Forty years after one of Cannes's biggest scandals, Michel Piccoli and Andréa Ferréol have come to present La grande abbuffata (La Grande Bouffe). A projection tinged with emotion because Michel Piccoli is the last of the four main actors still alive.
The story of four men in their forties (Marcello Mastroianni, Philippe Noiret, Michel Piccoli and Ugo Tognazzi) who decide to eat themselves to death, Marco Ferrerri termed his film "a physiological farce".
It is of course also a satire on consumer society and above all a world of glaring inequalities. "It's a question of will power. Imagine you are an Indian in Bombay, a little Indian and you are hungry, very hungry. If you are hungry, what do you do? you eat", Philippe Noiret tells Michel Piccoli, who is unable to swallow another morsel.
Today considered a cult film, 40 years ago La Grande Bouffe caused one of the Croisette's greatest scandals. "We held up a mirror to people and they did not like seeing themselves in it", Philippe Noiret said at the time.
The film faced totally rejection. The French public was even more outraged because at the time, films competed for countries and La Grande Bouffe was a Franco-Italian co-production representing France. Faced with attacks and insults, Marco Ferreri blew kisses to the crowd.
Desite the almost unanimous hostility from the public and critics, the film won the Fipresci Award, joint with Jean Eustache's The Mother and the Whore (La Maman et la Putain), another scandalous film presented at the 26th Festival de Cannes.
Béatrice de Mondenard
Saturday 18th May / Buñuel Theatre / 7.30 p.m.
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