Reve de singe (1978)’
aka Ciao maschio, Bye Bye Monkey
Article 5977 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Marco Ferreri
Featuring Gerard Depardieu, Marcello Mastroianni, James Coco
Country: Italy / France
What it is: Art film
An employee at a wax museum decides to raise a chimpanzee found in the hand of the corpse of King Kong.
I’m not really sure what the reality of this film is. Is the corpse of King Kong really what it is, or is it a work of art? Is the chimp the son of Kong or just a chimp? There are lots of other ambiguities as well that are never really resolved. Some scenes involve the main character’s work with a feminist theatre, his relationship with the manager of a wax museum dedicated to ancient Rome who has been blackmailed by the government to change the faces of his figures to those of modern politicians, his love affair with an actress, and his friendship with a group of people, one of which is a lonely asthmatic played by Marcello Mastroianni. The French title translates as “The Monkey Dream”, and the Italian title translates as “Goodbye to Macho”. I suspect the true center of the film is caught in the Italian title; it certainly points to an obvious symbolic value to the corpse of King Kong, nor does it indicate a positive fate for the chimpanzee in the film. Nevertheless, I can’t say I really felt satisfied with this one, though I like some of Ferreri’s other works.