1961-1970BelgiumEroticaExperimentalRoland LethemThe Films of May '68

Roland Lethem – Le sexe enragé aka The Red Cunt (1970)


This film was made in the 70’s, with Jean-Pierre Bouyxou. The superimpositions at the end are in some ways influenced by Etienne O’Leary’ stuff : Lethem didn’t saw the films, but Bouyxou was talking to him so much about these movies that if influenced him surely…

This is part of the “belgian underground” with Patrick Hella, Noel Godin, etc…

Roland Lethem (born 1942) is a Belgian filmmaker and writer.

Influenced at his beginnings by Buñuel, Cocteau, the surrealists and by the Japanese cinema (Seijun Suzuki, Ishirō Honda, Kōji Wakamatsu, Yoko Ono), stunned by the Festival of the film expérimental of Knokke in 1967 and by May 1968, Roland Lethem wants to push the people to look at the things of which they say they are freed, it’s to say to place them in front of their responsibilities. Even if sometimes the results leaves much to be desired, the idea of each one of his films is seductive and exemplary. A fact is certain, his films are disturbing, they are sometimes unpleasant to look at. The narcissistic and provocative play of the debuts turned itself into direct, visual, and verbal insult, and in slandering. His dream was one moment to be able to film the intimate life of the pope or the sexual plays of the Belgian sovereigns. Through violence, pornography and cruelty of some scenes, Roland Lethem is a gentle, generous man with of a lot of humour. The work of Roland Lethem evolves, becomes political, ecological. La Ballade des amants maudits (The Ballad of the cursed lovers, 1966) or La Fée sanguinaire (The Bloodthirsty Fairy, 1968) still tell stories. Les Souffrances d’un oeuf meurtri (The Sufferings of a ravaged Egg, 1967), poem of love in several parts (Étoiles/Stars, Corps/Bodies, Hymen/Marriage or Hymen (ambiguous in French), Oeuf/Egg) dedicated to all who conceive and to all who are conceived, irresistibly makes you think at the Histoire de l’oeil (Story of the Eye, 1928) of Georges Bataille.

Some of the titles of his films include Le Saigneur est avec nous and Le sexe enragé. There are several thorough studies published on his films (Cinema/London, Skoop/Amsterdam) and Bandes de cons! (Bunch of Assholes!, 1970), his most famous film, was the subject of a seminar at the University of Amsterdam.

He frequently collaborated with Jean-Pierre Bouyxou and Jio Berk.



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