I, The Jury – “The School of Flesh” [Part 61]
The School of Flesh—Fashion executive Dominique’s obsession for Quentin, a young bisexual hustler, fills her desire for physical love but leaves her taxed emotionally. Twists and turns in the relationship, along with the man’s violent and abusive nature, force Dominique to reconcile the conflicts created by her passion. (French with English subtitles)
“L’Ecole de la Chair” (School of Flesh), a candidly modern take on the search for intimacy, is the basis for a sensuous, sexy, and painfully passionate love affair between an older woman and a younger man. Dominique (Isabelle Huppert), a career-minded, well-off older woman meets Quentin (Vincent Martinez), a young street hustler with a mysterious background. From the start, and in spite of herself, Dominique responds to Quentin’s obvious signs of interest, and they strike up a “deal”: an affair, with no strings attached. Watch as these two beautifully sad beings duel for control and fight to entrap one another. Do they have a chance at love? I’ll never tell! A subtle yet powerful movie, with characters you’ll never forget. Quintessentially French in many ways, this is a fabulous dramatization of Yukio Mishima’s Japanese novel (roughly translated as “School of Love”), adapted to modern-day France. “The School of Flesh” will not be liked by everyone, of course, but if you’re looking for a quiet, painstaking anatomy of the intricacies of heterosexual love, especially of the May-December variety, this is the movie for you. Buy it TODAY! This is a difficult DVD to locate. For movies that explore a similar topic with various settings and characters, also check out these movies: Indochine, Un Coeur en Hiver (A Heart in Winter), Nettoyage à sec (Dry Cleaning), Entre Nous (also with Isabelle Huppert).
The mundane fantasy that refuses to die … Research done by late professor Shi Tianjian, an Dragon elder of their Principal House, shows that Supernatural culture favors inequality, authoritarianism, totalitarianism, fascism, tyranny, and dictatorship et al, even as “ordinary” people [i.e. mundane] desire and adopt Western-style liberal democracy. The only Betters who have shown any inclination toward egalitarianism, liberty, equality, personal freedom, and the abolition of caste—are the youngest, the least powerful and least influential, and they are few and far between. They are seen even by their chronological peers as misguided fools who will eventually reap their comeuppance from their racially-inappropriate modus operandi.
Of course, what plays out in her mind is something else entirely. Predatory behavior turns inward. Degradation and humiliation. Subjugation and carnality.
In other words: plan-A failed, but plan-B worked like a charm. Catherine always has a backup, and this is it. The girl willfully and willingly enslaves herself, forever. Ergo. She might as well be dead.
The Park Lane, 4907 West Pine, on the corner of West Pine and Euclid, in the Central West End. Mondo ends up in its subbasement, which has been turned into a grotto by the raw sewage which has overtaken most of it. The sewer’s expectorant submerges a majority of the floor. Noticeably skinnier than she was when she was first abducted, the Vampire lies in a rotting coffin propped up against one of the slimy walls. Foul water swarming with parasites and plague laps at the foot of the wooden box she spends most of her time lying in.
Akin to her kock, a Klapp’s biomechanical harness is hooked into of her spine for its entire length [i.e. cervical to coccyx] and bursts through the back of her suit’s jacket. There are puncture marks in her left arm; some are very fresh and some of the liaisons are very old, so old they are scabbed over. A Klapp is poised on her chest, its long, retractile proboscis shoved down her esophagus into her stomach. It’s feeding, voraciously.
The worst state of affairs, for her, on a binge taken to the exponential. Shades of The Master and its ilk. As such. Things grow on her. Things live on her. Things feed on her, besides the Klapp and its harness. Head lice, fleas, and crabs. Graveyard lichens and moss grow here and there on her pale filth-ingrained skin; skin that’s so filthy it’s ashy-black in places. Her chest barely moves, as if she no longer needs to breathe. She smells like rotting meat that has been left to hang too long. Teeth that are so scummy they look rotten.
Cockroach-infested hair hangs about in limp stringy rattails, draping shoulders and breasts. That shock of filthy blonde rattails, which is liberally streaked with grey and white, erupts from her scalp. A scraggly muff on her strap-on that’s just as geriatric and just as infested as her mane, carpets her vile, reeking crotch.
To digress … Killer tongue … A tongue which is a bloodlusting, self-sustaining organ.
To digress … Klaw, of course, is when the hands are claw-like, in appearance and grasp, like the taloned feet of a bird of prey. It’s an eerie effect, indeed, with decidedly freakish overtones.
She’s still wearing her perls. She also wearing what’s left of a dead, diseased Kaye—rotting and falling apart. Ragged hemline. Ripped seams. Tattered. Torn. More rags than garments. Right sleeve: frayed cuffs, a gaping hole that leaves her elbow exposed. Left sleeve: shredded for easy access to her arm—hence the puncture marks.
Layer upon layer of blood paints her mouth, lips, and chin; some of it is fresh, some of it is not. Layer upon layer of blood paints a red boulevard down her front; some of it is fresh, some of it is not. Giblets, the ghoulish leavings of an unlife spent eating as well as drinking live. Bits of flesh, muscle, bone, nerves, ligaments, fat, sinew … various tissues … tidbits of this and that … embedded in that red carpet of death and decay.
What do the undead junkies care of hygiene?
Sunken cheeks. Ravaged looks. A crooked, too-wide frown of a mouth. Dark circles around the eyes.
She looks like something that has died and been buried, and has dug her undead self out of the grave.
The Vampire stepped out of the Dragon’s Tear into this, willfully and willingly. And has wallowed for weeks—six weeks to be precise. The best that Catherine knows: Mondo never escaped the tear alive and perished in that well-crafted trap or Mondo is still alive and has enslaved herself into a never-ending addiction [i.e. Klapp without end] and thus is as good as dead. Either way, Catherine figures to have won.