Buffet Froid

It’s the creepy ultra-modernism of J.G. Ballard meets the farcical goofiness of Blake Edwards, with a dollop of Quentin Dupieux’s riotous, left-field dream logic on top. Unusual as that all may sound together, this late-’70s comedy by Bertrand Blier is a totally cohesive contraption: a whimsical amalgamation of urban alienation, gleeful murder and absorbing conviviality amongst strangers. Striking a vaguely post-apocalyptic tone, Blier sets up the murderous (or possibly innocent) Gérard Depardieu and his girlfriend as the sole tenants of a sleek, yet deserted high rise. Once Depardieu discovers that the lone new neighbor is the chief police inspector, there begins the audience’s ascent into the dizzying heights of disappearing weapons, disappearing motives, and more than one dead girlfriend. This is “nonsense” in the best sense of the word: a universe where all rules are out the window, a murderer can befriend his victim in the middle of the act, where subconscious fears can take corporeal forms, and where time wonderfully has no meaning. You’ll giggle, guffaw and gasp at this immensely unpredictable nugget of male bonding madness.
Dir. Bertrand Blier, 1973, 35mm, 89 min.

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