TABLE OF CONTENTS

film

Duet for Cannibals, Adalen ’31, and Bob and Carol

Susan Sontag’s Duet for Cannibals looks and feels like skimmed milk. An airless, room-locked, unusually adroit drawing-room comedy. A young man with the style and dress of an avant-garde painter is employed to catalog the life work of a political refugee. There is nothing convincing about his task, his employer’s career or the reason he and his girl are swallowed up by the powerful personalities of the two urbane, pompous vampires in an ultra-bourgeois house. The combination of a gutless spirit and sado-masochistic games (I kill you, you kill me and then we all get up and walk out the door) kills the film midway, when a suicide, with unbearable playfulness, hides herself and her lover behind a windshield that she covers with shaving soap. What is amazing is how little juice there is in the inventions and characters, yet this grey coagulation keeps going forward in a half-entertaining way.

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