Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Sweet Movie

 Dušan Makavejev, 1974

It may not be the film he set out to make (due to Carol Laure"s quitting mid shoot,) but with Sweet Movie Dušan went about as far as he could go in constructing a satiric allegory of political oppression and repression in sexual terms, to the point where most folk still find it impenetrable.  The images above and below come from the first half of the film and are taken from that part of the narrative that was originally planned, the story of Miss Canada’s transformation into Miss World and her short unhappy marriage to Mr Kapital, her being carried off by Jeremiah Muscle, on orders from her mother in law, to his layer within a giant milk bottle after which she is stuffed in a suit case and flown as cargo to Paris; there, up on the Eiffel Tower, she copulates with a Mariachi star, El Macho, but they get locked together in penis captivus when they’re interrupted by a flock of nuns.

Miss World next finds herself in Otto Meuhl's commune where his group attempt to heal her and themselves through various forms of regression therapy.  It was after Carole Laure walked off (supposedly because she was required to fondle an actual penis) that  Dušan added the secondary narrative that represented the pseudo-communist societies of Eastern Europe as a boat loaded with sugar and candy bearing a giant mask of Karl Marx on the prow.  This boat is captained by Anna Planeta who picks up a young sailor from the Potemkin, whom she warns to not fall in love with her.  Of course after repeated warnings he does just the same and she stabs him to death in a vat of sugar.  She then goes on to seduce and murder various adolescent boys, who break out of their transparent body bags (after she has been arrested,) which have been hauled off the boat and set down on the riverbank.  Some see this ending as a sign of the boys' rebirth, but I've always taken it more as an acknowledgement of play.  Miss World's narrative is resumed and completed in the coda, which shows her performing in an obscene commercial for chocolate.  I do not believe that she drowns in it, but by the end she does seem pretty much overwhelmed.

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