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The intercut story of two women: a nearly-mute beauty queen who descends into withdrawal and madness, and another who captains a ship laden with candy and sugar, luring men and boys aboard for sex, death, and revolutionary talk. The beauty queen passes from a wealthy husband whose honeymoon delight is to urinate on her, to a muscular keeper who punches her, stows her in a suitcase, and ships her to Paris, to a lip-synching rock idol with whom she has a love spasm, to an Austrian commune complete with a banquet of vomit, urine, feces, chopped dildos, and wet nurses. By then she's in a fetal position, until everyone's rescued by reminders that "it's just a movie." Written by
Sweet Movie is a brilliantly absurdist expose about ideological imprisonment and innocence lost. OK, that sentence might sound absurd itself, but let's put it this way. Makavejev has created a brave, brave film. It communicates very engaging thoughts without spoon-feeding us. It does this visually and relies on the experiences and intelligence of the audience to make of it what they will. Montage is used in a smart way. Collages are created with the mis-en-scene. Hilarious juxtaposition, vibrant colors and detailed textures are constant. The music is underground and reoccurs in natural points in the. And politically speaking, it's an incredibly brave and isolated film that accuses the soviets of a crime they had long since denied at the time. Sweet Movie is NOT a snuff film. It is NOT a cult film. Those adjectives water down this intelligent avant-garde film. This is film is nothing like the films of John Waters. Plus, I would like to criticize some of the harsh critics of this movie. Many dislike the film because of the brutal scene in the commune where the members vomit and spit amongst other things. And this film was banned in London because of the scene where the young boys are seduced on the boat traveling through Amsterdam canals. I find it peculiar that those are the scenes that would disturb you, when there is an gut-wrenching intercut scene of raw footage revealing the aftermath of heinous massacres where bodies have been burned to a crisp and shoved in the ground. It's an example of how society finds sex and bodily functions more disturbing than the savagery of genocide.
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