Sweet Movie is a 1974 avant-garde surrealist comedy-drama film written and directed by Yugoslavian director Dušan Makavejev.
|Directed by||Dušan Makavejev|
|Written by||Dušan Makavejev|
|Edited by||Yann Dedet|
|Music by||Manos Hadjidakis|
|Distributed by||AMLF (France)|
An international co-production of companies from France, Canada, and West Germany, the film follows two women: a Canadian beauty queen, who represents a modern commodity culture, and a captain aboard a ship laden with candy and sugar, who is a failed communist revolutionary.
One narrative follows Miss Monde 1984/Miss Canada, who wins a contest of the "most virgin"; her prize is the marriage to a milk industry tycoon. However, following his degrading puritanical introduction to intercourse, she vents her intention to leave to her mother-in-law who, at that point, nearly has her killed. The family bodyguard takes her away, further humiliates her, and finally packs her in a trunk bound for Paris. She finds herself on the Eiffel Tower, where she absently meets and has intercourse with a Latin singer, El Macho. The sexual act is interrupted by touring nuns who frighten the lovers into penis captivus. In her post-coital shocked state, she is adopted into an artist community led by Otto Muehl, where she finds affectionate care. The commune practices some liberating sessions, where a member, with the assistance of the others, goes through a (re)birth experience, cries, urinates and defecates like a baby, while the others are cleaning and pampering him. Later she is seen acting for an obscene advertisement, in which she is naked, covered in liquid chocolate.
The second narrative involves a woman, Anna Planeta piloting a candy-filled boat in the canals of Amsterdam, the Netherlands, with a large papier-mache head of Karl Marx on the prow. She picks up the hitchhiking sailor Potemkin, though she warns him that if he falls in love, she will kill him. He ignores her many suggestions for him to leave and their relationship evolves. Eventually, in the state of love making, she stabs him to death in their nidus of sugar. She also seduces children into her world of sweets and revolution. She is eventually apprehended and arrested by the police who lay down plastic sacks containing the children's bodies on the side of the canal, implying they too have been killed by Planeta. The film ends with the children, unseen by the others, being reborn from their plastic cocoons.
- Carole Laure as Miss Monde 1984/Miss Canada
- John Vernon as Mr. Kapital
- Jane Mallett as PDG/Chastity Belt Lady
- Roy Callender as Jeremiah Muscle
- Sami Frey as El Macho
- Anna Prucnal as Anna Planeta/Capt. Ann
- Pierre Clémenti as Potemkin Sailor
- Otto Muehl as Member of Therapie-Komune
- Marpessa Dawn as Mama Communa
- Roland Topor
- George Melly
- Sonny Forbes
- Therese Schulmeister
- Renata Steiger
- Denis Boucher
- Louis Bessières
- Max Fischer
- Catherine Sola
- Hansi Roll
- Berndt Stein
- Herbert Stumpfl
- Sabine Haudepin
- Robin Gammell
- Vivian Vachon
The film was originally intended to focus solely on the experiences of Miss Canada. However, the actress portraying the character, Carole Laure, left the production after becoming increasingly disgusted over the actions required for her performance; she decided to quit after shooting a scene in which she fondled a man's penis on-screen. After Laure's departure, Makavejev re-wrote the script to include the second narrative, starring Anna Prucnal.
The film created a storm of controversy upon its release, with scenes of coprophilia, emetophilia, implied child molestation, and footage of remains of the Polish Katyn Massacre victims. The film was banned in many countries, including the United Kingdom, or severely cut; it is still banned in many countries to this day. Polish authorities banned Prucnal from using her passport over the film, which effectively banned her from entering her native country for a number of years.
Sweet Movie received mixed reviews from critics. On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds a 50% approval rating based on 22 reviews, with an average rating of 5.4/10.
The film was nearly impossible to find since its initial release in 1974, but Criterion released the film on DVD in a region 1 DVD on June 19, 2007.
- ^ "Sweet Movie". Film Portal. Retrieved 6 May 2013.
- ^ Southern, Nathan. "Sweet Movie (1974)". Allmovie. Retrieved 8 December 2012.
- ^ "Sweet Movie". The Criterion Collection. Retrieved 1 January 2014.
- ^ "Sweet Movie (N/A)". British Board of Film Classification. 1 April 1975. Retrieved 29 November 2016.
- ^ "Sweet Movie". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved 9 June 2022.