Santa Sangre Review

 

Santa Sangre Review

I kept multitasking when I was watching the first half of this film named Santa Sangre because it was boring and most things there were just obscure symbols and metaphors. But when the film went to the end I found it really interesting. So here I would like to talk about the things I noticed.

Just like Jodorowsky’s other films, this film is mainly about his childhood in a surreal way. Some famous directors at that times loved using theory of Freud’s to construct their films’ basic forms, so we can interpret and understand them in a freudian way.

The father in Santa Sangre was a typical male chauvinist. In most films of this kind, the mother would always play a weak role but in this film it’s totally different — this mother was an aggressive woman just like her husband.

The main effect of the father on the leading role — his son, was that he taught his son how to be sadistic (throwing knifes to lovers, etc) and got an eagle tattooed on his chest just like himself. In fact, this was a symbol of a typical male citizen in a society ruled by men. But here in this film, the difference was that those effects from father were actually far less than those from leading role’s mother, whose arms were once cut off by the raging husband.

After the mother lost her arms, the son has always played the role of the mother’s arms on stage. As time went by, the son’s arms seem to completely belong to his mother, and he even wanted to make his head disappear so that he could serve his mother well. And yeah, he even wanted to be his mother.

One day he found a lover and they planned to play the sadism & masochism game his father taught when he was a little boy. When they started, the illusion of his mother appeared and asked him to kill the lover. The arms of his suddenly became his mother’s, and his lover was killed.

The next part was a story of this little man and his new crush. She was as powerful as a typical man and when the little guy first saw her, the film director Jodorowsky used a image of a creepy snake to show the guy’s sexual desire for the woman, which in Freudian theory means genital. They went back to the theater and the man wanted to show his talent in circus. When he started performing, the illusion of his mother appeared again and suddenly used his arms to kill his strong lover.

It was a typical fragment of freudian psychoanalysis too. Many people who suffer from the oedipus complex have a fetish for powerful women. They always try to find more powerful women than their mothers to develop their empathy, but obviously this man failed this time.

The last part of the film was the reunion of the young man and his dumb first love in childhood’s circus. They went back to the old place and the girl wore the same makeup and clothes as when she was a little kid. At that moment, as you can easily conjecture, the illusion of his mother emerged, but this time he felt the strength of love and he started to fight with the illusion with a knife. Finally the illusion of his mother was killed.

It seemed like a happy ending though they had to get out of the door and raise their hands to the police. What would happen next was no longer important because the man was finally able to control his own arms and not being tortured by the illusion. In a simple way, yes, he had already got over the shadows from childhood.

However, I would like to give an interpretation from another point of view.

Take a closer look at the beginning of this film, the father couldn’t agree with the religious belief the mother was into, and he rushed to the church to take away his son. At that time, the mother didn’t seem to care about her son, she only cared about the church and her belief. But when the church was flattened, the mother gave up the resistance and held her son crying, at that time her choice was her son.

So, the mode of religion — the mother — the son, was just like later the mode of the mother — the man — the first love. There was no huge difference between the guy and his mother. Although he was trying to defeat the shadows from childhood, the way he chose was no different from his mother.

Also, take a look at the flattened church and the final quotation from Psalms, they also made a perfect contradiction.

The director’s attitude was totally a mystery. He neither praised the power of love nor anti-religion. The film itself contains a lot of positions but it doesn’t clearly indicate one of them, which is very clever and tricky, and makes people think a lot more: what is the attitude of this film for religion? And what is the attitude of this film to the patriarchy or matriarchy? Is this really all about the successful salvation?

Santa Sangre 影评

首刷这部电影,一边打游戏一边看的,应该遗漏了很多细节,看完了感觉挺喜欢的,就拿我有印象的部分讲讲。电影前半部分很闷,有一些不那么明显的隐喻,所以我全在打游戏,后面开始进入正题之后还是相当精彩的。

男主的父亲是一个男性沙文主义者,然而母亲的设定并没有按照老套路的弱势群体来,而是同样非常强势的一方。父亲对男主的主要影响就是在他胸前纹下了鹰(呼应开头在精神病院的情景),教会了他催情,以及捆绑爱人并掷刀子的S倾向(其实就是典型男性为统治的社会的boy们自带的buff),但这种影响远不及被父亲砍断了双臂的母亲的影响。

在母亲失去双臂之后,男主一直都是扮演舞台上母亲的双臂的角色。男主的手几乎完全属于了他的母亲,他甚至希望学习隐身术让自己的头消失,好为他的母亲服务,甚至完全成为母亲。在他和爱人玩SM游戏的时候,对儿子的充满占有欲的母亲的形象幻象出现,命令他将手中的刀拿起杀死爱人,于是又一个爱人被杀死。我认为这个片段可以稍微过度阐释一下,可以解读为母权与父权斗争中母权的一次胜利。于是接下来关于父亲对男主影响的部分就不那么重要了。

接下来的部分,男主见到强势女性时有蛇(表示男性生殖器官,说明对此种女性产生了性欲望)的幻象出现。他带着一个强壮的女性(哈哈哈哈哈哈笑死我了片中亮点自寻)回到剧场,给她表演的途中母亲的幻象再次出现,操控男主的双臂将这位“爱人”也杀死,男主大喊着让那位强壮的女性把他的双臂砍掉,然而最终失败,那位女性还是被他精神分裂出的母亲形象杀死了。其实这也是特别精神分析式的片段,描述一部分受不健康的恋母情结操控的人作出的选择,也就是将这种情感移情到一位更强势的女性身上。但男主失败了。

最后面的片段是男主童年马戏团的初恋哑巴情人重新来到了原来的地方,化上了当时的妆,穿上了那时的衣服(为啥还穿的进去啊= =),此刻男主感觉到了爱情的力量,然而母亲的形象再次出现,又命令他拿起刀将姑娘杀死,在和母亲幻象的博弈下,男主最终将刀刺进了母亲的身体,而非再次杀死爱人。

导演很巧妙地将他们接吻的形象、背景里楼梯上母亲曾经坐过的而此刻空荡荡的椅子放在一个镜头里。当然这样的巧妙的镜头很多。

结局大家都喜闻乐见,男主和真爱走出门,对面是警察,命令他们举起手,男主却感到高兴,因为他终于可以操控自己的双臂了。由真爱的出现而终于弑母成功,摆脱了童年阴影,温馨浪漫的爱情故事啊。

然而,我又忍不住开脑洞了,不喜欢过度解释的可以跳过下面这几段。

回想一下开始的一个片段,母亲信仰的宗教,父亲无法认同,气势汹汹地将儿子带走,而母亲并没有关心儿子的意思,此刻母亲选择的是她的信仰。而到教堂被铲平之时,母亲却是放弃抵抗,抱着儿子痛哭,这时她选择了她的儿子。

那么宗教-母亲-儿子这个模式,就照应了后来的母亲-男主-初恋的模式,母亲信仰“邪教”而对家人不管不顾到放弃宗教紧护儿子,同男主从想要让自己的头彻底消失完全变成母亲的双臂的想法到弑杀母亲的幻象和初恋在一起的想法,实际上并没有太大的差别。男主真正在抵抗的是童年阴影(父权、母权的双重影响)带来的种种后遗症,而他选择的方式与他的母亲无异。最后出现的警察、宗教引用段落(与前面铲平宗教相呼应),也表明了影片立场不明的态度,它既没有歌颂爱情的伟大,也没有表明反宗教有多酷。

片中本身就包含很多立场的议题,但并不表明立场,这很高明也很装逼,所以我喜欢。究竟这个片对于宗教是什么态度?究竟这个片对父权/母权是什么态度?这个片是关于妈妈和老婆同时掉进水里到底该救谁吗?这个片的结局真的是自我救赎的成功吗?

正如我们看这个片时总想代入各种精神分析一样,所以,在看这个片的时候,我们究竟是应该循着弗洛伊德的老调子走呢,还是杀死弗洛伊德?