Plot Synopsis by Dan Pavlides
Mario (Marcello Mastroianni) is a Milan industrialist who is constantly testing balloons to see how much air one can take before busting. His principle romantic interest in this feature is played by Catherine Spaak. The majority of the film seems to come from previous efforts from 1964 and 1965 which additional footage was added to, to insure an 85-minute full-length movie. A new soundtrack has been added as well. Continue reading
This is the story of a couple who do not want to have children of their own, and a pregnant, single woman who needs a home for awhile, the relationship between the three protagonists is strange, at the very least. After Anna (Hanna Schygulla) and Gordon (Niels Arestrup) invite the expecting Malvina (Ornella Muti) to live with them, Anna becomes neurotically jealous and attempts suicide but is thwarted and in the end decides she really wants to be there for the baby when he/she comes into the world. Rather than trying to get rid of Malvina and the baby, both Gordon and Anna are in agreement on keeping it. Continue reading
Subversive Italian satirist Marco Ferreri directed and co-wrote (with Rafael Azcona) this grotesquely amusing French black comedy about four men who grow sick of life, and so meet at a remote villa with the goal of literally eating themselves to death. The quartet comes from various walks of life — a pilot (Marcello Mastroianni), a chef (Ugo Tognazzi), a television host (Michel Piccoli), and a judge (Philippe Noiret) — but all are successful men with excessive appetites for life’s pleasures (food is used as mere metaphor here, as graphic as that metaphor becomes).
~ Robert Firsching, All Movie Guide
This dark offbeat comedy from Marco Ferreri features Marcello Mastroianni and Catherine Deneuve. Mastroianni plays Giorgio, who lives on a island somewhere off the Mediterranean coast of France. He lives there with his dog, and the remains of an old German World War II airbase.
He earns his living drawing cartoons. Liza (Deneuve) swims to the island from a rich man’s yacht, and the yacht’s crew confirm the end of her relationship with the owner by bringing her luggage to the island. She and Giorgio meet and become involved. She is jealous of his relationship with the dog and kills her rival while assuming its duties: wearing a collar, fetching sticks, etc. Continue reading
Winner of the Grand Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival, in 1978. It would be interesting to bail up the panel now and ask them why they gave Ferreri’s film the award (in a tied decision with in tie with Jerzy Skolimowski’s The Shout). I suspect that they would not remember, let alone be able to explain why. In the 70s the absurdist, non-conventional, sexually-candid aspects of the film were all qualities that were regarded as inherently significant but times change and like so many films of its era, the meaning is now far less apparent. Broadly speaking, Ferreri’s first English-language film is a Fellini-esque portrait of the male species under attack from castrating women. Gérard Depardieu stars as a lighting technician who is raped multiple times by the members of the feminist theatrical group he works for. He subsequently finds a baby chimpanzee inside the remains of a huge stuffed gorilla and starts a relationship with one of his rapists. Marcello Mastroianni as a lonely old man and James Coco as a decadent wax museum owner also move in and out of the story. Whilst the images of the characters with the beached giant gorilla (which presumably Ferreri salvaged from Dino De Laurentis’ 1976 remake of King Kong) shot against the New York skyline are haunting and there are individual moments of surreal humour throughout the film, the absence of much in the way of narrative, characterological or dramatic development will make Ferreri’s film a trial for those other than students of the era or of the director’s work in particular.
BH @ cinephilia.net.au
In this magnificently inscrutable late-sixties masterpiece, Marco Ferreri, one of European cinema’s most idiosyncratic auteurs, takes us through the looking glass to one seemingly routine night in the life of an Italian gas mask designer, played, in a tour de force performance, by New Wave icon Michel Piccoli. In his claustrophobic mod home, he pampers his pill-popping wife, seduces his maid, and uncovers a gun that may have once been owned by John Dillinger—and then things get even stranger. A surreal political missive about social malaise, Dillinger Is Dead (Dillinger è morto) finds absurdity in the mundane. It is a singular experience, both illogical and grandly existential. Continue reading
In this stylish and offbeat black comedy, Benito ( Jerry Calà) keeps a diary of his sexual fantasies and cravings. As a result of his on-again, off-again relationship with the beautiful and insatiable Luigia (Sabrina Ferilli), his thoughts along these lines have grown increasingly bizarre. For his own part, he is driven to pick up and bed women at almost every opportunity. As the fantasies recorded in his diary consume more and more of his life, and grow darker and darker, his ordinary waking life becomes flatter and duller, until he disappears altogether.
~ Clarke Fountain, All Movie Guide Continue reading