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Sweet Movie (The Criterion Collection)

3.9 out of 5 stars 35 customer reviews

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Frequently Bought Together

  • Sweet Movie (The Criterion Collection)
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  • Eclipse Series 18: Dusan Makavejev- Free Radical
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Editorial Reviews

Pushing his themes of sexual liberation to their boiling point, Yugoslavian art-house provocateur Dusan Makavejev followed his international sensation WR: Mysteries of the Organism with this full-throated shriek in the face of bourgeois complacency and movie watching. Sweet Movie tackles the limits of personal and political freedom with kaleidoscopic feverishness, shuttling viewers from a gynecological beauty pageant to a grotesque food orgy with scatological, taboo-shattering glee. With its lewd abandon and sketch-comedy perversity, Sweet Movie became both a cult staple and an exemplar of the envelope pushing of 1970s cinema

Special Features

  • New, restored high-definition digital transfer, supervised and approved by director Dušan Makavejev
  • New video interviews with Makavejev and Balkan film scholar Dina Iordanova
  • New and improved English subtitle translation
  • A booklet featuring new essays by critic David Sterritt and Harvard professor and philosopher Stanley Cavell

Product Details

  • Actors: Carole Laure, Pierre Clémenti, Anna Prucnal, Sami Frey, Jane Mallett
  • Directors: Dusan Makavejev
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English, French, Polish, Spanish
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: The Criterion Collection
  • DVD Release Date: June 19, 2007
  • Run Time: 98 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #53,524 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Sweet Movie (The Criterion Collection)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
Dusan Makavejev's 1974 film Sweet Movie is an indictment toward all forms of authority and convention. It does not obviously or even wittingly perhaps come from an honest political standard itself, but it instead exists to attack all that rules us. It skewers capitalism, communism, and absolutely everything in between. Perhaps it is a call specifically for some sort of Anarcho-Primitivism? Perhaps Sweet Movie is simply a celebration of life in its own sick and twisted way?

Sweet Movie follows two different stories and both feature a female protagonist. The first follows a contestant of the 1984 Miss Monde pageant. She wins and her prize is her marriage to some big corporate dude. She is shocked by how he degrades her in their first meeting and she runs away. Her rejection is met with displeasure by his cronies and she ends up getting pretty severely humiliated and then stuffed into a suitcase and shipped off to France. After that she gets stuck to some Latin guy and enters a commune and some pretty wacky things happen. This story operates as a criticism toward capitalism and consumerism at the beginning and the conclusion, while it seems to attack communism in the middle. The second story follows a young woman who is leading a boat down a river. The boat is full of candy and has a statue of Karl Marx on it. She seduces all who encounter her with sex, candy and propaganda. Then she kills them. Obviously it is a direct attack on communism.

There are some pretty shocking things in Sweet Movie but that shouldn't be a surprise when taking into account the time period and some of the subversive and surreal counterculture names involved in the film (e.g. Otto Muehl, Roland Topor and George Melly).
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
There are movies that are devised from formulas developed to serve (and be served by) the Demographic ..... and then there are those rare films that create their own audience. Unfortunately, when Makavejev first unleashed his Sweet Movie in 1974, most interested parties of influence saw fit to have it banned, and the filmmaker himself was exiled (along with some cast members) from his native Yugoslavia for nearly 15 years.

Multi-mega kudos to Criterion for rescuing this now very alive and relevant explosion of a movie from near-obscurity. Beautifully restored, looking and sounding better than I remembered it, and including in this edition interviews and more in-depth facts about the making and history of this one-of-a-kind movie, watching it again restored in this viewer an appreciation of artists who put themselves way out on a line to give life to a vision, one that can become more relevant over time, despite overall condemnation at its initial release. As stated in the accompanying literature, there are countries where the movie is banned for any sort of distribution, to this day.

The dual story line, about two Women of Earth (Miss Monde 1984 and Captain Anna Planeta), is interwoven in a montage-like format that lashes out at Capitalism and Communism, spits in the eye of all manner of creative or sensual oppression, and does so in a take-no-prisoners satirical fantasy sense that helps lighten up the otherwise dark and intense subject matter. As Makavejev explains in an interview, had he tried to do any of it seriously, it would have hampered his film's acceptance all the more so, for it was fully his intent to make contact with his audience in an entertaining, circus-style (although somewhat abstract) manner.
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Format: DVD
*** This comment may contain spoilers ***

What is it - a satire on social and sexual politics, government sponsored genocide, democracy for Eastern Europe and the stereotypes of the times? Or non-connected collection of shocking images that include "virgin beauty contest" the winner of which would marry a billionaire, Mr. Kapital (John Vernon) with golden penis; an intercourse in Eiffel Tour that ends up with a spasm; a dinner party with the members of Viennese commune Friedrichshof, a revolutionary/ siren /vampire, Anna Planeta who sails a riverboat with a huge Karl Marx head on its bow on the canals of Amsterdam and lures men and young boys aboard with her seductive songs for sex, candies, and death? "Sweet Movie" is all that and it shocks you even more, and I think it is a good and deep movie. It is extremely disturbing and it really tests its viewers on how much and for how long they would endure watching some of very disgusting stuff but everything what happens on screen does make sense and does prove the writer/ director's many points. Actually, first hour or so is a wild and funny surreal black comedy/satire of which my most beloved filmmaker Don Luis Bunuel would be proud.

The two scenes closer to the end really push all possible envelopes. After I found out that the participants in the "commune" scene were actually the real members of Friedrichshof, the Viennese commune that had been founded and run by artist/filmmaker/painter Otto Meuhl, and everything we see is pretty much real, I was shocked even more. Dusan Makavejev explains in the interview on the Criterion disc who the people are and why they engage in the shocking activities.
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