The Big Feast caused an almighty scandal at the 1973 Cannes Film Festival. And after it, too. As is so often the case when it comes to scandals, Marco Ferreri's film divided both audiences and critics. While some were turned off by the images and sounds of these bloated bodies, others waxed lyrical about the bravery of the new French film (although the director was Italian). Both reactions are understandable. Though there had been previous examples of unrestrained eating and drinking on th...e big screen in the films of Tony Richardson and Federico Fellini, for example, The Big Feast took things to a new level.
The main characters are four friends who withdraw from the wider world with the express intention of eating themselves to death. A clear allegory for the consumer society and the upper middle classes. Some great filmmakers of the 1970s, from Buńuel to Pasolini, dwelt on similar concepts. In fact, even the disaster movie, the new genre of film which sprang up in the 1970s, dealt with issues of morality and responsibility. Times may have changed, but the images and sounds of Ferreri's film are just as provocative as ever. And challenging. Especially given that unrestrained consumption now - 45 years down the line - has degenerated from being a threat to the individual to a danger to the public as a whole. While the idea of dropping out has also taken on new shades of meaning. How can those who are enjoying an increasingly higher standard of living relate to others living outside of their gated walls? Do they have a responsibility to anyone - other than themselves? Do we want to join them? The Great Feast is a soul-stirring and stomach-churning reflection on gluttony. And excess.
Presented by: Müpa Budapest
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