Asparagus ★★★★

1st Suzan Pitt

Starting with a lady with an absolute dumptruck of an ass defecating the titular vegetable, Asparagus proceeds to be a complicated and ambivalent depiction of female consciousness and individual sexuality. Perhaps the most interesting aspect of this exploration is the nods to Laura Mulvey's then-new concepts of the woman as fetishised image in cinema. Her analysis of classical Hollywood and the ways in which women are turned into objects for male pleasure was incredibly important for feminist writers and thinkers, and certainly there are a number of references to this here. The theatre scene, for example, where the woman moves behind the screen to produce a riot of phallic images that confuse and tantalise the audience, can be read as the woman taking control of the image, projecting her power onto the audience.

it's also fascinating how the woman wears a mask that covers her completely blank face, her identity dictated by a patriarchal society. It makes the final scene, where she appears to fellate an asparagus that transforms into a number of different objects, that much more complex; how do we consider the fact that her only facial feature is a mouth, seen through an iris that resembles a peep hole? Are we watching a woman performing for our pleasure, or a woman embracing her sexuality? Or is it a bit of both? Asparagus does not answer these questions easily, instead creating a woozy conglomeration of images and sounds that feel as if drenched in a dream. It is a fascinating, complex and beautiful film.

Block or Report

Ethan liked these reviews