Le grand départ

Le grand départ

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(aka "The Big Departure") 1972. Color/b&w. 70 minutes. French/English languages, no subtitles. Image quality: good.

Never let it be said that Doktorfroyd doesn't like a challenge, such as running the Boston Marathon, riding a camel through the eye of a needle, or trying to write a synopsis for a movie like "Le grand départ". First, we will examine the plot and structure of the film: there is no plot or structure in the film. Next, we will attempt to describe the indescribable using only words found in the human lexicon: A middle-aged couple watches tv in their kitchen, seeming almost hypnotized by the inane images and dialogue being broadcast on the small, fuzzy screen. Suddenly, their mindless bliss is interupted when a man in a cat costume riding a moped throws a rock through one of their windows, and then beats a hasty retreat down the street tout de suite. The cat man, whose name is Cain, has a need for speed that can't be met by his moped, so he steals a car from a motorist whom he has just beaten, and continues to ease on down the road, bringing misfortune to all he ecounters. Cain makes a brief pitstop during his mission of malicious mischief to pick up a naked young girl named Innocence, who is standing in the middle of nowhere playing with a rabbit. After he manages to squeeze in a quick rape on the way, Cain and his petite passenger arrive at a remote hippie commune led by Monsieur Nature, an English speaking guru played by legendary Hollywood actor Sterling Hayden (!). Upon his arrival, Cain brings death and violence to the peacefull retreat, so M. Nature and his followers decide to leave. They board a raft on a lake which soon morphs into a sort of interstellar flying carpet that whisks them all through the cosmos. At first, the trip is more fun than a barrel full of Owsley acid, with the hippies space truckin' through the galaxy, playing catch with what appears to be the planet Earth. The extraterrestrial ecstasy doesn't last long however, and before you can say "Like wow, man!", degenerates into a nightmare of panicking peaceniks screaming and fighting with each other, all the while accompanied by an unsettlingly creepy and chaotic score. Most of the dialogue is in French, but much of it is in English. There are no subtitles, but they're really not neccessary - the "story" probably wouldn't make much more sense with them! Directed by renowned painter and sculptor Martial Raysse.

Contains nudity.

DVD-R disc by mail - $12.00 NTSC format (North American standard), region free. NTSC compatible player required for viewing. DVDs feature menus and chapters. PLEASE NOTE: Image shown is for display only. Discs are shipped in protective sleeves without cases/covers.

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