Four wealthy, successful, middle-aged men decide to spend the weekend in an old Parisian villa to eat themselves to death. The film was an absolute scandal. Critics called it “humiliating, shameful and a farce”. Naturally, the film became a classic.
…Is an old villa in the 16th arrondissement in Paris. It belongs to Philippe and we find out his dad bought it as a present for his mom. But it has its secrets. The garden is the home to ducks and geese as well as a sexually charged sculpture. The frivolous ambience is continued inside.
women and their roles
L’atmosphère de la maison est encore plus étrange la nuit. / The atmosphere of the house seven stranger at night.Andréa
Andrea is the ultimate wolf in sheep’s clothing. She introduces herself as an elementary school teacher and ends up feeding and sexing every man in the house to death.
Mysterious yet shallow, loving and caring, yet killing and abusive. Who is she? What is her motivation? Thinking of Andréa only one sentence comes to mind: That which feeds, destroys me.
Her sexual stamina and her appetite for food is bigger and stronger than of any of those men. While everyone around her is suffering, she is enjoying the ride. Her sexuality is her strength.
Madeleine is a business woman. Dressed in a fitted red costume (that could be a Chanel), accessorised with heavy jewels, gold and pearls, Madeleine is representative of the haute bourgeoisie. Her elegant and simplistic makeup suggests class and taste.
She makes it unmistakeably clear that she doesn’t approve of Ugo’s secrecy and her aggressive, poignant hand gesture speaks volumes.
Marcello’s sexual appetite calls for prostitutes.The girls arrive and join the macabre festivities without hesitation except for one.
She realises that all this eating is not driven by hunger. As the girls start getting sick, they leave. But they have brought to the surface where the interests and morals of each man lie.
Nicole has never left her foster child Philippe, whom she sexually abuses regularly. She teases Philippe by exposing her large bust, and her jealousy leads us to believe that she never allowed any other woman near Philippe. She satisfied his sexual needs herself, although it is evident that it is primarily satisfying for herself.
Marcello is a lady’s man and impotent. He immediately calls for prostitutes, and faces his greatest weakness.
At the house, he finds an old Bugatti. The marauding car can be compared to his impotence. He tries to fix a machine that is broken. It seems to work for a short while, until it stops and freezes.
The body of a woman, it is vanity. / Le corps d’une femme c’est une vanité.Michel
He is without a doubt the most feminin one. He walks around the house in a dress, and his feminitity is accentuated by the doll right next to his bed. He also practices ballet every morning and wears tight pink pullovers. As a child he was told never to fart and he still holds on to this rule, until this neurosis becomes his final battle.
Ugo is a head chef and responsible for the food while the “festivities” last. A true connoisseur, he feeds the poultry with chocolate , nuts and cognac, which gives them an “exquisite taste”.
If you do not eat, you do not die. Life itself is a farce.Ugo
The judge Philippe is the most educated out of the bunch, but despite his job, he lacks assertiveness. He is therefor a constant victim of abuse. His childhood nanny still imposes her will on him under the pretext of moral and continues to rape him.
Philippe is never alone. His nanny still watches over him and gives him no room to breathe. She is sitting on his bed the minute he wakes up, forcing him to eat. She feeds him, mothers him and renders him sexually dependant; unable to find pleasure or love elsewhere.
Despite being a walking dictionary, Philippe has many traits of a small child. He never got to grow into a man. Just as Nicole still feeds him, he still accepts anything he is being served: lies, abuse, belittlement. All he can do is sulk like an infant. I find him to be the most interesting character because of his knowledge and his tremendeous ability to understand people’s motivations.
Yet he still suffers.