Meat Love (1989) by Jan Švankmajer: Saturday Night Short Film #15
Why am I so aroused?
Saturday Night Short Film is a weekly series where I take aim at short films. In my opinion they are overlooked as a medium but are just as important as feature films creatively. The point of the Saturday Night Short Film series is not to give a full review, but to casually mention a different short film each week. There’s a little discussion but it’s mostly meant to shine a light. Meat Love is Saturday Night Short Film #15.
I’ve covered another short film by Jan Švankmajer but honestly, I just think the man was ridiculously talented so I cherish any excuse to explore another flick in his filmography. This time I picked what may be the most sexually enticing flick I’ve ever seen. Porn? Pfft, nah! When I want to see filthiness I go to a Czech surrealist with a penchant for stop-motion animation.
For the uninitiated, Meat Love is about two slabs of meat that decide to get it on. The title may have given that away, but is it really love? The first piece slaps the ass of the second piece and then after a very brief moment of hesitation the fun begins. Questionable–by 2021 standards–behaviour of the male piece aside, it’s raunchy, it’s passionate, and it lasts a minute. It’s my sex life.
In all seriousness, it’s not one of Švankmajer’s best. He had certainly done a lot of silly work throughout his storied career, but Meat Love feels so insubstantial. Sure, as always, the stop-motion animation is splendid, but once you get past the novelty of food having intercourse there’s not really a lot here. It’s not especially clever in either message or humour, which is a real shame.
Fortunately it is such a miniscule little film that it can’t really have time to overstay its welcome, either. I mean really, if you can get that bored in a minute then that’s probably projection on your end. Regardless, this is not where I’d point people who are unfamiliar with this legend. They can’t all be winners.
He felt uncomfortable with how graphic this short was.