Futurist paratexts of the ‘infamous butter scene’

by: , April 19, 2018

© Last Tango in Paris (1972) dir. Bernardo Bertolucci

'The manner in which we who love the cinema love a woman is very special. It’s a very mythological way of loving women—and it’s doomed to sado-masochism.' – Bernardo Bertolucci

'Nothing more strikingly shows that art has left the realm of the “beautiful semblance” which, so far, had been taken to be the only sphere where art could thrive.' – Walter Benjamin

Except in struggle, no more beauty. No
work without aggression can be ‘masterpiece’
(poetry conceived as violent attack).

One part of a fragmented body
destroys the Renaissance space you                      can’t refuse
(over-valuation, cult of female star).

Scorn (for woman (isolated/
glamorous/on display/sexualised))
only                 as counterpoint. A running
horse has not four legs but twenty
& their movements are triangular
(investigating woman, de-
mystifying her mystery).

What’s screen ‘manifest’ (looking:
other ≈ erotic object, rich oriental rugs
                             her reaction as girl, not actress).

Pleasure: ascertaining guilt, old-school
pubic hair, woman’s pallor
in a jeweller’s window, electric
hearts, sentimental regret, etc.

Desire boils ‘artist’ (connoting male
phantasy). Kept in the dark
(protagonist’s action determined).

             ‘You look just like my daughter.’

He, figure in landscape, conspired to shoot
assault: half-light imaginary, queasy
naivety ablaze, recognition overlays mis-
recognition. ‘Don’t worry, it’s just
a painting.’                  It wasn’t in
the script.

Spontaneity subjects eroticism
to male star alone. Space no
longer exists: (girl, not actress).
Prismatic adrenaline fires
fascinate like larks (active)
though not in the script.

Certain legal right backs power: established
guilt of woman. Sometimes to obtain something
                              we have to be completely free.

Meaning cedes to memory
                              I resisted until the last moment
appear authentic (realism demands).

& guilt / not regret.
He didn’t console me or apologise.
Identify with him (participate
in power), spectator’s indirect
possession, too.

Yet woman lynch pins system. Male
figure can’t burden (sexual objectification)
but demands three-dimensional space. Human
face yellow, red, green, blue, violet.
Woman props male catharsis.
Liberating for whom?

I was crying real tears.
More perfect, more
complete, more
powerful ideal
ego, reluctant gaze
his exhibitionist like.

Painting’s renovation put you central, to
sing/re-echo canvas & triumphant flourish
under lamp domes filigreed brass, average
man (fascistic) declare War—the world’s only hygiene—

Her self has not slight importance
flaunt furs & velvet collars, feminism tinged
with mystery. Logic’s last confines: uterine colours.

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