YO-YO RATED

by Derek WOOLFENDEN
2006 / Mini DV / color-b&w / sound / 1S / 20' 00

YO-YO/Rated is both an installation and a montage of pre-existing images (archive footage from the Fete de L'Humanite, television news broadcasts and game shows, variety shows, films, animation, the military parade of the 14th of July, the Internet). The installation consists of two friends masturbating in front of the camera, competing to see who ejaculates first and defeats the morass of imagery confronting them. Neither succeeds - proof of the contemporary incapacity to assert oneself on either a social or a moral level. It's a eulogy of failure, total defeat and virile humiliation (one of the friends gets a semi-hard on; the other doesn't get it up at all); of a volontary and proudly claimed regression to a more primitive and instinctive state of being. The installation reveals our current taboos in a ritual and comic fashion: the performance cannot be taken seriously; its protagonists progressively denounce all the accessories and the staging devices designed to achieve the general impotence of all concerned, from the actors themselves right up to the director.
The second part of the film uses a montage of found footage to suggest the presence of something beyond or facing the installation (a television? a computer?) which would explain, or even justify, the impotence of the two accomplices. These days, nothing will turn you on.
The film ends with a combination of fireworks and gunshots: a final bouquet which can be interpreted as the funereal eulogy of a friendship threatened by separation, similiar to the wrenching effects of the passage from childhoood to adulthood, as reflected by the title of the film: from the child playing with yo-yos to the adult making films which will be judged by a Commission, aka censors, judges, fathers!

"The humanisation of man is the scaffolding upon which the image of the Father is built (...)
The book-keepers will never admit that every murder is marked by patricide
They will never admit that when the image of the Father is erased from society, it is replaced by that of the Idol
Whatever the name of the Idol (...) the tyrant is always a caricature of the demonetized Father.
(Pierre Legendre, La Fabrique de l'Homme Occidental)

1 PRINT IN DISTRIBUTION


distribution format Mini DV (PAL)
screen 4/3 (single screen)
speed 25 fps
sound sound
original language English & French
translation French (Sous-titrage)
rental fee 38,00 €