Le Bali is a risky cinematographic gamble.
Consider : there's no hot women. Yes, there's women, but they're natural women (not in the conventional sense of faux natural, like "the girl next door" or so forth, deeply structured cinematic conventions of "naturalness") and thereby entirely sexually disinterestingii to the postmodern eye.
It goes further : there's no speech. And, to top it all : there's no story. At all. Nothing "happens" in any conventional sense. For that matter, the whole production is filmed in fixed camera, there's just one room, and the decors don't significantly change either.
This is then directly and evidently Anti-Hollywood ; uncompromising and deliberate avoidance of the modest proposal of the Americans (of all times and places -- "we know we can't be interesting but we'll at least be varied" is exactly how you translate MGM's "Ars Gratia Artis" in plain English, and for that matter how you say "common people" in any meaningful sense).
Ettore Scola spends a hundred and nine minutes to reconstruct a reactive Petri dish, inside which mannequins interpreted by modest, mostly obscure but hardworking actors move about like algae in the tide, without impetuus of their own. The deeply psychotic, utterly derealized substance of they soon-to-be-vacupacked is plainly on display. Incapable, for purely fundamental reasons, of any kind of meaningful interchange of any kind, let aside communication ; moving about brusquely and inadequately in response to purely hallucinatory stimuli (well epitomized by Nani Noel's solitary "dance"), the product of the greatest experiment in bioengineering to dateiii disinterests the eye.
There may be interest in the mind, in exactly the manner foul smelling, disgusting looking, mucus covering Petri dishes may be interesting to sense even when they're actively anti-interesting to the sense. But, as the expression goes, unless you're an entomologist this piece is really not for you.iv———
- 1983, by Ettore Scola, with various and the Praying Mantis Man (Jean-Francois Perrier). [↩]
- Yes, sexual interest is a purely conventional construct. What did you think, that "it's natural" ? It comes naturally, but only to children and animals. Otherwise, it's thoroughly constructed. The failure to construct correctly may therefore be uninteresting to they interested in a different construction ; but the failure to construct at all can only be properly said to be disinteresting. [↩]
- Yes, the whole "French revolution" and subsequent debacle was an isolated episode in human history, "what if we let them to their own devices". The response is exactly of the nature of that provided by Obama to a similar, muchly smaller question.
Never again, you understand me. While the memory of what "a dictature of the tiers etat" means and does lasts, never-a-fucking-gain. [↩]
- It's even mildly dangerous, in the direction of ridicule, if you find yourself trying to argue the stinky green gelatin is somehow "not offending your senses" for the transparently obvious political reason. [↩]