They say that variety is the spice of life. In a continuing attempt to embrace that variety here with One Movie Each Day, I’ve decided to dedicate each Wednesday review to the stranger side of cinema, it’s Wednesday Weirdness… and it’s back with a vengeance.
What the hell did I just watch?
That was my reaction upon finishing today’s movie, the bizarre 1974 experimental art film, Sweet Movie. I actually watched this movie just after I posted last yesterday’s entry, but in twenty odd hours since then, I’ve been unable to figure out what I can possibly say about it.
The film written and directed by Serbian filmmaker Dusan Makavejev and filmed in both France and Canada, it wants to be socio-sexual farce, (I think). It is is, (undoubtedly), a product of its age. With the social revolutions that began in the early sixties more than a decade underway, and AIDS still a few years off, the fringe of society where experimental films like this get made had clearly gone absolutely nuts.
One’s mind truly boggles at the minds that created and produced this movie, (not to mention the large quantity and variety of drugs that were doubtless involved.) This movie starts fairly tame but by the time the last half hour rolls around it features all manner of nudity and emissions of bodily substances. It’s clear, however that all of this is not intended to titillate, but to offend… everyone… ever.
The film features two distinct narratives, the first involves Miss Canada (Carole Laure), who, as the winner of some sort of televised virginity contest, has the opportunity to marry Mr Kapital (John Vernon). Unfortunately, the wedding night goes badly, and when Miss Canada threatens to file for divorce Kapital’s family has her shipped (via suitcase) to Paris, where she gets wrapped up in a series of increasingly bizarre events.
While the plot wasn’t making a lot of sense to begin with, it just sort of ends. The reason for this is that Laure, who spends most of the movie looking like she’s about to walk off the set, finally just up and quit the picture. I can’t say I blame her. The movie is that messed up.
The second plot involves a woman captaining a ship, slowly sailing down the canals of some European city. The ship boasts a giant figurehead of Karl Marx, and is stocked full of sugar and candy. She lures young men and boys aboard the ship, seduces them, and kills them. I think this is supposed to be commenting on the evils of communism, or, more probably, how Soviet communism is a perversion of proper Marxism. In any case, it’s super messed up.
The movie isn’t entirely without merit. The music is very well put together, combining original compositions, classical pieces, and communist propaganda anthems. There’s fantastic use of color, and use of the visual medium. Sadly, too much of the time that picture is of a grown man pissing on himself, or of… honestly I don’t even want to think about it.
This isn’t the worst movie ever, it clearly has something to say… about… something. I’m sure there are those out there that like “challenging” themselves by watching “shocking” things, Sweet Movie will probably be right up their alley. It’s weird. It’s probably too weird…. too weird for the internet. However the worst part about it is that I think it’s ruined Animal House for me, because I’m never going to be able to look at John “Dean Wormer” Vernon again, without thinking about Mr. Kapital’s goldmember. For that alone, Sweet Movie is absolutely Not Worth Seeing.