(1965) dir. Marco Bellocchio
Recommended by a friend, I didn’t really know anything much about this film before seeing it other than it verged on being a horror film. It isn’t what I would call a horror film, though I won’t try to get into exactly how I would define that. The film is a dark, creepy, and depressing drama about a highly dysfunctional bourgeois family that verges heavily into gothic darkness.
Lou Castel is amazing as the central core of the family’s inevitable dissolution. There seems to be great social criticism in the film as well, a turning point in culture, dissonant and discordant. In some ways it reminded me of Five Easy Pieces (1970), in that the family that Jack Nicholson strived to escape was similarly bourgeois. While Nicholson’s character in that film runs away randomly from these things, Castel’s character is more like an active part of the family’s disease, and like a disease, he kills.
What it all really means, I am not sure. He talks of killing his entire family by driving them off a cliff, all in interest of serving his slick older brother, who has some ambivalence about this fact. The title metaphorizes the tone of Castel and the film in general, this hidden, deep loathing and pent-up desire for destruction. I can’t claim to understand it all and won’t give it thorough analysis, though I am sure that one could easily do so.