Immigrants Luigi and Lafayette work for Andreas Flaxman at his wax museum in Lower Manhattan. Luigi, an asthmatic middle-aged romantic, works as an artist/sculptor while the Lafayette functions as a jack-of-all trades for Flaxman, who is obsessed with Ancient Rome, a preoccupation that most of his exhibits reflect. Lafayette lives in a rat-infested basement some blocks away and carries a whistle with to scare the rodents, which seem to be endemic to the area. He also works as a stagehand for a feminist theater group in their Off-off Broadway theater where he suffers their sexist abuses including being forced to wear a leotard. Angelica, one of the beautiful actresses in the troupe is attracted to him, and they begin a relationship. At the same time Luigi comes across the 50 foot model of King Kong in a Hudson River landfill, apparently discarded after the 1976 movie version of "King Kong." There he finds an orphaned baby chimpanzee which he takes to be the giant simian's son. Allergic...Written by
an oddly desolate New York overrun by rats, Gerard Depardieu works at a Roman history wax museum, gets "raped" by a feminist performance art troupe, pals around with a sexually frustrated Marcello Mastroianni ("I have some kind of monster between my legs!"), seduces the elderly hostess of a dinner party in front of the guests, and discovers the corpse of King Kong on the beach, who is clutching an infant monkey that he then adopts. A stencil on Depardieu's wall asks "Why?!" and that's a good question. Although composed of several interesting elements (some of which recall Ferreri's earlier THE SEED OF MAN) it doesn't gel into any cohesive whole. The best I can do at putting it together is to say it's an absurdist treatise on the decline of civilization, but not all the pieces seem to fit. It's an exercise in non-sequitur, and that's not a form I enjoy very much unless it's done very light-heartedly. There are amusing moments but the overall tempo is too sluggish. Also, the performances aren't very good except for Depardieu and Mastroianni, and even they don't appear to understand what they're doing. Sometimes Ferreri's idiosyncrasies add up to something really exciting, but here it's a near miss.
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