Gorilla Bathes at Noon

"Weak"

Gorilla Bathes at Noon Review


In one of Dusan Makavejev's most recent works, the ravings of a man slowly slipping off his rocker are laid out bare. I don't know if I buy its moniker of "post-Communist kitsch," but it will be up to you to decide the merit of Makavejev's Gorilla Bathes at Noon on your own.

Gorilla Bathes at Noon is a very simple story (especially considering Makavejev's earlier films) about a Russian soldier named Victor (Svetozar Cvetkovic), caught in East Berlin as the wall is coming down. The clownish oaf wanders through the aftermath of communism, still adhering to his hero, Lenin. He even climbs the giant statue erected in his honor to scrub the paint from his head (see picture below). And he imagines(?) his girlfriend (Anita Mancic) in Lenin's image, complete with beard and moustache. (Of special note is Éva Ras, who appears as the girl's mother, previously was murdered by Makavejev in his film Love Affair, some 26 years earlier.)

Odd? Sure, as is all of Makavejev's work. But what's the man getting at? Would that I could tell you. Ultimately, there's little point to Victor's wanderings through the Berlin Zoo except to bemoan the death of Eastern Europe as we had known it for 50 years. What's worse is that, while much of the film is in (thickly-accented) English, a fair amount is in German and Russian -- with no subtitles. And my pidgin Deutsch isn't enough to translate Victor's heartfelt soliloquy, I'm sad to say. [Editor's Note: We have recently been told this is a lab error and should not be a problem on most tapes.]

Ultimately, Gorilla Bathes at Noon has little to say about anything and doesn't get around to saying it with much flair, something which Makavejev never lacked in his earlier work. And no, I have no idea what the title means.

All hail the disembodied head of Vladimir Lenin.



Facts and Figures

Run time: 83 mins

In Theaters: Thursday 11th February 1993

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 67%
Fresh: 4 Rotten: 2

IMDB: 5.9 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer: Alfred Hürmer, ,

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