Here in academia, where we love to take young minds pickled on Hollywood movies and expose them to work that exhibits just how wildly different ‘experimental’ film can be, Fuses gets played every few semesters to the expected shock.
Now it’s on Ubu for all to see, at anytime.
Experimental film is one thing, experimenting with hardcore imagery is something else. In my opinion it’s shock and awe. Can you believe she went there? If you ask anyone about this film the first thing they’ll usually reply with “Is that the one she fucks in?” or something to that effect. Take out the fucking and what do you have left? A rather dull, sloppy, optically manipulated landscape film.
Somewhere I have read that Schnemman made this film in response to Brakhages’ more candid work with his partner. I can see this, but I can’t see how Schneeman’s work frees itself from objectification or fetishization.
Reading the Wikipedia article on the film, I loved this gem :
“She received an especially strong reaction regarding the cunnilingus scene of the film.”
Strong how? And, by whom? That image, more than other graphic images in the film, is the least obscured. and perhaps the most titillating.
I guess we do not expect to see nudity in a classroom or in a mature film. That term itself being rather goofy. Nudity is something shot in Hollywood and porn is something shot in the San Fernando Valley. It’s also something used again and again in performance art and avant-garde works usually to capture someone’s attention, to stand out.
Schneeman’s done other body related work, pulled scrolls out of her vagina, etc. Perhaps, this is fascinating to someone who has just discovered that with their clothes off men and women are different looking. That’s not my thing. It holds little interest. I’d rather look at the ways we can’t connect and the fucked up things going on in our hearts and heads that prevents us from doing so.
Though, I’m all for a good rut every now and then, too.