Tonight George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) showed Dillinger Ã¨ morto (Dillinger is Dead) in the Dryden Theater. Ali and I went and neither of us enjoyed the film at all. I gathered it was supposed to show the boring existence of the bourgeoisie by making a laborious, boring movie out of it. I felt a bit duped, though, because the Eastman House calender described it like this:
A bored industrial designer discovers an old revolver in his home, wrapped in a 1934 newspaper announcing the death of a famous American gangster. He paints the gun with red-and-white polka dots, seduces his maid (Annie Girardot), and contemplates suicide as well as his wife's murder (Anita Pallenberg). Writer-director Ferreri's (Le Grande Bouffe, The Last Woman) surreal and symbolic head trip belongs in the tradition of the "theater of the absurd." Almost never screened in the US, don't miss your chance to discover this oddball puzzler. New 35mm print!
In actuality, it's about a boring industrial designer who returns to his boring home and decides to prepare a decadent meal in as boring a way possible. He happens to discover a gun in a newspaper and he splits his cooking time with cleaning the gun in olive oil. Most of the screen time, though is spent on his monotonous existence — in point-of-fact, the externally uninteresting bits of life we all experience.
It would be like me making a movie about JayceLand which would consist of me sitting in front of a computer for a couple hours with occasional breaks to get coffee or answer the phone or eat an orange or go for a walk around the block.
I felt like the movie was a joke on the bourgeoisie of the film world — the art-house film-goers who chafe themselves with their furious masturbation. Yes: the film turns the focus of the story onto the least interesting parts, and as such it is an example of how to not make an interesting film. However, the resulting product is one to be endured for the sake of bragging that you "really understand what the artist is getting at". It reminded me a lot of the garbage that Andy Warhol produced: more things to antagonize the masses and create a self-aggrandizing class of people who celebrate an artist courageous enough to deliberately produce shit.