead of offering cheap titillation and thoughtless terrorization, Brienen makes the viewer pay for experience by testing the strength of their psyche and capacity to endure somewhat impenetrable art unlike with the latest Eli Roth and Rob Zombie flick – fanboy masturbation pieces that fail to even achieve a potent burst of postmodern ejaculation – thus I think it is safe to say that it is one of the Dutch auteur filmmaker’s most ambitious efforts. 

 Dedicated to Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh (1-900Submission) – with whom Edwin Brienen collaborated on various TV series before becoming a filmmaker in his own right, and who was brutally assassinated by an Islamist terrorist (although one might draw a different conclusion after watching van Gogh's final conspiracy-themed work 06/05 akaMay 6th) – Hysteria has, to some people's confusion, been described by the director himself as a “political horror” work that covers such topics as mind manipulation and false reality. Indeed, upon superficial glance, one would be at a loss to find anything remotely “political” about Hysteria, but Brienen executes these themes in a most unpreachy (and literally unspoken) manner that is disseminated through striking symbolism and avant-garde action in an expressionistic horror setting. Citing the Austrian tragicomedic thrillerDie Totale Therapie (1996) aka Total Therapy directed by Christian Frosch – a film that shows how a bunch of mentally and emotionally feeble individuals fair (i.e. they go insane and kill one another) after their brainwashing savior therapist is murdered – as one of his top ten favorite films, it seems Brienen employed a similar technique, albeit to a more cryptic degree, of utilizing the power of psychological terror and influence as a tool for control; be it by a political party, mainstream media, or the leader of an acropolis full of degenerates as is the case in Hysteria. The fact that the (various) phantom rapist(s) in the film wear a variety of masks, including (political) pig, Arab towelhead, and American president illustrate the sort of illusive boogeymen that one sees every day just by turning on their television.  All realpolitik propaganda aside, the greatest strength of Hysteria is the magnificent collection of art-exploitation imagery contained within the film, especially for a work that was produced using the innately distasteful and aesthetically sterile format of digital video, as many scenes resemble moving paintings as if directed by German New Wave dandy Werner Schroeter had he had a special proclivity for German expressionism and old school slasher and gorno flicks instead of androgynous women and Mediterranean men.  Indeed, the dapper lesbo operetta, especially reminded me of a scene from Schroeter's Eika Katappa (1969) and Der Tod der Maria Malibran (1972), but seeing as Brienen is "the Dutch Fassbinder" and both Neuer Deutscher Film auteur filmmakers (Schroeter and Fassbinder) were friends/collaborators, this is no surprise.  That being said, the only thing that is a surprise is that both a film like Hysteria and a director like Edwin Brienen exist contemporarily as I surely cannot think of another filmmaker that pushes both arthouse melodrama and pornographic S&M splatter films to such a degree that fecal-flinging fist-fucking begins to seem like an expression of high-camp charm.

-Ty E

Original link:

Monday, December 10, 2012

Soiled Sinema review of "Terrorama!"

Dec 10, 2012


Undoubtedly, Dutch auteur filmmaker Edwin Brienen (Viva Europa!Revision - Apocalypse II) has come a long way since the release of his first feature-length film Terrorama! (2001) – a sensory deranging digital diarrhea explosion of raunchy rape, unsentimental sacrilege, nasty nihilism, sick sex, and philosophical terrorism – because although the film won “Best film” at the Melbourne Underground Film Festival and earned actress Esther Eva Verkaaik “best leading actress” at the Toronto Independent Film Festival, the film also cemented the director’s reputation as an erratic enfant terrible; a title he still retains and seems to wallow in today. Unlike most filmmakers, Brienen – who studied philosophy and psychology (two forms of study that are probably infinitely more important for a serious filmmaker than actual film studies) before working as a radio host at the ripe of 22 years old, as well as an underground television actor/director, including collaborating on the shows Buch, Burgers & Buitenlui and Hoe Hoort het Eigenlijk? with Theo van Gogh (great-grandson son of art dealer Theo van Gogh, the brother of artist Vincent van Gogh) – went all the way with his first feature, showing that his childhood viewings of Andy Warhol and John Waters certainly paid-off in the long run in his development into a libertine artist. A rare filmmaker that is equally inspired by the work of Rainer Werner Fassbinder and Claude Chabrol, alongside aberrant auteur filmmakers like Alberto Cavallone (Man, Woman and BeastBlue Movie) and revolutionary pornographers like Gerard Damiano (Deep ThroatSplendor in the Ass),Terrorama! certainly reveals its director’s eclectic influences, but it is also transcends its subversive but oftentimes outmoded cinematic predecessors, thereupon painting an innately scathing and unprepossessing portrait of postmodern Netherlands, as well as Europe as a whole. Centering around a sextet of sick, sexually perverted and seemingly psychopathic nihilists from the Netherlands who have the bright and bold idea of kidnapping a well-known TV host RAF-style in the shallow hope of eradicating what little is left of the Occident’s traditional social norms and morals, Terrorama!, as an aberrant arthouse piece, is ironically a work of aesthetic terrorism itself, not only in its obscene and ominous objective to visually and audibly offend, but also to 'philosophically enlighten' the viewer. In other words, Terrorama! – for better or for worse – makes the films of Pier Paolo Pasolini and Herbert Achternbusch seem overly sentimental and subdued by comparison. 

 Although often described as 'the Dutch Fassbinder', not least of all due to the prolific amount of films he has directed in such a short period of time, but unlike his kraut filmic hero, Edwin Brienen’s films, especially Terrorama!, rarely feature sympathetic or even remotely redeemable characters. While Fassbinder’s films generally feature characters that are trying to achieve some tangible, honest, or remotely respectable goal like maintaining their sanity or surviving a hapless love affair, Brienen’s are carefully constructed characters who are horribly hopeless and determinedly desolate degenerates of the hate-mongering and sexually depraved kind whose activities inevitably and quite more honestly (in comparison to Fassbinder’s) lead to some sort of self-annihilating transcendence, which is interesting when considering that Theo van Gogh – who was brutally assassinated by a Dutch-Moroccan Islamist due to his penetratingly provocative films and writings criticizing Islam – appears in Terrorama! reciting passages from the Koran while a curious couple bestially fucks in a car right behind him, hence why the scene was cut from the British release of film by the UK-based company Salvation Group after holding back the release for a number of years. Beginning with a performance of the sardonically titled song "Hitler Was A Speedfreak" by the swastika-draped band Johnny Cohen & The New Age Nazis – a sort of punk rock equivalent to Motörhead – Terrorama!establishes itself as a shamelessly and stoically subversive work right from the get go as the sort of sophisticated scat piece, not unlike the films of German auteur Christoph Schlingensief (The German Chainsaw-MassacreUnited Trash), that would have more sensitive viewers walking out of the movie theater within mere minutes.

 Just in time for the holiday season, I felt a daunting dose of the Christmas spirit when I discovered that Terrorama! features the Dutch equivalent of Santa Clause, Saint Nicholas (Sinterklaas), raping a bodacious babe doggy style as his Negro servant “Black Peter” (known as “Zwarte Piet” in the Netherlands) – played by a naked and pale honkey, aside from his blackface, nappy wig, and red lipstick – jovially jerks-off while in a state of absolute ecstasy in a significantly swinish scene of XXXmas joy. Needless to say, aside from being innately and unwaveringly politically incorrect, Terrorama! also features a variety of surreal pornographic imagery of the unsimulated sort. Personally, my favorite scene is where a slavish Jesus Christ, who drags a cross like a hobo carrying his raggedy bindle, is rejected by a handsome SS man that he hugs and embraces with pure love, thus inspiring him to subsequently masturbate and plant his spoiled seed into the grass. As for the film’s loose, but discernible plot, which involves six activist-nihilist psychopaths kidnapping and torturing a popular TV personality Gerard van Dongen (Michel van Dousselaere), one must admit and accept that Terrorama! is a work where the sum of parts are less important than the individual segments themselves. As the character Edwin (naturally, played by Edwin Brienen himself) emphatically pontificates in a patently unpopular political manner during one of the film's various candid pseudo-documentarian interviews, the group's credo to political philosophy is that: “Idealism is to be thrown overboard, it only causes disappointment. Otherwise you could goddamn join the Maoists, the communists, the neo-marxists…the whole fucking lot…self-interest, that’s what matters.” Indeed, in their homo-sado-mascohistic need to rape men in the throat, sexually and physically degrade melancholy women (Brienen’s leading lady Eva Dorrepaal has one hell of a time), gay-bash and throat-stomp euro-wigger misogynists, shoot-up heroin in between shooting spunk into their female compatriots' junk, and engaging in all-around deranged hedonistic debauchery, the tainted terrorists of Terrorama! must have taken the philosophies of Anton LaVey much too seriously.

Consumed with equal doses of nihilism and narcissism that are generated by a deep-seated resentment and a will-to-perverse-power, the curiously cruel Cyprian terrorists ofTerrorama! are most confident in their objective to rule over others as especially underscored by character Edwin’s remark that, “People who are stupid or inferior and use violence, are not dangerous…They are harmless because you can eliminate them quickly. But as soon as violence meets intellect, society is warned!” In a sense, the film feels like a maniac manifesto for Nietzschean active-nihilism as one certainly gets the feeling that director Edwin Brienen – a student of philosophy and psychology himself – spent a lot of time dwelling on the intrinsically irrational ideas he depicts in Terrorama!, thus this mind-wrecking work certainly oftentimes feels like a therapeutic artistic execution of the filmmaker’s more dangerous and impractical fantasies.  I don't know about other people that have seen the film, but I doubt the characters featured in Terrorama! would fair well while incarcerated with Moroccan and Somalian philistines whose inborn Weltanschauungis to break, fuck, and kill. Ultimately, one never learns the actual outcome of the rebel rejects' criminal actions and the film concludes with one of the bat-shit beserk beauties stating the obvious with the closing remark: “nihilism is my middle name.” Indeed, much like Brienen’s subsequent works, Terrorama! is a striking and maniacal mélange of high and low art and a diabolically thoughtful work that argues for visceral action and self-indulgence over soulless novelty intellectualism of the Utopian humanistic sort, thereupon bringing more meaning than just plain superficial sensationalism to the fact that the terrorists adorn their humble hideout with a National Socialist swastika and Schutzstaffel flags. Although by no means racial chauvinists nor even racially conscious, these characters do reject – much like the National Socialists that preceded them – slave morality-driven liberalism and naïve calls for peace and progress and instead delight in Dionysian derangements of the mind and body.  That being said, maybe it is high time that the whole of the Occidental peoples heed these thoughtful words from Terrorama!: "Lick and smell the vaginal juices that smell of death."

-Ty E

Original link:

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Friday, December 7, 2012

Soiled Sinema review of "Revision - Apocalypse II"

Dec 7, 2012

Revision  Apocalypse II

The second chapter in his “Apocalypse Trilogy” (the first being Edwin Brienen’s Hysteria(2006)), delightfully dastardly Dutch auteur Edwin Brienen’s (TerroramaViva Europa!) nihilistic melodrama/horror flick Revision - Apocalypse II (2009) is a work that – given its seemingly Satanic philosophy (in the past, Brienen has displayed an interest in atheistic LaVeyean/Nietzschean thought) and perturbing prophetic albeit ambiguous ‘message’ – begins quite sardonically with a quote from Revelation 22:13 that reads: “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end.” Inspired by a startling dream he had of a giant Jesus icon on a mountain top shooting lasers out of his eyes like in some Japanese monster movie that turned people into mindless lemmings, his obsession with post-911 conspiracy theories, fear-mongering in the mainstream media, and sleazy grindcore flicks, Brienen eventually came up with the idea for a quasi-futuristic, yet conspicuously modern film where a melancholy ex-model named Traci (played by Brienen superstar Eva Dorrepaal of Lebenspornografie and Last Performance infamy) – a disillusioned lapsed Christian who has reluctantly embraced nihilism – decides to surrender herself to the ‘ultimate act of evil’ at her deranged hubby’s advice so as to fill her tormented spiritual void. Never alone wherever she may be, the model is haunted by beefy, beer-belly-flaunting and (unintentionally) hilarious inner-demon named Vince Destructo (played by German-born rapper Jacob Dove Basker) who breaks out into thrashy screamo/punk songs (taken from the Dutch group The House of Destructo’s second album “Everything Must be Destroyed”) and who acts as a sort of Jungian ‘shadow’; the dark, unconscious, instinctive, and irrational hidden self. Relatively equal parts dystopian postmodern nightmare, menacing melodrama, nihilistic and atmospheric The Last House on Dead End Street (1977) inspired exploitation flick, and misanthropic musical, Revision - Apocalypse II is Edwin Brienen at his best as an aesthetically and thematically eclectic cinematic work that is nothing short of singular and unclassifiable. 

 Patently pessimistic Traci is one decidedly dispirited lady, but she is not so deluded as to delight in her despair like a masochist, thus she is willing to go to a number of extremes to shed or at least lessen her wicked woes. Miss misanthropic sees so little hope for the world, that she states while confiding in a friend, “Back then there was Hitler, nowadays it’s even worse. We have the New World Order…It’s all about control…I sometimes wonder what these monsters want now. They already control the earth. Now they want complete control of the collective mind. That what is called god.” Indeed, with terrorists everywhere as sort of pomo movie stars and forced chip implantation used on law abiding citizens, Traci knows better than anyone else that fear truly eats the soul, so to strike back at god and country, and to have a little taste of power for herself, she decides that murdering and mutilating people will make for a great change of pace. Unfortunately for her, torture and terror do not seem to be Traci’s cup of tea, at least when it comes to acting as a sort of personal therapy, thereupon leading her to lose the little bit of semblance of sanity and self-control that she had left. For Traci, friends and fuck-buddies come and go, but her inner-demon – the heavy and hysterical hirsute fellow that heatedly howls while not far from her side – is forever. Featuring an extended cameo/music performance from The Horrorist (aka Oliver Chesler; probably best known in the film world for being the idealistic young punk from the Depeche Mode documentary 101 (1989) co-directed D.A. Pennebaker), on top of the various raging, ridiculous, and oftentimes retarded lip-synched inner-demon Vince Destructo, Revision - Apocalypse II is a strikingly schizophrenic salmagundi of sight and sound that – whether a conscious decision on director Brienen’s part or not – underscores, to the extent of sardonic parody, the soulless, multimedia pseudo-existence modern life in American and Western Europe has degenerated into with Traci – a beauteous yet childless woman who is well past her prime and has nothing of intrinsic value in her life – acting as an archetype for modern female discontent and dejection. 

 Coming from The Netherlands – one of the most degenerate liberal democracies in the world – Brienen’s films are superlatively symbiotic of Occidental decline. The main difference between him and other filmmakers is that he recognizes it and to some extent even embraces it, if not in a totally unsentimental and nihilistic sort of manner that is bound to repel more sensitive viewers. Of course, Revision - Apocalypse II is not without flaws, most specifically in regard to the rather superficial dealing with conspiracy theories and themes of technocratic authoritarianism, but then again one does not watch an Edwin Brienen for a lesson in New World Order Terrorism 101. Indeed, one watches a film by “the Dutch Fassbinder” so they can experience a bit of aesthetically cinematic terrorism of the infectiously titillating and delightfully degrading form.  With that in mind, I think it is safe to say that, like South African auteur Aryan Kaganof, Brienen is one of the few truly uncompromising filmmaker working today during a time where the 'auteur filmmaker' – the last true dictators - are virtually nonexistent.  Additionally, like his hero Fassbinder, Brienen is not just interested in pleasing pretentious arthouse crowds, but also making his work more ‘accessible’ to wider audiences; however, this is not done to the detriment of his artistic vision as there is not a single work directed by the iconoclastic Dutchman that leaves the viewer with the sense of 'closure' that the typical Hollywood and even so-called 'independent' films do. Although Revision - Apocalypse II is not the sort of film that would appeal to a Quentin Tarantino or Christopher Nolan fanboy, it is certainly the rare brand of idiosyncratic cinema that would appeal to the more discerning arthouse and horror fans alike, which one cannot say about most films.  That being said, with 'art cinema' dying as a whole in the Occident, at least we have films like Revision - Apocalypse II where it will perish in flames rather than with an unnoticed whimper.  In other words, Viva La Apocalypse!!!

-Ty E

Original link:

Monday, December 3, 2012

Soiled Sinema review of "Lebenspornografie" (Berlin Nights Grand Delusions)

Dec 3, 2012

Berlin Nights: The Grand Delusions

Originally entitled and better known in Europa as Lebenspornografie (2003) aka Life Pornography, Dutch enfant terrible auteur Edwin Brienen (Last PerformanceRevision - Apocalypse II) recently retitled the work Berlin Nights: The Grand Delusions for its first time American release, thereupon sparking my interest in re-watching the film after my initial viewing of the subversive cinematic effort about a year ago.  Undoubtedly, one of the most interesting and profilic, if not oftentimes derivative, auteur filmmakers working today in both the Netherlands and the European continent as a whole, Berlin Nights: The Grand Delusionsmakes for one of his most ambitious, audacious, and arresting early cinematic efforts.  While the original title of the film is certainly more provocative and seductive, if not partially misleading, Berlin Nights: The Grand Delusions makes for a more straightforward and quite literal description. The film follows a troupe of decidedly demoralized Amsterdam-based actors/artists as they move to Berlin, Germany to star in an erotic show and simultaneously attempt to reboot their fading careers and find love in a forsaken quest of a fool’s paradise. The second feature-length work following Terrorama! (2001) directed by Edwin Brienen – dubbed “the Dutch Fassinder” due to his direction of 14 feature films in a mere decade, as well his intrinsic and imperative influence by the German New Wave König – Berlin Nights: The Grand Delusions, like the director’s previous work, is almost nauseatingly nihilistic and unpleasantly pornographic; featuring patent aesthetic and thematic extremes that the audacious auteur cracks up to making sure he would not bore the audience. If the Last Performance (2006) was Brienen’s cinematic equivalent to Fassbinder's In a Year of Thirteen Moons (1978), Berlin Nights: The Grand Delusions is the Dutch auteur filmmaker’s version of his film hero's semi-autobiographical flick Beware of a Holy Whore (1971) a work that similarly follows a bunch of perverted actors as they plummet into their particular personal purgatory while the degeneration of their art parallels this daunting deluge into oblivion. If it says anything, Edwin Brienen claims, like all of his films, he has yet to watchBerlin Nights: The Grand Delusions since its initial release, which one can only speculate that his cinematic works are artistic rituals of sorts where the damned director exorcises his demons in uncommonly delightful yet demoniacal celluloid form.

Berlin Nights: The Grand Delusions most specifically centers around emotionally ravaged Romy (named after German actress Romy Schneider; one of Brienen’s favorite actresses) played by Eva Dorrepaal (Brienen’s equivalent to Fassbinder's Dietrich-like diva “Ingrid Caven”), a down-and-out actress who would be happy to get a role in a Tampax commercial. Beginning with the confrontational and decidedly butch character Claire (played by Esther Eva Verkaaik) opening the film, denigrating the audience for two minutes or so with her vehement and venomous verbal spew and with repellant images of sardonic scatology and putrid pornography, including an appearance from French “GG Allin” and noted noise musician Jean-Louis Costes who also contributed to the soundtrack (with the majority of the striking synth-driven score being composed by Le Syndicat Electronique)  for Berlin Nights: The Grand Delusions and is probably best known in the film world for his infamous head-crushing appearance in Gaspar Noé’s Irréversible (2002), one knows what they are in store for before the title "Lebenspornografie" even appears. Berlin Nights: The Grand Delusions also features a scrawny and sentimental leather-fag named Jim (played by Onno Meijer who has since died of a heart attack); a heartbroken homo who cannot get over the fact that he broke up with the love of his life because he was HIV positive. Undoubtedly, the most deplorable character is Berlin night club owner Thorwald (Peter Post) and his wanton wife; a hideous husband and wife duo whose dual propensity to annoy the audience is next to none. The Virgin Mary (played by celebrated "Dutch diva" Marjol Flore) also makes an appearance, but she is no match for the film's lost souls, who are so consumed with strife, self-loathing, and hedonistic self-destruction and who are always naughty and never nice. Needless to say, Edwin Brienen was not lying when he once stated that he was trying to positively provoke the audience with his first films, as Berlin Nights: The Grand Delusions is essentially a work of anarchic aesthetic terrorism disguised as a loony libertine melodrama, not that hysterical and haunting histrionics doesn't help to guide this coarsely carnal cinematic work. During the beginning of the film, cunt Claire states, “Art is a statement. It’s important that art provokes. And that’s necessary,” which is a sentiment with which I basically agree, but if a film’s sole objective is to provoke, it is not much more provocative than a crackhead screaming at the top of his lungs while exposing his shriveled, crab-ridden genitals on a busy freeway.  Luckily, Berlin Nights: The Grand Delusions is not just notable for its distinct debasing essence, as Brienen is even able to making fisting and sexual violence an aesthetically pleasing experience.

Featuring a cameo that was originally intended for In a Year of Thirteen Moons star Volker Spengler  from fellow Fassbinder alumnus Peter Kern as a cocaine-dealing humungous homo named Valencia who claims to have sliced his mother from her “neck to cunt” and has a dick-less tranny boyfriend named Schulz who had his cock cut-off because he kept getting sick from shoving his knob up other men’s anuses, as well as a gay-bashing sodomite neo-nazi (Andreas Scharfenberg) who gets off to beating the shit out of fellow gays, Berlin Nights: The Grand Delusions is surely a work that is not for the faint of heart nor the prissy and politically correct. In fact, I would not recommend the film to anyone who is not looking to have their night ruined, as Berlin Nights: The Grand Delusions is, at best, less than a merry mix of misery and misanthropy, but a suavely stylish piece of melancholy and moroseness nonetheless. As Dutch director Edwin Brienen explained in the audio commentary for the American release of Berlin Nights: The Grand Delusions – like the characters in the film (Brienen himself actually plays a cocaine-snorting fellow named Loete) – was facing a spat of bitter romance that also inspired him to move to Berlin in real-life, thus the grating debauchery depicted in the film, as I suspected, was grounded in sordid and smiting truths.   Due to a scene where a character states, to paraphrase, "Jews create their own Adolf Hitler," Brienen faced unfounded criticism from a certain Dutch Jewish watchdog group.  Indeed, Hebraic hypersensitivity aside, Edwin Brienen is one of the few truly groundbreaking and authentically controversial filmmakers working in Europe today, which says a lot for a continent that has no problem depicted unsimulated sex in movies.  Aside from uninhibited and unhinged imagery, Brienen brings up ideas and themes that are rarely examined in modern cinema as a whole; whether it be the terror of gay nazis or the sadomasochism of sick sodomites, Brienen knows no limits, thereupon putting him in good company with his ill-fated hero Fassbinder.

-Ty E

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