LA GRANDE BOUFFE
Written & Directed by Marco Ferreri
Distributed by Arrow Video / MVD Entertainment Group
I've seen some weird, messed up movies in my life, and now here's a new one I can add to that list. The film is a French/Italian film titled, LA GRANDE BOUFFE, which translates to "The Big Feast". Here is the main plot of the film courtesy of the MVD website:
The most famous film by Italian provocateur Marco Ferreri (Dillinger is Dead), La Grande bouffe was reviled on release for its perversity, decadence and attack on the bourgeoisie yet won the prestigious FIPRESCI prize after its controversial screening at the Cannes Film Festival. Four friends, played by international superstars Marcello Mastroianni (Fellini's 8½), Michel Piccoli (Belle de jour), Ugo Tognazzi (Barbarella) and Philippe Noiret (Zazie dans le métro) retreat to a country mansion where they determine to eat themselves to death whilst engaging in group sex with prostitutes and a local school teacher (Andréa Ferréol, The Tin Drum), who seems to be up for anything... At once jovial and sinister, the film's jet-black humour has a further twist as the reputed actors (whose characters use their own names) buck their respectable trend for a descent into fart-filled chaos that delivers a feast for the eyes and mind.
Now I must point out that this is not a horror movie in any sense of the word. I guess you could call it an exploitation film of a sort, so for that reason I'll cover it! I honestly don't know what genre you would put this into. If I had to choose, I guess I would say a dark comedy...an extremely dark comedy! The fact that the four men would choose to kill themselves by eating themselves to death is pretty disturbing, which fits perfectly for this film. You will witness all kinds of crass and disturbing behavior in this film, as the four men not only gorge themselves on food during their final weekend, they also gorge themselves on drink and sex. You will see all of their degenerative behavior on film and at some points it does get a little long winded. The film clocks in at 130 minutes, and I think the actual plot would only need about half of that time. The other half is just witnessing countless acts of over indulgence in women and food, but that's what is really the heart of this film.
Disturbing on many levels, LA GRANDE BOUFFE is a film you will remember long after you watch it. It's tough to sit through at times, but watch it all the way through and I think you will see why this film has become such a cult classic over the years.
LA GRANDE BOUFFE is available now from Arrow Video and MVD Distribution and contains the following special features:
* Brand new 2K restoration of the original camera negative
* High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD presentation
* Original French audio (uncompressed PCM on the Blu-ray)
* Newly translated English subtitles
* The Farcical Movie - A French television profile of Marco Ferreri from 1975 in which the director discusses, among other things, the influence of Tex Avery, Luis Buñuel and Tod Browning's Freaks
* Behind-the-scenes footage of the making of La Grande bouffe, containing interviews with Ferrari and actors Marcello Mastroianni, Michel Piccoli, Ugo Tognazzi and Philippe Noiret
* Extracts from the television series Couleurs autour d'un festival featuring interviews with the cast and crew recorded during the Cannes Film Festival
* A visual essay on the film with by Italian film scholar Pasquale Iannone
* Select scene audio commentary by Iannone
* News report from the Cannes Film Festival where La Grande bouffe caused a controversial stir, including Ferreri at the press conference
* Original Trailer
* Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Gilles Vranckx
* Booklet featuring new writing on the film by Johnny Mains, illustrated with original archive stills and posters
CLICK HERE to watch the trailer
CLICK HERE to purchase the Arrow Blu-ray combo pack