Sweet Movie

( 2 )

Overview

Like his WR: Mysteries of the Organism, Dusan Makavejev's controversial 1974 feature Sweet Movie is firmly rooted in the principles of psychoanalyst Wilhelm Reich. In cinematic terms, this means bombarding the audience with an onset of imagery so visceral, disgusting and repellent that it "awakens" the viewer in a Brechtian manner by "short-circuiting" the audience's reactions. Sweet Movie interweaves two narratives. One begins with a trip to the "Miss World Virginity Contest," whose winner, Miss Monde 1984 ...
See more details below
This VHS is Not Available through BN.com

Overview

Like his WR: Mysteries of the Organism, Dusan Makavejev's controversial 1974 feature Sweet Movie is firmly rooted in the principles of psychoanalyst Wilhelm Reich. In cinematic terms, this means bombarding the audience with an onset of imagery so visceral, disgusting and repellent that it "awakens" the viewer in a Brechtian manner by "short-circuiting" the audience's reactions. Sweet Movie interweaves two narratives. One begins with a trip to the "Miss World Virginity Contest," whose winner, Miss Monde 1984 Carole Laure is auctioned off to Mr. Kapital Animal House's John Vernon, a Texas oil billionaire with an odd perversion. Instead of deflowering her on her wedding night, he sterilizes the terrified girl's body with rubbing alcohol and showers her in urine with his massive gold-plated penis, while an audience watches bemusedly through his bedroom window. She later escapes from her bridegroom, in a suitcase, and winds up at a wild Viennese commune whose participants indulge in public defecation and a food orgy that wraps with a massive display of gurgling, yakking, and vomiting. At the tale's conclusion, Miss Monde shoots a television commercial that involves writhing nude in a giant vat of chocolate, with which she is completely drenched from head to toe, as the cameras roll. The second story involves a woman, Anna Planeta Anna Prucnal piloting a candy-filled boat down a river, with a massive papier-mache head of Lenin on the prow and a lover in-tow who is a refugee from the Battleship Potemkin. She eventually does a seductive striptease and seduces a pack of children, then makes love to her paramour in a vat of sugar and stabs him through the heart. Throughout the film, Makavejev includes shock cuts to Nazi autopsy footage and medical experimentation footage, some of which involves physical abuse of infants under the guise of "baby gymnastics." Although it has its admirers, Sweet Movie is something of an acquired taste. And that's putting it kindly.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Nathan Southern
To refer to Dusan Makavejev's Sweet Movie as "one of the most provocative motion pictures ever made" is accurate in the most literal sense: the film's entire purpose appears to be provocation of the viewer. And yet, it never falls into the trap of exploitation. It rests on a well-defined and valid idea: the Reichian observation that contemporary culture and mass media have deadened and desensitized mass audiences to the point of near-catatonia. Guided by this belief, Makavejev uses shock cuts and startling juxtapositions to short-circuit preconditioned responses in the very same way (for example) that stage director Andre Gregory once planned to, when he wanted to amplify the meaning of The Bacchae for Yale viewers by having them pass around an actual severed human head during the production. As a result, everything that we see onscreen in Sweet Movie is brutally visceral, from the image of Mr. Kapital (John Vernon) urinating on his shocked bride with an enormous gold-plated phallus, to the on-camera defecation and regurgitation of the Otto Muehl commune members, to shots of Anna Prucnal's character stabbing her naked lover through the heart amid a vat of sugar. This sort of disorientation works - seldom has there been a film so physically unsettling. One of the interesting side-effects is that it serves as a kind of litmus test for each viewer's sensitivity - what one finds appalling, another may not. (This viewer found most of it surprisingly tolerable, but had to draw the line at the black-and-white Nazi archival footage of "baby gymnastics"). For all of its audacity, Sweet Movie is often blisteringly funny, in sequences such as the urination bit, where Makavejev places Kapital's nutcase mother ("Sock it to me, baby!") and a swaying musical ensemble in the background during the defilement. Curiously, the interpolation of extreme humor works to the picture's great advantage, by preventing it from becoming unwatchably offensive; the belly laughs (like the beautiful Eastern European pop songs that fill the soundtrack) tend to undercut the shocks - mollifying the material and making it slightly more palatable. Even with the comedy to help it go down more easily, though, Sweet Movie still adds up to an indelible experience; those viewers who wish to drive it out of their minds won't be able to. Many detest this picture - it prompted mass walkouts when it screened at Cannes and has been federally banned in many countries - yet adventurous viewers with strong stomachs should give it a serious look. Love it or hate it, though, one can't help but admire the visionary Makavejev for pushing the medium as far as he possibly could, and doing so with a stunningly graceful technique.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • Release Date: 11/18/1998
  • UPC: 736899105754
  • Original Release: 1974
  • Rating:

  • Source: Facets
  • Format: VHS

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Carole Laure Miss Monde 1984
Pierre Clémenti Potemkin Sailor
Anna Prucnal Anna Planeta
Sami Frey El Macho
Jane Mallet PDG
John Vernon Mr. Kapital
Catherine Sola
Louis Bessieres
George Melly
Roland Topor
Max Fischer
Robin Gammell
Sonny Forbes
Denis Boucher
Sabine Haudepin
Marpessa Dawn Mama Communa
Otto Muehl
Technical Credits
Dusan Makavejev Director, Screenwriter
Yan Dedet Editor
Leonhard Gmuer Asst. Director
Manos Hadjidakis Score Composer
Pierre Lhomme Cinematographer
Vincent Malle Producer
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 2 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(1)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 11, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 10, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews