Marianne Faithfull sings “The Ballad of Lucy Jordan” over the credit sequence.
Marilyn Jordan (Susan Anspach) is a bored, depressed American housewife, married to a rich Swedish businessman with two seemingly perfect children. Slowly showing signs of mental illness from the mundane routine of her life, she tries to “spice up” her existence by surprising the family when she eats their entire dinner, setting the bedclothes on fire and poisoning the pet dog’s milk and then advising it not to drink (the dog does not drink). Eventually Martin, Marilyn’s husband, decides to show her to a psychiatrist, but that only serves to further her frustration.
One day, when she decides to accompany her husband on a business trip, Marilyn gets detained by security at the airport on a technicality. After missing her plane, she is befriended by a group of gypsies and is taken to a club they run, bearing the odd name of “Zanzi-Bar.” There, Marilyn indulges in their fantastic, surreal world of shovel fighting, lamb roasting, striptease and free love. It all culminates with Marilyn having a passionate fling with a young man named Montenegro (Svetozar Cvetković) who works in a zoo… –Wikipedia
Dusan Makavejev, the most prominent director in new Yugoslav cinema is internationally recognized for his passionate, daring films that blend fiction with reality, and drama with humor. Many of these films contain experimental elements and were considered controversial for their eroticism and sharp criticism of Eastern European politics. Makavejev began making short films during the ‘50s just after he studied psychology at Belgrade University; he then went on to become active in several film societies and festivals while studying direction at the Academy for Radio, Television, and Film. He continued making shorts and documentaries for both Zagreb and Avala studios until the early ’60s. His interest in documentaries can still be see in his later fictional features. Makavejev’s first three features — Man Is Not a Bird (1966), Love Affair (1967), and Innocence Unprotected (1968) — won him international acclaim. In 1971, his fictionalized chronicle of psychoanalyst Wilhelm Reich, WR: Mysteries… read more
Marianne Faithful's 'Ballad of Lucy Jordan' sets the tone for this wonderful satire by Makavejev. Susan Anspach is perfectly cast as a woman lost in the mundane existence of housewife and mother aching for an experience. When fate throws her in the company of a ragtag group of Slavs running a bar called Zanzibar she is able to transcend her fleeting apathy. A lot less abstract than most of the director's other work.
Delightfully strange comedy from Dusan Makavejev about a bored American housewife who lets loose with some Yugoslavian immigrants in Sweeden. I don't think I will forget such highlights as the shovel duel scene or the most creative use of a remote control tank and a dildo that has been committed to film thus far! My only gripes are that the first 30 minutes are a little boring and the 80's synth score can be grating.