Caligulai is a most excellent film.
First and foremost visually -- yes, that's how a film is supposed to look, with the tits everywhere and with the butts accidentally covered now and again, not systematically covered "as if by accident" all the time. The decors are in places dubious, but nevertheless very few films can hold a candle to Caligula's cinematographic value. Go bare or go home, that's the first rule of movie making, what's more to say ?
Secondly but just as foremost ideologically. There's none of the idiotic herdemocracy conventions, the perpetual fantasy of weak males peripheral to a purely female society, as if humans were a sort of chimps.ii There's no concern whatsoever shown or implied for "the problems" of "women", which is exactly as it should be.
The adherence to actual history is very symptomatically USian : Tiberius, the great general, Plinius' tristissimus hominum surely as fuck never had a pool's worth of nubian slaves like some sort of early Berlusconi, nor did he employ human stock at the task of satyrizing nymphs continuously. The suicide of the period-accurate M. C. Nerva looks too much like a reenaction of Seneca's last bathiii. [Q. N. C. S.] Macro did likely assassinate Tiberius (though not personally) after reports of the emperor's death proved premature, but his demise wasn't public (instead, he was sent to govern Egypt and arrested at Ostia) ; Tiberius' grandson Gemellus was killed right off upon the succession ; Tiberius' treasury was in no sort of deficit, but about 3bn sesterces'iv worth. Nevertheless, these and other errors fail to irritate even the trained scholar in a position to notice, let alone any and all thinking men as it is the regular habit of each and every herdemocracy pseudocinematographic production, whatever the subject.
Perhaps most importantly, the scene where the incestuous brother licks from head to toe, in a sheer exasperated desperation, the corpse left behind by his beloved sister (whom Isis wouldn't save even though he offered his own life in exchange) is easily the best depiction of love, in its full, unabashed, fundamentally yet irreducibly sexual sense. Ten billion Horseface Whatshernames, and a further ten billion rottenculo Linda-Hariette-etcetera whining ineptly about how they're "still struggling for the image of women in film and still working, not as much as I'd like because for a woman in her late fortiesv it is hard to find work" contributed nothing to this topic ; Caligula both enacts it in the artform, and defines it, effortlessly yet enduringly, for the other forms to come. Every dog and every cat and every cow and every rat knows as much, but apparently the congenitally broken never got the memo. Let's wonder together why they can't, or why they shouldn't ever find any work, or for that matter any food. Or anything other than the burning end of the whip.
It's not just the nudity, and not just the perfection of love. There's warm fresh piss flowing straight from urinary meatus into warm, fresh, bloodied wounds ; there's life, altogether and for the first time enobling the putrescent celluloid with the spark of humanity. Very few cinematographic productions are worthy to stand in the same room with this jewel.
Bear this in mind, for when, or if, you may attempt to make a film of your own ; or to live a life of your own for that matter.———
- 1979, by Tinto Brass after a screenplay by Gore Vidal, with Peter O'Toole in lich form, Teresa Ann Savoy's delicious teen butt (in place of inept priss Maria Schneider, who was getting too old and had been assraped already anyway) and a bevy of low rent Penthouse starlets. [↩]
- Compare and contrast sanity as here depicted with the purely subhuman Swedish nonsense apparent in miseries such as "Scener ur ett äktenskap". [↩]
- The Nerva in question was merely responsible for waterworks, but killed himself through starvation, and quite literally as an early hunger strike. [↩]
- A sesterce is, literally, "two and a half", semis-tertius, ie "half of the third". The item in question was the ass, so we could count about a billion asses in the Roman treasury.
In more practical terms, it'd come to either 75`000 tons of brass (about 54k BTC at today's prices) or else 240 tons of gold (about 3.5mn BTC at today's prices) if we're going by Augustus' tariff.
This substantial difference serves to neatly indicate how metallurgy as a technology influences the perceived value of raw materials -- we could say that both brass and gold contain a portion of value due to objective rarity (such as, the fixed frequency of occurence, as established by the Supernova Conclave), and a technological rarity (such as, a gram of metal costs X for being a metal in the first place, irrespective of any other concerns).
If we are inclined to follow that thought, it will then produce the following equation :
BOR + BTR, 17AD * 100 * 25 = GOR + GTR, 17AD * 8,
because one Aureus, 8 grams pure gold, was worth 100 sesterces, 25 grams brass as per Augustus' opinion;
BOR + BTR, 2017AD / 0.71 = GOR + GTR, 2017AD / 14000,
because a ton of brass costs ~0.71 BTC while a ton of gold costs ~14000 BTC today.
Resolving this system on the presumption that whether we're talking brass or gold, the technological rarity is the same for the same time (not that bad an approximation, really), we come to the conclusion that the per-ton technological rarity driven cost of a metal in 17 ad was 45.65 BTC more the per-ton technological rarity driven cost of a metal in 2017 ad (or in other words that a ton of metal was worth ~45.65 BTC more in the time of Tiberius just for it being a ton of metal, any considerations of what kind of metal specifically notwithstanding, and so a time machine could expect to produce ~45.65 BTC per ton for moving metal back in time).
But if you're interested in a more socialised view of value, the great fortune of Crassus (dead about a century prior) was barely 6% of Tiberius' postumous treasury. Alternatively, were Tiberius a drunk, he could have expected about 3 billion liters' worth of wine in exchange for his 3 billion sesterces, or about as many kilograms of wheat. A slave, if you're curious, sold for a few tons of wheat's worth, which is roughly speaking what a soldier made (in cash) every three to five years or so. [↩]
- Not, obviously, for their own mind. Not in any case due to a shithead that not only failed to chase the cock, but actually refused to fuck when invited even!
Maria Schneider can't find work not because even as a twentysomething she took her idiotic old-womanhood to the point of pissing everyone off by sewing her tunics and such imbecile-female antics. No, no, none of that. It's because of the passage of time, she has no merit and no contribution to why she can't find work. It's certainly not her having behaved in an obscene, immoral, scandalous manner.
In fact, her idea of "the image of women in film" would very much be "they sit on their ass and everyone runs around them in sheer frantic excitement because omfg, there's like a shortage of cunts now or something. [↩]