One of the loveliest free-form ideas to find patronage and popularity in the New Wavey 1960s was the portmanteau film, a rarely successful but always tempting quasi-genre that usually imposed a general theme but was always more interested in enlisting the generation’s coolest hotshot filmmakers to whack off and make their special kind of havoc. Often you could hope for one beaut out of five, but 1969’s Love and Anger, concerned with the tension between emotional society and bloodshed, is thick with home runs. Pier Paolo Pasolini, whose Christ-movie vignette is the only world-beater in RoGoPaG, scores again with a derisive essay contrasting a cavorting flower child with news footage of contemporaneous atrocities, while Bernardo Bertolucci documents the death of the human race—by way of Julian Beck and the Living Theatre. Carlo Lizzani lambastes modern culture for disaffection (a rape goes unnoticed, while a car wreck victim gets victimized all over again on the way to the hospital), Jean-Luc Godard dialogues about love and war and the film itself, and best of all, Marco Bellocchio chronicles the collapse of civilization in a classroom overrun by ‘Nam protesters. Bristly and mad as hell, the coalescent result is both a fabulous time capsule and a prescient rediscovery for today’s latent anti-war movement. Supps include new interviews, galleries, and a booklet of background info.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on October 11, 2005