Sebastien Tellier is an aesthetic genius—that much is certain. The long hair, beard, suits, melodies, the voice dripped in pure sex, orchestral arrangements, and the hushed orgasmic groans from female vocalists all produce a complete vision of a man hell-bent on seducing listeners. He is Serge Gainsbourg on acid. He is a movie, an oeuvre unto himself.
Tellier’s greatest strength, however, might well be his surreal sense of humor, which is on full display in the absurdist erotica of the “Cochon Ville” music video.
Tellier stands at the center of a circular disco scene, costumed in a blue robe, eyes set wide by either hallucinogens or cocaine (perhaps both). He holds a guitar as if he were a rock-alchemist, a synthesis of Alejandro Jodorowsky, Dušan Makavejev’s “Sweet Movie,” Cerrone, “Eyes Wide Shut” and David Bowie, while on either side of him men in hooded robes with illuminated eyes back him on bass and synthesizer. All around a surreal, transgressive orgy of delight and depravity unfolds, and through it all he seems as pleased as a god.
A man stands with his cock festooned in rhinestones, while a girl gazes in awe. Naked women do backward cartwheels and fondle ample breasts with their toes. A girl beckons a photographer to come closer to get a better shot of her honey patch. Another strokes a doggie. Others play flutes (very pagan) as if they are both calling on the sexual energy of Pan and shoving a prick in their mouths.
In a word: brilliant. Georges Bataille would be proud. As my French roommate instructed me, “cochon” translates to “pig” but describes a person who is into kinky sex.
Watch the music video below, as well as the making of the “Cochon Ville” video.