Saturday, June 25, 2005

No Nudity. No Violence. Unspeakable Obscenity

In The Aristocrats famous comedians from Robin Williams to Chris Rock to Phyllis Diller to Jon Stewart tell their versions of a joke involving every imaginable form of sexual perversion in graphic detail: incest, scatology, bestiality and sadism, these funny humans include it all and more.
So what's the joke? Basically, it's this: a guy walks into a talent agent's office and says he has a terrific family act. The act, the guy explains, involves a husband who comes out onstage with his wife and two kids.

What follows is the part that can't be told in this publication, or most others, but it's the point at which each comedian in the film cuts loose in a can-you-top-this exercise in pornographic oratory. Cut to the kicker where the talent agent asks, What's the name of the act? The answer comes: the Aristocrats.

The point of the joke, and the film, may be freedom of expression, or self-censorship, or what happens among professional comedians behind closed doors. But for practical purposes, the joke is so absurdly obscene that the viewer is shocked into hilarity, or deep offense. Or possibly both. The conundrum for those marketing the film is encapsulated in its tagline: "No nudity. No violence. Unspeakable obscenity."
NY Times reports (registration needed to read the report - it's free) that producers of the film are wondering about how to sell this movie about the dirtiest joke ever told?

Well, they don't have to (at least to me). I am already intrigued.
(Yeah, yeah, I have got smut on my mind).

Producers are releasing the documentary in the US without any rating. Had it been submitted for a rating, The Aristocrats would have received a NC-17 rating reserved for films with explicit sexual images. Yet The Aristocrats features nothing more than talking heads.

Will the documentary make it to the Indian shores? I doubt. And even if it does, will it make past the Indian censors?

No comments: