Don't touch the white woman!
The famous battle of Little Bighorn (1876) which saw the victory of native Americans against General Custer, recreated in the Paris of the 70s, then in the midst of urban reconstruction...
Ferreri said he shot a western movie "because we live in a wild west atmosphere" and he wanted to dismantle the concepts of "God, family and country" expressed in the genre through laughter. Ferreri recreated Little Bighorn in the 1973 Les Halles construction site, linking the two places of destruction through time. This anarchist and hilarious satire in chaos unravels the principles of show business and ridicules those of authority and domination. As Gabriella Trujillo says, this outrageous vaudeville is the director's most political film.
Non toccare la donna bianca.1974
Color - 108mn - French dubbed version
France / Italia.
10 September 2021 17:00
Screening presented by Pierre Bordage
Production: Michel Piccoli, Jean-Pierre Rassam, Jean Yanne.
Screenplay: Rafael Azcona, Marco Ferreri.
Editing: Ruggero Mastroianni.
Photography: Étienne Becker.
Music by: Philippe Sarde.
With: Marcello Mastroianni, Catherine Deneuve, Michel Piccoli, Philippe Noiret, Ugo Tognazzi.
I realize that most of the films I've chosen are from the 70s (1968 for the oldest one, Model Shop, to 1982 for the latest one, Dark Crystal). It's probably because, as a student from 1973 to 1979, I used to go to the movies five or six times a week. Sometimes I would enter a theater without having any idea what the film was about, but simply because the title intrigued me or because that the director had an Italian name. That's how I discovered Dino Risi, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Ettore Scola... the extraordinary effervescence of Italian cinema in the 60s and 70s as well as... Marco Ferreri. Of course Ferreri, until then little known by mainstream audiences, benefited from the huge controversy raised at the Cannes Film Festival by The Grande Bouffe (1973), a monument of scandalous vulgarity according to some, or for others a scathing attack on consumer society. In 1974 followed Don't touch the White Woman, in which we find the same major quatuor from The Grande Bouffe: Piccoli, Mastroianni, Noiret, Tognazzi, as well as Monique Chaumette, and in which we can also see Catherine Deneuve as Custer's paramour, Serge Reggiani as a mad indian, Alain Cuny as Sitting Bull, and Darry Cowl as a major. And the brilliant and wacky idea of using the Les Halles construction site in the heart of Paris as the setting for this parody of a western that mocks the myth of Custer (Mastroianni) and the battle of Little Bighorn. By making this costly and ambitious film, it's said that Ferreri intended to ruin his Grande Bouffe producer, who hadn't paid him what he owed him. In the end, whatever the reasons presiding the birth of this film, what's important is to discover this freewheeling cinema, that beneath its assumed burlesque, conceals a fierce charge against patriarchy and religion, and to watch the great actors of the time let loose with a rejoicing energy in the open heart of Paris.