La grande abbuffata

lagrandeabbuffataAfter some years, I have seen again “La grande abbuffata” (“La Grande Bouffe” in French – “The Grande Bouffe” and ” in English) a 1973 French–Italian black comedy directed by Marco Ferreri.

It tells the story of four middle-aged friends who gather for a weekend to spend in debauchery at the villa of one of them. Truckloads of fine food and wine arrive and the four men prepare for a great banquet, where they invite three elegant slim prostitutes and the young  plump local schoolmistress. Little by little their plan gets clear: bored with their routine and problems, they have decided to end their lives with an orgy of gluttony, sex and hedonism. It is a sort of suicide pact according to which they will eat themselves to death.

The film, although grotesque , surreal and sometimes disgusting in its scenes of culinary and sexual excess, is sad and compelling. It is a satire of consumerism, of the nihilistic ugliness of excessive wealth: middle class ennui and the desire to consume to death seem to be results of our modern lives and attitudes.

18 thoughts on “La grande abbuffata

  1. I’m not sure I saw more than extracts. What I have seen is effectively sad. Excess…
    Though a great Italian director.
    (And a new word: I was wondering what “abbufata” meant. La “bouffe” of course. Love it!)
    Ciao ciao

    Liked by 1 person

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