Fabodjantan (1978)

Erotica films are a blast to watch, and not for the obvious reason. It actually takes a bit of creativity to tie together a bunch of sex into some coherent whole, and, ideally, have a bit of a message in the meantime. This film came by way of recommendation as a bit silly but very Swedish.

Set in a small village in Sweden, the story centers around Viking legend, namely a horn alleged to be use by the village priestess to get the women all hot and bothered upon the return of the Viking warriors. Now, this could be problematic in that it reduces women a bit to sexually providing for men, but it is more truthfully pagan, like the Vikings. It is animalistic in its sexuality. Indeed, one of the central conflicts is between our main character who is sexually active, and the more conservative, missionary Christians. In many ways the film is about throwing off the sexual bonds of the monotheists. You get a little interesting discussion about why the horn might work. Magic? Physics? Psychology? That the men aren’t controlled by the horn yet behave in this way says a bit about gender vis a vis sexual inhibitions as well.

I suppose to the film’s credit (or my credit/discredit), I saw a few things in this that I hadn’t ever seen before in my life, things Chasing Amy only partially prepared me for. This film is unhesitatingly hardcore. And according to the points I laid out in my essay about authentic sexuality, this film complies plenty of male and female nudity and from a fairly wide ranging cast in terms of body type. This being pre-obesity epidemic (and in Sweden where the epidemic hasn’t raged so much anyway), no one is particularly out of shape, but some are a bit older and none look artificial. This is not a world of hairlessness and fake breasts. Just honest girl next door attractiveness.

This film is boldly long for a film of its nature. I guess it’s a good value or something if you are using it for less pure purposes than critical analysis and it checks off most of the boxes for sexual configurations. However as a film proper, it is exhausting just watching it. Still, it was a bit sexy, a bit funny and had just enough thematic weight to qualify as a shining example of the genre.

4/5

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3 Responses to Fabodjantan (1978)

  1. Jessica says:

    “This being pre-obesity epidemic (and in Sweden where the epidemic hasn’t raged so much anyway), no one is particularly out of shape, but some are a bit older and none look artificial. This is not a world of hairlessness and fake breasts.”

    It’s a striking observation. It’s not THAT old, 33 years, but things have certainly changed rapidly when it comes to the view on body ideals. The hair phobia must have striked somewhere during this time, but I can’t remember exactly when.

    To be honest I remember the movie as pretty bad, which I guess is the state of art for pornographic movies. But it does have a certain charm, if nothing else for giggles and to get an exotic view of what’s going on in the Swedish forests…

    • Bondo says:

      Well, these things have to be evaluated in relative terms of what it goes for. Simply not being offensive or revolting is half the battle because there is plenty of that out there. A lot of the typical concerns like acting quality kind of get thrown out the window.

  2. Pingback: Do cult movies deserve our feministic rage? « The Velvet Café

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