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Thursday, July 5, 2007

Sweet Movie

Posted on Thu, Jul 5, 2007 at 4:00 AM

Sweet Movie
Studio: Criterion Collection
WorkNameSort: Sweet Movie
Sweet Movie, the 1974 cult film from Yugoslav provocateur Dusan Makavejev, is an attack on censorship both sexual and political, its theme best represented in a quote it uses in a title card: 'Let us think of these things always and speak of them never.â?� Makavejev boldly speaks of them, and shows them, whether the repressed image be a gold-plated penis or footage of the Katyn Forest massacre in Russia, which the Soviet government was then trying to cover up. I caught Sweet Movie a couple of years ago, and its brazenly repulsive images still linger, at once disturbing and hysterical. (At the time, I half-jokingly referred to the dinner scene as being 'like a comedy version of Salo.â?�) But once the first-time shock wears off, this most ironically titled movie grows wearisome on repeated viewings, lacking the vitality of Makavejev's previous winner, W.R.: Mysteries of the Organism. I'm not convinced of this sometimes dull and inarguably self-indulgent piece of politicarotica's masterpiecitude, but supplemental interviews with film scholar Dina Iordanova and Makavejev himself (with questions by Peter Cowie, off Bergman duty for once) and a great essay from David Sterritt do much to make a solid case for it.


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