I'd like to write a thesis on Dusan Makavejev's Sweet Movie (1974) but I fear that I'll barely scratch the surface. I'm actually lost for words at how tremendously transformative it is.
Dusan Makavejev's furiously idiosyncratic film is one of the most confrontational and aggressive assaults on conventional good taste ever captured on film. With the director's gift for literalising the non-literal, this is a film nobody can stay indifferent to in its bewildering oddities that are far too mindblowing to list. Political messages are inundated through sexual propositions, and it situates sexuality as a sentient being, a transcendence of physicality that forms a large part of our undiscovered humanism.
It joins together taboos like paedophilism, marxism, interracial sex and fetishism into a fireball of confrontation that questions why we fear what's in our hearts and minds and why do we shackle down uninhibited decadence. The director seems to want us to wonder if humans are bound to be restrained by reducing us to our bareness, without pretense.
Makavejev takes it further in a filmic sense by also intercutting documentary footages of war and exhumed bodies to proof to us that our senses aren't as perturbed by that as we are when we finally see humans carry out their body functions by defecating and urinating etc. And in true Reichian style psychology, the director eases out our tensions and restive states by making us see what we don't want to see through his 2 hyperbolic narratives. In the first story of a virgin beauty queen, he shows us the sexual liberation in an individual taught to keep her "preciousness" intact. In the second story that regards a female captain of a good ship lollipop (affixed with a bust of Karl Marx) who lures young (and I mean young) boys into her den of iniquity is, by and large a political metaphor of Marxism eventually destroying the proletariats and corrupting youths.
This film is brilliant, an unconventional parable that slides in and out of the ether that essentially becomes a therapeutic experience in treating repression and indoctrination.