CSS: Belladonna of Sadness (1973) & dj set Dr. Strangelove
La COLECTIVA GAZETTE
14 Decembrie 2017
“The systematic oppression of women is not the legacy of any one culture — East or West, now or then — so in a way it makes sense for a feminist text such as Belladonna of Sadness (Kanashimi no Balladonna) to paint with as wide a brush as possible. Still, it’s staggering to consider just how many traditions Eiichi Yamamoto’s 1973 anime film attempts to play with in its 93-minute runtime. Loosely based on the French tale of Jeanne d’Arc (Joan of Arc) but also drawing influence from the Summer of Love, Japan’s women’s liberation movement, and historical accounts of witchcraft (as depicted in Jules Michelet’s 1862 book Satanism and Witchcraft), Belladonna of Sadness is a delirious hodgepodge of ideas that lands somewhere between Faustian fantasy and feminist screed. If you’re looking for an experiential analogy, imagine dropping acid before heading into a Women’s Studies course.
Of course, LSD isn’t this film’s drug of choice. That honor goes to belladonna, a hallucinogenic plant whose name translates to “pretty woman” and whose berries contain enough toxins to kill any man foolish enough to pluck them. The belladonna of Belladonna of Sadness is a beautiful young woman named Jeanne. In an opening sequence set to a campy ‘70s pop melody, Jeanne marries a man named Jean and the newly wedded couple go to their lord’s castle to receive his blessing.”
When someone asks me why I make art, I respond by telling that I feel the urge to create something after the endless dialog I’m having with a superior detached self. It’s true, I never take all the credit for the final results of my work; the whole creational process is liberating and comes natural: I’m receiving and transposing everything back into my artworks.
There are some tricks I’ve learned over time that helps me access a visionary state of mind. One of them is listening to a specific type of music. Actually, I’m hearing the pauses between heavy beats, so I create an empty space inside me – there is where the dialog takes place.
#ColectivaSilverScreen proposes a series of feature and documentary film screenings with dystopian, anarchist, activist, trangressive and other various underground culture related themes, ranging from the culture’s onset until the present day.
Artwork: Alexandra Mocan
Via Colectiva Silver Screen