As you'd perhaps expect the whole affair's crowned by the usual pantsuitist attempts at re-stating the world in their own terms, what with the ingenue declaring prostitution "a beautiful job, poorly organized" (because, you've guessed it, "the girls should be choosing") and then with the perfectly (if inexplicably) trained slavegirl leaving her Master & owneriii, as fucking if that were how it worked, and so following. It all fails in the usual manneriv, whatevs.
Nevertheless, the film is remarkable on two counts. One is the exceptional old whore : disabused but calm, cynical but warm, and loving. Her voice's a soothing pleasure to hear, and her presence a blessing. While she expects nothing of the future nevertheless her golden soul's three thousand years old, the very Stoics of the old republic speak through her, inform her every move. I knew and loved women like that, nor can anyone sane know them and not love them. The actress is not even famous! Venice, you see, more to it than just the name.
The other's the exceptionally bad teacher. Never have I seen a worse teacher nor could one be readily imagined (without recourse to systematic stupidity such as our colonies of late produce -- at issue here is naturally occurring idiocy, rather than the deliberately manufactured sortiment). It happens to work well in the film because it makes (by accident, I suspect) the point that the best of teachers are naught confronted with the best of students. The teacher, authority to point out the books and the tools and the experiments and so following -- that's mostly useful for, and mostly needed by, the mediocre. Thales had no teacher to point out the shadows to him, nor is a falling apple muchly professoral. And yet...
The exceptionally gifted slavegirl once known as Terezin opens her eyes to the world, and discovers that she is alone. The end.———
- 1979, by our old friend Pasquale Festa Campanile, with Enrico Maria Salerno, Renzo Montagnani, Lili Carati and Marisa Belli. [↩]
- If neither this premise nor the title gave it away, yes it's a consummately Lombard product. They even do the accents. [↩]
- She leaves, hold on to your shorts, to work, which is to say satisfy the femstate worldmodel, and in the house of some boring inconsequential people.
Actually, hold on to whatever's left of your shorts : in the house of the family unit consisting of the older woman that couldn't compete with her as a slave, and so resorted to the usual old woman stupidity on the topic : "are you doing this for money???"
I don't recall if I ever recounted this story or not, but anyway -- many years ago my mother met my slavegirl. It went like so.
"Mom, this is Hannah. She is my slave. Would you like to see her naked ?"
"No, nononono, noty." (then aside to me) "Is she on drugs ?!".
It's not that the quivering bundle of many future joys was anything but the coldest sober before my mother's eyes ; nor is it that I had ever used anything up to that point ; nor is in fact the case my mother even knew what the fuck drugs were to any degree of specificitiy whatsoever. But an explanation there must be, you see, and it can't fucking be that she, my mother, failed at womanhood -- whereas this girly hadn't. That explanation, at all costs, must not be looked upon.
So yes, "is it the money", that's what she fucking asked. I don't even mean the tired old bag in the film -- not two weeks ago I was out with the girls buying shoes, and an older woman approached asking bimbo whether those platforms aren't uncomfortable. I intercepted and retorted that it doesn't matter whether she likes them, it matters whether I like them, to which ye oldie (who, by the way, had a very joyous and pleasant manner about her) made no retort, but then aside inquired with said bimbo whether "it's for the money". Wouldn't a young but accomplished slavegirl abandon her cage to go engage in more socially acceptable activities in the house of such women ?!
- A quick run-down of this : Visconti, Vicario, Kaye, Almodovar, you name it. [↩]