Media Arts Program
 

Saturday, November 23 at 7:00 p.m.

$8 general, $6 students/seniors, $5 members

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Susan Sontag

Duet For Cannibals

(1969, 105 min.)

Written and directed by Susan Sontag


"The cannibals are a middle-aged radical German political activist and the theoretician, Bauer—Hans Erborg—living with his young Italian wife Francesca—Miss Asti—in Sweden. Their victims are a young Swede who goes to work as Bauer's secretary, and his mistress, who eventually finds herself working as the Bauers's cook and companion. For all the movie tells us, Bauer's credentials are real enough (down to a chrome-plated cigarette lighter—gift of Bertolt Brecht), but everything in his present life partakes of fraud calculated to intrigue, upset, and entrap his assistant.

"His erratic and violent behavior, the temptation palpably and leeringly offered of his beautiful young wife, eventually the intellectual challenge of what move he will make next, engage the young man and put him repeatedly off balance.

"Before it is all over the girl is at work too, making love to the master, accepting advances from the mistress, feeding and being fed by both of them, and lying between them in their connubial bed.

"There are too many insane people in the world, comments the young hero after he is attacked by a madman on a city street, and of course he includes the Bauers, who also attack—and win—because they try anything and stand by nothing.

"Nevertheless, I don't think Duet for Cannibals means to be a parable about the power of the insane over the sane, or the strong over the weak, or even the inventively absurd over the rational and passionate. I don't know what it does mean to be, and I am content for a while to rest with its moods and its complicated, often funny motions."

 — Roger Greenspun, New York Times, 1969