My Vinyl Treasures: Mondo Cane

“My Vinyl Treasures” record posts are a result of one of my ongoing covid-19 self-quarantine projects, cataloguing many records of various genres I have acquired through the years. It should go without saying, that whatever I post here, I like and you should check it out.

This record is the soundtrack to Mondo Cane (1962), a film that might be considered one of the first shockumentaries ever made. The music is geared towards the masses (classical, easy listening, jazzy) to accompany mostly a compilation of filmed rituals and customs considered strange to western audiences. Footage of brutality (food gathering), mating rituals, spiritual rituals for fame, money and health are included. However when footage of some U.S. behaviors are thrown in the mix; aligning strange western rituals with those of other cultures, you are compelled to understand how it all ties together to give a fascinating picture of the human condition at a certain place in time, not that long ago.

By the way, this record is a great example of vinyl gems you can find in the cheap bins if you look hard enough. Purchased in San Francisco at Streetlight Records in the early 1980’s ($1.50!) the cover jacket has somehow not crumbled in my hands and the vinyl plays with just the right amount of snap, crackle and pop to comfort a vinyl junkie like me. While this music provides tension and incongruity to much of the footage, it is pretty easy listening for the most part; but the movie can be harsh. The film Mondo Cane can be found in the library of one of the largest streaming movie platforms available. Much of this documentary is not for the faint of heart – you’ve been warned. Get out of your culture.

©Judy Ornelas Sisneros. All rights reserved.

Judy Ornelas Sisneros

About Judy Ornelas Sisneros

I am a native Californian, born and raised in Bakersfield and eventually escaping to San Jose then San Francisco where I spent every free moment in punk and post-punk culture spaces before heading to LA permanently in 1989. I have also spent major time as an AIDS and queer street activist, which today along with my passion for punk/alternative music still informs my personal and social life. I love photography, film and playing punk/post-punk stuff on the bass. My LA Beat contributions are usually photos that give a glimpse into the vibrant art and music scene that makes Los Angeles such an amazing city to live in today.
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