CH4 Masters of darkness: “Documentary”
The Marquis de Sade, pornographer or prophet.
By Giovanni Pistachio
An interesting enough documentary about The Marquis de Sade, correct factually, interesting interviews, apart from one mentioned slightly below.
But why the makers of the documentary allowed their cameras to be wielded by 7-year-old children hopped up on Coca-Cola I have no idea.
This could have turned out to be a brilliant documentary about the Marquis de Sade, had not every single shot outside the interviewing room been filmed by sufferers of vertigo.
Every single shot filmed, on a historic location, at Sade’s homes or the prisons where he resided, or any footage at all of the interesting historical de Sade documents, like the first edition of Justine or the volume of original letters written and received by de Sade, were either out of focus and shot by someone who it seems is completely unable to hold a camera still.
How these people ever gained employment working on a historical documentary I will never know. Hopefully they will never in their entire lives be allowed to wield a camera again.
Ok, so I get the point that since de Sade’s work has a deal of content about voyeurism in it, that they may have decided to try and be clever and show themselves familiar with the work, and therefore film the documentary, with a voyeuristic look to it. But this turned out to be a big mistake! Obviously they have no interest whatsoever in the subject they are filming, or the person they are making the documentary about.
Sure it’s ok for them, they get to see the houses, the prisons the rare first edition books and the letters all in person and in extreme close up with their own eyes. What do we get to see? Blurry shit that could have as far as we can tell be of any house book or prison, and we would be none the wiser.
It was like watching a documentary about UFO’s with shaky cameras and blurry footage aplenty. Now, in a UFO documentary you expect to see this, amateur photography of something floating (or not), in they sky. But a book that is sitting in front of you on a table is not a dustbin lid in the sky, so put the camera on a bloody tripod and let us see the damn thing. It’s not as if you are shooting the third instalment of The Blair Shit Project.
Why Channel Four screened this amateurish trash I will never know. They should have asked for a refund of the wages paid to the director and the cameraman, and send someone out to film the thing properly.
This could have been the definitive de Sade Documentary, apart from the fact that its probably better watched with the picture off and the sound on, this has to go down in history as the most nausea inducing filmed crap I have ever seen.
Next time Channel Four, get someone to film the documentary who cares about the subject, and don’t employ 7 year olds with litre’s of Coca-Cola in their backpacks!
Now I know the title says “prophet or pornographer” so of course they have to interview someone who is not a de Sade supporter but why they interviewed Andrea Dworkin I have no idea. The so-called “feminist writer”, has not the slightest clue about the Marquis, his work, his life or his crimes. She states at one point she is “outraged”, not outraged by his writing but by, the fact that he was allowed to get away with it and his followers take him as a philosopher rather than a pornographer.
Well let me see not outraged by his work hmm? Well just exactly how much and what did she read, because I’ve read several works by the Marquis and several of them have outraged me. That is what they are supposed to do! You are presented with some totally reprehensible characters in the work of the Marquis, and a great deal of very disgusting and vile acts. And well to be honest for someone not to be outraged by the characters and the acts in some of the works, basically makes me think should we even be listening to the opinions of someone who is not even “outraged” or disgusted by some of the work? I mean what kind of heartless, detached from human suffering, kind of person would we be listening to then huh? Not outraged by one character’s actions towards another, by one character’s brutality towards another. By some of the most disgusting acts ever described in literature? Is making the reader outraged and disgusted not what a lot of the Marquis works purpose was? To show us the brutality and hypocrisy in our less than ideal world? To make us sit up and take notice of this, to expose this brutality and hypocrisy to the people of his time? Forfeiting his own freedom in the process while doing so. What here should we be outraged about?
Then for her to say that she thought Pasolini’s Salo was one of “the most disgusting movies I’ve ever seen, I don’t know why I went to see it”
Well fuck me sideways with a butt paddle! It is supposed to be the most disgusting movie you have ever seen. That was the Marquis’ point when he wrote the book and Pasolini’s point when he made the film! Pasolini said he wanted to make a movie that was totally “indigestible”, and well let me see Miss Dworkin, ohh sorry that probably Ms, did you digest the film? No? I didn’t think so, well neither did most of the people who saw it, but hey that was the fucking point!!!!
Pasolini wanted to draw a parallel between then and now. The novel was written during the French revolution. So Pasolini sets it at the end of the Second World War. And did not every one at the end of the Second World War see sights that they never thought they would see in their lives? Were not we all shaken and disgusted to our very core? And would not any good film about that war do the same to us? Certainly! When it was Pasolini’s intention for us to see this, close to something in our own lifetime he showed us again what we saw from 1945. And it was all documented there in the Marquis’ work over 200 years before it happened. The selfishness the brutality of the French revolution buried in 120 days of Sodom to be arisen again in Salo.
Cannot we then see that that was the point of the author and of the filmmaker? No? Can we not then refrain from commenting on something we know nothing about?
As for being disgusted by the fact that the Marquis is lauded as a great philosopher by his biographers and followers, and that you say “he kidnapped women and children, and did most of the things he wrote about”, where you get your information I do not know.
After reading thousands of pages by and about the Marquis de Sade, I have no recollection whatsoever, of him kidnapping women and children, one in the instance of the Rose Keller scandal, where a grown woman, not a child, was possibly held against her will and abused, aside, But kidnapper of Women (plural) and children (none) the Keller case of which there are several different versions of the story. And as for doing most of the things he wrote about. I assume you mean brutalizing people. Well, it is well known that the Marquis was more of a masochist than a sadist. I think you are confusing what is literary fiction (fiction being a key word here) with autobiographical work. The acts of his novels were not the acts of his life, some lesser ones yes, but as for kidnapping women and children, I think you are confusing what is, well what should be, his most disturbing work 120 days of Sodom, with the man’s life. Or blaming him for participating in the climate of sexual perversity, murder and other assorted Monarchial shenanigans that were going on at the time at the palaces and beyond which he documented for history?
Which I think lets us know that all you have probably read of the Marquis’ works, is probably snippets that have been included in reviews or biographies. How you can read a deal of the Marquis’ work and come out the end of it that he is just a pornographer and nothing else? This has to be one of the most extreme cases of tunnel vision in history! And hints that maybe you (sneaking yourself a peek like a naughty schoolboy) probably read through the books, but skipped all the literature and went from one naughty bit to the next. Or did you save yourself the time and just read the dust jacket? Or did you read the bad reviews and the dirty bits just so you could complain about it?
Sade’s worst crime for which he was imprisoned was marrying Renee de Montreuil at the insistence of his conniving father. For which he ended up with the worst mother-in-law in history since Medea and due to her face saving fanaticism, he ended up in prison under a lettre de cachet, issued by the King, which was issued at her askance, with no actual crime having been committed by Sade. (Yes go on, read it again!)
We had, or still have, a movement here in Scotland called SWAP, Scottish women against pornography. And one of this groups peeves was trying to get all newsagents and the like here, to stop selling top shelf pornographic magazines. When an interviewer asked one of these campaigners if she knew that not one of these top shelf magazines, that she wanted taken of the shelves, had any hard-core, i.e. penetration pictures in them (yeah go on read it again ) she replied “oh really, I didn’t know that!” Well spin me round, flip me over and skull fuck me with strap-on dildo! Nothing like doing your research there fucknugget! These are the protectors of your moral health without the slightest clue about what they are yakkity yakking about.
So I guess again when we get back to someone who does not have the slightest idea what they are talking about, the basic hint is, make love with someone, relax and find something to talk about that you do know a little more than fuck all about.
Ah but of course you would not have just made several thousands Dollars out of the interviews you just gave for this “documentary”? About a writer that you do not like, whose works you do not like and whom you are not interested in? Yup well I guess that will fit you into the character of just the type of hypocrite de Sade would have exposed had he been here to do so.
Essay By Giovanni Pistachio can be contacted at: –
© Owned Giovanni Pistachio.