Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Short Film: Supervenus (France, 2014)

Supervenus is a meanly fun, experimental short film by France's Frédéric Doazan. It takes a look at the evolution of the ideals of female beauty. The short doesn't exactly offer an answer to the why behind the development in beauty standards, other than perhaps inferring (by the hands) that it is due to manly influences, but Doazan does take a quirky and bloody look at the excessive steps so many are willing to take to meet the given standards of any given time. We stumbled upon Doazan's short animation on one of our favorite websites, Short of the Week, and promptly decided it had to be a wasted life's Short Film of the Month for February.
As Street Anatomy points out, within the last 400 years alone physical preferences (and medical text books) went from the above (from: Valverde de Amusco, Juan, Anatomia del corpo humano, 1560) to the below (from: The Anatomical Basis of Medical Practice, 1971). Indeed, a truly noticeable evolution in the concept of the female ideal. An evolution that has hardly ended, as even the shapely forms found in the 1971 anatomy publication are themselves a far cry from the plastic-breasted anorexic Venuses of today's Playboy.*
* All in all, however, we here at a wasted life can understand the development in beauty standards far more easily than how the Republican Party can go from someone like Abraham Lincoln to Donald "Toadstool" Trump.
The title, of course, is a direct reference to that classic sexploitation flick of that great breast-fetishist Russ Meyer, namely Supervixens (1975 / trailer / featuring, among others, Haji and Uschi), one of the favorite films of the breast-fetishist behind a wasted life. But there is more to the short than just love pillows...

But when it comes to what Supervenus is about, well, Art Fucks Me says it better than we ever could: "Supervenus is […] is the modern vision of the Venus, the common ideal of beauty. Imagine a game that combines the legendary board game Operation and the endearing paper dolls we used to play within our childhood. Now, imagine how unpleasant a plastic surgery can be. Put it all together and the result will be Supervenus. In as little as 2:38 minutes, Frédéric Doazan achieves to deliver a quick (and creepy) review of the evolution of the concept of beauty in society and how the canons have changed over the years: the idea of eternal youth turned into an unhealthy obsession. Thus, in Supervenus we see the hands of surgeon opening an anatomy book where we discover a classic woman's body. Not satisfied with what he sees, his hands begin to operate, unscrupulously changing the figure of the woman and adapting it to the trends in plastic surgery: elongated neck and legs, sharp cheekbones, thin, wasp-like waist…"
According to Dioniso punk, Supervixens cost Frédéric Doazan about 10 euro to make, but ten months to complete. Impressive.
And ladies, remember:
"We must, we must, we must
do something to improve our bust.
The bigger the better
the tighter the sweater
the boys depend on us."

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