In British director Don Levy’s Herostratus, a young poet, Max (Michael Gothard, The Devils), decides to commit suicide in public as a form of protest. He hires a prestigious marketing company to capture the event and promote it to the masses. As preparations begin, however, Max realizes that his plan might be flawed – he doubts that the company would cover the event as he wishes. With only a few days left, the young rebel is faced with an impossible dilemma – finish what he has started, or abandon his plan and run away.
Herostratus reminded me about two very powerful films: Marco Bellocchio’s Fists in the Pocket (1965) and Bernardo Bertolucci’s Partner (1968). In the former, a young epileptic (Lou Castel), frustrated with the world around him, goes on a family killing spree. In the latter – a film loosely based on Fyodor Dostoevsky’s work The Double – a passionate revolutionary’s (Pier Clementi) plan to commit suicide issuddenly thrown into turmoil when a mysterious double appears. Continue reading