Rex Mundi

More About the Language of Love


With its over-the-top portrait of a world gone wrong, its enormous cartoon characters with their crazy names, its excessive verbiage and its even more excessive carnality & brutality that More About the Language of Love is not a "realistic" portrait of the pornographic industry. It is a monstrous play, written as a shouted and pained vision of a word based entirely on exploitation.

The plays title is an ironic nod to the 1970 Swedish film Mera ur kärlekens språk, one of the first erotic films to gain mainstream cinema release in the West. Mera ur kärlekens språk is a gentle and, considering what came later, fairly non-exploitative depiction of human sexual activity, half-meant to be taken as an education film. JMC's play More About the Language of Love is an education in itself, not least in excess...

Lead character Rex Mundy's name is derived from Rex Mundi (image left) the Cathar name for the Devil, the "king of this world". Mundy the porn producer in the play is willing to exploit anyone and anything in order to turn a buck; no consideration of the old humanistic values - of care, of community, of sharing, of Art - trouble his mind as he puts his cast and crew through their daily paces. Under Mundy's misrule, human bodies are valued purely for their ability to bought and sold. People of no use to Mundy are so much discarded rubbish.

Whilst the play is meant as a nightmare vision, the play is not without a basis in reality. A few years before writing the play, JMC had read Deep Throat star Linda Lovelace's autobiography Ordeal, an account of the abuse she alledged suffered at the hands of her manager and husband, Chuck Traynor. The characters and stories of Laura Lovejuice and Chuck Powiss in More About the Language of Love owe more than a little to the narrative Lovelace recounts in Ordeal.

But despite such references, More About the Language of Love is best not taken as a play about pornography, a subject around which the author had no moral imperative at the time of writing. It is a terrifying vision. This vision is not without its own dark humour - one of its modes is comedy of excess - and if it works at all, it is on the level of discordant music, Rabelaisian exaggeration, wailed-out blues and the ritual re-enactment of Walpurgisnacht. It is the closest JMC has ever come to a theatrical tribute to his most admired film, Pier Paolo Pasolini's Salo, or The 120 Days of Sodom.

More About the Language of Love forms with The World & his Wife and another, never-performed play Something in the Entertainment World a loose triumvirate, named by JMC The World Trilogy, dealing with contemporary problems through a medieval prism envisioning The World, the Flesh and the Devil.

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