my Movie

Movie Details

Title:   Massacre of Pleasure
Director:   Jean-Pierre Bastid
Year:   1966
Genre:   Drama
Times Seen:   1
Last Seen:   02.28.07

Other Movies Seen By This Director (0)

Notes History
Date Viewed Venue Note
02.28.07Weird Wednesday Tonight's weird wednesday was exceptionally weird. I'm reading this book called Flicker that mentions the underground film scene in the mid to late 60s. In the book the author uses a fictional title named Venetian Magenta to kind of summarize the movement, but this movie reminds me a lot of what he was talking about.

I guess the big thing is that it made no sense. And it's not like an abstract poetry film where you can tell it's trying to not make sense. Each scene plays like it's part of a puzzle but the movie is like trying to put together an old jigsaw at some day care place where ten years' worth of lost and found pieces have all been thrown into one box. If this was one of those found footage pieces I'd say the guy got admirably close to logic, but things never quite connect. There's a vague idea that perhaps in some form at one time things did connect, but by the time the light hit the screen tonight all of that was lost in a little more than translation.

There's a lot of narration in this movie that gives me the idea that the french version is probably a lot different. like, completely different story, completely re-arranged scenes different. The little dialogue that we hear is fairly trivial, leaving all of the "plot" heavy lifting to the narrator, sometimes introducing a silent scene like "and then we talked it out" and you see (but not hear) two people talking for a while.

Even the French version is pretty obtuse though I bet. A lot of it seems so prototypical Frenchie art film of the times... rebelling against or trying to grow beyond the new wave and forcing audiences to accept new values of film just because they are in vogue. Lots of zooms, shots of people looking off-camera, random shots of random things, more zooming. It's all drenched in pretension. The director credits himself as "Jean-Loup Grosdard" and what I sort of understood to be the base theme of the movie had something to do with crime, sort of like this was maybe the director's take on Breathless: an underground french take on an experimental french take on american crime movies. So i bet even in its most pristine original auteur-esque form it still shows the distorted qualities of being a third-generation interpretation.

That can be kind of liberating though for the audience. When not obligated with the task of following any sort of plot line, I found pleasure in more specific cases as I watched. There were plenty of really great visual moments... fairly random but no less enjoyable, and the randomly-placed lesbian scenes were nice, and some of the writing in the dialogue was also great ("ancient art of keeping a man happy","finding out was delicious"). There did seem to be a strong theme of violence toward women though... don't know what that's about. The flipside of these shallow pleasures is that the 80 or 90 minutes that it takes to watch the movie gets pretty exhausting when you don't have any deeper intrigue or curiosity to fall back on.

So... definitely an interesting week.
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