The day of the locust
In 1930s' Hollywood, many destinies, real or fictional, are woven together. Tod works in the set department. Homer is a sickly, clumsy accountant. Both are in love with Faye, a starlet who sells her body while waiting for her big break...
When the British filmmaker takes on Nathanael West's masterpiece, he paints Tinseltown as a hallucinated eschatological city with, as a climax, a mob rage as chilling as in Fritz Lang's Fury. The Day of the Locust is one of those films that paint a portrait of a sick America through its entertainment industry where chaos takes over form, thirty years before Richard Kelly's Southland Tales.
The day of the locust.1975
Color - 144mn - Original version with French subtitles
Production: Jerome Hellman, Sheldon Schrager.
Screenplay: Nathanael West, Waldo Salt.
Editing: Jim Clark.
Photography: Conrad Hall.
Music by: John Barry.
With: Donald Sutherland, Karen Black, Burgess Meredith, William Atherton, Geraldine Page, Richard Dysart, Bo Hopkins, Pepe Serna.
One of my favourite directors, John Schlesinger, takes on the horror of Hollywood. An American dream gone very, very wrong. Mad, bloated and epic as the film is, it’s all about excess and that’s reflected in the gory, saturated colour. ‘Adore Loomis’ the aspiring child star is a demonic presence in the movie and the demented mob scene at the end is as liberating as it is grossly ugly.