(director/writer: Pier Paolo Pasolini; cinematographers: Tonino Delli Colli/Armando Nannuzzi/Giuseppe Ruzzolini; editor: Nino Baragli; music: Benedetto Ghiglia; cast: Jean-Pierre Leaud (Julian), Alberto Lionello (Klotz), Ugo Tognazzi (Herdhitze), Pierre Clementi (Young Cannibal), Marco Ferreri (Hans Günther), Margherita Lozano (Madame Klotz), Anne Wiazemsky (Ida); Runtime: 99; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Gian Vittorio Baldi; Water Bearer Films; 1969-Italy-in Italian with English subtitles)
“A difficult self-indulgent satire to enjoy.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
A difficult self-indulgent satire to enjoy or take in without wincing at how ridiculous is the parable Pier Paolo Pasolini(“Accatone”/”Grim Reaper”/”Mama Roma”) lays on us, and how outrageously he attacks the 20th century European middle-class.
It opens with the soldier cannibal (Pierre Clementi) in a medieval wasteland, surviving by eating butterflies and snakes. The pic then cuts to contemporary Germany and to a palatial manor where Julian Klotz (Jean-Pierre Leaud, dubbed into Italian), the daffy young bourgeois and son of crippled ex-Nazi industrialist Klotz (Alberto Lionello), exclaims to his 17-year-old girlfriend beauty Ida (Anne Wiazemsky, dubbed into Italian) that he prefers to fly kites than to be with her and is more attracted to pigs–a price he will pay dearly for. Meanwhile at the manor, Klotz, pining for the days of Grosz and Brecht, entertains war profiteer Herdhitze (Ugo Tognazzi), a fellow successful ex-Nazi businessman.
The cannibal’s story intertwines with Julian’s, as they both become sacrificial victims of their different societies.
It’s a weird, grotesque and silly one, filmed with great skill so that its disgusting aspects seem like quite the thing. It’s one of Pasolini’s lesser films, but manages to reflect the European student revolutionary times of that period.
REVIEWED ON 3/25/2014 GRADE: C+