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La Grande Bouffe
La Grande Abbuffata / The Big Feast / The Great Feed / Das große Fressen / Blow Out

France/Italy 1973
produced by
Vincent Malle for Mara Films, Films 66, Capitolina Produzioni Cinematografiche
directed by Marco Ferreri
starring Marcello Mastroianni, Michel Piccoli, Philippe Noiret, Ugo Tognazzi, Andréa Ferréol, Solange Blondeau, Florence Giorgetti, Michèle Alexandre, Monique Chaumette, Henri Piccoli, Maurice Dorléac, Simon Tchao, Louis Navarre, Bernard Menez, Cordelia Piccoli, Jérôme Richard, Patricia Milochevitch, James Campbell, Eva Simonet
written by Marco Ferreri, Rafael Azcona, dialogue by Francis Blanche, music by Philippe Sarde

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Marcello (Mastroianni), Michel (Piccoli), Philippe (Noiret) and Ugo (Tognazzi), four best friends from all walks of life, but all well to do, convene at the mansion of Philippe's late parents for a "food seminar", for which they have delivered frozen meat by the truckload, live chicken and whatnot. Soon it turns out the four of them are not so much into eating but into feasting. Problems arise though when womanizer Marcello claims he cannot go one night without shagging a woman - and thus the guys hire three prostitutes, plus Philippe invites school teacher Andrea (Ferréol) he has taken a fancy to. This leads to a really wild party, but eventually the women have to find there's a darker side to things, these four guys don't just want to party hard, they want to eat themselves to death. In shock, the prostitutes leave the estate, but Andrea really gets sucked into the men's way of thinking, and to get into the swing of things, she soon has sex with each of them (or at least tries to). Things only take a turn to the more serious when Marcello tries to leave the estate but fails to start his convertible in a snowstorm and freezes to death, and the next day Michel dies, and though the symptoms suggest it might be due to overfeeding it might just as well have been a broken heart. Philippe, Ugo and Andrea are suitably shocked - but they've gotten too far down on the downward spiral to stop now ...

 

La Grande Bouffe is certainly not a film for everyone, it's decadent, it's vulgar, it's at times intentionally disgusting, and it's mean-spirited - but that's exactly why it works, it's a no-holds-barred exercise in bad taste, a film that came without precedent and that was a slap in the face of about everyone, but in a good way (and still feels that way now), and that needs to be seen with an open mind and a predilection for the macabre. And be advised, even though the movie is at times disgusting as can be, it's also very well-directed and well acted by some of the biggest European moviestars of the day, so it's aynthing but a kitchen sink oddity.

Totally worth your time, but you have to be in the right mindset to watch it all the same.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Thanks for watching !!!

 

 

Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
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shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD