A sad man meets a beautiful, secretive woman who may or may not be involved in some conspiracy ring dealing in kidnapped women used as prostitutes. After several days of their sadly ... See full summary »
A young prince is taken for tuition at a seaside hotel but there quickly bores and wanders off to visit a nearby lighthouse. Befriended by the keeper, he learns of a secret world he can see... See full summary »
A writer returns home from World War I. He has developed a very bad case of post traumatic stress disorder. His genitalia was also blown away during the war. He contemplates suicide, but ... See full summary »
Walter is told by his boss, Sara, to deliver an urgent letter to Henri de Corinthe. On the way he finds a beautiful woman he had been eying in a nightclub, lying in the road, bound up. He ... See full summary »
Servais Mont, a photographer, meets Nadine Chevalier who earns her money starring in cheap soft-core movies. Trying to help her, he borrows the money from the loan sharks to finance the ... See full summary »
A beautiful young woman sets her sights on an aging millionaire. She seduces him, and moves into his mansion with him. She soon tires of him, though, and after she gets rid of him, she goes after his son
Manuel Mur Oti
The town of Tombstone is at the mercy of the five dreaded O'Hara brothers: Ramon (Antonio Cantafora), Pedro (Enzo Pulcrano), Miguel (Calogero Caruana), Ryan (Antonio Danesi)& Slide (Mimmo ... See full summary »
A young woman is questioned by the police and the judges, suspected of being a modern witch. The girl who shared her apartment has been found dead, and a pair of scisors impaled through her... See full summary »
The Blue Villa is a seedy bordello on a Mediterranean island where the villages are frightened by the ghost-like return of a young man, who mysteriously disappeared after the killing of a young Eurasian woman.
Dimitri de Clercq,
I love experimental and avant garde cinema, even though once one strays past the superstar directors (Bunuel, Cocteau, Robbe-Grillet, Jodorowsky, Arrabal, etc.) it can be tough sledding. Alain Fleischer's ZOO ZERO is one of the dumbest of the failures -it makes Fred Haines's film of STEPPENWOLF look professional.
Fleischer's non-career is littered with these alliterative titles (REGLES, RITES; ROME ROMEO), signalling abstract surrealism, and that's what he delivers up. With an annoying soundtrack that emphasizes Mozart's "The Magic Flute" but includes distorted sounds worthy of Herschell Gordon Lewis amateurish HOW TO MAKE A DOLL, he has created a film designed to test one's patience.
It's shot at night with monochrome or duochrome effects, in an apocalyptic setting of the zoo, lorded over by guest star Klaus Kinski (who speaks only through a trendy vocoder stolen apparently from Peter Frampton but suggesting Stephen Hawking (!)), and a cabaret setting starring the ethereally beautiful & decadent Catherine Jourdan. She's a singer doted on by Pierre Clementi, without whose presence a film like this would feel half empty, while dwarf Pieral looks after Jourdan's career as her mean manager. Add to the mix an endlessly laughing guest star Alida Valli (she provides the project with "instant class" given her previous career). Silliest touch is casting that sturdy French character comedian Rufus as the chauffeur of the vintage Cadillac, who has a part-time career as a ventriloquist with a duck as dummy named Donald (!).
If this sounds stupid, it is, with a capital S. It's all atmosphere, visual allusions, and mucho tedium as Fleischer tantalizes and frustrates the viewer in equal fashion. In my film festival-hopping days (back in the '70s) there were many films like this floating around, of which only the most grotesque (and sexually charged -c.f., WEDDING TROUGH or years later SINGAPORE SLING) got one's attention. Fleischer keeps Jourdan under wraps except for one brief scene, and his film suffers.
The presence of dwarf Pieral, who was so brilliant in the Cocteau classic directed by Jean Delannoy, THE ETERNAL RETURN, hints at Jean Cocteau as the inspiration for this nonsense. Cocteau wrote the guidebook for avant garde effects with his classic ORPHEE, and Fleischer studiously copies.
Staring at Jourdan kept my attention but I was quite disappointed at the misuse of Kinski here - it falls squarely in with his sincere love of working for "manageable" (read: HACK) directors. Shortly after watching ZOO ZERO I saw Gerry O'Hara's 1965 Swinging London movie THE PLEASURE GIRLS, and Kinski was outstanding in that forgotten softcore opus -again able to push the director around. Claire Denis was an assistant director for this one, and she tried her hand at this sort of crap with TROUBLE EVERY DAY.
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