May 21, 2012



Groupthink doesn't live here, critical thought does.

This ad-free website is dedicated to Agnès Varda and to Luis Buñuel.

Get cool rewards when you click on the button to pledge your support through Patreon. Thanks a lot pal! Your generosity keeps the reviews coming!

Cole Smithey on Patreon



ColeSmithey.comDusan Makevejev’s widely banned cornucopia of radical agitprop cinema is one of the most transgressive and wildly subversive films ever made. A key contributor to Yugoslavia’s Black Wave, Makevejev’s follow-up to his controversial “WR – Mysteries of the Organism” (1971), uses similar collage filmmaking techniques to create an avant-garde work of political criticism aimed uniformly at communism, capitalism, and leftist revolutionary ideology.

Screen Shot 2022-04-18 at 8.01.22 PM

The film is saturated in political references. Footage of the Nazi exhumation of mass graves of Polish nationals from the Katyn massacre of 1940 bears disturbing witness to atrocities committed under Stalin’s regime. The unsettling black-and-white images contrast with disgusting sequences of infantilized artistic expression by Otto Muehl’s Wilhelm Reich-influenced “Friderichshof” commune of performers. Makevejev challenges his audience to question what they find most repellent, and why.

Sweet movie

The audacious filmmaker creates archetypical characters to represent cultural movements. Mr. Dollars (John Vernon) is a puritanical Canadian millionaire who puts on a beauty pageant (“The Crazy Daisy Show") made up of virgins, from which he plucks his new bride Miss Monde (Carole Laure). Mr. Dollars is deathly afraid of catching sexually transmitted diseases. The crass captain of industry promptly has his new wife’s virginity publicly confirmed for the show’s television audience by a gynecologist known as Dr. Middle Finger. Subtlety is where you find it.

Screen Shot 2022-04-18 at 7.48.13 PM

On the consecration of their marriage, Mr. Dollars exposes his gold-painted member, from which he urinates on his new bride rather than penetrating her. Miss Monde’s rejection of Mr. Dollars maltreatment is cause for her to be carried off by a black body-builder named Mr. Muscle, a “certified psychopath” with his own advertising slogan — “Try me I’m delicious.”

Screen Shot 2022-04-18 at 7.48.05 PM

Mr. Muscle collapses Miss Monde’s petite body into a suitcase and ships her commodified body off to Paris. Carole Laure’s mute character represents a commercial model of femininity to be endlessly exploited. Saucy stuff.

Screen Shot 2022-04-18 at 7.47.53 PM

On the opposite, equal side of the coin is Anna Planeta (Anna Prucnal), a free-love-offering communist revolutionary banned in all countries. Anna helms a candy-filled boat called “the Survival” through Amsterdam’s waterways to avoid legal restrictions. A giant handmade likeness of Karl Marx’s face adorns the boat’s bow. A plastic bag filled with water hangs from the caricature’s left eye as a solitary teardrop beneath his bandaged eyebrow. In plying her trade of attracting revolutionary recruits of all ages, Anna kills whomever she seduces — revolution equals death.

Screen Shot 2022-12-25 at 4.59.26 PM

Anna Planeta symbolizes the last throes of revolutionary existence. Pierre Clémenti’s “Potemkin” mutineer sailor falls unquestioningly for Anna’s charms in spite of her warning that her love will kill him. The boat is filled with the “corpses” of her former lovers. The couple’s outré lovemaking sessions, in a giant suspended bed of sugar, contribute the film’s metaphor for the Western world’s endlessly over-sweetened products.


 “Sweet Movie” remains a powerfully defiant film rooted deeply in anti-authoritarian ideology. A recurring ballad rhetorically asks, “Is there life on the Earth? Is there life after birth?” 

Dusan Makevejev inflames his audience with everything he has in his filmic arsenal. The effect is more than a little thought, and perhaps act, provoking.

Not Rated. 98 mins. 


Cozy Cole

Cole Smithey on Patreon


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Featured Video

SMART NEW MEDIA® Custom Videos



Throwback Thursday

Podcast Series