Courtney Sage & Allison Derek discuss the movie "Cuntralia"
- December 5, 2002
Allison: One thing that impressed me about "Cuntralia" was how the interconnections between apparently disparate scenes were so calculated.
Courtney: As in the Centralia & Cuntralia comparison.
A: Something that sticks in my mind is the comparison between how the Centralia coal fires cd've been put out for a hundred dollars but that that didn't happen because of politics & how that tied into the sexual obsession that continued to burn in Cuntralia even though there was no 'good reason' for it to do so. Then that ties into the part where Tim Ore was wondering whether reading Freud wd lead to a sexually healthy person becoming neurotic by overfocusing on sex. Then there were the cat references: to being afraid of being "put down" - a deliberately multi-levelled language use that refers to the overiding fear that a person can have when they're involved in a relationship that they're not sure about.
C: Yeah, I actually thought of being killed - about how animals get "put to sleep" so often anytime they get sick. At 1st, I was perplexed by his using the cat anthropomorphosis but then I took it to be a reference to people thinking that cats have a mindless existence & that that's why people have such an easy time killing them & then I related that to frustrating interpersonal relationships where the partners reduce each other to mere functionaries that're easily disposed of. - & then the references to the litter box tie into all the piss references. Pissing is something that you do every day, it's a normal thing, so perhaps it can become monotonous as a result - & maybe that's what the sexual obsession was becoming because it was just an obsession w/o being anything good or exciting.
A: Then there was the surgery - when he sd "I think it's killing me" it made me think of how sometimes you can get so wrapped up in something you feel like you're dying!
C: I liked the surgery part of it because it showed that in his real life he was dying while he was making the film. I also liked the music during the reading of the 2 sexually obsessed characters' e-mails & how it stopped when tENT wd interupt to give instructions to the actress about how she shd read the part of the female character. That adds to its being candid.
A: Right. When he sd "I'm probably going to be very anal retentive about this!" that was hilarious. That's something that ties into the salesman scenes & how the movie & the sex get turned into being an obsession w/ representation.
C: We're trying to get away from the use of representation!
A: I know! We're trying to get away from the reality that that image of 2 women staring at this screen looking so bored relates to!
C: The sales pitch ties into the "sex sells" manipulation of advertising.
A: Yeah, the commercialisation of sex.
C: The "shoving it in your face" to sell you something w/ it becomes such a big thing & takes so much of value away from the original whose power advertising robs. I thought it was interesting that Tim Ore's narration comments about the sexual obsession by saying "It's driving me mad, sortof" - because the whatever-like attitude seemed to refer to how our culture's still obsessed w/ sex even as we've become numb to it thru overkill. Then they tear apart Tim Ore as the salesperson by tearing apart the thing that comes out of his pants!
A: Yeah! That was crazy!
C: That was as if the victims of the salesman were becoming non-complacent & taking action against the insidiousness of the "sex sells" routine.
A: Yeah, although at the end, when he was repeating over & over again what they were supposed to buy & the one girl finally gave in by saying "Oh! Oh! I get it!", as if she were experiencing an epiphany, I felt uncomfortable because she was just being manipulated into an illusion & didn't, as far as I cd tell, receive anything of value in the implied exchange.
C: Yeah.. I didn't get that.
A: It might've been intended to mean that alotof people still buy into what advertising or our culture teaches us to be interested in regardless of how critical they may superficially seem to be.
C: It's too weird, though, because the woman looked totally appalled. But maybe that's the thing - alotof us cd even look at the salesman's obsessive sexploitation & be appalled, but, in the end, still be sexually attracted to it & buy into it in their own way.
A: It's weird because she seems like a fake person because of the inconsistency of her reactions - she was appalled at points & then excited at points but it all seemed too stylized - perhaps in the way an obsessive tv watcher might be if they cd only express themselves by imitating actors' expressions rather than feeling their own.
C: Maybe that inconsistency just points out the basic human nature of having no reaction & then a multitude of reactions.
A: & then there's the part where he's rubbing his leg - it highlighted the ridiculousness of the sexual obsession! Then back to the animal references: we already talked about the cat but there was also the pissing on the fire hydrant - wch seemed significant because that's what dogs do. I still thought, the 1st time I saw it, that she was gonna sit on the fire hydrant & screw it & I thought "Oh, no! - that thing's so rusty! & gross!"
C: Her poor cunt!
A: I know! "It's gonna rip her to shreds - Ohmigod!" I was just waiting for it to happen, I was watching & thinking "Oh No! Don't do that! Don't!" Everytime she was getting on and was climbing up to it I was thinking "NO! Don't fuck that fire hydrant.."
C: You can piss on it but don't fuck it!
A: But then she was just pissing on it & I felt this weird relief. I was happy.
Courtney & Babs Discuss "Cuntralia"
- December 5, 2002
[throughout this, Courtney & Babs often talk simultaneously
& complete each other's thoughts]
Babs: Um, We shd just pretend that the recorder's not on..
Courtney: Yeah, we shd not look at the computer, um.., How shd we start?
C: I guess we cd just like 'cause every we're just, about how everything's connected in the movie?
B: Yeah.. We cd talk about, we cd talk about how the different connections were - I mean 'cause they were just pretty overiding
C: Yeah [chortles]
B: Like, I guess like the 1st time I saw it I didn't even notice
C: Yeah.. I got more of it this time, definitely, watching it the 2nd time alot
B: Yeah, I'm glad, Yeah, we had to've watched it again 'cause.. I wdn't've been able to remember [laughter] but.. well..
C: I guess we cd start at the beginning: the Centralia, &, like, Cuntralia
C: Comparison [chuckles]
B: Yeah.. well, um.. I don't know.. I thought.. like something that sticks in my mind was the, um, when he sd that the place cd be.. cd've been.. the fires cd've been put out for a hundred dollars - wasn't that it?
C: Yeah, I don't know, I didn't no-, I didn't notice - think about that
C: But.. anyways..
B: That was just something..
C: I even thought about the thing that, like, they cd be put out..
C: ..that that was like a big..
B: Yeah, but then it was like.. It was all manipulated w/ politics & stuff - or whatever..
B: ..& that's why it's still going &, like.. that just seemed to tie in alot to like, um..
C: Sexual obsession [laughs]
B: ..sexual obsession - being sortof like, I mean, like that part where he was talking about Freud - like that part that went twice - where, it was like.. uh.. I wonder if it cd make a sexually normal person - wch, who the hell knows what that is..
C: Oh, yeah, that part..
B: But, I mean, a sexually normal person into a neurotic..
B: ..just by reading all that stuff? - like that was something that I was like woah!, yeah that totally like, y'know
B: - just the repeated like - I don't know
C: I mean like thinking about sex that's like I mean that's.. that.. per- that went thru to like, w/ me, w/ like the sexual obsession w/ Varda about how like.. um.. once it became like a mostly sexual relationship like all you're thinking about is sex - so then it's like propelled into like this neurotic like..
C: ..only sex & then they kept propelling wch was like the fire that kept burning or something? [chuckles]
B: Yeah.., totally.. It's just like.. yeah..
C: - & that's what, I mean, that was like the big reference thing that they were like they cd've put it out was like the whole thing that like it's like the burning, the fire that keeps burning & then like the sexual obsession that..
C: ..doesn't stop but he doesn't know why it doesn't stop & how like if you don't know the politics of like the Centralia place then like it just wd keep burning, or whatever - I mean, it just seemed like
B: Yeah, right
C: mindless, like, why is that still happening? like, why am I still sexually obsessed?
B: Yeah, that was, well, it was crazy because that was like something I totally related to [titters], y'know? - not like, I mean definitely not - not the same exact circumstances or whatever - but like sortof being involved in a relationship where you're like, What the fuck am I doing?
C: [loud laughter]
B: Why do I care about this relationship? The sex sucks, like..
B: Do y'know what I mean? It's sortof..
C: Oh! I oughta..
B: not sucks
C: - that made me - there's something in there that
B: but like is it spectacular? &?
B: But you're - it's almost like.. Yeah!, oh, shit!, ok, that was something I was totally - the, the cat reference
C: [excitedly:] YEAH! That's what I was just gonna say too [Babs laughs delightedly] - This probably sounds like it's talking to one person
C: like 'cause we finish each other's sentences - Anyways I guess we shdn't be..
C: acknowledging this..
B: the whole cat thing, like, being, bein', like, being afraid of being put down
B: Was like, was set down, like you set down a cat is like, yeah, I don' know - it's like this overiding fear
C: [?] That's funny that
B: or something?
B: when you're involved in a relationship that you're not sure about
C: Yeah, it's funny, 'cause the put down you thought of like being set - I actually thought of like, being, like, killed
B: Oh, you did?!
C: Yeah, like, how like
C: animals get put to sleep so often
C: like anytime they get sick or like anytime like something gets like worse, or something?
C: So that was like my reference to like, maybe like the sexual thing like just being like totally like an obsession & nothing good anymore & just kinda like "blah, blah, blah"
C: & like how like just being put down wd be like
B: being killed instead of being
C: Yeah, like it'd be killing the obsession, I guess,
C: wch, like, it just made me think too - 'cause I was like, why the hell a cat?, at 1st
C: & then, I guess, like, it was kindof, too, just like the mindless existence, like - not that cats have a mindless existence..
B: Right! But alotof people think that they do - they look at them that way
C: Yeah! Like they don't think of that & just like references to being put down & to the litter box & stuff like that & like it just seemed like the reference to the litter box wch then ties into all the piss stuff
B: [excitedly] Oh yeah!
C: [also excitedly] a whole other idea's about!
C: The litter box thing was just like, like something you do every day - like this normal thing or something like that?
C: & maybe that was like what this was all becoming 'cause it was like so monotonous, like a sexual obsession
C: like it wasn't anything good or exciting - I think I'm getting on a huge tangent but the piss
B: No, but..
C: But what were you going to say?
B: No, uh [laughter]
C: the piss, that's what, that's how, that's, Ohmigod! As I talk about this I'm realizing more & more
C: how like everything's connected 'cause I'm just like going
C: but, um, the piss thing, to me, was like, um.. I say "um" alot, it's 'cause I haven't thought about this yet
B: It's ok I
C: I just got thrown in front of a computer [laughs]
B: I know, I have, I have to remember, I have to remember to talk about the surgery thing & the salesman thing
C: Ok! Well we'll remember to talk about this!
C: Ok, piss thing 1st though
C: [laughs] Oh, the piss thing that was my, like, the thing w/ the litter box was like um how like there is an obsession w/ piss & there was also an obsextion - obsession w/ sex & how like the sex
B: [laughing:} You just sd "obSEXtion"!
B: [still laughing:] Nothing! You were like: "an obSEX-"
C: Oh shit! Look, tENT, you got me thinking just about sex!
C: [taking a breath] Um.. but..
C: I don't know.. like, I don't know.. um
C: Now I'm gonna totally not
C: make sense w/ this.. - the obsession w/ both of those or something? - & how like the pissing thing was just kinda maybe it was the monotonous thing? like the kinda like normal everyday like pissing is just thought of as like a natural
C: thing that everyone does & sex like & that also ties into like the Freud stuff but like sex is just a natural thing kindof that everyone does - or, no, it wasn't the Freud, it was the de Sade reference of how, sex, like, the way he kindof thought about sex. It wasn't, I mean, de Sade goes way off but like the idea of like sex only for like sex, or something?
C: & like I mean pissing is just like a natural everyday thing
C: & like we don't think about it
B: He even sd in there that he had had an obsession w/ pissing but that it, like, faded away
B: Sortof, you know, wch, sorta just like shows the ability of something that like it's not necessary to have an obsession about or whatever - like it just seemed to bring that out
C: Yeaahhh.. Definitely
C: & kinda I mean I don't think there was any reason towards like why he was obsessed w/ piss
B: Yeah, no, yeah, no reason was ever given for it or anything..
C: I mean.. maybe because he pissed so much
C: ..he was having sex so much, ok, um, what? I guess then, ummmmm
B: The, uh, oh..surgery. That sucks that you cdn't watch the.. well.. I feel bad for you! [titters] during the parts where you had to close your eyes I mean it was gross. I don't like all the blood & stuff
B: But, I mean you didn't miss much - it was like..
C: Yeah, I watched more of it the 1st time I saw it 'cause I was like interested
C: but it totally made me want to vomit
B: [slight laugh]
C: 'cause many things make me wanna vomit
C: Um.. mm.. but I thought, I mean, I definitely thought the surgery thing was just an interesting
C: to like the filmmaking of it?
B: It's totally like, when he sd like, I think [laughs] making this like w/ the whole tying it in w/ his relationship w/ Varda like "I think it's killing me" is just totally like..
B: sometimes you can just get so wrapped up in something you're like "I think I'm dying!"
C: [loud laughter] Definitely! I thought that was a good reference & I thought that was really neat because, um, the film, like, seemed to be like tried to make to be made really candid I guess
C: Like, just like made telling the story in very like reading out the e-mails in very just kinda like, I dunno
B: I loved, ok, I loved the way the music was during the e-mails
B: That was so funny!
C: Yeah! That was really good - but I thought, I mean, I thought the surgery part of it being like his real life like that's what happened while he was making the film
C: it added to that aspect of the film that I really liked? but, yeah, the read-, the reading of the e-mails was interesting. & the music [chortles] that went w/ it.
C: & how it stopped.. when tENT talked. THAT, I mean I guess that's another thing that adds to its being candid was like the recording
C: like still had tENT like revising how she spoke
B: Yeah, that was cool, that was super cool. & the part where he was like [laughing] "I'm probably going to be very anal retentive about this!" [laughs] That was hilarious. Yeah, but that definitely added to the like realism of all of it.
B: You knew, I mean, & that's something that totally ties into the like.. the fact of the the salesman stuff
B: & everything being like this, just, obsession w/ representation almost - not to sound like Ron but
C: [loud laughter]
B: but like
C: Aw, man, We're trying to get away from the use of representation!
B: I know! [chuckling wildly] If Ron were here he'd be like "AHH! REPRESENTATION!" But, um, yeah like, just the.. I don't know, that image of like these 2 women staring at this screen looking so bored
B: & like - like the one girl twirling her hat & stuff - it's like.. I don't know, um, I forget.. how I got onto that.. [giggles]
C: No, it t-, well, what I thought about that was, um, like how the sales pitch was like it - I mean it ties into the like whole sex sells thing & then like
B: Yeah, right, the commercialism of sex.
C: Yeah, yeah like the commercialism of sex & how like, um, once it like it becomes such a like big thing like trying to sell it & shove it in your face & like taking all this stuff away from it - like, like the women were so bored w/ it
C: & like.. just kinda like.. oohhh, whatever, like it probably I mean in this sense um sex sells like we see that constantly, like, the sexual obsession of like media
B: Yeah, yeah, yeah
C: It's there in our face everyday
C: & it.. so, like, the boredom of like staring at it almost becomes where we're like we don't even have a reaction to
C: like it anymore - we're like, it was like, in the movie like.. in the movie he didn't even have, uh-like, the sexual obsession thing - He like, I mean, & then like, the one comment that was like "It's driving me mad, sortof"
C: - like it was just totally like whatever-like attitude towards like the sexual obsession
C: &, like, it was kinda like - I mean wch then ties inta like w/ how like he was like "The sex isn't very good, the relationship isn't very good, but I'm still obsessed" just like how like our culture's still obsessed w/ sex but like
C: but we can stare at it blindly.
B: ...as a way to sell, as a way to make money. Yeah! Wch totally goes back to the [chortles] Centralia being able to be sold for a hundred dollars
B: - or not sold like put out or whatever...the fires
B: being able to be put out & then they weren't because it's like a tourist attraction now
C: but, yeah, I.. um.. but, I, it was, I mean, the [laughs] then when they're like, [laughs] kinda like, I don't know, how they like kinda tear apart [laughs] the salesperson
C: it like.. or Tim Ore - it like - the thing that comes out of his pants & they like, are like, it's kinda like
B: Yeah! [excitedly] That was crazy!
[they both laugh]
B: [still laughing as Courtney speaks]
C: That's pretty intense alone
B: I like that part [laughing]!
C: Yeah, but, then I mean I guess it's kinda like getting rid of like the complacency of being like
C: just, I mean being bored & just dealing w/ like sex sells & like all that shit they're in our face constantly
C: It's like, I mean I guess they're like I don't know if that was actually meant in any way but that's like kindof, I guess, what I got out of it
B: Yeah, when she, I don't know when like at the end whenever, um, he was repeating over & over again what they were supposed to buy & she was like, the one girl was finally like "Oh! Oh! I get it!" you know?
B: It was like.. that like.. I don't know.. that made me feel weird
C: Yeah.. I didn't get that like one like.. like her being like
B: Well, I mean I guess I got it in a way of like: Yeah, alotof people still like, still nonetheless like buy into
B: what, um, advertising or whatever, our culture like teaches us to be interested in
B: & like, I don't know..
C: Maybe it's what they buy into but it's too, like, weird because like her, like the woman's reactions - like that woman during all the filming was like, like watching it, like she'd like make these looking totally appalled & stuff
C: But maybe that's the thing is like - like alotof us cd even look at it & be appalled but like, in the end, we're just like "Oh, Yeah!" or like we're still like "yeah! That's hot!" like maybe not necessarily like something else that the rest of our culture thinks as but like
C: I guess maybe everybody buys into it in their own way
B: Yeah, like her character was, it's weird because she seems like this totally like fake person
C: Yeah, definitely..
B: like all her reactions were really like.. like there was like, yeah, I mean, she was like appalled at points & then like excited at points but it all seemed really like, I dunno, like stylized & stuff
B: & like fake in a way wch, I mean, is definitely how like an obsessive tv watcher probably wd be like..
C: Yeah [titters]
B: like, I don' know, I guess.. not that they were necessarily obsessive tv watchers
C: Yeah.. but..
B: We don't really know..
C: tieing in the
B: but, like, just the image of them like watching this film & then like being sold something & being like "Oh, alright", y'know
C: Yeah.. definitely. Yeah, I guess, too, just like alotof like, I mean, all that stuff like.. how it gets so many different reactions?
B: Yeah, yeah..
C: - or whatever? & maybe like no reaction at all & that's why like in the end it's just kinda like
B: Well, the one girl had no reaction
B: the whole time
C: - that's - I mean maybe it's like the contradiction
C: between like having no reaction & then like the multitude of reactions
C: like people get
C: but.. I definitely
C: thought that was an interest- Actually, the 1st time I saw that I was like.. kinda like, Why the hell?, but like that part coming into it is just so weird
B: [excitedly:] The part where he was! Ohmigod! & the part where he's just like rubbing his leg
B: it's just like.. that was so c-, like, it goes along w/ the.. like, almost like the ridiculousness of.. like.. sex obsession?
B: like how they can be ridiculous but at the same time they like can be serious & like
B: I dunno..
C: I think that's what the d-, like the salesperson definitely showed the ridiculousness of it &
C: like the very like pushiness
C: of like, wch, I mean, I guess like that's how obsession is & then, I mean like, other parts of it were like totally serious so..
C: wch, I mean w/, like, them reading e-mails & like the story being told & stuff?
B: It's, yeahh, there's like a separation, in a way, of like the substance of the relationship & then the things that're created like
B: around the relationship that become sortof like extra - like the obsessions & stuff & like.. yeah.. it's just this.. way of perceiving.. like.. how a relationship is
B: I guess?
C: I'm trying to think if there's anything else
B: I know
C: 'cause like I was trying to like think of like while I watched it to like point out in my head all the things I thought to talk about
B: Yeah.. When he brought up Freud like, well, the 1st time I saw it like he sd Freud's name & I was like "Err! I hate that guy!"
B: Why he's talkin' about it & then like.. well this time though.. I don't.. I was paying way closer attn to like everything that was sd
B: wch was probably, you know, because we knew ahead of time that we were going to be instructed to talk about it so I felt like I was doing a school assignment or something or like "OK, I had t' watch really closely what was going on" but, I don't know, I, like.. Is that a letter from kitty? Ohmigod! it is!
C: Oh yeah!
B: but, oh, ok, well, let's see.. mmmmm
C: I don't know. I don't think I can think of anything right now.
C: There's probably a shitload to describe.. transcribe.. I'm.. tired..
B: Have we talked for 55 minutes?!
C: No, we've talked for 19
B: 20, almost 20 minutes
C: yeah.. wch is probably alot
B: probably.. Well?
B: Do you think we shd stop? Can you think of anything else? I can't really
B: I can't really think of anything else, I mean
C: I can't right now.. if I sat & thought about it I probably wd come up w/ more stuff
B: But that's like..
C: That's all the main stuff
C: Like the other stuff we'd be picking out certain lines
B: All the animal references, well, like, we already talked about the cat but like pissing on a fire hydrant seemed like sortof significant
C: Oh, yeah..
B: because that's like what dogs do
B: & just like.. it just, I dunno, it was like this extra added - or, like, I dunno, all the, all the animal representations
C: Yeah.. definitely
B: or like
C: it added into like all the naturalness
C: of like, of like w/ the pissing stuff & everything
B: Yeah, mmhmm
C: how like that's all natural & like dogs piss on fire hydrants &
C: I mean, & maybe even thinking about how like people don't like piss wherever - I mean, we do, but like
B: [loud laughter] most people don't
C: the rest of our society doesn't & so..
B: [laughing] [excitedly:] That was like.. Yeah, when she.. Oh!, that's another thing! When she sd that - about the, um, I find it like, I don't remember the exact words she used but I remember being like "Yeah! I think it's cool to piss in unexpected places too!" [laughs]
C: Definitely! & I mean but that
B: Mary and her Pee Club
C: Oh, man, that's funny, um, but, yeah, thinking of how like we like piss in the toilet specifically
C: & people think like that's the only place you can piss
C: & like maybe just how we put thought into like doing things specifically & how like, like, with like some sexual relationships like people deal w/ them in such a like specific like
C: manner & like think about it a whole lot - whereas like
C: I mean maybe just like the naturalness of this whole situation was like just that it became, like it was mostly all about sex
C: & it was like just a sexual obsession
C: So.. But, Yeah! for pissing in weird places!
[they both laugh]
B: I still thought, the 1st time I saw it, that she's was gonna like
C: [loudly] I think I
B: sit on the fire hydrant & like screw it or something, like, I wasn't like
C: I think I actually thought that.. thinking that piss was...
B: Yeah, I was like.. "Oh, no!" & I started getting really like
B: - my stomach starting
C: like Whoa! Holy Shit!
B: 'cause I was like "Oooh! - that thing's so rusty! & gross!"
C: - her poor cunt!
B: I know!
C: That's pretty much my thought
B: It's gonna rip her to shreds - Ohmigod! I was like.. I was just waiting for it to happen, I was like watching & being like "Oh No! Don't do that! Don't!" Like everytime she was getting on and was like climbing up to it I was like "NO!"
C: Well, that was kindof like the build-up for people to think about
B: [interupting] I know! I know! It was totally, I mean, if that was the point of it or whatever
C: I wonder if mostly women thought of that 'cause they were like "OW!"
B: I know, I was totally, my stomach was just like, I had this, like, physiological reaction to it
B: I was like "NO! Don't.. Don't fuck that fire hydrant.." [laughs]
C: You can piss on it but don't fuck it!
B: I know, I was, but then like she was just like pissing on it & like I just felt like this weird relief - like I was like "OK, good!"
B: I was happy
C: That's super-funny..
B: Alright, I think we shd turn it off.
C: We shd stop it.
B: Bye tENT.
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