Thursday, November 03, 2005

Cannibal Holocaust "Interview"

Back in the nineteen-eighties, in the dark depths of the "video nasties" scare in England and Ireland, one film caused more revulsion and disgust than any other.

That film was Ruggero Deodato's "Cannibal Holocaust" (1980) one of the many Italian Exploitation Horror Films of the late seventies, early eighties.

The film is intended as a cautionary tale about the West's and Western Media's involvement with primitive societies, and society itself, creating, rather than reporting news.

The plot involves a group of young documentary film makers going down to investigate some of the last Cannibal tribes of the Amazon, they disappear and the movie begins with another expedition to find them. We follow Professor Harold Moore (Robert Kerman) down to the Amazon and watch his travels as he attempts to find the missing crew. He only finds their bones, and the film they shot. Professor Moore then returns with the footage and reviews it in preparation for its use in a documentary about the missing crew. The second half of the movie involves the reviewing of this footage and is shot as a documentary and thus Cannibal Holocaust can be viewed as a precursor to films like "The Blair Witch Project".

The movie itself involves various scenes of Rape, Torture, Mutilation and perhaps most disturbingly of all, real scenes of animal death. A monkey has it's head split in half with a machete, a tortise gutted alive with a knife, and finally a pig shot and killed to advance the plot. It is one of the hardest movies to watch that I have ever sat through, though it is not without value.

Cannibal Holocaust caused such a stir on it's realease that the Italian Government refused to believe that some of the "Native" deaths were special effects and sent a team over to the films locations to investigate that no actual murders had been commited. Of course none had.

The movie was until recently still banned in the U.K. and Ireland.

Last Saturday, presented during the I.F.I.'s (Irish Film Institute) 8th annual Horrorthon was a rare screening of "Cannibal Holocaust", even rarer was the fact that Director Ruggero Deodato was in attendance and gave a short speech about the movie before it began, and afterwards answered questions from the audience.

I asked the first of the questions and I got a longer answer than I bargained for, Ruggero Deodato gave an answer that was nearly eight minutes long, and he only had fifteen minutes speaking time.

I managed to catch a good deal of his answer on my cameraphones video, though due to the time it takes my phone to process and then save videos I lost a minute or two of his answer. However since it was such a rare opportunity to capture his comments, even incomplete (as I have checked the web for similar media and found nothing) I have uploaded them and present them here for your edification. The visuals are mostly the back of other Patrons heads, but the sound is clear enough and allows for Ruggero Deodato to make his point.

The files themselves are in 3gp format and can be played by the quicktime player and are in four parts.

The question that I asked is not included on the recordings and was as follows:

"Could you tell us a little about the thought process that went into the inclusion of the animal killings in Cannibal Holocaust? and do you think that the inclusion of the killings caused Cannibal Holocaust to become as Exploitative as the media that it was trying to comment on?"

The following is Ruggero Deodato's answer in sequence (with the exception of video 1 which is part of his initial speech prior to the screening).

This is where the files are stored.

When you get to the page, look to the right at the green icons by the files, click to download. This will bring you to a new page, where it specifies the file that you have selected to download. Scroll to the bottom of the page, where you will find another "download" button, click, and it does exactly what it says on the tin.

If you are wondering why I chose this particularly arcane way for you to access these files - 1. I could not find a "free" way of uploading files to the blog and 2. It was one of the only free services I found that allowed public downloads of personal files.

Anyways, enjoy.

Peace and Hope



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