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Lunch » Tags » Movie » Reviews » Sweet Movie (The Criterion Collection) (1974) » User review

This will appeal mostly to curious lovers of bizarre art-house cinema.

  • Mar 3, 2008
Rating:
+3
While typing this I still can't believe what I just watched and thankfully enough I had a couple of wine glass's to relax my senses. This movie is like all over the place but its essentially two inter-cut stories, but I can explain better by separating them two. Weirdly enough I'll start with the second story with a woman (Anna Prucnal) who helms a boat through the canals of Amsterdam with a bust of Marx on the bow. A sailor on a bicycle from the battleship Potemkin pursues her, as he wants to be her next lover. She is "revolution" and warns him that her lovers always die. While that is playing out, controversy occurs when she seduces several young children. Makevejev intercuts German footage of the uncovering of Polish victims of the Russian massacre at Katyn Forest. He contrasts Prucnal's victims with the dead Polish army.

In the primary plot line, a world beauty contest is held to find the most beautiful virgin in the world, who will become the bride of a rich Texas oilman (Dean Wormer!) who is obsessed with cleanliness. Miss Canada (Carole Laure) is the winner. The couple gets married and helicopters to his home. He undresses, scrubs her with alcohol, and then shows her his golden swhwartz, whereupon she starts screaming uncontrollably. Eventually, his overbearing mother sends her packing (literally packed into a suitcase) where she has adventures with a macho Mexican singer at the Eiffel Tower, but becomes increasingly withdrawn and mute, and ends up in the Otto Muehl Troupe commune. It is this section which earned the film's notoriety, as the troupe believes in a kind of therapy where we all get in touch with our base selves, and have monthly events where they target a member, and engage in overeating, public defecation and urination, debasement, etc. The film ends with an amazing nude bath in chocolate.

Despite the constant sexuality and shock value, few scenes are actually erotic. Director Makavejev has more on his mind than just sex, however. He spends a good deal of time on political satire. Some, like the Texas oilman sequence, is heavy-handed and cartoonish (though his vision of 1984 America and its sexual double standards, with the funding of the Chastity Belt Foundation, quite presciently anticipates Reaganite America). More fierce is his criticism of the Soviet denial of the Katyn Forest massacre, boldly using Nazi footage of the exhumations, then frequently disparaged as mere propaganda but now known to be the truth, to accuse the Russians of genocidal war crimes. Besides that "Sweet Movie" is clearly not for kids (though they like sugar), or even most adults, this is a movie only for those who want to have there buttons pushed.

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About the reviewer
Jen-Jay AKA:JJI ()
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About this movie

Wiki

Pushing his themes of sexual liberation to their boiling point, Yugoslavian art-house provocateur Dusan Makavejev followed his international sensation WR: Mysteries of the Organism with this full-throated shriek in the face of bourgeois complacency and movie watching. Sweet Movie tackles the limits of personal and political freedom with kaleidoscopic feverishness, shuttling viewers from a gynecological beauty pageant to a grotesque food orgy with scatological, taboo-shattering glee. With its lewd abandon and sketch-comedy perversity, Sweet Movie became both a cult staple and an exemplar of the envelope pushing of 1970s cinema.
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DVD Release Date: June 19, 2007
Runtime: 98 minutes
Studio: Criterion Collection

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