A miserly man eats the pits of some cherries he can't stand throwing out. A tree starts growing from the top of his head. He cuts it off; it grows back. After a while, he gives up and lets ... See full summary »
This film deals with a Jewish family in Montreal, Canada as they care for a dying grandmother and the young boy who is impatient to get the room he was promised as soon as she kicks the ... See full summary »
On an isolated island off the coast, two sisters live alone, away from the rest of the world. One sister, Viola's face is terribly deformed, and she writes beautiful novels in the darkness ... See full summary »
This is an abstract film in which every motion is in strict synchronization with music, so the description must be read in terms of the overall impression it gives. Within a deep blue ... See full summary »
The Yugoslavian film "Satiemania" by Zdenko Gasparovic, is the most relentlessly violent film I have seen since "Fantasmagorie". However, where Emile Cohl's use of violence was merely for comic effect, Gasparovic's use of violence has a creepier effect, and of course, a more metaphoric meaning. It doesn't hurt that these strange images are complimented with the music of Erik Satie. Actually, this film is a great introduction to his work, although it leaves out his best known (and my favorite) piece, "Gymnopedie No. 1". This is forgivable though, for it leaves more room to introduce more works by this overlooked composer, none of which I had heard before I first saw this film.
Some of the imagery reminds me of a surreal sequence from Ralph Bakshi's "Heavy Traffic", specifically the parts with the fast paced music. There is one such part in "Satiemania" that is almost painful to watch. It is a rapidly paced montage of various cartoon characters getting shot, stabbed, beaten, and maimed, all in explicit, gory detail. I have a feeling this could be a reflection of Gasparovic's rage at being an unfulfilled artist. I looked up his filmography on the Internet Movie Database. Not only was Satiemania not even listed (something I later corrected), but his only two credits were as an animator. One for the original "Scooby-Doo" TV show, and one for that awful Canadian made film "The Nutcracker Prince" (1990). No wonder he's angry! I don't blame him.
Of course, some of the violent, disturbing imagery had a less jarring, but more haunting effect. Probably the most unsettling (and my favorite) image comes from a sequence set to a slow, melodic piece. An old, dinosaur-like woman eats a piece of cake. She bites great chunks off and gnaws on them greedily, spewing pieces everywhere. Then, without even flinching, she bites off the last piece. ALONG WITH HALF HER HAND! Blood spews everywhere, but the lady takes no notice. She continues to chew, staring blankly into the camera, as it slowly zooms forward. I get chills just thinking about that image, an excellent metaphor for all consuming greed.
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