Sound And Fury

  • 1988
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Drama

Violent to the extreme, the aggressive black comedy SOUND AND FURY is a powerful appeal for the welfare of today's children in an uncaring, inattentive society. It begins as a young boy (Gasperitsch) with a caged pet bird arrives in a modern suburban city in France, alone and looking for his mother's apartment complex. She is not there. She is never there,...read more

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Violent to the extreme, the aggressive black comedy SOUND AND FURY is a powerful appeal for the welfare of today's children in an uncaring, inattentive society. It begins as a young boy (Gasperitsch) with a caged pet bird arrives in a modern suburban city in France, alone and looking for

his mother's apartment complex. She is not there. She is never there, communicating with him only through friendly and loving notes. Gasperitsch's only companions are his bird and an angelic, female, nude apparition that occasionally materializes in a bedroom at the end of the hall. The apartment

complex he lives in is a regular war zone, with all its battles and terror initiated by one family, headed by the violent patriarch Cremer. A character who might have walked from the set of a Sam Peckinpah film into this suburban apartment building, Cremer exhibits astounding violence. His

apartment, which he shares with a dying old father, a delinquent son (Negret), and a relatively normal wife and daughter, is his own private battle station--he owns an arsenal of weapons and even uses his hallway as a shooting gallery. Like a true modern cowboy, Cremer blows holes in large

portraits of American Indians with a shotgun. Gasperitsch's initiation into this milieu is through Negret, a much-hated child who, because of his father, is feared by everyone and whose world is a regular chamber of horrors. Negret delights in dragging through a field a helpless dog, attached by a

rope to the back of his stolen motorbike. He participates in an attack on a schoolmate who, while being seduced by a sexually forthright girl, is ambushed by a gang of violent thugs; he even tries to force a girl to fellate him in the back of the classroom. When a social worker is assigned to

Negret's case, she is threatened at gunpoint by Cremer and immediately quits. The only person who makes an effort to reach both Negret and Gasperitsch is the young, idealistic schoolteacher Babe. She too, however, gets nowhere. By the conclusion, nearly all but she and Negret have been murdered in

a violent bloodbath. It is only at this point that Babe (and the audience) comes to care for Negret and realizes that all this violence was his plea for help, his shout for love and caring in a world where violence is the norm and where societal and parental permissiveness only lead to the

creation of a more brutal world.

Expertly directed by Jean-Claude Brisseau, a former schoolteacher, SOUND AND FURY arouses mixed emotions and responses by combining terrible acts of violence with outrageous humor. One is never quite sure how to react; laughter overlaps with fear. As the film proceeds, one grows to hate the

delinquent Negret more and more, finally wishing someone would just destroy the beast. But then one realizes that this response is just as inhumane as are the feelings of the people on-screen. Brisseau has created (or perhaps simply documented) a world of evil and savagery reminiscent of that in

Luis Bunuel's LOS OLVIDADOS, and that like Bunuel's exists somewhere between the real and the fantastic. What makes SOUND AND FURY so successful is its actors' ability to skirt the margins of the comic and the violent, especially in the case of Bruno Cremer, whose character is at once the ultimate

creature of brutality and a caring, honorable, and devoted father. The picture had its US premiere at the Chicago International Film Festival. (In French; English subtitles.) (Nudity, profanity, violence, comic violence, adult situations, sexual situations.)

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  • Released: 1988
  • Rating: NR
  • Review: Violent to the extreme, the aggressive black comedy SOUND AND FURY is a powerful appeal for the welfare of today's children in an uncaring, inattentive society. It begins as a young boy (Gasperitsch) with a caged pet bird arrives in a modern suburban city… (more)

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