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The Stuff That Dreams Are Made Of

Friday, February 4, 2000
Liza
Marco Ferreri France/Italy, 1972

(La cagna). The Italian title of this study in obsession and degradation by master of misanthropy Marco Ferreri (La Grande bouffe) is The Bitch, and Catherine Deneuve plays the eponymous "dog" with startling intensity. Mastroianni is a Parisian cartoonist who deserts his job, family, and the rest of civilization to live on a Mediterranean island with his dog. His splendid isolation is disrupted when a spoiled blonde swims in from a yacht and emerges from the sea, demanding his attention. His every attempt to rid the island of the intruder only increases her growing obsession with the recluse, which results in a competition for his affection with the dog. As always, Ferreri is determined to outrage and scandalize, and he succeeds. The score is by Stephane Grappelli.

• Written by Ferreri, Jean-Claude Carriere, based on a book by Ennia Flaiano. Photographed by Mario Vulpiano. With Catherine Deneuve, Marcello Mastroianni, Corinne Marchand, Michel Piccoli. (100 mins, In Italian with English subtitles, Color, 35mm)