sidebrow

from Mother, I

Scene 32. Ext. Day.


Forward track following Pierre on the way to church. This is a silent, scabrous scene under the sign of mad laughter and convulsive self-consciousness. The more the young man laughs and chokes at the memory of Rhea’s shameless words, the more he savors their turpitude, the more he craves to taste that wet shrine, the more he blesses her divine gift, and, face aflame, his entire body innervated by a strangling pleasure, he asks for death.

The camera moves from above to a darkened confessional: its lacy partition, shimmering shadows and rustling of priestly robes; a perfect vessel to convey Bataille’s libidinal logic: the more unutterable, excessive and sacrilegious our pleasures, the more we cling to them. Outside, the sky darkens; lightning glares on a mangy dog eating his own vomit—overarching metaphor of man’s subjection to his dark pleasures. Inside, eager to recite his sins, Pierre like a delirious boxer, shifts his weight from one foot to the other as if wavering between defiance and remorse, all the while reveling in the temptation to not betray his mother. Now quite certain that he resembles her—like mother, like son—in vice and wickedness, he reels with happiness, knowing he’ll walk to the end of the earth in her footsteps.

A few notes of a bar song hang at the cut.