Friday, April 23, 2010

Hungry Hungary

Taxidermia (2006) - Pálfi
Visually audacious but ultimately hollow, Taxidermia tries to be high art when it's not. Spanning 3 generations of sex, gluttony, beastiality and over the top grossness, the film seems to give a satirical look at Hungarian history in search of their national identity.

It starts with a sex obsessed army Private in WWII era. A compulsive masturbator, Private Morosgoványi fantasizes about everything, even an open carcass of a pig. The next segment is a very round competitive eating champ who first meets his future cheating wife(also a competitive eating athlete) at an international eating competition while the enthusiastic Hungarian crowd cheer him on. These burly guys occasionally take breaks to walk over to the vomitorium during the competition. It's an absurd premise, reminiscent of Roy Andersson films. Then it moves to present: a skinny taxidermist who stuffs his blob of a dad and makes an art out of his body.

Its dazzling but heavy handed visual approach at appearing profound left me pretty bored, honestly. The themes and visual cues in each segment is sparse and don't quite gel together to make the film any more coherent.