In societies where fight for status, wealth and power is intense, rivalrous and competitive obsessiveness especially amongst men, can also intensify the sexual drive. In such societies men sometimes can behave, as if, they perceive the “whole world” not only as rival for land and wealth, but also for possession of sexual objects. In history wars were almost never acted out without rape and enslavement including sexual one.

When Oedipus was just about several years old his parents king Laius and queen Jocasta heard the prophesy that their son, when he’ll grow up, will kill his father and marry his mother (not too unusual idea, if to remember the bloody intra-family rivalry for the throne in our past). This rumor made Laius suspiciously alert towards his son and… predatorily sexually insatiable with his wife. The shot above belongs to the “realistic”, not the mythological part of the film, to the time when Italian fascism was polishing its boots in preparation for future victories. No symbolic prophecies were in the air, but diffused blind aggressiveness was worming up in the unconscious of Oedipus’ father Laius, the young military man. And it already was targeting the vulnerable, weak, the helpless, the dissimilar.

In the still above we see Jocasta at a time when Oedipus just started to walk, who cannot believe in the sudden intensity of her husband’s sexual need – in his desire to make love to her again and again. But the hint of Pasolini’s images is that Laius’ sexual tirelessness has nothing to do with love and even sex. By feeling aggression towards the innocent happiness of his son Laius, as if, wanted to overpower all the real and imaginary competitors, to impose himself on the world, to blindly grab, mark and enlarge the “territory” of his unconditional power. Yes, unleashed sexuality is like a loose cannon – it has quite a large motivational field, and quite an absurd spots and pits.

Look attentively at Jocasta’s facial expression – she is smiling at her husband’s eccentric behavior, as if, she is full of a motherly loving condescension towards a capricious child. But looking at her face longer we see a painful grimace impregnating her smile – she barely can endure the necessity to put up with Laos’ despotic need to assert his power through immediate and narcissistically solar sexual release.

Posted on Apr, 28 2012 – Pier Paolo Pasolini’s “Edipo Re”/”Oedipus Rex” (1967) – Knowledge without Explanation Is Directed Against Those Who Need Knowledge The Most by Acting-Out Politics

Posted on Aug, 6 2014 – “Oedipus Rex” (1967) By Pier Paolo Pasolini by Acting-Out Politics