Whore of Babylon

by Kiko Matsing

Madonna reciting verses from the Book of Revelations about the great Beast with ten horns and seven heads:

She was describing though the Madonna of Justify My Love who presented a sophisticated, Old World sensuality with a flavor of the fin-de-siècle decadence of Visconti (Death in Venice), the bleakness of Resnais (Last Year at Marienbad), and the ennui of Antonioni (L’Avventura).

The Madonna however who contorts herself in The Beast Within looks forced as those conceptual art videos one finds installed in an empty room in museums. Her apocalyptic recitation and rich Asiatic dress, which tries to evoke the Whore of Babylon, just feels sexless, contrived. It is explicitly textual rather than sensual.

The whore alas has lost her mystique.

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