Monday, 16 March 2009

APRIL's SCREENING: Don’t Touch The White Woman!

Sunday 12th APRIL
3pm at 56a Infoshop

Paris no longer exists. The destruction of Paris is only one striking example of the fatal illness that is currently wiping out all the major cities, and that illness is in turn only one of the numerous symptoms of the material decay of this society. But Paris had more to lose than any other. Bliss it was to be young in this city when for the last time it glowed with so intense a flame.
- Guy Debord, In girum imus nocte et consumimur igni


Marco Ferreri, Touche Pas a La Femme Blanche / Don’t Touch The White Woman! (FR, 1973) 109 mins.

Following in the wake of his first considerable success, La Grande Bouffe (1973), Italian filmmaker Marco Ferreri decided to reunite

his ensemble cast and commence filming his next feature, Don’t Touch The White Woman!, right in middle of “le trou des Halles”, a crater formed by the demolition of the ancient market quarter in the centre of Paris. The crater, with its jagged precipices, sculpted by excavation machinery and dynamite, oddly resembled the panoramic canyons depicted in classical westerns.

The plot revolves around a droll and war-crazed General Custer (Marcello Mastroianni), arriving in France with the mission of “pacifying” and removing the natives, in order to clear the area for the construction of railroads (which happens to be the same reason for the actual dismantling of old Les Halles). The location’s particularity provided the locus for Ferreri to apply his particular vision of combined histories by overlapping alternate times and spaces in recent U.S and French history. Thus the natives stand in for the poor inhabitants of Paris, but also refer to the insurgent Vietnamese and Algerians fighting colonial power. War and capitalism, financial speculation and state intervention are connected in a farcical costume drama enacted in midst of the very present creative destruction of urban Paris.

">An essay on the film by Miljenko Skoknic:

Script of Debord's In girum imus nocte et consumimur igni:

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