2/5/15

TAXIDERMIA (2006)

Written by Greigh Johanson

How on the whole earth will I be able to give a review about this kind of odd reflections? Somewhere in back of my head a creepy and strange voice saying to me that this is an impossible task, but my juicy gutfeeling says the exact opposite - this is a deep, artistic and insane vision where the symbolism counter the surreal. I'm talking about a movie that offers images of masturbation, pedophilia, suicide, binge eating, culture, taxidermy, and oddly enough ... art.




Taxidermia is a Hungarian film, directed by György Pálfi and this is his second film. It was made shortly after the very least just as crazy, but much milder debut Hukkle. The first two segments of the film is based on short stories written by Lajos Parti Nagy, and the third part is written by Pálfi himself. The three short stories explores three perverted generations, beginning with an extremely horny soldier in the private services with the least bitter lieutenant. His illegitimate child grows up to become a compulsive eater in the Hungarian national team. The grandchild is a socially inept conservator who most care about his grumpy, fat father and his fat cats.

The first segment is a surreal and perverted sex-comedy set during World War II. Here we meet Morosgoványi, a Hungarian soldier and village idiot with cleft palate. Morosgoványi is a man with a vivid imagination. Most of his mental trips revolve around sexual pleasure. He fantasizes about the beautiful women in the barracks next door and the large, older woman who also lives next door. Much of his life is based around sex and the first to succeed injury is a delusion where he shoots fire with his penis. Sometimes he imagines that he is transported into the H.C Andersen's fairy tale "The Little Match Girl" and use the book to masturbate to pictures of the little girl.

The second segment is a drama-romance that excellent fit together with the first act. The large-built woman who Morosgoványi fantasize about, soon turns out to be pregnant and she gives birth to Kálmán, a happy little boy with a pig's tail. When the tail is removed Kálmán grows up to be a rather large man and a competitive eaters. His binge eating becomes in time a worldwide sport, watched by large crowds of cheering fans who revere their competitors as gods. This sport involves both eating large quantities of food ... including vomiting. Kálmán falls in love with an equally large woman who also turns out to be a compulsive eater and just after her wedding gives birth to a son.

The third and final act is a spectacular horror-scenarios, where the child to the two very large people have grown up. Lajoska, which is his name, is clearly a very scrawny man who has a talent for taxidermy. In addition to his daily life around the area, he takes care of his father's cats that are trained to compulsive eaters. His father Kálmán, which has now reached a level of obesity is constantly disappointed and disgusted with his thin son. Lajoska feeding a feeling of depression and hatred. He has constantly been insulted by the man whom he has devoted his life to take care of. Soon the track been throughout and the father and son relationship ends in an odd way, to say the least.

What Pálfi want to say with this movie is impossible for me to answer. It circulates  hundreds of questions in my head in retrospect, but if I observe the existing order our director is fixed or obsessed of the body, sexual, food, as well as viscera and animal carcasses. The story is written as a generation. Each of these three men have an opposite obsession: The soldier is driven by desire, compulsive eater of ambition, and the curator of a desire for immortality. There's also the fact that each of the men growing up under different policy regimes: Fascism followed by communism followed by capitalism. It's part of the movie that refers to the new Hungarian history - Is this the real point of the movie perhaps? Maybe I think too much about symbolism, and I think most people will see Taxidermia as a collection of astonishing scenes that occur with little deliberate provocation.



It clearly confirmed that Pálfi is one of the more interesting and fiercely original directors today, and Taxidermia will likely to remain a cult film due to the fact that its graphical range of perversions probably prove to be too much over the limit for many viewers. But to you who can circumvent the fact that almost every frame is packed with a disgusting imagery, the film actually works on an intellectual level - it shows a gloomy and thoughtful contemplation of the human animal.


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