DIRECTED BY: Jörg Buttgereit
FEATURING: Daktari Lorenz, Beatrice M.
PLOT: A necrophiliac who works for a corpse disposal service loses his job, his perverted girlfriend, and finally his mind.
WHY IT WON’T MAKE THE LIST: Although Nekromantik is indisputably weird—not simply in its bizarre concept, but in its numerous nightmare digressions from linearity—it can’t be recommended as a viewing experience. It’s a badly made, tedious parade of revolting and nihilistic imagery with no ambition other than to shock the viewer. When the film does utilize weirdness, it does so shallowly and irreverently, solely in service of its intent to disturb.
COMMENTS: Like sex, inherently shocking imagery in film can be used well, to explore the human experience, or (more commonly) it can be used badly and exploitatively. The ironic celebration of evil in A Clockwork Orange disturbs the viewer deeply, but the purpose of the film isn’t to shock us; it’s to provoke us into thinking more deeply about the problem of evil by forcefully confronting us with the paradox of free will.
Too many artists, however, have noticed that offending huge numbers of people is a far easier way to draw attention to themselves than working hard at their craft and creating something thoughtful and meaningful. Sometimes, artists get confused and adopt a simple logical fallacy: much great art, like Nabokov’s “Lolita” or Buñuel‘s Un Chien Andalou, has shocked and offended large numbers of people; therefore, the purpose of great art must be to shock people. (This artistic disorder is commonly known as “John Waters Syndrome”). Most shocking art, however, is made with a more cynical hand, made with the artistic integrity of a freakshow proprietor. This is the category into which Jörg Buttgereit’s Nekromantik falls.
Un Chien Andalou opens with a shot of a woman’s eyeball being slit by a straight razor, juxtaposed with a shot of a cloud passing in front of the moon. The image is shocking but artistic, suggestive and numinous. Nekromantik opens with a shot of panties dropping and urine streaming onto the grass; the image is banal, and, besides breaking Continue reading CAPSULE: NEKROMANTIK (1987)