Without wanting to appear flippant or crass, Casanova doesn’t die fast enough in Albert Serra’s The Story of My Death; I left at the two-hour mark.
The Story of My Death is an imagining of life at the turn of the 18th century, when rationalism gives way to Romanticism, as told through the journey of Casanova and his valet. The duo encounters artists and women beginning at a Swiss chateau and eventually traveling to the Carpathians, where they end up in the presence of another famous figure of the period, Dracula.
Classified as “LGBT interest” at this year’s Vancouver International Film Festival, there is virtually no connection to our community. Early-on Casanova asks a young man whether he likes boys and gets the response “No, I like girls” and later there is a reference to abuse of young girls and boys, but unless the LGBT content comes in the last 18 minutes of the film I did not see, or Serra is somehow equating pedophilia with being queer, there is nothing of LGBT interest here.
Along with scenes of an aging Casanova eating a woman’s feces and having sex with another woman resulting in a broken window, we also hear many sounds of eating and defecating or eating and breathing, plus interminable long shots of people staring into the middle distance.
But maybe I am a philistine. Check out the clip below and if it appeals, know there are a lot of scenes like it. And if you happen to be able to watch to the end, I’d be interested in knowing if it queered up at all.
Repeat screening at 9pm on Friday, October 4, 2013 at the International Village cinemas. Visit http://www.viff.org for tickets and information.