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The pleasure of watching | Brentano

Romeo Castellucci's short film Brentano (35 mm, B/N, duration: 26 minutes, 1994-1995) is built around the bidirectional convention "to watch"/"to be watched". In a central scene, the main character inserts a coin in a "peep show" which represents human orgies, and watches, behind the glass, himself being subjected to a condition of voluntary and involuntary bodily abuse. The hero becomes addicted, and keeps inserting more coins, revelling in the spectacle from two different perspectives. The central role in the orgy scene is assumed by himself, as he becomes simultaneously the object and the subject of his perversion. Brentano is a little known film, liberally based on a novel by Robert Walser, starring Paolo Tonti, who was sensational in his interpretation of Hamlet in the performance of the Socìetas Raffaello Sanzio bearing the same title. Read more on the function of the gaze in the theatre of Romeo Castellucci here. Watch some footage from Brentano here, and, in the nightmarish universe where the hero descends, discover fragments of two major Socìetas Raffaello Sanzio productions: Masoch - I trionfi del teatro come potenza passiva, colpa e sconfitta and the Orestea (una commedia organica?).

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