A Film by Carola Schmidt WE BEG YOU TO SEDUCE US! was Awarded the Diagonale Prize for best Newcomer Film.
Text by Carly Fisher
’We Beg You to Seduce Us’ is a travel through a young woman’s mind that is strung out between old victorian virtues and a contemporary life style.
We find ourselves in Surrealistic settings and expressionistic film inspired worlds, that reminiscence eclectically of films like Wiene’s ’The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari’ (1919), Luhrmann’s ’Moulin Rouge’ (2001) and Maddin’s The Saddest Music in the World (2003).
The main character is played by the artist Carola Schmidt herself. In the film she is presenting the artist as a sinner, as someone who is empri- soned, struggeling with social adaptability and conventions.
Schmidt looks at a drawing of a staircase that is perfectly identical with a staircase in the film and thereby creates confusement about who or what is in control. Schmidt is insinuating that what we see is already a plan, but leaves it up to the viewer to decide whether it is destiny or sub- jective control.
The most interesting about her film is how she creates characters that shift in representation. A male seducer and joker suddenly plays a priest that is being seduced.
Schmidt’s character shifts betweeen being seducer and being seduced and her character also suggest a shift between mentor and student.
The film is filled with metaphorical elements such as doll heads that are being destroyed. The destruction of pretty little doll heads seem like a struggle of having to deal with gender representation, like the film is ambigious about the role play, at times Schmidt herself acts both the role of seducer, punisher, sinner and mentor. When Schmidt on the stairs meet an asian woman dressed like a geisha, a dancing couple and a younggirl, she looks at them in both puzzlement and admiration. Are all these people like in a dream part of her subconscious mind? The film mixes bourgeouis and Victorian lifestyle in a contemporary surrealistic fashion. The costumes are clearly inspired by the Victorian period and a promenade like setting references a debutants first public appearance. Schmidts reveals a great deal of humour when in a scene the joker pushes her into a void with a parasuit and she lands safely on ground but stuck in the parasuit she corrects her dress almost as if to look nice for an audience. Also after her confession where she, dressed as a starlet with sunglasses on, mentions that she lost her ear and earring, she ironically keeps on mentioning the lost earring as if too point towards a form of banality. As if to suggest that the earring is more important to her than her ear. ITS MY MIND THAT TORTURES ME In a Catholic confession box Schmidt confesses to the aroused priest (again played by NHOAH) that her mind tortures her, but right after confessing Schmidt suddenly ends up in a desert where she dances and celebrates as if everything (the whole film) was just a dream and that she made up all these restrictional fantasies herself. Hence it is her mind that tortures her, she is a prisoner of her own mind and everything that happens to her is self-inflicted. The magnificent state of the art soundtrack is composed by musical artist & music producer NHOAH, who is well known for his avant garde elektropunk & tango projects.