Sunday, December 02, 2012

Nooks, nuns and crannies

I stumbled on a cinematic subgenre I had until now been innocent of: nunsploitation films. Yes, boys and girls, nunsploitation. It had its heyday in the 70's in Europe. Sort of a "veiled" version of Women In Prison and Elsa SheWolf of the SS style efforts. Mostly done in countries where Catholicism dominates, but even the Japanese got in on the fun (see #11 on this list). Lotsa feminist anger, bishop-bashing, bloodletting, eye-rolling historical gaffes, sexual repression and jealousy, along with sex of all kinds, hetero and lesbo.

The story lines make Mexican telenovelas seem Shakespeareanly elegant by comparison. In the psychotically incoherent and nasty Flavia, the Muslim Nun...yes...a protofeminist nun in 14th century Italy runs away from her convent, inspired by a cult of hysterical women, takes up with a Jew*, then becomes a Muslim warrior princess until she refuses to marry the Mohammedan prince and is left behind as the pirates of the Religion of Peace slaughter most and then cart the rest of the town off into slavery**, only to be recaptured by the local Christian lord and flayed alive for treason. What's not to like?

But from what I looked through --on YouTube, so skipping forward is easy, and obligatory-- I have to  say that the visuals were impressive. D- for script and direction, A for set, art and costume design and cinematography.

I don't think I'll be investigating this particular form of artistic endeavor again. As Voltaire said, once, a philosopher; twice, a sodomite.

*Even he, as archetypal medieval victim, offends our Amazon by trying to shield her from marauders. In a guffaw-worthy moment of feminist bitchery, she pushes him away, saying, "Abraham, don't you think you're taking this male protector role a little too seriously?" Her male-loathing mother superior later teaches her that men oppress women because they are afraid the females will seize their power away. She also suggests, that since the Pope is in Avignon, they should take over in Rome. Plus, in a prophetic move, these man-hating feminists welcome the Muslim pirates...("God bless the Muslim heathens, and damn the Christian men!") who later reduce the population to slavery and cart them off to Africa. (Typical lefty attitude). If these convents full of loonies are any example, they should be! OBTW, this creepy combo of angry vaginas and male-oriented violence and pornography was written entirely by men!

**Next time someone thinks the West should feel bad about the Crusades, ask them what the Muslims should do about the 1000 year reign of terror and slaving they perpetrated on Christians in the Mediterranean.

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