Wednesday, August 08, 2007


French photographer, graphic artist and filmmaker Edouard Salier has created quite a splash with Flesh (2005), a ten-minute meditation on the merger of erotica and violence. Reaction on the blogosphere has been decidedly mixed. Xeni Jardin of BoingBoing recently called it "9/11-themed CGI terror-rotica," but added, "I don't know that I'm a fan of it, or not." Count me a fan. Flesh is a stunning, visionary work, even in its heavily degraded YouTube version. The Strikeback Films website has some much crisper clips; this must look amazing on the big screen.

YouTube link (NSFW, and you may need to log in and promise you're over 18 to view it.)

I sympathize with reviewers who find Flesh merely pornographic and empty, but to my eyes it's neither. Unclear it may be, but the horror and decadence on display certainly seems to express uncomfortable truths about fundamentalism, Islamofascism, and American hedgemony. I recommend the explanatory commentary on the website's About section for more details.

Just in case you were unclear about Salier's intentions, here's his earlier (2004) 4-minute short Empire. It's a decidedly more low-key work, but no less uncomfortable for it. The degraded YouTube clip is again a bit hard to read; that's military hardware moving across the screen.

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