Wild Eye, The / L'occhio selvaggio (1967)

5.0 out of 5

Dramatising the world of the Mondo filmmaker The Wild Eye is clearly a work of introspection and reflection on the part of Mondo cane director Paolo Cavara.

While the film can be seen as an attack or criticism of the genre and the personalities involved the Jacopetti type lead character, played by the ever delightful Philippe Leroy, is one with which the viewer can empathise for no matter how heartless or sociopathic he appears he is little more than a husk of a man seemingly capable of only cold utilitarian, but not emotional, situation responses.

It could be argued that in this instance the director character is in no way the villain of the piece as he is incapable of expressing natural human emotion in his quest for the next slice of shockumentary footage or a Buddhist monk willing to self-immolate on cue for a sensation hungry audience. Colleagues, despite knowing that there is something clearly amiss, stick around as long as they are paid.

Gabriele Tinti and Delia Boccardo co-star in this fascinating, tragic and enlightening work from a director who is not afraid to honestly and critically re-appraise his role in the infamous documentary genre.

Maurizio Merli header graphic courtesy of Paddy O'Neill of Foxyfide Graphics