The Cannibalistic Councillor – La concejala antropofaga

The Cannibalistic Councillor - La concejala antropofaga

There is nothing more democratic than pleasure

I used to be quite anal about DVD Movie extras – for some enough to watch the film itself, not I. For me I would plough my way through every deleted scene, every interview of cast and crew – from director through lead actors through writers through costumers all the way through to the key-grips – what is a key-grip anyway?! – the box office theatre trailers, and on. Before I realized it was a kind of madness. These extras combined would outlast the length of the film itself – and then some.

Now I am weaned off DVD extras – not to the extent though that I won’t even see what is on offer. Sometimes they will provide an extra that is a work in and of itself. One such DVD was Pedro Almodóvar’s 2009 film Broken Embraces. On it was an eight-minute film ‘The Cannibalistic Councillor’, a short based on one of Broken Embrace’s incidental characters. He had liked the performance of the actor Carmen Machi so much that he decided to develop a new self-contained scene around her.

The Cannibalistic Councillor - table sceneThis short is a cast of three. The main star of Broken Embraces, Penelope Cruz herself, and Marta Aledo being the other two. However since we only see the Cruz character, Pina, briefly, pretty much just to say good-bye  and the Aledo character, Maribel, is seated, head slumped down on the kitchen-table for the majority of the short, it is really all about Machi. And Machi’s performance is a stream-of-consciousness monologue to camera of her character Chon on sex with a bit of politics thrown in. This short is 18 Certificate. The only quote that the IMDB give is the one that starts this post because most of the reason for the 18 Certificate is the film’s language, well leaving aside moments where she is snorting cocaine between bouts of digesting flan!

As said the Aledo character is slumping – we are not quite sure why – this is Almodóvar so she could actually be dead despite the obvious unconcern of Chon. She could also be asleep or passed out drunk or wasted. This gives Chon full-reign to expound her philosophy of sexual and political liberation to we the audience.

I had been looking for a script for this film on the web but could not find one. I am about therefore to include some of the lines and quotes featured. There is no 18 Certificate on the web – yet – but if you are easily offended by sexual language then reader move along now, nothing more to see here!

Chon is a Councillor of Social Affairs – hence half the title. The other half of the title will become all too apparent very shortly.

We have to recognize desire as the main driving force of a better society – when you desire someone you don’t usually wish them harm – unless they reject you that is

So she exclaims. And so far so political. Disappointed? Shame! You won’t have to wait long.

She then goes on to tell us how she plans to take a year’s sabbatical to write a book elaborating on her theories – “a book in which I describe the fantasies I have during council meetings, the opening of parks…opening masses to the Patron Saint of Madrid! On those as on all occasions all I think about is sex!”

I’m only interested in looking at the men’s asses, their feet, their packets

I could have placed an exclamation mark after each of those anatomy parts so described but resisted! Are you thinking what I’m thinking? Shame for you! – but if you are not familiar with the euphemism ‘packets’ – they are due north of the men’s asses – if they are lying down and staring at the sky or ceiling that is!

Going on to explain

that’s why I wear dark glasses, not from photophobia (!) …but to look wherever the fuck I want

She then goes on to explain to us that her interest started young, very young.

‘I started being interested in packets when I was four years old…I could grab them just by raising my hand…like someone picking fruit’ (! – the exclamation marks are always mine and I am having to suppress my use of them too!). Going on to explain that at first she was a great success before the men in her family and circle of friends began to become wary of her ‘unfortunately there was no paedophile and they started to move away as soon as they saw me coming!’ Is that funny? It was one of those moments when I instantly laughed then another voice almost the next instant reprimanded me in chiding tone as if to say ‘Did you just laugh at that?’! Yes I did oh finger-pointing voice in my head! We can laugh at horror and its monsters as well as being appalled and condemnatory of them…she finished by saying

I was marginalized at an early age – it’s very hard to be judged and rejected when you’re only three

…she’s now lost a year too!

But out of asses, packets and feet it is the latter that drive her most crazy – you may know that the Latin for feet is Ped and the Greek for love is Phillia – I am not going to make the obvious pun – Almodóvar does not make it either, perhaps because it does not translate in the Spanish tongue or because it is bad taste or worst that it is a bad pun?! Her love for feet – podophilia actually! – is more than merely smelling, touching, kissing them – she fantasizes about eating them – and hence the second half of the film’s title reveals itself!

She first digresses that the Councillor for Health told her that she prefers ‘big dicks and being hit by one before she puts it in her mouth’ – a sort of eating cock without the cannibalism! She replies to this Councillor that that is the problem with their political party

that we give the image of an old fashioned party rooted in the past – I like having my pharynx fucked too – like everyone!

Her party incidentally being a right wing Conservative party not that that is relevant in anyway other than to explain the following remark of hers that they could ‘win a lot of votes from bored socialists if they were aware that when I am eating dick I like to put – and I am paraphrasing here! – the man’s big toe in my cunt…’ and well let us just say she is only just getting warmed up…and I am not exactly clear why socialists knowing that of conservatives would be more inclined to vote for them either. I guess it humanises them!

She then goes on to explain to the unconscious woman and to us, the by now very conscious audience, (and very likely self-conscious too if we are not watching this alone!) that one of her fantasies is ‘to eat a whole man’ – a man mind not a woman – it must be the taste of those packets!…she shares that she has a a title for her book ‘Pig in the P.A.P’.  – PAP being the acronym for her political party but I must confess that in amongst her full-throated discourse I did not catch what it stood for – somehow I got distracted!

This was the climax of her vocal outpourings as she then toned it down – a tad – with reflections on fidelity and monogamy.

It is at about this point that the hitherto unconscious Maribel lifts her head up off the table – she had been sleeping afterall. The then waken woman reveals that she had been ‘out like a log’ and had a dream, strangely an erotic one at that! – about eating a man! She then expressed aloud that she thought that weird to which Chon replied

I think cannibalism is good for you – you look radiant – despite that print

She was referring to Maribel’s dress!. And so the story ends.

If only Almodóvar would extend this spin off conceit and see Cron’s book published!

The Cannibalistic Councillor - closing credits