Pepi, luci, Bom etci is a remarkable piece in the socialist tradition of accidental self-crits. The otherwise thoroughly inept Almodovar attempts to tell a story very much in the classical vein of the smoldering pile of idiocy that is latino feminismii :
- that a man visits upon a girl the facts of life -- her life, like it or not, unescapable, unconsensual, tulpas and assorted pretense notwithstanding ;
- that the girl simultaneously
- fails to grow up thereby but also
- magically entirely grown up without having grown up proceeds to exact vengeance on the man through
- hijacking the man's infangwif, who is not specifically tied to the man but in general open to hijack by anything "manly" in a certain, superficial sense (retconned in placeiii according to the criteria of "what is attainable by girlies")
- thereby "proving" something or the other off the list of politically desired outcomes through "the means of art".
If the thick "because anyway" eternal cri de guerre of the anal child rings some bells, it's because that's exactly what the whole mac&cheese on pizza pile actually is. And yet, the entire construction falls apart in one fell swoop. Here it is :
Luci, qué te ha pasado?
Pero si, pareces una momia!
Mi marido, me ha sequestrado por strada por el Parque de Lisboa, y para converterme...
Dile que se vaya! Queremos hablar solas contigo.
Ni lo sueñes, pequeña!
Como me llames pequeña, te araño!
Vete, no te va a gustar lo que vas a oír.
No te preocupes. Estoy harto de tratar con zorras.
Dile que se vaya.
No puedo, es un monstruo.
Creo que la paliza te ha afectado el "coco".
Que te pasa ? No pareces la misma.
No es nada, lo que pasa es que tú no me conoces lo suficiente.
No me provoques! Que me pongo histerica!
Bom... yo soy mucho más perra de lo que tú te imaginas ; y tú no eres tan mala como pretendes. No has sabido darme todo lo que yo me merecía. Y últimamente, me tratabas como si fuera tu chacha. No es que me querse, pero creo que me merecía algo mucho peor. Sin embargo, fíjate él, casi me mata.
Ya lo has oído, pequeña. No tienes nada que hacer.
Elige entre él o yo. Es tu ultima oportunidad.
Cuando me casé con él, ya había elegido.
No te fíes. Te volverá a tratar como si fueras su madre.
Me odia con toda su alma!, y no me puede perdonar lo que le he hecho en estos ultimos meses. Sería tonta si me dejara perder una oportunidad como esta.
Quieta, estamos en un hospital. Vámonos.
In other words : the temporary waves created by the "liberation" of neet indolence fail programatically and fundamentally to upset anything whatsoever. Instead, all involved discover the "new" arrangements are, if substantially different from the "old", therefore utterly unsatisfactory ; and that cosmetic resetting of the "old" is a much better alternative to the "new" paradigms supposedly emergent. In this context, "old" directly means sense and "new" directly means idiocy -- and the same is true of all "revolution".
In Republican terminology, "runs for them a portion of the way, and for us the whole way", but with or without terminology : the "innovations" that were supposed to usher in a "new paradigm" simply reinforce the old one. Because men liberated from the romantic idiocy of "nuclear family" actually make much better, much deeply-er satisfying men than the pallid surrogate retarded girlies could ever hope to costume themselves into. In short, feminism fails even in the context of the 1980s, and the 1980s are well dead -- because patriarchy killed them.iv
The circumstance that the actresses involved are all genuinely and in all seriousness dedicated to the failed architectural project of "post Francoist Spain", "punk" and assorted lulzfests just makes the comedy darker and richer. The more evident it is that these are genuine screams of genuine pain, that the failure is felt and not merely mimed, that these people actually had their hopes and dreams invested in the nonsense the more hysterical the laughter. It is one thing to crush the enemy position, but it is quite another thing to crush the position the enemy had fully invested itself in.
It's hard not to enjoy this film, in spite of the evident shortcomings of the derps involved in its production. And by "in spite" I most spitefully mean, "because of".———
- 1980, by Pedro Almodovar, with Carmen Maura, Mercedes Guillamon and Olvido Gara Jova. [↩]
- And flowered so amusingly of late in lxs ninxs and the other idiocies. [↩]
- Understand, the item here proposed is a "lock" which "can be opened by whatever key you happen to have when you need to open it". How such a device can stay a lock in any meaningful way is anyone's guess, which is the problem with the socialist view : it squarely depends on phenomena that are the strict purview of the dream state. [↩]
- Lesbianism is hardly worth the mention, other than the baseline sexual behaviour in the harem, infantile and unimportant, and as the universal spice there to serve and support the main course. It turns out in the end that girls lick girls down there for and at the man's pleasure, not in any direct sense for the girls in question! Horror of horrors, who could have predicted ye!
Think of it : the only function of Pepi, Bom y el monton, that whole menagerie, turns out to be, in the end and upon reflection, the reconciliation of luci with her master. [↩]