Comments on watching and making films.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

DVD - Sweet Movie

The 70's has long been considered America's golden age of filmmaking. In a time when the studio's were in flux, Independents were rushing through the door, stealing everything that wasn't tied down, and leaving, in their wake, an incredible legacy of films that have inspired every generation of filmmaker after them, and have stayed strong in the hearts of their fans (Star Wars, The Godfather, etc.). The late sixties and seventies also saw a lot of Avant Garde filmmakers break into semi mainstream arena's. Dusan Makavejev's Sweet Movie is exactly that - An Avant Garde film that has just enough story to sell itself as a mainstream film.

Sweet Movie is hard to break down into a digestible paragraph. It involves two stories, both about young women. One, Miss Canada is competing in a virginity contest to marry a Texas millionaire. She ends up running away on their wedding night, meeting a spanish music star in Paris, and ending up in a perverted commune. In the second story, a woman pilots a ship full of candy and meets a Russian sailor who comes on and makes love to her. That's about as much as I can say.

Sweet Movie is one of those strange films, like Mr. Freedom, that tries to combine some kind of a plot with a lot of artistic posturing. The film is, at its core, an attempt to get in the face of its audience. Normally films like this also try to make you question things, but, I'm not sure this particular film does that. It just gets in your face, especially in a scene in which the woman who is piloting the boat brings a couple of young boys on the ship, shows them the candy room, and then proceeds to dress in an incredibly slinky piece of lingerie, seducing the young boys as she slowly peels off what little clothes she is wearing. She, eventually, and almost naked, pulls one of the boys aside into a bunk, closing the privacy curtain behind them, presumably to have sex with him. It's, basically, repulsive. Ms. Canada goes through a similar cringe inducing situation in which, in a catatonic state, she is dropped off in a collective who's primarily goal seems to do whatever they have to do to disgust each other, including eating their meals, and then throwing them up in front of each other. Sweet Movie is not for the faint of heart, or the soft of stomach. It definitely isn't as bad as Salo, or something like that, but it can be disgusting at times.

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