Le Petomane, Fin-de-Siecle Fartiste | Chicago Reader

Le Petomane, Fin-de-Siecle Fartiste

Only die-hard fans of the fart joke will enjoy this hour-long specimen, about a turn-of-the-century performer who's said to have used his intestines as a musical instrument. Besides the snippets of what looks like early film footage, attempts at humor include interviews with straight-faced experts: a musicologist observes dryly that “it's still a taboo subject”; a collector gloats over banal devices reputed to have been used by the artist both onstage and off. One of video maker Igor Vamos's previous demonstrations of the mythmaking power of the documentary style was BLO Nightly News, which concerned the politically motivated sabotage of talking Barbie and G.I. Joe dolls.

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