"These people are completely disgusting," says the wife. No gorehound, she.

"That's Godard's point! They're bourgeois and they're disgusting. Remember, when that character said `the horror of the bourgeoisie can only be overcome by more horror?'"

And then my own political smugness was overcome in the next minute, when there occurred the on-camera slaughter of a live hog. That's always where I draw the line, for a number of reasons:

1. The animals never get paid enough.
2. Meat is murder, even if a carne asada burrito is justifiable homicide.
3. I'm a fine-wine swilling, pajama-wearing, kitty-petting bourgeois and I know it.

Almost always, a real-life animal getting it in a movie is too much. I walked out of Fassbinder'sIn A Year of 13 Moons, because of the slaughterhouse scene. In the film, a lovelorn transsexual toured an abattoir, as he wept over his own tragic love life. I felt it cheapened the (arguably) necessary deaths of the cattle, by comparing their terminal pain with someone's tiny little broken heart. By contrast, Weekend's shock sequence was a professional job of hog slaughtering, done by two anonymous French farmers who knew exactly what they were doing. I doubt if Laura Ingalls Wilder's father could have done the "kill the pig, spill its blood" bit more painlessly. it took less time to watch it than it does to write about.

Just this once, I kept watching, because the sequence is elemental to Godard's thesis in Weekend, that conspicuous consumption will inevitably lead to cannibalism. Missing the SPCA seal as it does, is Weekend yet more offensive than the Texas Chainsaw Massacre saga,or either version of The Hills Have Eyes? Ask Wes Craven or Tobe Hooper if they were unaware of Weekend when they went to work in the early 1970s to make their own cannibal capers.

categories Cinematical