Part of Winter 1991
Pleasure Dome is pleased to present the Toronto premiere of Dusan Makavejev’s Sweet Movie. Sweet Movie is probably the most controversial film ever made in Canada. Shot mainly in Montreal with a cast of familiar faces from Canadian television (including Jane Mallet and John Vernon), its release in 1975 was met with audience outrage, a lawsuit by the film’s star Carol Laure (to block its appearance at Cannes), banning and censorship. Sweet Movie is also the culmination of Dusan Makavejev’s legendary early non-commercial work, before Montenegro and The Coca Cola Kid, in which he explicitly equates political and sexual freedom. Sweet Movie is not for the squeamish.
Sweet Movie – D. Makavejev, 95 min, 1975.
The case of Dean Corll, a Houston candy manufacturer and convicted child murderer, served as a metaphor to Makavejev for the heavy handed and tragic relationship between politics and sexuality that he wanted to enact in Sweet Movie. The film contains a televised “Miss World” beauty pageant to locate the perfect virgin bride for a crazed (and impotent) billionaire capitalist, the seduction and pretend murder of three males by a socialist revolutionary heroine, an improvised session of scatological body-art play by Otto Muehl and his Therapie-Komune of Vienna and of course sweet things: suspended beds of refined sugar, vats of liquid chocolate, etc., etc. Like his earlier and more famous WR: Mysteries of the Organism, the style of Sweet Movie is spontaneous and volcanic; part narrative feature film, part documentary, part agitprop theatre and disjunctive experimental technique. Makavejev mapped out the underlying idea behind his production of the period when, in describing WR, he said, “[it is] a fantasy of the fascism and communism of human bodies, the political life of human genitals, a proclamation of the pornographic essence of any system of authority and power over other.” Sweet Movie has been banned by the Ontario Censor Board since its release in 1975.