The concept behind Destricted was this: six directors were given complete artistic freedom to express their ideas on sex and pornography. The result was a movie that was completely different than any I, and by their reactions, any other audience member had ever seen. Essentially the film was an art house porno, a union of genres that proved to be one of the strangest experiences I had ever had in a movie theater.
I couldn't really conceive of becoming aroused at really any point during the film, in fact I didn't even want to look at the screen for long portions of it, as long periods were given over to explicit close ups of people performing either very personal or very bizarre sexual acts. During these times I found it captivating to look at the audience, whose faces spanned a gamut of emotions from raucous amusement to out right horror. After about half an hour I noticed the first person walk out, by the end close to two thirds of the audience had left. A Q & A period with four of the directors followed the movie; however, no one had any idea what to say. After a few confused and halt thought out questions awkwardness descended with lots of uneasy laughter and shifting eyes. No one knew what to make of it, and I can't say that I blamed them; Destricted was a truly odd assault on the mind.
One can't really understand this movie entirely until forced to sit through it, but I feel that in the interest of giving you a general idea of what this film is, I should describe a few of its segments. The first film was Hoist by Matthew Barney. I think this was meant to show how disturbing the sexual union of organic and mechanical is. Perhaps as a commentary on the encroachment of technology on the previously completely natural sexual act, i.e. the advent of recorded pornography and sexual devices; although, Barney's film is so unbelievably grotesque it is conceivable he simply wanted to produce some of the most shocking footage ever. In short a man, of whom all we can see is a torso and legs covered in moss and with a bulbous tuber like plant protruding from the rectum, smears his seamen on the rotating drive shaft of a six ton truck suspended from a crane. He then proceeds to grind his penis into the rotating car part for several minutes, most of which I spent in utter shock or watching the disgust play out on the faces of the audience. After Hoist I knew that this was going to be a profoundly strange movie.
Marina Abramovic, with Balkan Erotic Epic, brings out the bizarre sexual traditions of Balkan lore, including a group of men penetrating the earth to ensure an abundant harvest, and women running to and fro thrusting their vaginas into the rain to bring about good weather. Gasper Noe's "We F*&k Alone" is a long and creepy piece which uses a strobe effect that will give you seizures. Meant to show the depravity of sex with the human interaction removed this film switched between a girl engaging in self-pleasure in a room with only her teddy bears and a man watching pornography and having disturbing intercourse with a blow-up doll. The other films, Sam Taylor Wood's Onan: Death Valley, Marco Brambilla's Sync and Larry Clark's Impaled, each depict similarly explicit explorations of similar topics. Overall I would recommend Destricted only to those who don't mind being utterly shocked.